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  • Writer's pictureJason Khoh

The Definitive 12-Step Guide to Choosing a Translation Agency Others Won't Dare to Share!

Navigating the world of translation services can be a daunting task, especially when you're on the hunt for a top-notch translation agency that can cater to your unique requirements. But worry not! We're here to walk you through the process, with a step-by-step guide on how to choose the perfect translation agency for your needs.


Step 1: Identify Your Needs


Before diving into the search for a translation agency, it's crucial to identify your specific needs. Are you looking for a simple document translation, or do you require more complex services, such as subtitles or voice overs? Pinpointing your requirements will help you narrow down your search and find the best-fit agency for your project.

A person examining a magnifying glass over various translation agency logos, representing the research process in finding the right agency.

Step 2: Research Potential Agencies


Once you've determined your needs, it's time to start researching potential translation agencies. A quick online search should yield plenty of results, but don't be easily swayed by flashy websites or catchy slogans alone. Dig deeper to learn about each agency's offerings, areas of expertise, and track record. A trustworthy translation agency should have a dedicated OUR TEAM section, showcasing their experienced and highly-skilled translators. Mochiwa Mochiya goes a step further by featuring reviews from its own translators about how it’s like to work here, a unique feature not found on any other translation agency's website!

To be brutally honest, 99.9% of translation agencies fail miserably at this initial step, because they flat-out refuse to list any of the translators in their team!


Law firms brag about their top-notch lawyers
Hospitals put their medical experts on a pedestal
Translation agencies? *crickets*

It's a sad state of affairs in this industry, but it's time to change that and give the stars the recognition they richly deserve.


But fear not, dear reader! You're now armed with the knowledge to identify the true gems in the translation industry. So, go on and confidently embark on your quest for the ideal agency that values transparency and boasts a top-notch team – the kind of partner who will elevate your global communication game to new heights!


Step 3: Assess Experience and Expertise


Experience and expertise are key factors when selecting a translation agency. Look for an agency that not only has years of experience under its belt but also has a proven record of success in your specific industry or niche. You can get a better sense of an agency's expertise by exploring their CASE STUDIES page, which showcases actual examples of their work, allowing you to verify the quality for yourself. Further, to truly gauge an agency's capabilities, consider requesting a sample translation. This will allow you to evaluate their work quality, attention to detail, and adherence to your specific requirements. Remember, a well-translated document should read as if it was originally written in the target language.

A group of smiling professional translators showcasing the experienced team at a translation agency.

Step 4: Read Testimonials and Reviews


A translation agency's reputation is built on the satisfaction of its clients. To gauge an agency's reliability and quality of work, look for testimonials and reviews from real clients. Be wary of sites that use fake review generating apps! The most trustworthy reviews can often be found on a company's GOOGLE MAPS page. Further, Mochiwa Mochiya's TESTIMONIALS on their website provide a list of real reviewers, complete with full names and titles, offering an authentic insight into the experiences of our clients. To further verify the authenticity of the reviews, don't hesitate to ask the translation agency for an email address and phone number from one of their clients. This will allow you to personally contact them and confirm the legitimacy of the testimonials on the agency's website. Mochiwa Mochiya is more than happy to provide the contact details of as many clients as any potential customers may need, demonstrating their commitment to transparency and client satisfaction. By carefully examining testimonials and reviews, as well as reaching out to the agency's clients directly, you can gain a deeper understanding of the agency's performance and make a more informed decision.


Step 5: Compare Pricing and Turnaround Times


Budget is often a determining factor when choosing a translation agency. While it's tempting to go for the cheapest option, remember: you get what you pay for! To ensure a balance between cost and quality, compare pricing structures together with independently verifiable quality among your shortlisted agencies. Keep in mind that an agency offering lower prices might compromise on quality, which in the end will mean it'll take longer to complete your project as you'll have to redo it - most likely with us ;)

A laptop displaying client testimonials and star ratings, emphasizing the importance of reviews when choosing a translation agency.

Step 6: Evaluate Communication and Customer Service


Effective communication and top-notch customer service should be high on your priority list when selecting a translation agency. Reach out to your shortlisted agencies and assess their responsiveness, professionalism, and willingness to address your queries. An agency that values its clients will be prompt, courteous, and eager to discuss your project in detail. Check out the link to our TESTIMONIALS and our GOOGLE MAPS reviews to see how Mochiwa Mochiya performs when it comes to communication and customer service.


Step 7: Consider Additional Services


While your immediate need might be translation, it's wise to consider additional services that an agency might offer, such as interpreting, software localisation, or subtitling. Selecting an agency with a comprehensive range of services can save you time and effort in the long run, as you'll have a one-stop solution for all your language-related needs.


Step 8: Evaluate Their Quality Assurance Process


A reliable translation agency should have a robust quality assurance process in place to ensure the accuracy and consistency of their work. This may include multiple rounds of editing and proofreading, as well as the use of translation memory tools or in-house glossaries. Don't hesitate to inquire about their quality control measures, as this can provide you with added confidence in the agency's commitment to delivering top-notch translations.

Two people engaging in a conversation with speech bubbles containing different languages, symbolizing the importance of effective communication in translation services.

Step 9: Assess Their Confidentiality and Data Security Measures


Confidentiality and data security are critical, especially when dealing with sensitive documents or proprietary information. Make sure to choose a translation agency that takes these matters seriously and has strict protocols in place to protect your data. This may include non-disclosure agreements, secure file transfer methods, and data encryption technologies.


Step 10: Assess Their Understanding of AI Translation


As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to make strides in the translation industry, it's essential to choose an agency that can have an intelligent conversation about the strengths and weaknesses of AI translation. A reputable agency will acknowledge that while AI can provide speed and efficiency, established quality-control procedures and high-performing human translators are still required to ensure the most appropriate and appealing translations are achieved.


Step 11: Check Their Flexibility and Scalability


Your translation needs may evolve over time, so it's important to choose an agency that can adapt to your changing requirements. Assess the agency's flexibility and scalability in terms of project size, language pairs, and services offered. A versatile agency like Mochiwa Mochiya can accommodate your growth and cater to your diverse language needs as they arise, not just in Japanese, but in most major European and Asian languages. Don't hesitate to CONTACT US so we can share some of our previous work in your preferred languages.

A side-by-side comparison of a human translator and an AI-powered translation, illustrating the strengths and limitations of AI in the translation process.

Step 12: Make the Final Decision


After evaluating your shortlisted agencies using the criteria outlined above, you should have a clear idea of which one stands out as the best fit for your translation needs. While no agency will be perfect in every aspect, the goal is to find a well-rounded agency that excels in the areas most important to you, such as industry expertise, customer service, and quality assurance.


By following this step-by-step guide, you'll be well-equipped to make an informed decision when choosing a translation agency. With the right partner by your side, you can successfully navigate the complex world of translation and achieve your global communication goals.


About Mochiwa Mochiya

Thank you for checking into Mochiwa Mochiya, the world’s best Japanese translation agency, where passion meets professional translation. Our dedicated team of Japanese translators and interpreters provide exceptional English-to-Japanese translation services (and vice versa), excelling in corporate communications, subtitles, voice overs, and much more.

With decades of industry experience, Mochiwa Mochiya ensures your ideas shine as brilliantly in Japanese as they do in English. Embracing creativity and accuracy, our online translation platform delivers world-class results. Experience the Mochiwa Mochiya difference and let our hand-picked team of highly-regarded Japanese translation specialists assist you in making a truly global impact. CONTACT US now to learn more!


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