5 Properties to Look for in Spanish Translation Services

March 29, 2022
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What are the markers of reliable Spanish translation services? As a global company, it can be hard to choose between the many translation providers you can find.
You know that you need to translate your content for your Spanish-speaking markets. But how can you tell if any one particular provider will be able to meet your company's needs?
Should you hire several freelance Spanish translators and manage the translations yourself?
Would it be better to find a single provider that can manage all the complexity for you?
What signs should you look for to tell if a particular provider is suitable?
The answers to these questions will vary depending on your goals, experience, and globalization strategy.
There are some useful properties you can look out for when comparing Spanish translation providers. By keeping these properties in mind, you can make easier and better decisions about which services to choose.
Here's how to find the right Spanish translation service for you…

"I just need quick English to Spanish translations"

Like many people working in global companies, you might assume that you just need to find some freelance Spanish translators.
You have content in English and you need to convert it to Spanish. It's understandable if your first instinct is to find the quickest, cheapest way to translate the content.
If you are a localization manager, you might feel comfortable managing various freelance translators. Maybe you have past experience working in this way for smaller translation projects. If you are not a localization manager, you might not realize that there are several potential approaches to sourcing translations.
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The problem with thinking in this way is it can cause problems when you want to scale your business and its content. By thinking of Spanish translation as an "add-on" step at the end of your English content creation, you unintentionally add inefficiencies to the entire translation process.

How to reliably source Spanish translation service

What's a better way to approach your search for Spanish translation services?
It's more useful to start your search for a provider with the mindset of "I'm looking for a strategic partner that can help our company grow in our global markets."
This mindset shift is helpful when you are searching for Spanish translation services. It prompts you to look for more specific qualities in a provider.
With this mindset, you will naturally start to look for a provider that:
  • Specializes in your size and type of business.
  • Has a clear understanding of your company's strategic growth plans.
  • Can scale their production to suit your company's growing content needs.
At Rubric, for example, we don't work on small, one-off translation projects. This is not our area of expertise. We are experts at streamlining the content and localization processes of large and growing global businesses.
Our strategic focus means that we turn away many more requests for translation work than we accept.
You can think of there being 2 types of translation services for business:
  1. Services that simply translate your content.
  2. Services that strategically improve your global business over time.
To find the right Spanish translation services for you, you first need to know which of these you need.

5 properties to look for in Spanish translation services

What are the signs that a particular Spanish translation service will be right for you?
Here are 5 reliable properties that you can use when assessing different translation providers:

1. The provider specializes in your size of business

Most important is that the provider understands your business and its size.
So many Spanish translation companies are extremely small, often with only one or a few translators. Such services are generally only suitable for small, one-off translation jobs — such as birth certificate translations, simple website translations, or basic documents.
As a growing global business, your needs are almost certainly much more complex. You must find a provider that deeply understands this complexity.

2. They understand your specific Spanish-speaking markets

Spanish is the official or de-facto language in 20 countries around the world and is spoken in many more. These markets are very different from each other.
It's not enough for your translation provider to simply translate your English content into Spanish. They should also be well-versed in the subtle (and not so subtle) differences between your different markets.

3. They look strategically at your Spanish-language content

It's fair to say that most Spanish language services only function as a simple add-on service. You send them your English content and they translate the words into Spanish.
This approach might be fine for small translation jobs. But it can introduce huge inefficiencies when you are working at the scale of a global enterprise.
You need a translation provider that looks at your overall global content strategy. This allows them to give you strategic advice on which content you should be translating and how to best translate it for your specific Spanish-speaking markets.

4. They clearly understand the technicalities of your localization

Usually, it's not enough to simply translate your content into Spanish. You also need to localize other aspects of your content and business to suit the peculiarities of your specific Spanish-speaking markets.
Your translation provider should be able to effortlessly navigate the technicalities of your localization. This includes localizing videos, images, and even your online payment systems.
For example, in Mexico 90% of transactions are still made with cash and half of all households don't have access to a bank account. This will affect your localization if you serve the Mexican market.
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5. They have experience serving your industry

As well as understanding your market, your translation provider should also understand your specific industry. Each industry has a different set of operating norms and technical language.
At Rubric, we are very specific about the industries we serve. We know our areas of expertise and we never pretend to know about an industry we don't have experience with.

10 questions to ask any professional Spanish translation services

It's not always easy to find the right information about particular translation providers from their websites. From the outset, it might not be obvious if a certain company meets some of the 5 properties listed above.
How can you reliably find out this information for yourself when you are shopping for Spanish translation services?
A good strategy is to ask the right questions during your procurement process.
You can find a list of 10 reliable questions to ask any translation provider in our free buyer's guide eBook. The book also expands on 9 other properties to look for in a translation provider.

How to Find the Right Translation Provider for You

When you start looking for a new translation provider, you are hit by a wall of choices. It’s hard to make an informed decision when the differences between providers are so unclear.