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Top 8 Things to consider when choosing a TSP

A TSP, or Translations Services Provider, is a company that provides professional-grade translation services. We (Foreign Translations) are a TSP and would love to the opportunity to partner with you as your go-to translation team!

Most companies – especially small to midsize ones – do not have an in-house translation department. As such, they rely on a 3rd-party company (like Foreign Translations) to meet their translation and localization needs.  Considering this, we have created this checklist to help businesses in selecting a provider.

What you need to know

Know who you’re working with – Visit the company’s website and learn who they are. A major red flag is a company with very little “about us” on the site – no names or photos; perhaps just a number and email to reference. Reputable TSPs will be proud to list who they are.

  1. Quality – While it’s difficult to gauge quality until working with a translation provider, there are clues.  Check out the company’s testimonials page, their ratings on Google or other applicable sites.

  2. Industry expertise – If you are in the medical field for example, don’t hire a firm that doesn’t demonstrate understanding and experience in that field (and the target languages you are seeking).

  3. Range of Services – Look at the company’s list of services and make sure they handle all the types of services you’ll need. Remember, documents come in various forms. If you envision needing voice-over, multimedia, or other work, see if the company support these tasks It’s more efficient to have a single provider handle these activities and quality check with the language teams. 

  4. Efficiency – Ensure that the company can deliver within your timelines, without cutting corners. The best way to gauge this is by asking about turnaround times, and interviewing 1 or 2 existing clients.

  5. Flexibility – can the company adapt and flex to your needs? Beware of companies that are not willing to encompass change, especially on larger projects.  We all know business moves at a rapid speed, but change planning is part of the industry. Partner with a company who can accommodate to you.

  6. Tech Savvy – Ask what tools they use.  You want a company who is up-to-date on the latest trends and can leverage cost-saving technologies in the areas of project management, file analysis, translation reuse, and so on.

  7. Privacy – a reputable TSP should have no problems signing an NDA with you. In fact, they should have a template at the ready should any client require this. Ensuring your data privacy is essential and should be a basic expectation.

  8. Cost – of course, this is an important piece but is last on this list for a reason. If you are a professional business who cares about the quality and accuracy, focus on the above 9 factors first – leaving cost as the last input to decide on your TSP.


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