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Introduction and Importance of Translation RFP

A request for proposal (RFP) is a business document put together by government and multinational companies in order to receive bids from multiple vendors at the same time for a service that they will need in the near future. This document provides all the necessary information that a business should know to deliver a successful bid for them to win the business. An RFP typically includes information such as the scope of requirements, deadline for the RFP submission, project deliverable timeframe, point of contact, Q&A sections, location, etc.

One of the most important factors of an RFP is allowing all the legitimate vendors of similar services a fair chance to participate and provide their best pitch for winning the business. Typically, this will apply to government and large corporation RFP requests, where they post RFP requests on their website or procurement platform and companies that want to bid are able to do so.

Smaller businesses will most likely contact the businesses that they think will meet the necessary qualifications and certifications, and who are willing to participate in the RFP process.


How to Prepare a Translation RFP?

Importance of Translation RFP

Translation RFPs are a great way for a company to compare and select a translation agency that best fits its needs. Although translations may seem very simple, various factors play an important role in a successful translation project.

Localization/translation is approximately a $50 billion industry, hence, translation companies across the globe have developed multiple tools and technologies that can help them win business by delivering optimum quality within the given budget and timeframe.

An experienced and qualified translation agency can help improve your outreach to existing and new clients, whether it is through print, website, or software localization.

To prepare a translation RFP, it is important to understand the full scope of your requirements. This includes the set of languages you want to translate to, their locales, the purpose of your localization, what requires translation, the timeframe, etc. With the basics determined, you can provide all the necessary information in your RFP for a better understanding of your request.

Here is an example of information you can provide below:

  1. Type(s) of content
    • Web
    • Software
    • Document
    • Audio/Video
  2. Language(s) required including locales
  3. Details and metrics of actual documents, even if estimated
    • 6: 4-page, 6 x 9 brochures, 500 words each
    • 20: 4 to 5-page menus, 1,500 words each
    • 18: 20 to 35-page eBooks, 5,000 words each
  4. Details and metrics of websites to be translated, even if estimated.
    • What content management system (CMS) is being used
    • Word/page counts for content
    • SEO requirement
  5. Details and metrics of software to be translated, even if estimated.
    • What platform is being used
    • Word/string counts for content
  6. Details and metrics of audio/video to be translated, even if estimated.
    • What formats are being used
    • Word/page counts for script content
    • Number of voice/video talents required

While the majority of the translation RFPs are primarily focused on pricing, we highly recommend you also evaluate the tools and technologies, quality control process, experience translating within your industry, and the services offered aside from translation.

Tools like Translation Memories (TM), Translation Connectors, Translation Portals, etc., may not seem beneficial at the beginning, however, they can have a significant impact on the cost, quality, and delivery timeframe of your projects. For example, a TM tool can help you save time and cost on the content you may have already translated, and a Translation Connector can help import and export the content from your website within a couple of mouse clicks (no manual copy/pasting), and more.


Mandatory Information to Be Included in the RFP

This blog provides detailed information on what should always be included in a translation RFP along with its doā€™s and donā€™ts: How to Write an RFP for Translation Services

However, the most important factor when preparing a translation RFP is the deadline for submission and a point of contact for queries. Every company should consider the effort a translation agency applies to put together a response to your RFP. Hence, rushing the process for submission and not being available to answer any questions related to the RFP could be counterproductive to the RFP process. Once the RFPs have been evaluated, the shortlisted bids should be given a chance to present their services either in person or through an online meeting. This will allow them the opportunity to demo the tools and technologies that can aid in the completion of your project. This can further help you make an informed decision when selecting a translation partner.



Businesses of all sizes take an RFP route for their vendor selection process. We recommend that when shortlisting your RFP responses consider your participantsā€™ care when responding to the RFP requirements, their expertise, processes, and technology solutions in addition to cost and delivery timeframe. While the budget will always be a large component of the selection process, a providerā€™s expertise can wind up saving you time and money through their quality resources and tools.