When it comes to quality, Switzerland definitely ranks in the premier league, making the “Swiss” label a highly coveted plus for any company. When it comes to services, however, it is worth your time to take a closer look. A Swiss translation company that truly deserves to use this quality label must fulfil the following five criteria: localisation, qualified staff, innovation, ISO certifications and sustainable partnerships.
Swiss is synonymous with quality
A high level of reliability, punctuality, knowledgeable advice, skilled craftsmanship and exclusive products that last a lifetime are just some of the hallmarks of Swiss quality.
Switzerland is known around the world for its excellency and attention to detail, and products bearing the “Swiss Made” label of quality have a clear competitive advantage. According to a study by the University of St. Gallen, customers in Switzerland and abroad are more than happy to pay a high premium for Swiss-labeled products, depending on the sector.
How does this apply to service providers such as Swiss translation companies?
For services, the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property states: “A company may promote its services as being Swiss provided that its headquarters are situated in Switzerland. The significant activities of the company and the significant decisions which have direct influence on the company must be at the place of the actual headquarters.”
Nevertheless, it takes somewhat more effort to guarantee high quality for language services providers, since their translators are based all over the world. If you are looking for a Swiss translation company, first ensure that they fulfil the following five criteria for top quality:
1. Localisation – the ins and outs of local linguistic peculiarities
Localisation is a key aspect of translation. It means that messages must be adapted to target audiences in different linguistic and cultural regions. So, you need to find a company that is both global and local at the same time. This requires native-speaker linguists who are familiar with the local context and a head office that ensures that the work done locally meets the quality standards of a Swiss brand.
The example of Switzerland proves, however, that having native-speaker linguists is not a quality guarantee on its own. The three main regions of Switzerland speak the same languages as their much larger neighbours, yet there are conspicuous usage differences, which customers pick up on immediately in translations. You can read more about this topic in our blog post “Best Case: ‘Swiss Review’: what’s in a name? When it says Swiss, it better be Swiss”. The same is true for every language that is spoken in several different countries.
2. Highly qualified staff and individualised service
In Switzerland, we attach great importance to professional customer support and outstanding services. It’s hard to find any other country with as high a density of qualified specialists, so a Swiss translation company can also score extra points thanks to its well-trained staff. These are often professional linguists who understand the challenges and intricacies of translation and strive to provide first-class service.
The quality of the service can also be measured by whether a language services provider is capable of responding to specific client needs. This is especially crucial for complex projects. When choosing your translation company, be sure to ask whether you will be assigned your own individual contact person, whether an on-call service is provided, and whether outsourcing options are available.
3. Innovation and technology
Digitalisation has revolutionised the translation industry unlike any other. Although professional translators have been using CAT tools, terminology databases and other technical aids for a long time, the latest developments in neural machine translation (NMT) are opening up completely new possibilities that enable humans and machines to work in harmony with one other. Find out more about the topic of NMT in our blog post “Neural machine translation: learning by doing”.
Before a technology becomes established throughout an entire industry, it needs pioneers to drive the innovation forward and make it viable for their customers. Switzerland, with its small size and close-knit networking between research and business, is an ideal location for fostering innovation – both in the language services industry and beyond.
Always make sure to choose a language provider with sufficient technical know-how to integrate its services seamlessly into your publishing processes.
4. ISO certifications
If you rely on an ISO-certified Swiss translation company, you can expect consistent top-calibre results and the highest degree of data security. Professional providers demonstrate their credentials and guarantee superior quality compared to the competition with certifications such as ISO 17100 (translation services), ISO 9001 (quality management systems) and ISO 27001 (information security).
When choosing your language services provider, it is important to check whether their processes are merely ISO compliant or whether they are actually ISO certified. Authentic ISO certification is the only guarantee that the company has undergone the rigorous audit of an independent auditing company and been approved. In our blog post “Why ISO? Because separating the wheat from the chaff is key to your success”, you can learn more about the different ISO standards for translation companies.
5. Sustainable partnerships
If you want to provide your translation clients with consistent high quality over the long term, you need to build a sustainable and long-lasting partnership with them. It’s the small things that often determine whether a translation is just good or really good. Briefings usually don’t go into much detail, and translators need time to develop a feeling for the clients’ specific needs.
This is why it is important for a translation company to also maintain long-term partnerships with its employees and core translators, enabling clients to rely on a dedicated team that ensures consistent terminology and top quality.
SwissGlobal combines enhanced Swiss quality with an extensive global reach. We ensure that your communication is a success in all the world’s languages and cultures. Our experienced team collaborates with a network of more than 400 professional language experts around the globe. Get to know our team.