With over 25,000 Language Services Providers (LSPs) to choose from, how can you guarantee the highest quality translations at good rates? Gabi Moore, Account Manager at Smartling, walks through what to expect from an ideal LSP, including turnaround times, translation quality, and fee structures.
Types of Translation Providers
To set the scene, there are three main types of translation providers: in-house resources, large agency LSPs, and boutique agencies.
In-house resources would essentially be translators working full-time just for your brand. This is often the most expensive option, and most brands don't go this route unless they translate at very high volumes.
Large agency LSPs service hundreds or even thousands of customers, assigning project managers to oversee batches of translation requests. They have the most established names and reputations in the industry, but may not be as agile to accomodate translation needs as a boutique agency.
Boutique agencies tend to specialize in a specific language or set of languages and service a smaller number of customers.
Smartling Language Services falls between a large agency and a boutique agency. We strive to provide personalized service at scale and at competitive rates.
Evaluating an LSP
When it comes to delivering translations, KPIs are typically around speed, quality, and cost. Within Smartling, there are several ways to report on these KPIs:
- Speed - Content velocity reports show the average amount of time content spent in each workflow step, allowing you to evaluate the speed your translators, editors, and reviewers work.
- Quality - The Quality Confidence Score evaluates the quality of your translations based on weighted factors within the Smartling platform. In addition, you can analyze the amount of content changed within an Internal Review step to see if the initial translations provided were of high quality. (The less content changed in review, the better.)
- Cost - Smartling provides cost estimates up-front so customers can always know how much they're paying before receiving the bill. It's important to compare rates across LSPs and factor in project management fees.
A good LSP should be able to meet your KPIs and serve not just as a transactional partner, but as a partner that complements and empowers your overall business strategy.