Selecting the Right Translation Agency in China For Your Business
Maria Krisette Capati, Author
22 May 2019
Looking for your perfect match?
Definitely finding the right translation agency in China to suit your business needs is a quest.
If you’re business needs online content or copywriting services in Chinese, working with the right one is an investment for long-term goals. It can contribute to your business growth, too.
But with thousands of Chinese translation agencies out there, how will you know which one is for you? From small scale to big ones, each one will claim they’re the best.
With hundreds of dollars of budget, you don’t want to work with a team who would winnow your money for poor quality and delayed timeline, right?
In this blog post, you’ll have a set of questions to consider for proper vetting.
#1 Is the agency flexible to accommodate rush projects without compromising the quality?
If the team can work gracefully under pressure, you’ve got to see how they work throughout the process. Is the agency flexible to accommodate your request for rush projects?
If yes, find out how they’re going to manage the time and if they will charge your rush fees. Some agencies in China do have add-on rates and even hidden charges, so make sure you know what you’re getting into.
In any business, deadlines and delays can either offer a breakthrough or a loss of productivity for your team.
If you’re working with tight deadlines and there’s a regular flow of content that needs Chinese translation, negotiate on the process of rush projects and also the fees involved.
To know more, check out how the AZ-Loc team managed this rush legal translation project and how they helped the client saved thousands of dollars.
#2 How’s the translation process?
You also need to find out how they work with their in-house translators and contractors once you work with them. It’s still at your discretion if you want to work with an agency who has solely in-house full-time translators.
Other agencies have both in-house professional translators with them while working with contractors, especially with massive projects that require special attention.
You also need to ask and clarify these things and if it’s okay with you to work with contractors, too.
One of the primary considerations is the cost when you find out how the translation process works with the team and in general. In-house, contractors and even third-party vendors say yes if the price and quality are reasonable.
You can also ask for a sample translation to see how things will go.
As an example, you may want to know more about how the team helped a client in the property management sector saved 12% on the work scope. The translation team also sent a sample translation so the client can access the quality of work before translating the 29-page PDF file.
#3 Is the CAT tool updated and how much does the translation agency charge for repetitive words or phrases?
Translation work requires a little help from technology that’s why translators also use specific tools for accurate translation, spot repetitive words and phrases, and for proofreading.
Find out how they’re handling the CAT tool or the translation memory. If the team is well-versed in using this tool and other associated apps or software to speed up the process, better ask how much they charge for the repetitive words.
You will save hundreds or thousands of dollars for a large volume of documents, from technical to mechanical engineering and medical translation if you consider how the team handles the translation memory.
Some agencies often charge 30-100% of repetitive words, and that’s a massive loss for you if you’re not proactive in this area, especially for a large volume of work.
You may want to read more how AZ-Loc team help this client saved $1,419 on the Chinese translation of mechanical engineering documents. You’ll be surprised how the CAT tool helped without compromising the quality.
#4 Does your translation and localization needs fit the agency’s workflow and overall process?
Do you need translation, or do you have plans in the future to explore other language solutions like localization and multimedia projects? If you think you’ll be launching other services in the future in China and you need localization services, it’s best to explore the opportunities together on how you can work together for long-term.
Perhaps, right now, you only need translation services for your legal documents or medical papers. That’s okay.
You can also explore and assess if the agency can deliver or offers reasonable rates for custom packages to suit your business needs.
The AZ-Loc team is flexible in terms of the client’s needs and requirements.There are days when the team worked on hundreds and thousands of technical papers, and there are also days they work on multimedia projects such as Mandarin voice-overs and Cantonese voice-overs for clients that need video translation of their promotional videos.
Primarily, it’s your decision on how much you’ll be spending your time and resources and if it’s going to be long-term for your China business needs.
Here’s a story of AZ-Loc team on how a medical translation project opened more projects in the future.
#5 How much do they know the culture and language of your audience?
You can do some background check of their team and assess the expertise and specialization. If you’re serious in targeting the customers in Mainland China, you really need to find native Chinese who don’t only speak and write well in Chinese but also knows the culture and trends in online marketing.
For translations projects, your primary concern is the specialization of the professional translator. Translators in the legal sector should handle legal documents that need translation, it also works in health and pharmaceutical documents.
For localization and online marketing projects, you also need to consider and gauge their expertise in handling social media accounts like WeChat, Weibo, and other platforms.
Don’t forget about the cost, when it’s cheap, this could be misleading. Look for a translation agency that mirrors both the quality of deliverables and expertise.
At the end of the day, you need to decide your overall strategy for the China market and then vet those translation agencies that you think will add value to your business and contribute to your growth in Mainland China and even those Chinese customers living overseas.
And if you still have other tasks or projects, you may also ask for other packages that may suit your needs and work scope in the future.
Fill in the form below and we will get back to you with a quote on your project.
As we are constrained by resources, we will only serve those deserve our attention and time. We will only focus on clients who are already decided which projects to prioritize and understand the importance of translation and localization efforts.
Maria Krisette Capati
Krisette or "Sette" for short is a professional writer and copywriter who loves to cover disruptive technologies, digital trends in China, and a myriad of geeky and innovative topics. She's the Content Strategist at AZ-Loc and currently manages the English website and in-charge of the social media channels. She has been writing about China markets, business, and startups since 2012. She has gained her expertise as a China internet specialist and is fascinated by its business ethics, language, and culture. She's a major of Business Management and Entrepreneurship and an advocate of faith-based non-profit organizations. When she's not writing or dabbling with Sophie and the team, she satiates her wanderlust as a digital nomad.