The US is a country that’s a melting pot of cultures and languages. Although there have been some movements to recognize English as the official language, no such decision has been made as yet. Instead, what has happened is that laws have been passed to help people with Limited English Proficiency (LEPs) access “vital documentation” translated into their own language.
In particular, this is done through Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on national origin, and 2000’s Executive Order 13166, which affirms Title VI’s language access requirement and outlines additional requirements. When it comes to language service providers (LSPs) who work with government tenders, legal clients, and government and state institutions, translation agencies play a pivotal role in this regard.
This is especially important during election time, with the next elections to be held in November 2024. Wondering why LSPs need a reliable vendor in times of elections in the US? Keep reading to find out more.
Where do vendors come in and why?
There is so much information that needs to be translated and so many different languages to consider that working with freelancers is not sufficient. In addition, government agencies working with LSPs often require highly specialized work for large-scale projects that often entail massive volumes of work that need to be done on weekends.
All this is supported by the need for technology at scale. In essence, an LSP needs multiple licenses, should adhere to the government agency’s security requirements and be able to fulfill those, have storage regulations in place, and assurance of timely delivery of the materials.
What’s more is that language vendors and translation agencies can provide swift replies and immediate responses. They also have a language force available that ensures QA, LQA, and follow-ups.
Why won’t using freelancers work out well?
There are several reasons why using freelancers is not appropriate for government translation projects.
Firstly, freelancers are unable to scale up as quickly as an agency that is prepared to do so quite efficiently because they have the necessary resources at hand.
Secondly, freelancers often do not work on weekends. What is more is that they are not flexible on their pricing policies, staggered payments, etc.
And finally, the volume of work that needs to be translated for a federal government client is sporadic and appears during certain periods only. As such, a freelancer with regular clients is less likely to freeze their work with their regulars to work on one big project for a short period of time.
Making a wise choice: choosing the right vendor
Choosing the right language vendor is the wise choice for government agencies seeking to be compliant and to ensure that their documents are translated in a timely yet professional manner. However, choosing the right vendor requires prior preparation and a few steps to follow in the process. These steps include:
- Selecting you vendor
- Having a kick-off meeting
- Discussing the process
- Negotiating pricing
- Creating a clear payment plan based on the government’s planning
- Starting the project
Recognizing a reliable vendor
The process above may seem simple but you could struggle with it at step one. That’s because choosing and recognizing a reliable vendor can be a tricky thing to do. In order to ensure you find the most suitable vendor for your language processing and translation needs, look out for a vendor that answers your questions and responds to your request immediately.
Next, your vendor should invite you to a kick-off meeting where you’ll discuss the prices and processes you have in place for the duration of the project. During this kick-off meeting, the government agency should also show you the processes they work with while you need to assure them of quality assurance that you already have in place.
Every client of an LSP expects quality translations and the case with government agencies is no different. That’s why quality expectations should be discussed as should the computer-aided translation (CAT) tools and workflow that will be used for the duration of the project.
Also important to note from your LSP is whether they have the resources to handle the large volumes of work starting immediately while remaining consistent throughout the process. Your LSP should also advise you on any additional work that may arise, if needed. And finally, they should have a dedicated team for the task to match your request.
Government agencies that need translations done of their important and vital documents need to work at scale. In such cases, a reliable LSP vendor is of the essence. You need to choose your vendor wisely based on the criteria we identified above for greater project certainty and success.
As such, you need to be able to discuss all your requirements and the project’s details before the translations begin so that you can secure more work in the future for your agency as well.
With this in mind, choosing the right LSP vendor is a critical requirement during election time in the US and you need to partner with the right service provider for greater accuracy and quality assurance. Avoid scattered work from freelancers that doesn’t guarantee quality output and choose the right partner to meet your needs.