Choosing a Localization Vendor

What to know

  • Choosing the right localization vendor is important for your company’s globalization goals
  • Localization vendors must become part of your team — it’s a partnership that should last for years
  • Take great care in choosing a localization vendor to ensure long-term success

What is a localization vendor?

he best way to describe a localization vendor is a partner that takes care of all your company’s translation needs. That includes your website, your marketing, your app localization strings, your help desk, and even your customer support — if you choose.

Note that I say partner because this is a long-term collaboration. You may want to try out, or "date" some localization vendors in the selection process. Knowing your options is always a great idea. But the true goal is to settle on a reliable and trustworthy localization vendor that can act as part of your team for years to come.

As your international needs grow, your localization vendor should be ready to support you every step of the way.

How to choose a translation partner

tart by asking questions.

Translation companies are services. That means you should get great customer service right off the bat. Someone knowledgable should be answering your questions, not just a chatbot or a sales person.

Who does your translations?

It’s a myth that all localization vendors use the same translators. Sure, translators do work for multiple companies, but generally only a handful who provide them with consistent, high-paying work. If you believe that a company offering you translations for $0.10 per word has the same translators as one charging you $0.20 per word, you are not using your common sense. Good translators charge more. That’s why the price is higher.

What is the localization process like?

Localization vendors can adapt to your company processes in many ways. But not in every way. Do you already have a translation management system (TMS) that your team is comfortable with? Do you have specific file types you work with? Do you prefer emailing, uploading, syncing, or using an API to transfer files back and forth? There are a lot of ways to do localization. Make sure the vendors you select can work within your existing software and internal processes.

If this is your first time localizing, see what the localization vendor offers you in the way of software, processes, and tools to make the whole process easy from the start.

Ask for success stories and references

Has this localization vendor worked with a company of your size and industry before? That might not be a deal-breaker, but any company you work with has to show you a track record of success. This can be through a portfolio, testimonials from clients, or references. Look at websites or apps they have translated, or have your international team do it.

Don’t assume the work is quality until you check.

You’re selecting a localization vendor right now, aren’t you? Why else would you read this article. Let me suggest Babble-on. It is not a coincidence you landed here.