How to Switch to a New Translation Agency: 5 Easy Tips

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Are you unhappy with your current translation provider? Do you feel stuck because switching to a new one at this stage could delay a critical product launch? Are you reluctant on the grounds that your translation assets — style guides, glossaries, translation memories, etc. — could get left behind in the transition?

Or is it just the dreaded hassle of starting from scratch that keeps you settling for subpar translation solutions? 

Terminating a business relationship can certainly be a major headache for all involved, especially your day-to-day project stakeholders. But delaying the “divorce” with an unfit translation partner makes it even more agonizing and costly when you finally do decide to pull the trigger. 

If you’ve experienced any of the following scenarios, it’s high time you tried on a new translation solution for your business:

  • Negative feedback in-market on the quality of your translations
  • Missed deadlines due to delays in handoffs or turnaround times
  • Misunderstanding of your brand voice, values and objectives
  • Poor communication from your localization project management team
  • Lack of transparency in pricing models 

Poor translation quality is perhaps the worst of these as it can demolish in a matter of minutes the careful brand building that you’ve spent top dollar on in English. 

If a change seems imminently necessary but you’re uncertain of how to approach it, the following tips should dissolve your hesitations and guide you through a smooth transition to a new translation partner:

1. Let your new partner know what wasn’t working with the previous one so that they can provide the quality and service you expect, and focus particularly on these areas. They may also be able to rectify any ongoing issues left over from your work with your past provider. As long as you explain what your requirements and expectations are, they can help you move forward towards achieving your goals. 

2. Send your existing glossaries and style guides to your new partner. They’ll work with them and continue to build on them with each new project.

3. If you have them, provide your existing translation memories. Assuming you’re happy with your previous partner’s translation quality, the TMs can be leveraged so that the work done to date is not lost. If you don’t have them, not to worry — your new translation agency can create a TM from your existing English and translated files.

4. If you’re unhappy with the quality of your existing translations, ask your new partner to review and possibly even redo the glossaries and style guides to better align them with your company’s preferences. They can then use these assets to edit your existing TMs and improve the accuracy, consistency and overall quality of future translations.

If need be, your new translation team can also provide specific qualitative feedback on previous translations and retranslate select content according to your business needs and goals. You may want to consider this avenue for copy that is particularly visible and mission-critical. 

5. Share the processes and tools used with your previous translation agency. Your new partner can either emulate these processes and apply the same tools or make recommendations for improvements. 

At Acclaro, we’ve had the opportunity to win over many companies that were dissatisfied with their previous translation partner. Our operations teams are skilled at making the switch a painless one. Contact us today if you’d like more information on how our translation services keep some of the world’s leading brands happy and returning as clients. 

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Smart, fun and useful. Acclaro shares news and tips on translation, localization, language, global business and culture.


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