Choosing a new vendor is always tricky.
It gets even harder when it comes to choosing translation services. Or deciding on the best translation companies.
There are SO many things to take into account!
Let’s say that you work for a hotel chain.
- Should you go for the small agency nearest to your office? You can pop in for a chat and you’ll get personal service.
- Should you go for the top-rated agency which is widely used in the hospitality sector? They know the tourism lingo, but it won’t be personal. Or one that specializes in luxury hotels, like yours, but has a higher price?
- Or an expert at SEO translations, to make sure Google loves your texts?
Which is the best translation company?
Well, if you look at Slator’s LSPI index (Language Service Provider Index), they rate TransPerfect as the Number 1.
We chose another.
As a translating company ourselves, as much as we wanted to, it would be a bit weird to put ourselves as number one 🙂
So we made a list of the top-rated translation agencies.
The 10 best translation companies
As we saw with the hotel example above, there are many aspects to keep in mind when you decide which is the best option for you.
The biggest agencies tend to offer most languages.
They are diverse with services like copywriting, localisation, interpreting, proofreading, etc.
Need an industry specialist? Shouldn’t be a problem.
Here we go, the 10 best translation companies!
Our highest rated translation company is RWS with 160 office locations. This page has a fancy design and RWS are known for their high-quality work.
Incorporated in the UK, they have 750 translators working for them, including industry experts from most sectors. RWS works with 90 of the top 100 global brands, which is pretty impressive in itself.
You can also read the latest industry trends on their blog. What sets them apart from other competitors? We always find interesting content that we use in our day to day, and help us become better professionals.
With 30 years in the business, TransPerfect is the best translation company according to Slator. In our list, they come in at a second place after careful reviewing. We always find their work to be top class, year after year.
They translate a whopping +7 million words a day.
That is mind-blowing for most other providers in our industry.
With offices in 100 locations worldwide, you’ll probably find one agency not to far from you. Who uses them? Big brands like Adidas, Desigual, Google, Kantar, IKEA, and Scandic.
3. LanguageLine Solutions
Meet LanguageLine solutions, coming in at a third place in the ranking of the best translation companies.
They have a nice focus on plain English translations to increase clarity. An aim we wholeheartedly share here at Nativos Language Consultants.
Why do we rate LanguageLine solutions so high?
They have a nice focus on their translators and employees, certified by Great Place To Work.
Another value that we share, and respect.
4. Keyword Studios
Go the Irish!
Video game specialist Keyword Studios is the go-to brand for the big industry players. Need some names? Ubisoft, SEGA, EA and Warner Bros all trust their translators.
A pioneer in localized games, Keyword Studios offers a range of software localization services. All translators are passionate video gamers and we consider them the go-to for gaming related texts and materials you need assistance with.
And hey, just visiting their website makes you want to get a translation for them! They are highly respected in our industry.
Founded in Sweden in 1969, Semantix is the 20th largest language company in the world.
Semantix is the dominant player in the Nordic countries. They’ll make you shine in any language with their interpreting and translation services.
We’ve seen this service provider evolve a lot in the last years, and Semantix is now part of TransPerfect…which can go either way. So perhaps we’ll merge them in our next edition of the best translation companies.
6. STAR Group
STAR Groups has its headquarters in beautiful Switzerland. They have been offering translation services since 1984.
With 50 subsidiaries in 30 countries, they count on both in-house and freelance translators. They have an impressive 900 industry specialists in total.
One of their products is Star MT which intrigues us as it’s cleverly designed. This program is all about web based machine translation, for cheaper and faster translations. In our opinion, it looks quite promising.
The 7th position goes to industry veteran LionBridge. They focus on AI-driven localisation to break cultural barriers.
The business has a strong community of 21,000 certified translators.
They boast that 92% of tasks start within an hour of ordering, which impressed our back office team here at Nativos.
Above all, that number bounds for some fast deliveries. And paves the way for a thorough revision of your translation.
This business recently improved their not most memorable company name (Iyuno-SDI), and rebranded to Iyuno. They deliver translated subtitling in +100 languages.
Nothing makes you trust a business more than actual examples and case studies. And we have to admit that Iyuno’s web page might be the best at showing just that.
They really make you feel how deeply rooted they are in the global entertainment industry. Respect! And as a seasoned translator, I just love the carrot example above.
London-based VSI has big clients like Disney, Discovery Channel, BBC, and HBO.
What is their secret to success?
According to VSI, it comes down to transparency, accuracy, timeliness, and client satisfaction.
In addition, and this we can’t verify, they also mention reasonable prices.
They’re included in the Nimdzi 100 index among the largest language service providers (ranking 21st).
They don’t have the prettiest of websites but that is no indication of KERN’s level of translation services.
KERN Global Language Services is a family-owned company, which is nice.
They have 60 locations in Austria, China, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, the UK, and the USA.
They offer website localization, technical documentation, and interpreting services.
How do I know which is the best translation company for me?
Decide what is MOST important for your business.
Is speed more important than price?
Is having one single point of contact more important than their office location?
Working with big multinationals, or super agencies can sometimes be a bit impersonal. And less flexible.
Perhaps you’re in a niche sector. Then you might be at risk of having to revise the texts yourself to make sure those all industry terms are correct.
Can the agency guarantee that the same translators will “always” be in charge of your texts?
Also, ask about minimum fees, or you might get a surprise when you ask for only a Tweet to be translated.
In conclusion, write down the terms that are non-negotiable. Ask friends and colleagues if they have any good contacts. Then spend some time online searching for the best translation companies.
How do I choose a good translation company?
One best practice method is to make a short list of the translators you like the most.
- Choose three providers
- Get quotes
- Have them translate the same text
- Then, show the translations to a handful of people in your business who speak the language. Ask for their feedback
Which companies are spot on and get the industry lingo 100% correct? Did someone leave a typo?
Which text FEELS most like you want your brand to feel like?
I.e. if your brand is fun and catchy in English, does that come across in the Spanish version? Apply a thorough quality control.
- Related article: Should I translate our blog articles?
At this point, we could also go on about why the best translation company might be us, particularly if you’re looking for media or technical translation services.
But hey, include us among your three test providers and I’ll let you decide that 🙂
It was great to know my writing was in his hands, I trusted him completely. A pleasure to work with!
It’s great to have someone who delivers on time. More often than not, ahead of schedule.