When your business is faced with language needs or related demands during the process of globalization, such as:
- Translation of technical documentation (manuals, etc.)
- Transcreation of marketing text (websites, brochures, etc.)
- Subtitling, translation, dubbing, tuning, and editing of video and product audio.
- Consecutive or simultaneous interpretation for conferences and exhibitions.
You need to seriously consider how to choose the right language service provider (LSP). You may understand that you should choose an LSP, but believe that they are all largely the same. In that case, shouldn’t you just choose the cheapest option?
Language Services Are About More Than Just Price
In the process of globalization, the purpose of language services has long since moved past simply ensuring that international customers and users can “understand” you.
Language services are a process in which success in a culture or region is replicated to global markets. Translation is far more than just the conversion from one language to another. The value behind language services also far exceeds translation itself, encompassing a comprehensive suite of high-level services such as project management, resource management, asset management, and technical R&D.
With the support of professional language services, enterprises can continuously optimize the user experience of their products or services, and greatly enhance their brand image. As overcoming the barriers of language is the only path towards success for international enterprises, the value of language services has become self evident.
As international businesses continue to grow, so to does the demand for additional and more complex language services. These business circumstances mean that enterprises in the process of implementing a globalization strategy usually maintain a long-term and close partnership with their chosen LSP. This ensures the continuous implementation and maintenance of corpus resources, operational standards, and processes while reducing the operating costs and controlling the quality of language services.
As such, understanding the value of language services along with one’s own needs and pain points will enable enterprises to establish healthier and more sustainable partnerships with language service providers(LSPs). While price remains a concern for any product or service, a key consideration for the selection of language services should be suitability.
How Can We Evaluate Language Service Providers(LSPs)?
The most important task is to clarify the language service requirements of your organization. For example, writing and translation are two completely different types of services.
Translation itself covers both interpretation and written translation, which can then be further divided into technical and marketing in accordance with the positioning of the target text. Only once they have identified their own needs does an enterprise have a basis for LSP evaluation. During this process, department managers or decision makers will often need to identify and confirm matters with the language service stakeholder within your organizational structure before finalizing a summary. The more deeply you understand your requirements, the easier it will be for you to find a suitable supplier.
The second task is to clarify your organization’s specific demands for each of its required language services. Even if only one type of language service is required, both organization- and department-wide demands should be clarified to more clearly identify the differences between various LSPs.
Taking technical translation as an example, one can focus on LSP qualifications, the expertise required for the software and hardware of the project, and the background of LSP translators for departments that require quality; translation capacity and practical case studies for projects of a similar scale for departments that require timeliness; or simply directly transfer the task to procurement for departments that require price competitiveness.
Find the LSP That Suits You
The market fragmentation of the language services industry is largely the result of the huge variety in needs from different enterprises. This has created large differences between LSPs in terms of capacity, service types, price, resources, management experience, and R&D.
For enterprises engaged in globalization strategies, LSPs cannot be directly compared to each other in a simple and fixed manner. As a language services decision maker of an enterprise, you must first acquire a deep understanding of your own needs and pain points, evaluate which LSPs have the ability to solve your problems, and only then select for price performance once you have narrowed the LSPs down.
Partnerships between enterprises and LSPs require a dynamic process of selection. You must find an LSP that suits you.