The need for Spanish translation services has been steadily increasing in the U.S, a direct result of its steadily increasing Hispanic population. This demographic is also much wealthier than ever before. Official reports for 2008 peg the current combined purchasing power of Hispanics in America at US$870 billion, and project this figure to rise to a whopping US$1.3 trillion by the next decade. The great demand for products and services to be packaged and marketed to bilingual Spanish-speaking consumers is already visible today. And more and more Spanish translation service companies have cropped up to meet this demand.
But just because there are more Spanish translators doesn’t mean there’s more quality service available. In fact, the great demand guarantees enough room for too many mediocre translators out for profits to operate the field. To make sure you can distinguish a reputable English/Spanish translation company from the rest of the pack:
- Do not settle for peanuts. Don’t hire a Spanish translation company just for their low rates or fast delivery times, because in all likelihood they employ inexperienced translators to do the work. You need to check out their client testimonials to the quality of their work as well. If you can go as far as talking to a previous client for hiring tips, do so; you might even get specific referrals to particularly good translators within the company.
- Do get out of town. Don’t limit your search within your own city. In fact, for a lot of translation work, you don’t need to find a translation service located within your state or country. The Web has thousands online for you to choose from, many of them actually located in a Spanish-speaking country.
- Talk to the locals. Spanish has been widely spoken throughout the world for centuries, and there are distinct from different countries – and within those countries, each province or region can have a recognizably different dialect. The Spanish spoken by someone from Mexico is different from someone living in Argentina. So who do you want to talk to? You should find a translation company capable of delivering a particular style of Spanish, or an international translation agency that can provide work in all Spanish dialects around the world.
- Si, habla Ingles. Hire a Spanish translation agency that’s just as good with their English as their native Spanish. Marketing your products and services to American Hispanics, for instance, doesn’t mean creating a totally separate operation or subset in your campaign. You need to speak to both your English-speaking customers, your Spanish-speaking customers, and your bilingual customers. It’s all about integration.
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