Better Understanding, Better Quality, Excellent Relationship

Any business relationship is built on a series of fundamental truths. One such being obtaining clear instructions while others include being clear about the client’s needs, consistency and continuity, as well as a deep focus on gaining trust. The same is true for a translation agency which works with a translation partner. Each of these elements are critical to not only ensuring that high quality volumes of work are produced, but also that the business relationship flourishes in terms of trust and mutual respect. In this blog post, we’ll explore three key strategies a translation agency should employ with their translation partner for the most effective and efficient results.

Ask your clients about their needs

A translation agency which works with a wide range of translation partners and other translation companies needs to ensure that there is a smooth flow of communication at the outset of any given project. How can this be achieved? First and importantly, is the awareness of the partnership itself. Since a translation agency works with several translation companies, who in turn, get work from an external client, this chain of stakeholders in the process needs to be respected. This is why it’s crucial for the translation company which is outsourcing the work to their translation partner to find out exactly what their end client is looking for. This may range from asking for a translation in Chinese.

  • But what type of Chinese is being requested – Traditional or Simplified?
  • In which dialect and for which region?
  • Is there a need for proofreading?
  • How about references and glossaries?
  • Will these be provided by the end client to make the final translator’s job easier?
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Answering all these questions before the start of any translation project with a focus on the details – both big and small – can help to secure a long-standing partnership between the three stakeholders involved in the process. Since every language project is specific, a strong partnership is essential and it starts out by asking the end client about their needs.

Work with the same company

translation partnerAt the beginning of every new partnership between the end client, the vendor, and the final translation agency, it is normal to assign smaller portions of work to the final translation agency. These quantities of work will be evaluated on their quality and reliability as well as delivery, and can lead to gradual increases in work volumes. Working with the same company can be a big advantage. Companies that take work on behalf of the end client, in other words, the vendor, will pass this work on to the final translation agency in the form of “accounts”. While it’s true that at the beginning, the final translation agency might not have a wide range of resources to deal with the translations being passed on to them through this business relationship, over time, there’ll be a gradual improvement in these resources such as the use of the same and trusted translators, glossaries etc. The final translators will have a wider vocabulary and range of resources to use when translating for the same client and the build-up of every translation action results in improved knowledge. This adds a level of consistency to the work process between translation partners, and ultimately leads to better quality translations over the long term. This is why working with the same partners is essential.

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Focus on gaining trust

Finally, if the vendor that passes on the work to the final translation agency is well-skilled in Asian languages, for example, they can effectively communicate their needs to the final translation partner. This builds up relevant know-how and improves communication between the two parties, for the ultimate benefit of the end client. This will result in fluent, reliable work that is based on business competence and will lead to better trust in the abilities of the final translation partner involved in the chain of events from the issuing of instructions by the end client, to commissioning a vendor to do the work, to finally ensuring that the work gets done. For example, if the different partners work well together with one language, this can later be increased to more languages or other language pairs. Alternatively, if a manufacturing end client needs translation and localization assistance, this field could further be expanded to fashion or fintech clients in the future. However, this trust needs to be gained and this is done only through competent and skillful delivery of projects by the final translation partner.


In this blog post, we examined three ways of enhancing the quality of a business relationship between translation partners, vendors, and end clients. Although they may seem intuitive, by following these three key principles, you’re more likely to choose one translation partner and help build their knowledge base and set of resources to help them carry out their work in a way that will be competent and reliable, thus increasing opportunities for further business relationships and expansion in the future.

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