So, you’ve identified a need for language services.

Maybe you’ve got a big interpreting project that needs to be done, or an assignment that requires hundreds of pages of Mandarin to be translated into English.

Whatever the case, you know the work can’t be completed in house and you’re looking for a reputable Language Service Provider (LSP) to partner with. No matter what the end goal is, an LSP should help you navigate the process, especially if you’re a newcomer to the world of localization.

That’s why most LSPs provide consultation services. And while shopping around, clients should invest in an agency that is able to help them make decisions revolving around the technology, regulatory requirements and quality standards needed to create a successful localization project.

Here are three things an LSP should provide in their consulting services.

1 . Advice On Technology

Leveraging the right resources is important in any industry and that’s especially true when it comes to localization. Find an LSP that can guide you in the right direction by suggesting automation techniques to streamline workflows and reduce redundant processes and costs.

Using a Translation Memory (TM) and/or glossary can be a huge cost-saver for clients. Talk to your LSP about this and see how they would go about setting you up with terminology management. In addition, Machine Translation (MT) should be discussed, too. Do they have a proprietary application? Are they savvy enough to give advice on when you should or shouldn’t use the technology?

Work with a provider that comes off as knowledgeable and tech forward. It will save you time and money in the long run.

2 . A Knowledge of Regulatory Requirements

Working with a provider that’s technologically inclined is one thing; but that doesn’t paint the whole picture. In today’s corporate environment, regulation is key, and finding an LSP that has your best interests in terms of compliance and regulation is huge.

If you’re in Life Sciences, for instance, you’d want a localization provider that’s up on the recent Medical Device Regulation overhaul. In that same vein, it would be a good idea to find an LSP that can tell you all about the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation.

LSPs that don’t keep abreast of the ever-changing regulatory environment aren’t worth your time.

3 . Direction On Quality

In order to meet the regulatory requirements we just mentioned, you’re going to want an LSP that has established quality standards and proven their way around an audit. This means looking for ISO-certified agencies if you’re in need of translation services, or interpreting firms that hire certified, emotionally intelligent linguists.

And any LSP worth its salt should be able to provide some direction when it comes to what quality standards might be best for a specific job. For instance, if you’re a client that values cyber security as an inescapable imperative, your LSP should have advertised to you the fact that its ISO 27001 certified.

If you’re in the automotive industry, it’s likely they will have mentioned their ability to meet the SAE J2450 standard. The list goes on and on. But, in the end, finding an LSP that knows what quality processes are needed for what projects will help ensure accuracy and regulatory compliance.

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A Partner You Can Trust

A reliable business partner is one you can trust. An LSP that helps you find your way around the language industry by providing meaningful, competent advice is an invaluable asset to potential clients.

It’s important to do some research before you set out on your localization journey, but ultimately, a professional is going to be able to provide the most help. During your search for a language partner, bear in mind their ability to provide guidance on technology, the regulatory environment and quality.

If you do, it’s likely you’ll end up with a successful end product.

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Jake Schild

Jake Schild

A former newspaper reporter and native Minnesotan, Jake Schild is a staff writer in the marketing department at ULG.

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