The Ultimate Guide to Buy Chinese Translation Services


This ultimate guide to buy Chinese translation services is prepared for clients who are seeking for professional Chinese translation services.

I will explain the most common terms and facts to help you understand how it works in this market.

You can make full use of the following tips and guidelines for your business in China or your Chinese community market.

The Ultimate Guide to Buy Chinese Translation Services

Benefits of Chinese Translation

Importance of Good Chinese Translation

  • Your Chinese website gets more traffic than your competitors.
  • Your Chinese online store generates more sales than your competitor’s.
  • Chinese customers trust you as a decent business and will buy or send inquiries.

Good Chinese Translation will build and strengthen your brand in China.

Decide Who will Translate Your Text into Chinese (or from Chinese)?

  • Using your internal company resources or friends is usually a false economy.
  • Stay away from free automated translations. Free machine translation like Google Translate can produce very inaccurate results.
  • Poor machine translation will scare your customers and business partner, they will doubt your reputation and capability.
  • Working directly with freelancers is time consuming and hard to communicate.
  • Large multilingual projects need good project management.
  • Avoid freelance Chinese translators.
  • A freelancer may not always be available.
  • A single freelancer specializes in limited subjects.
  • A freelancer is not able to implement a standard quality assurance.
  • Stay away from small agencies selling cheap solutions

Dig Deeper: full version of Decide Who will Translate Your Text into Chinese (or from Chinese)

Secrets to Find a Reliable Chinese Translation Vendor

  • Quality Chinese translations do not come free or at a cheap price.
  • Identify the good vendor who provides the highest value: quality processes, smooth communication,  experienced translators, transparent and reasonable price, on-time delivery.
  • The key to find a good Chinese translation service is to make sure the agency is really experienced in Chinese.
  • Project managers in some global translation agencies can not speak Chinese can can not even tell the differences between simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese.
  • Be suspicious of cheap rates.
  • Be careful of very fast turnaround time.
  • You should always communicate directly with the project manager who is actively handling your project.
  • Communicating with your project manager should be convenient, and get quick replies.
  • A reliable Chinese translation vendor shall have a stable platform to do this as a regular job.
  • The best available linguists for your project shall be chosen according to your language pair, subject, service level, and schedule.
  • Some agency can provide instant quote, it is good and transparent.
  • If an agency can’t or won’t give you a simple cost indication in a short time, don’t waste time on it.

Questions to Ask

  • Are they familiar with the China market?
  • What languages do they translate?
  • What subjects do they accept?
  • Who is the contact person?
  • How will the communication be and How do you know the progress?
  • How do they select linguists? How do they verify the expertise and experience of the chosen translators?
  • How do they select linguists for your Chinese translation project? Are they Native Speakers?
  • What is the Quality Assurance (QA) process?
  • How do they determine the pricing and delivery time needed for a particular project?
  • How quick you can get the quote and estimate delivery time?
  • Why the price is so low?
  • Why the delivery time is so quick?
  • After the job delivery, How will they handle the feedback?
  • Who are the successful clients and what do they say?

Start a test job

  • Place a small order to test the water.

Establish Long-term Cooperation

  • A stable long-term partnership will definitely help you save time and money.

Dig Deeper: full version of Secrets to Find a Reliable Chinese Translation Vendor

Three Major Factors of Success

  • Quality: service level
  • Cost: price
  • Delivery Time: speed, or turnaround time

Four-Step Approach To Manage Your Chinese Translation Projects

I. Preparation & Requirements

  • Purpose: Some service provider includes proofreading in their high end translation service package already.
  • Services Needed:Buying additional service together saves your time and money; Choose the right service according to your real business needs.
  • Subject: Make sure you decide the right subject of the text.
  • Entire document or summary? You may not need to translate everything. Choose the essential and most relevant text.
  • Culture: If you do not have the right content, write for the China market. Only the effective content will sell.
  • Language & Target Audience: Some people will choose the wrong source language in the very beginning. Figure out the difference between Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. Use automatic detection is convenient.
  • Formatting: Be sure you know what final output you need. You can ask the translation agency to produce the final format for you, it will save much of your time than doing by yourself.
  • Background Information and Reference Materials: The more relevant background information you provide, the better translation you will get.
  • Deadline: Always leave sufficient time for translation if it is for business purpose.
  • Budget: Do not go for the cheapest provider, highest price does not a guarantee for quality. Less time will always bring extra cost for express charge.

II. Quotation & Order

  • Types of Rates: Word count in the source language ensures fair and upfront pricing
    • Word count vs. Page vs. Line
    • Source word count vs. Target word count
    • Per minute vs. Per hour vs. Per day
    • Chinese Characters vs. English Words
  • Word Count: For source word count, you will know exactly how much it will cost before you start.
  • Images or graphs: You can send human inquiries to project managers to obtain the price including these images and graphs.
  • Subject: The more technical and specialized the text is, the more it will cost.
  • Language Combination: The resources on different language pairs are not balanced.
  • Service Level & Proofreading: Proofreading is a must for all quality translation.
  • Estimate Delivery Time: Prepare sufficient time in advance to avoid rush jobs.
  • Formatting: Time on formatting might increase your charge and turnaround time.
  • Minimum Charge and Discount: The amount of minimum charge will depend on the language combination. Popular languages with more resources means lower minimum charge. Very large projects may be eligible for discounts. You can contact the project manager to negotiate or ask for a discount coupon.

III. Production & Communication

  • Keep conversation with project managers, and linguists.

IV. Evaluation & Feedback

  • Review the delivered texts by you or your team member with required knowledge.

Dig Deeper: full version of Four-Step Approach To Manage Your Chinese Translation Projects


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