Top 10 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.
  • Professionals – Ask who you’re working with? Are the linguists native speakers? What are the company standards? Professionalism shows in other forms as well, such as the company’s web presence, social media presence, and customer service. Do not be afraid to ask the company for company brochures and prospectus (NOT on their website) to learn more.
  • 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. Request references.
  • 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).

What is nice to know

  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Good luck in finding the right TSP! If Foreign Translations can help, do not hesitate to contact us!

Additional References 

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