Looking for translation services in Boston can be a tedious and, at times, challenging task. As a professional language service provider we’ve built up experience working with diverse clients, as well as a team of project managers who have past experiences as translators and interpreters themselves. Because of this we’ve been able to form an all-encompassing view of the translation services process which enables us to address some of the most commonly occurring challenges clients encounter when looking for translation.
Why are Challenges for Translation Services in Boston Different?
While many of the challenges faced by clients and companies looking for translation services overlap, location plays a part in language based issues simply due to the demand for languages in certain areas of the country. Thus the search for translation services in Boston could look different than the search for New York translation services and so on. This fact could lead you to the following question:
“If there isn’t a high demand for my target language in Boston, does that mean I won’t be able to find translation services in Boston?”
This and other concerns are common when looking for translation services. That’s why we’ve collected five of the biggest challenges we’ve encountered when searching for professional translation services, either from experience or from our clients in Boston, as well as tips and solutions to overcome them.
5 Tips for Overcoming the Challenges of Finding Translation Services in Boston
Challenge 1: If there isn’t a high demand for my target language in Boston, does that mean I won’t be able to find translation services in Boston?
Good news for those looking for translation services in Boston with this concern – the answer is: no.
While the location can certainly have an impact on the languages that are most commonly spoken in the area (in Boston the top three besides English are: Spanish, Chinese and French Creole), translation is not a location-bound service. Therefore, it will not hinder you from finding, say, a professional Boston translator who can work into and from your target language.
Working with a language service provider in Boston can certainly make this task easier for you, especially if you’re working with a rare language. A translation agency will likely have a large network of professional linguists across the country, and even around the world, which can provide you with a translation.
Within that network you are more likely to find a professional for your target language, even if the language isn’t spoken by many in your area (which makes finding a freelance translator difficult). Although translation is generally not location-bound, this same question can get a bit tricky when it comes to interpreting which is location-bound and requires a different approach.
Challenge 2: I want my document translated into [target language], but I’m using it for my Boston clients – will that make a difference in how it’s translated?
Location once again comes into play when considering what dialect of a language to translate to.
While your hunt for translation services in Boston may not necessarily be dictated by the need for a specific dialect, the answer to this question really comes down to your particular audience.
For example, if you are a travel agency looking to translate materials describing what to check out in Boston to your French tourists, but you know that a majority of your French clients come from Québec, that will certainly change the dialect of French used in your translation project. Along that same line, the Portuguese you use to interact with your Brazilian Portuguese clients from Boston, and those from Brazil, may be different as well.
The best way to approach this challenge is to fully identify your target audience beforehand, and bring that information to a language service provider. The LSP can then tell you the best dialect to go with in order to fully interact with your audience. Not sure how to go about this? Ask your local Boston translation company if they have any experience with international market research, and if they can give you further information on languages spoken by your audience.
Challenge 3: I am holding a community meeting in Boston’s Chinatown, and need to make sure all attending can follow along – in how many languages will I need interpreting, and how can I make the translation of the meeting materials cost effective if there are multiple languages?
One of the best things about living in a city like Boston is the diversity in language and culture; however, this can also present itself as a challenge to communication, especially when it comes to community meetings where many languages are present.
To provide encompassing services to Boston’s many Asian language speaking populations, you would likely have to look into providing Chinese (with Cantonese being more prevalent), Vietnamese, Laotian and/or Khmer interpreters so the audience can understand and participate.
One of the more challenging tasks when providing linguistic services for multiple languages is keeping costs down – luckily you can speak with your LSP about methods such as machine translation and various CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) and Translation Memory Tools that can help you find ways to make the translation process more efficient, and thus less costly.
At Language Connections, our translators and project managers use these tools every day to handle a multitude of different projects and to get our clients top quality translation, and a price they can afford.
Challenge 4: Do I need translation or interpreting services?
This is a very common challenge, not just limited to translation services in Boston. Although the two professions are very similar, the easiest way to find your answer is by responding to this question:
Do you need written text/audio translated or live oral speech?
If your answer is written text/audio then you need translation services. If your answer is oral speech then your answer is interpreting services. Knowing the distinction between these two beforehand can save you planning time as well as confusion due to different rates and expectations.
Challenge 5: There are a lot of companies providing Translation Services in Boston – which one is right for me?
Often translation is considered to be a commodity rather than a service, leading clients to assume that each translation agency will offer the same services, and that the lowest price is the only discerning factor in choosing one.
This can lead to undesired results as translation is a rather complex service at the end of the day, and often you wind up in the situation of “getting what you paid for”. Each Boston translation company will claim different qualities that they are specialized in, and often this can make it even more difficult to choose which provider will handle your translation project the best.
Our advice for choosing which of the multitude of agencies providing translation services in Boston is best for you?
Know what you need as the end result of your project.
If you’re looking for exceptional quality above all else, and dealing with highly technical material that needs to be understood perfectly in your target language, you may have to end up going with a more expensive provider with experience in your industry.
If you’re just looking for a quick translation to get the gist of a document for internal use, then you will likely be fine choosing a translation agency offering fast turnaround machine translation services. We advise you to make a list of the necessary outcomes for your translation project, like:
- Perfectly localized software interface for international users
- Text that can be understood by our target audience in [this age group]
- Translation that is qualified to be used in court and legal proceedings
- Translation that is good enough for my boss to understand a general idea of what our client sent in his/her last email
Once you know the goals for your translation project, you’ll know whether or not you need to be looking for high caliber experience, or just a quick turnaround time from a translation agency.
Getting The Right Translation Services in Boston for Your Needs
While the tips above only cover some of the challenges you may encounter when looking for translation services in Boston, they are a good place to start if you’re unsure how to go about providing linguistic services to your clients/audiences.
Although we do provide nationwide services, Language Connections is proud to be based in Boston. We have been helping clients overcome these challenges and nearly 30 years– with experience in sectors from Life Sciences to Legal and International Marketing, our team of Boston translators, interpreters and project managers are well equipped to answer these questions or others for your translation or interpreting needs.
About Language Connections:
Language Connections is one of the top language service companies in the US. Over the last 30 years, we’ve focused on providing the best business translation services, interpreting services, as well as interpreter training and customized language training programs. In addition to top-tier corporate language training, we offer certified corporate interpreters and professional business translation services in 200+ languages. Our network includes linguists with backgrounds in all major industries. They’re ready to meet your needs, whether they’re for technical translation services, legal translation, government translation services, international development translation services, education translation services, life sciences translation, or something else. Reach out to us today for a free quote on our cost-efficient and timely translation services, interpreters, or other linguistic services.
Language Connections Inc.
2001 Beacon Street, Suite 105,
Boston, MA 02135