What Kind of Translation Agency Do You Need?

The search for available translation agencies will yield no shortage of results. The language service market will grow to over $56 billion in value by 2021 to meet a rising need for global content.
Rodrigo Demetrio
12 min

What Kind of Translation Agency Do You Need?

The search for available translation agencies will yield no shortage of results. The language service provider market will grow to over $56 billion in value by 2021 to meet a rising need for global content.

What Kind of Translation Agency Do You Need?

The search for available translation agencies will yield no shortage of results. The language service market will grow to over $56 billion in value by 2021 to meet a rising need for global content. Almost every company—from app providers to e-commerce sites and online publication agencies—will eventually have to look internationally to grow. Success in this global direction will depend on your ability to reinvent your offerings for a new market without losing what made you popular in the original. That is where the search for an ideal translation software localization agency comes in.

Choosing the right provider will make all the difference, but most business leaders don't even know where to start when creating localized content for a new market. If you want to grow your brand, you must review the available language service providers carefully, along with their business models and the technology they rely on. The first step is evaluating your translation needs in a successful global launch.


You should consider translation services if: 

  • You have a large amount of complex content to translate or ongoing updates.
  • You are anticipating significant regional growth.
  • You have a high number of active users seeking a specific language.
  • You anticipate a full-scale marketing campaign.
  • You intend to translate content into multiple languages

You may not need them if: 

  • You have a small amount of content for translation into only one language.
  • You have minimal views of content from the region in question.
  • You have resources familiar with your company and capable of handling the translation activities on your behalf

Full-scale translation services aren't always necessary. In some cases, a simple machine translation may work for you. In others, you may have the bandwidth to handle the entire project in-house. However, if you have significant content to translate, you may want to consider working with an agency early on. In these cases, the sooner you work with a company to create standards for your translation, the better.

Translation Business Models to Expect

As demand for translation services grows, so does the complexity of business models. While virtually thousands of companies are now involved in this kind of translation service, they all break down into several basic categories.

Large Translation Company

Large translation companies are typically a one-stop shop to allow for translation into many different languages. These top translation companies do hundreds of millions of dollars worth of business annually and, as a result, have locations and personnel worldwide.

  • There is a wide breadth of services and solutions.
  • Teams are available from several time zones.
  • 24/7 service is standard.
  • Very refined account management is likely for larger organizations.
  • You gain access to an endless array of translators with different levels of expertise.
  • Initial bids may be more attractive than those from smaller translation companies. ‍
  • Accountability is a common problem as the business is vast, and errors are hard to trace.
  • Price creep is typical as the company may try to upsell other services to make up for the small initial bid.
  • Outsourcing is prevalent, and you can expect standards to drop as there is no real management of subcontractor quality.
  • Each division is divided and separated, sometimes into different operations.

Small Translation Company

Smaller translation companies typically do only a few million dollars in business per year and have few locations centralized to a specific region.

  • Teams are highly specialized in a specific language or subject matter.
  • A more flexible business model allows them to change direction as needed.
  • You may have more direct access to project leaders than at a larger company, where you may be lucky to reach a random customer service representative. ‍
  • Turnover at agencies can lead to significant changes in quality.
  • The range of technology and skill sets for managing quality may be limited.
  • There is no guarantee of due diligence on processes and QA.
  • Language options are often limited to the common options with few regional dialects.


A single translator will specialize in a specific language and often works remotely from the targeted region.

  • This is usually the cheapest option upfront for companies.
  • Direct contact is common, and the customer service experience is strong.
  • The translator may be located in the target region, giving them greater insight into accurate translations aimed at the particular market. ‍
  • The translator may be less receptive to feedback and take criticism personally.
  • Scalability to a higher volume of work or more diverse language options isn't possible.
  • The translator's access to and grasp of technology may not be sufficient for the project.
  • They may resist diverting from their preferred tech solutions even to merge with yours.

TMS (Translation Management System)

The translation management system (TMS) is not an agency but a software that may power an agency. Popular options include XTM International, Transifex, and Memsource.

  • Most allow for flexible setups to accommodate any organization.
  • Leaders have plenty of ownership over the translation process.
  • High visibility: quickly check tasks and review project status. ‍
  • You will need an expert to manage tasks within the TMS.
  • You must self-run your translation agency, as only the technology is included.
  • You must also manage the vetting and hiring of translators.

How Bureau Works Operates

Bureau Works utilizes a distinctive business model that seamlessly integrates a top-notch Translation Management System (TMS) with the operational capabilities and accessibility typically associated with a prominent enterprise. This innovative approach allows Bureau Works to deliver exceptional localization management services while leveraging the advantages of a large-scale organization.

With its advanced TMS, Bureau Works empowers businesses to efficiently manage their translation projects from start to finish. The TMS serves as a centralized hub, streamlining the entire localization process and providing a comprehensive set of tools for project planning, resource allocation, translation workflow management, translation quality assurance, and collaboration. By leveraging this cutting-edge technology, Bureau Works ensures consistent, high-quality translations while optimizing time and resources.

Moreover, Bureau Works stands out by offering the agility and personalized attention of a boutique firm combined with the scalability and extensive capabilities of a major company. This unique combination enables Bureau Works to cater to the diverse localization needs of businesses across various industries, ensuring effective communication and successful global expansion.

Why You Should Use The Services Of Bureau Works

  • Our service is fully and easily scalable.
  • All project costs, deadlines, and results are predictable.
  • Our platform allows for full transparency of all tasks as well as billing and company ROI.
  • We offer a wide range of highly qualified translators and use AI to assign the best possible translators for your projects.
  • This is a full end-to-end solution for any localization process and any industry. ‍

After reviewing the pros and cons of each business model, you're likely to have a good idea of the kind of translation agency that's right for your future prospects. However, you must still examine how individual agencies manage their workflows, tools for facilitating the localization process, and communication and transparency standards. To understand these additional important elements, you need to evaluate the technology at the heart of the agencies.

Supportive Software for Localization Management

You'll need three basic types of software to help you control workflows, eliminate redundant tasks, and manage costs.

  • Translation Management Systems
  • (TMS): The TMS will help you monitor projects and responsibilities related to assigning translation tasks, uploading strings, monitoring progress, and managing the project itself. It is a tool designed to maximize translator efficiency by allowing transparent, streamlined workflows.
  • Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) Tools: CAT tools help translators complete tasks faster by allowing them access to corporate lexicons, translation memories, termbases, search tools, and spell checks. These tools help translators complete tasks faster and improve the quality of completed work.
  • Business Management Systems (BMS): A BMS is necessary to keep track of costs, ROIs, and the efficiency of projects. Without one, leaders wouldn't be able to analyze how their translation efforts are paying off or determine where they should focus their attention.

It's not unusual for these systems to overlap on some level. A TMS may come with built-in CAT tools. A BMS may allow for assigning and workflow management of translation projects. Some systems may integrate and connect with others. For example, a TMS may communicate with a content management system (CMS) to allow for seamless uploading of new content—a significant timesaver.

Before deciding on an agency, evaluating the supportive software at stake is vital. Disparate software solutions lead to business segmentation and missed communications. However, as translation is only a small business component, finding a tool that combines all three systems in a single collaborative space is rare.

This multi-dimensional software is something that only Bureau Works has accomplished to date. Our platform is a repository for company-specific translation memories and term bases to provide a higher-quality, more efficient overall translation. It leverages artificial intelligence to assign the best translators for the target language, subject matter language industry, and tone based on their prior performance data. Also, it provides a workspace for them to accept, translate, and submit strings before those projects move on for review and approval in the same system.

Regarding business management tasks, the system allows you to keep track of billing and payments on a granular level. You can run reports based on previous projects to determine where you're spending the most money, and you can get a clear picture of your ROI. This allows you to make smarter decisions about localization and expansion in the big picture.


Making the Final Decision for Seamless Localization

In today's globalized world, businesses and individuals often require translation services to bridge language barriers and expand their reach across different markets. Choosing the right translation agency is crucial for ensuring accurate and culturally appropriate translations effectively convey the intended message. With numerous quality translation services and companies available, it can be challenging to determine the best fit for your needs. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a translation agency:

Expertise and Specialization

Translation companies vary in their areas of expertise. Some specialize in specific industries such as legal, medical, technical, or marketing translations. Assess your requirements and look for the best translation company or agency with experience in your field. Their familiarity with the subject matter will ensure accurate and industry-specific translations.

Quality Assurance

Accurate translations are vital to maintain your brand's reputation and credibility. Look for a certified translation agency with a robust quality assurance process. Ask about their quality control measures, such as proofreading, editing, and reviewing by native speakers. Certifications like ISO 9001:2015 demonstrate a commitment to quality management systems.

Linguistic and Cultural Competence

Translation services go beyond mere word-for-word conversion. They require an understanding of the target language's nuances, cultural sensitivities, and idiomatic expressions. Choose a translation company with a vast network of native-speaking professional translators who possess linguistic and cultural competence in the target language.

Technology and Tools

Efficiency and accuracy can be greatly enhanced by using the best translation companies' technology and tools. Inquire about the translation company's use of computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, terminology databases, and translation memory systems. These tools can ensure consistency in terminology and help reduce costs and turnaround times.

Scalability and Capacity

Consider your long-term translation needs. If you foresee expanding into new markets or requiring translations for multiple languages, choose a translation agency that can accommodate your growth. A company with a large pool of translators and resources will be better equipped to handle large-scale projects and meet tight deadlines.

Confidentiality and Data Security

Translation often involves sensitive information, such as legal documents or confidential business materials. Ensure that the translation company you choose has strict confidentiality protocols in place. Ask about their data security measures, including secure file transfer protocols and non-disclosure agreements.

Client References and Testimonials

Seek feedback from past and current clients of the translation company. Check their website for testimonials or request references to get insights into the quality of their services, responsiveness, and professionalism. Reviewing and testimonials from notable clients can provide valuable information about their reputation and customer satisfaction.

Pricing and Transparency

Translation costs can vary depending on language pair, document complexity, and turnaround time. Request detailed pricing information from different translation companies and compare their rates. Beware of companies that offer significantly lower prices, as it may compromise the quality of translations. Look for transparency in pricing and any additional charges or fees.

Additional Services

Consider whether you require additional services beyond translation, such as website localization or desktop publishing. Localization involves adapting content to the target culture and can be crucial for effective communication. If you anticipate the need for these services, choose a translation company that offers comprehensive translation and localization services.

Customer Support

Effective communication and prompt response are essential when working with a professional translation agency. Evaluate their customer support system and assess their responsiveness and availability. A reliable translation company will have dedicated project managers who can address your queries and provide regular updates on the progress of your translation projects.

Selecting the best translation agency requires careful consideration of various factors, including expertise, quality assurance, cultural competence, technology, scalability, confidentiality, client references, pricing, additional language services, and customer support. By evaluating these aspects, you can make an informed decision and find a translation company that meets your specific requirements and delivers high-quality and accurate translations. Remember, choosing the right translation agency invests in effective communication and global success.

Bureau Works can act as your all-inclusive translation agency by combining our powerful platform with interpretation services from our range of linguistic experts. Contact our team to learn more.


Finding the right translation agency is crucial for businesses seeking global expansion. The choice depends on content volume, regional growth, target languages, and marketing campaigns. Bureau Works offers a unique solution with its advanced Translation Management System (TMS) integrated with the capabilities of a large-scale organization. It ensures efficient project management, quality translations, and scalability. The platform provides transparency, predictability, and a centralized hub for translation memories. Bureau Works considers expertise, quality assurance, linguistic and language services industry cultural competence, technology, scalability, confidentiality, client references, pricing, additional services, and customer support when selecting an agency. By evaluating these aspects, businesses can choose a translation agency that meets their needs for accurate and culturally appropriate translations, effective communication, and global success.

Collaborative translation is a powerful tool for your business if you’re looking to expand to new global markets. By coordinating a team of professionals who work together in real-time, you can quickly deliver high quality translations that resonate with local audiences.

But what if you don't know how to synchronize a large team's efforts? Or are you‌ struggling to find the right software for a well-coordinated translation process? Well, look no further! In this guide, you'll learn all the know-how's of collaborative translation to bring your brand to global audiences.


  1. What is collaborative translation?
  2. Why seamless translation collaboration is important
  3. Best practices for collaborative translation and global market success

What is collaborative translation?

Collaborative translation is when multiple people simultaneously work together to translate content. A collaborative translation process often makes use of specialized tools and software to make sure the translation is quick, accurate, and consistent.

  • Example: Let's say you're a B2B SaaS company looking to translate your marketing materials into a new language to connect with potential clients abroad. Use collaborative translation to bring together translators, developers, and other specialists to translate content into many languages at once.

Your team can use a collaborative translation platform like Redokun to work on projects simultaneously. A coordinated workflow will make sure that your translations use the same terminology and style, improving the quality of the translated product for your target audiences.

Collaborative Translation vs. Crowdsourcing

People often confuse collaborative translation with crowdsourcing and think the two are the same. However, these approaches to translation are different.

Crowdsourcing is when a large group of people contributes translations, often through an open call or invitation by a company or author. Brands can turn to crowdsourcing, community translation, or volunteer translation when they are looking to reduce costs and accelerate the process, especially for large multi-language projects.

In crowdsourced translations, the contributors can be volunteer translators, subject matter experts, or just anonymous individuals online. In other words, you may not know who's worked on the translation and what their qualifications are. It makes crowdsourcing distinct from collaborative translation, where the team would be an established group of professionals you've selected

Why seamless translation collaboration is important

As a busy B2B/B2C marketing manager or project manager, you might ask yourself: Isn't the "divide and conquer" a better strategy when working on a translation or localization project? It seems logical that each project team member, including translators, designers, and editors, works on their tasks separately and step by step.

However, collaborative translation can help your team reap many benefits compared to a traditional approach to translation projects:

Reasons why seamless translation collaboration is important
  • Produce high-quality translations consistently. When your whole team works on a translation project simultaneously on one platform, it's easier to stay in context and keep track of the translation accuracy for every target language. On top of that, your team can conduct agile QA throughout the project cycle.
  • Faster turnaround times. By working together, your team can complete projects faster and more efficiently. Centralization saves a lot of time at every stage of translation. And since your team can work on more than one translation at a time, you can publish your translated content in several new markets at once.
  • Reduced costs. You get to improve efficiency while working with a smaller team of translators. The smaller and more coordinated the team, the less the risk of costly translation errors. It means reduced translation costs and better project budget compliance.
  • Increased flexibility. Collaborative translation allows your team to produce translations into many languages at once and easily make changes to any project document. You can conveniently engage in a feedback loop and guarantee a continuous localization process.
  • Better communication. Collaborative translation effectively brings all members of your localization team together on one platform. It helps you make sure that everyone is working toward the same goals ‌and simplifies overall localization management.

Six best practices for collaborative translation and global market success

To be great at collaborative translation, you need to approach it strategically. Even if you've never used this approach before, you can follow the six steps below to build an efficient collaborative translation workflow. And if you're already familiar with this method, these practices will help you improve the way you collaborate on any translation projects.

Six best practices for collaborative translation for your global business success

1. Work out a detailed project plan

Before you start working on translations together, you need a clear-cut project plan. You should first identify the following items.

  • Project timeline: Define crucial deadlines, project milestones, and the overall project duration.
  • Translation volume and key deliverables: Calculate the general word count, and determine the workload for every language pair if you translate into multiple languages.
  • Project budget: Keep in mind possible added and hidden translation costs.
  • Project team: Define what kind of specialists you need: translators, editors, proofreaders, etc. Will you need to find external translators? Consider all your HR needs in advance.
  • Your approach to the translation process: How much do you want to rely on machine translation? At what point will you edit translated strings? Answer all these questions before you go on.
  • Quality assurance protocol: Establish an efficient QA procedure for all the language pairs you're working on.

It may sound like a handful but the more detailed the plan, the more streamlined the translations will be down the road. Besides, you can already use Redokun to boost this stage of the localization process!

Redokun is a translation management system you can use to automate, coordinate, and optimize your translation processes from content creation to publication.

Redokun simplifies your project planning. In particular, you can use the tool to:

  • Monitor your ongoing translations easily. Keep track of all of your translation files and projects across multiple languages in one space, and check their progress at a glance.
Redokun Document Detail Page
  • Meet deadlines with digest emails. Redokun will send you daily or weekly email digests to update you on the progress of translations. From there, you can initiate one-click reminders to your translators who are potentially falling behind schedule.
  • Making budget planning easier. Redokun has a transparent, scalable pricing structure that will cover exactly the volume of work your project needs.
Redokun is an easy-to-use tool that requires no onboarding. Your team can start using all the system’s features right away. During your project planning stage, you won’t need to factor in a lengthy training period to introduce team members to the tool.

2. Divide tasks and assign responsibilities the smart way

Good collaboration is impossible without a well-planned distribution and organization of roles and tasks. Ensure that every team member is on the same page and understands their respective responsibilities.

For example, the project managers should divide ‌translation tasks among translation team members according to their language proficiency, area of expertise, or subject matter knowledge.
  • On Redokun, you can invite translators to work on different language pairs and content types depending on their skills. All you need to do is enter the translator's email. The software will send them an email invitation and let you know once they've started translating the file.
  • You can also invite several translators to work on one document.
How to invite translators to Redokun

To maximize the efficiency of project management and task division, establish a clear structure of your workflow. Make sure all your pages, files, and folders are well organized and team members know where to find necessary resources for their respective tasks. A centralized, cloud-based storage for all your documents is a must.

  • Redokun is a cloud-based software that makes file management easy. You can create folders and customize permission settings for multiple users for better organization. No more need to look for spreadsheets and lost documents scattered around different digital locations.
  • Don't forget to make the most of the Reporting Dashboard. It shows you the status of the translation project and helps you see how users distribute tasks (for example, what methods they use to translate different content segments).
Redokun Dashboard with translation statistics

3. Enhance the collaborative translation process with clear communication

It's important to have open communication channels among all team members in your translation project, including internal and external translators. For a successful collaboration effort, you need a shared communication space to:

  • Conduct regular check-ins.
  • Discuss translation options and other aspects of the working process.
  • Update and adjust requirements and guidelines.
  • Maintain feedback loops.
It's up to you to choose between email, messengers, or tools like Google Drive or Slack to keep your collboarative operations flowing. However, using multiple channels for different aspects of the project can get messy. It's harder to manage your team and make sure all collaborators are up to date on the ongoing translation tasks.

You can avoid these potential problems by centralizing all your communications and project management. With translation software like Redokun, you can manage, translate, communicate, and collaborate — all in one place.

  • Translate content in context. Your translators or editors can use page previews in Web Editor to understand the context of the text while working on it.
  • Work together in real-time. Use Redokun as a full-scale collaborative translation platform. It enables real-time cooperation among your team members, improving efficiency and reducing communication errors.
  • Use comments, mentions, and notifications to exchange feedback quickly. Redokun's Web Editor is a convenient place to stay in touch and discuss your translation progress every step of the way.
Collaboration feature in Redokun
  • Create a hybrid workflow. Work with your in-house teams or external translators to suit different localization project formats and scalability needs.

4. Use machine translation and translation memory tools

Computer-assisted translation tools are a great addition to human translation. Machine translation (MT) helps your collaborators speed up the localization process by automating translation. Of course, it doesn't have the quality of a human professional translation — it’s more like a helping hand that's always there to facilitate the translation of complex phrases or new terms.

  • Redokun is integrated with two Machine Translation tools: Google Translate and DeepL. Translation suggestions by these two tools pop up right below where the translator should key in the translation, as shown here.

To enhance collaboration even further, consider using translation memory tools. They ensure consistency and save translation software users a lot of time.

Translation memory (TM) is a translation technology that stores previously translated sentences or phrases as segments and creates a unique database for your localization projects. You can reuse your translation to increase efficiency and consistency in ongoing and future translations.

With Redokun as your collaborative translation platform, you can leverage TM to:

  • Consistently translate any repeated word, phrase, or sentence across different language pairs and documents. It's especially important for translating technical terms, marketing slogans, CTAs, and other catchphrases. Translation memory helps you stay consistent in your marketing messaging.
  • Pre-translate your entire documents. Combine TM matches from your previous translations with Machine Translation to get a fully pre-translated document even before your team gets to work.
  • Manage your translation memory database. Import and customize your TM database to further improve translation quality and consistency.
”The speed of translation is quite impressive in that it doesn’t take [much time], maybe a couple of minutes when you translate from English to eight markets. I think that’s what I’m most impressed by.”

Read more about how Kenni and the marketing team at Rockfon increased their translation productivity by 70% using translation memories and other Redokun features

5. Use glossaries and style guides

Glossaries and style guides are valuable resources your team can use for reliable reference.

A glossary is a list of terms and their corresponding translations that are specific to a company or industry.

A style guide outlines the preferred tone, voice, and style for a company's marketing materials across markets and languages.

Your collaborators can refer to these resources when they’re not sure about a translation. For example is when they're deciding how to translate a company abbreviation, whether to the Oxford comma, or choosing the right tone to address customers, etc. No more ambiguity about linguistic, stylistic, and cultural aspects of your translations.

  • Use Redokun's glossary feature to create a glossary and style guide that outlines rules for spelling, grammar, punctuation, terminology, and tone specific to your project.
Redokun glossary feature preview

6. Continuously review and revise

A key benefit of a collaborative translation platform is the ability to review and revise translations in an agile and efficient manner. By involving multiple specialists in the process of editing and QA, you can guarantee accuracy and consistency in the translated content at every stage of the project.

To implement effective review and revision procedures in your collaborative translation projects, it is important to:

  • Plan for review and revision in advance. Identify who will be responsible, set the timeline, and use specific tools.
  • Consider involving in-country reviewers who are familiar with the local market and culture to ensure that the translations are accurate and appropriate for the target audience.
  • Perform regular QA checks. They should include consistency in terminology and formatting, and verify that the translations are free from grammatical errors and typos.
Pro-tip: Ever experienced the headache of having to update a translation that’s already 70% done when there is a last-minute change to the source document?

With Redokun’s revision feature, you don’t have to spend hours poring over Excel sheets and comparing files to spot the places where new words have been added or sentences have been changed. Just upload the latest document version and the system will identify new text that needs translating — saving your team’s time and effort while keeping previous translations intact.


Collaborative translation is an excellent approach if you want to improve the consistency of your translations, reduce costs, and establish a strong presence in global markets.

The key to seamless collaboration is a combination of careful planning, role distribution, agile QA, and smart use of translation software.

Make Redokun part of your collaborative translation efforts and enhance the pace of your global business growth‌. Start your 14-day free trial today and benefit from a quicker and more streamlined translation workflow.

Till next time,


Rodrigo Demetrio
Steering the marketing ship at Bureau Works with 17+ years of MarTech under my belt, I transform mere ideas into tangible realities. Passionate about languages and their power to build bridges, let's build a new one?
This is some text inside of a div block.
Text Link
This is some text inside of a div block.
Text Link

Try Bureau Works Free for 14 days

ChatGPT Integration
Get started now
The first 14 days are on us
Free basic support