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Tips 4 MLVs

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When searing for a dependable MLV or a translations subcontractor, sometimes it is difficult to discern which company is the best choice. After all, MLVs tend to have similar service offerings, similar quality objectives, and even similar prices in most regions. So, what are the differentiating factors that can help you choose a suitable MLV for your next translation project? Argos Translations compiled a 10 question list that can be used to separate the good MLV contenders, from the not so fair.


  1. What is the MLV’s production capacity?

    Ask the MLV how many translators they can dedicate to your project. If there’s a sudden rush job to be done, will they have additional translators available to work on the project? Can they handle all aspects of the project including DTP and localization?

    At Argos Translations: with a large network of in-house and freelance translators and a complete service portfolio we have the capacity to handle projects of large volumes in-house, at tight deadlines.
  2. How advanced is the MLV’s Project Management when operating projects that require both in-house and freelance support?

    When sending a project to an MLV you expect them to designate an experienced Project Manager to overlook all aspects of the assignment no matter if it is done in-house or by freelancers. Great Project Management is a prerequisite when outsiders are involved on the project making it harder to keep everything congruent and streamlined, especially when sudden changes need to be made.

    At Argos Translations: our Project Managers have years of experience, are trained, tested and skilled at organizing complex projects while remaining dedicated to the needs of their clients.
  3. How anchored is the MLV’s workflow?

    While every MLV claims that they handle difficult projects, tight deadlines and etc., find out exactly in what way they will adapt their process to meet your demands, and what ‘difficult’ and ‘tight’ mean to them.

    At Argos Translations: our workflow is designed with flexibility in mind. Every stage can be modified to meet the requirements of a given project no matter the size or difficulty level.
  4. Does the MLV offer a complete portfolio of services?

    While some MLVs specialize only in translations and others only in localizations specific to some industry, it may be more adequate to send a project to a single MLV capable of offering most of the services you require, thus saving you time and money. Instead of dissecting the project among an army of MLVs and worrying about who will finish what, when, how and whether the end result will be cohesive, it may be more worthwhile to send the project to a single capable MLV. A good MLV should be able to complete most of the services in-house, streamlining the translation, localization, DTP and/or voice-over process.

    At Argos Translations: with large and experienced production departments, we handle all aspects of translation, localization, DTP and Voice Over work in-house.
  5. What languages does the MLV offer?

    Some MLVs only offer FIGS, some only offer exotic languages. Try to set up a working relationship with MLVs that specialize in the languages you have most projects for.

    At Argos Translations: our wide network of translators enables us to complete translations of all volumes in FIGS, CEE, Asian and Arabic language.
  6. Does the MLV have any worthwhile references?

    A good measure of success and a strong testament to quality is seen in positive feedback and references that past clients have given an MLV. Before you send your next project out to a new contractor, ask for references.

    At Argos Translations: with over a decade of professional experience, Argos Translations has accumulated many references from the world's most demanding businesses. Contact our Account Managers for a list of references.
  7. What translation software does the MLV use?

    Some MLVs use no software, others use software that is outdated, while still others use new software that may not be compatible with what you are using. Before you send a project to an MLV, make sure that the software they use will fit your, and/or your client’s requirements. Checking your MLVs software versions can give insight into the amount of emphasis that they place on including emerging technologies in their processes to deliver high quality services.

    At Argos Translations: we invest in state-of-the-art software to support all of our translation, localization, DTP and Voice Over services ensuring that the end project is compatible with the software our clients' use.
  8. How does the MLV recruit and evaluate their resources?

    Good MLVs have elaborate processes in place when recruiting new resources. Such MLVs test their translators multiple times, offer trainings, regularly asses their work and control their progress while continually investing in translators to maintain their skills up-to-date. Check with your MLV if and how they monitor their resources.

    At Argos Translations: we have a specialized resource division that handles all cooperation with our translators, continually testing and training them to ensure that their skills are up-to-date.
  9. How does the MLV assure high quality?

    Quality. One of the most elusive words in this industry. Quality is shaped by expectations of clients, ergo check with your MLV whether they have measures in place to guarantee the level of quality you will expect. Should you have complaints, find out how the MLV is poised to deal with them.

    At Argos Translations: every service is supported by a specific QA department that controls the outgoing project's quality, abiding by internal Quality Assurance checks and procedures that follow our ISO certification and the ISO standard.
  10. What amount of experience does the MLV have in a given field of expertise.

    Last but not least, no amount of marketing talk will compensate for earned experience. The more experienced the MLV, the more savings they will pass back to you via their know-how and effective short-cuts. While inexperienced MLVs will attract you with price, they will cost you dearly in the long run due to inefficient processes and potential mistakes (especially when given complicated projects). So, check with your potential MLV how many projects, and of what volume, they completed in the fields/industries into which you will require translations.

    At Argos Translations: with years of translation experience across multiple industries for all types of clients, organizations, institutions and businesses, Argos Translations has the know-how to successfully complete a wide variety of projects.

If you are still not sure who to choose, ask prospective MLVs for samples of their work, and compare them against each other.

You can also contact our Account Managers who will be able to consult you and offer free advice as to what to look out for when picking an MLV.