How well is your current language service provider (LSP) working for you? If you don't know the answer, it might be time to evaluate the partnership to see how their services stack up and how well they serve your customers and patients.
Even if you've partnered with the same LSP for a long time, it's always a good idea to assess. Consider these three red flags to help you determine if it's time to break up with your current language service provider and find a new one.
3 Red Flags to Keep an Eye Out For:
1. The Provider Offers a Limited Scope of Services
Language solutions are diverse — and your language service provider should reflect that. If your LSP exclusively offers translation services or on-site interpretation, that limits your organization's reach.
Let's say your current LSP provides telephone translation and on-site interpreters. That may work well for some situations, but what about when patients visit your website looking for information and can't find anything in their native language? And what about translating take-home resources for patients? What will you do in an emergency with no on-site linguists available?
You need a language service provider that offers every type of language solution, not just a select few, so your patients can enjoy complete language access. Look for an LSP that provides all of the following:
Virtual remote interpretation (VRI)
Translation for small and large projects
2. The Technology Is Outdated
Technology in language solutions can refer to a couple of things — artificial intelligence with things like Google translate and ChatGPT or top-notch platforms and video call capabilities. While the evolving use of AI is certainly exciting, it doesn't make for excellent language solutions.
So when evaluating your language service provider's technological capabilities, look at their language access solutions and consider these questions.
What devices can you use to connect to a video call?
How is the connection?
Can you connect on-demand, or do you have to wait for a scheduled call with an interpreter?
What type of platform and file-sharing services do they offer for written translations?
Is the platform user-friendly and easy to navigate?
Does the platform integrate with your existing systems?
If you find that your language service provider's platform could be faster or more compatible with your current systems, consider looking for a provider with more cutting-edge technology.
3. The Translations Lack Quality
Of course, translation quality is a huge factor. If your language service provider delivers subpar translations with mistakes and incorrect statements, that's a definite red flag.
A poor-quality translation can harm your organization's credibility, deter potential clients and patients, and create confusion — all things that affect business. But it's important to recognize that quality goes beyond avoiding grammatical errors. It also means effective localization and transcreation.
To be more accurate, translations should include localization and transcreation when applicable. Take KFC, for example. When it launched its China chain in the 1980s, its famous tagline "finger-lickin' good" was translated as "eat your fingers off." Or consider HSBC Bank's 2009 campaign "assume nothing," which was translated as "do nothing."
While these translations were likely grammatically accurate, they carried a different message and meaning than the original text. And if your language service provider doesn't offer accurate localization or transcreation, your message is probably not adequately conveyed to your audience.
Time to Find a New — and Better — Language Service Provider
If any of these red flags sound familiar, it might just be time to break up with your language service provider. The good news is that there are better options available — like GLOBO.