Going multilingual is a wise and visionary decision. If you’ve made it, you’ve taken the first step towards winning the regional market you are about to target. What next?
The next step is to search for an experienced and comprehensive multilingual solution provider that supports your business expansion endeavors through a set of multilingual solutions and services.
But, why do you need a multilingual solution, when you can use a translation solution to go multilingual? After all, going multilingual is translating your enterprise website or application, isn’t it?
Not really. This understanding and approach might have worked around a decade ago when localization or the multilingual wave was in the nascent stages. But now, it won’t.
It is because technology, consumer demands, and competition have evolved. Today, you need a multilingual solution that supports you on the technical, linguistic, and commercial front. So, your choice of a multilingual solution and multilingual solution provider matters a lot to your business.
Choosing a multilingual solution provider (MSP) encompasses a range of factors that evaluate the provider. It involves a variety of questions you must ask before you make a choice.
If you are about to begin searching for an MSP for your business, referring to the below questions will help you make the right choice and ensure, you get the best from the service provider.
15 Questions to ask your Prospective Multilingual Solution Provider
Remember, you are about to make a critical choice. So, you must not limit your questions, or concerns to the translation capabilities, or the cost of the solution or multilingual service package.
The list involves a comprehensive range of questions that evaluate the company’s capabilities across three aspects, including translation methods, backend support, and reputation, and credibility.
At the outset, ensure that you define the essential requirements. It involves determining the type of webpages, the website framework, number of webpages, existing and future languages, whether you need partial or complete translations, translation of dynamically generated statements, receipts, and if you are looking forward to outsourcing the entire bit, or employing internal resources.
Defining your key requirement helps you understand what you need out of the multilingual solution provider, set the right expectations, and thus shortlist prospects that closely match your needs.
You will now look at the question you must ask your multilingual solution provider, which we’ve divided into three categories: core translation, back-end support, and the company’s information.
Core Translation-Based Insights
1. What are the technologies and methodologies you use?
Technologies and methodologies constitute significant factors driving your choice of the vendor. So, begin with understanding the diversity of techniques and methods the company uses.
The technology or method may not fulfill your needs? So, check if the provider uses multiple ones that allow scripting, website mirroring, full reverse proxy, basic reverse proxy, etc.
2. Does your solution support the complete translation of different types of webpages?
Supporting complete translation entails a range of crucial elements. It includes translating static and interactive webpages, and a broad set of text types and content forms within it. So, evaluating your prospective multilingual solution company includes factoring in the following elements.
- Translation of static text
- URLs, and meta tags
- Dynamic data that populates through various sources
- The interactive part of the pages
- Content and control that get added dynamically to the website.
- Translation of name and place.
Also, check if the solution handles conflicting situations that involve search box handling , translating drop-down values leading to an invalid selection value, and data validation conflicts.
3. Does your solution translate complex text, and does it ensure consistent user experience across various Browser/OS languages, and devices?
Modern-day websites comprise many intricate elements that demand a multilingual solution that can handle complex translations, and deal with these complications with ease and precision.
For instance, your website may contain continually changing strings with texts from various sources, including the database and external sources. Besides, it may also have strings comprising fixed and variable text. A simple solution cannot deal with these text permutations and combinations. You need the one that translates identifies these text types, and translates them in a contextually right way.
Alongside, delivering consistent user experience in the form of consistent translations across all the webpages, and languages. It holds true, particularly in the case of industry terms and terminologies, excessively specific and technical terms, etc.
Another crucial aspect of enterprise website and web application translation is the page layout, in regards to the different scripts that language use, and their impact on page formatting.
Every language is different, and a lot of them use different scripts. For example, the Arabic script is different from Latin. It expands when you translate content from English to Arabic, and demands a larger vertical and horizontal space. Apart from that, font types, font sizes, the sentence structures and grammar rules also have a profound impact on the translated webpage.
Further, you must also ensure that your prospective solution handles these aspects efficiently, does not affect content appearance, and simultaneously, maintains linguistic, cultural, and contextual accuracy throughout the translated text.
4. Does the solution deliver SEO Compliant Translations?
Local SEO is a primary consideration for every business that decides to go multilingual. A solution that does not comply with SEO rules and regulationscannot result in sustainable SEO benefits, and that defeats the purpose of going multilingual to a considerable extent.
So, while evaluating the provider, and the solution on multiple fronts, ensure that you also check whether the solution is SEO-compliant or not.Some of the many facets associated with SEO include,
- Unique page URL with the auto-addition and removal of the language folder to index the translated page.
- All indexable text is already translated in the HTML.
- Translation of metatags with keywords according to the SEO needs of the target language.
- The capability to add hreflang to pages
- Leverage keyword indexing through translation of URLs names, and path.
- Sitemap file of translated URLs to help with the indexing of translated pages.
- Low translation time, and latency lesser than 500ms per data stream.
Backend capabilities constitute a lot of technicalities. Of course, you do not have to delve deep into the technicalities of the multilingual solution. However, assessing the backend capabilities to ensure seamless operations, and translational accuracy forms a significant factor. Here are some of the questions you must ask to evaluate the backend capabilities of your prospective multilingual solution.
5. What are your technological capabilities?
Technological capabilities of the multilingual solution pretty much drive the delivery of the translation. Hence, failing to evaluate technological capabilities can directly impact the result.
While assessing the technological capabilities of your solution provider, and the solution, you must ensure it has a comprehensive Translation Management System, with a translation editor that ably handles translations for Indian languages.
Besides, the solution must help you avoid legal implications resulting from automated translations. To do so, it must be able to leverage human translations in the right manner, also block machine or automated translations that don’t necessarily consider administrative and legal aspects.
Alongside, the solution must also have the following capabilities.
- Terminology detection and enforcement during translations
- Spell check for Indian languages
- In-line error detection, and quality assurance for faster TAT.
- Audit trail to provide feedback about translators
- Task management to ensure that the translator does the job he’s been assigned.
6. How many in-house translators do you have, and what is your translation process?
The solution provider must have an adequate number of in-house qualified and certified translators to ensure that they meet your linguistic needs. The translators should have a comprehensive domain-specific understanding to ensure that they fulfill your business requirements as well. They must also be adept at using Translation Management Tools, and Translation Editors efficiently.
Besides, the provider must provide an exclusive in-house (and not outsourced) project manager and quality assurance professional/ team to run the project smoothly, and the best quality translations. The project manager, in particular, must serve as single contact point for you.
Alongside human muscle, also ensure that you inspect the translation process of the vendor. The provider must have a well-defined, organized, and result-oriented translation process entailing everything, right from understanding the needs to delivering a high-quality translated product.
7. What are the deployment options available with you?
Ideally, the multilingual solution you choose must offer you a number of deployment options to help you comply with your company’s policies and requirements. In this view, it must offer you both on-premise deployment, as well as deployment on private/ public cloud on the available operating system. Besides, it should preferably use open source database or resources alike.
Also, the deployment options must be flexible enough to help you begin with a lower configuration, and then graduate to higher specifications, based on the increase in the load.
8. How do you support changes? Does your solution have a Change Management System?
You must not miss asking about this! It is because a lot of multilingual solutions do everything right, but do not support change management, when it comes to upgrading, or making changes to the website. In such a situation, the website administrators, and translators have to manually execute every change. CMS translation team wherein they need to export full contents and then carry out discovery of new / changed content, and then eventually providing full translated contents with new additions – and do this on large data twice a day. Imagine going through this process for thousands of pages and multiple languages!
So, when you begin assessing the vendor, make sure that the provider provides a comprehensive and efficient change management system that supports and helps you execute changes across the relevant sections and languages throughout the website. Not only this, but the multilingual solution must have the capability to deal with format, code, and functionality changes as well.
Some of the top SLA features in this regard include
- Checking top pages for changes, and updating them frequently.
- Shorter TAT
- The set of translators must not change, to ensure translation consistency
9. How do you ensure data security?
Data security constitutes another serious concern for every company looking forward to going multilingual and searching for a multilingual solution. Your prospective MSP must ensure the following factors before you settle on the data security part.
- No external calls to ensure data protection.
- Neutralization of content collected for translation.
- Translation of confidential information through in-house translators only.
- Handling of Sessions and Single Sign On to prove usable in enterprise environment
- Deployment must happen on-premise or on private hosting within the company’s secure environment.
- No-Hands deployment and content change management.
10. Do you have any dependencies on proprietary third-party components?
The answer to this question must be zero. Yes, the vendor must ensure zero dependence on specific proprietary components. Alongside, the company must also ensure the availability of replacements in the event of OEM failure to fix bugs.
11. What about Intellectual Property Rights?
In this regard, it is a given that the company must not use any unlicensed proprietary software, use OSS in violation of the license, and should not violate any applicable patents. Make sure that the vendor assures you on all these points.
12. How do you assure us about high performance at all times?
Of course, along with all the other factors, performance as well matters a lot. The MSP must facilitate optimal hardware provisioning requirement for peak load handling . you may not realize during the initial sizing phase that it is not the user page view which requires CPU muscle but the indexing since Google Bots may lead to a load of upwards of 2 million page requires per day, and may include SERP (which tend to be very large pages). Besides, the solution must be compatible with factors such as load balancing, and failover mechanism.
13. How long will it take for you to complete the project? How do you ensure optimal productivity from your staff members for our project?
Get a practical time limit from the multilingual solution provider. Besides, the provider must define the roles and responsibilities of the company’s resources, including the translators, quality assurance specialists, project managers, technical staff, and all others involved in the project.
About the Solution Provider
14. For how many years have you been in the business, and what kind of projects have you handled in the past? How successful have you been with your past projects?
Of course, the number of years may not constitute a primary concern. Still, it proves essential for projects that require a certain degree of expertise, evolved experience, and the capability to work for critical projects. A vendor with a particular number of years of experience in the translation business must form your choice.
Besides, you must also check the provider’s success rate with its past clients and gather feedback from them on the company’s merits and demerits. Speaking to the clients can help you in this regard, as you will get real-time feedback about the company’s performance. Also, try and know why the company’s past clients left it and how well is it performing with the existing ones.
Aside from that, factors such as the approach of the management and the execution team, the financial stability of the organization, resource capabilities, infrastructure, capabilities to scale, etc. also prove significant in partnering with the vendor in the long run.
15. Can you help us with an estimate of the volume, and cost of the project?
Often, multilingual solution providers fail in determining the volume of work and quote incorrect prices. This happens because they don’t have the necessary technology that delves into the project requirements, and the existing website to fetch the required insights, and compute the scope of work. Errors while preparing initial estimates may result in hiccups in the later stages of the project.
In this view, ideally, your prospective MSP must have and do the following.
- Automated crawler and webpage text extraction to determine the number of pages and words that will be covered under translation.
- Prepare an estimate for PDF translations for every PDF document
- Create website subsets to align with the available budget, and priority.
The idea of preparing estimates, and determining the scope of work is to complete the project in time, calculate the time required to complete the project, and at the same time, prepare a budget.
LinguaSol’s Linguify – Your Ideal Multilingual Solution!
LinguaSol’s Linguify is one of the leading and also the best multilingual solution for a wide range of businesses and websites that want to win the regional market by going multilingual. The solution proves useful across various fronts, including determining the scope of translation, quality, data security, translational accuracy, and capabilities, and many other factors discussed above.
Connect with LinguaSol at +91 2022953848, or write an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to takes your first step towards choosing the right MSP for your business expansion endeavors.