Why You Should Outsource Your Translations
"The most dangerous phrase in the language is 'we've always done it this way.'" - Rear Admiral Grace Hopper
This quote really resonated around our office – change is not always bad. It is good to accept change and make sure that you adapt to what is happening in the world around you, especially as it relates to your industry and your business. Embracing change is important for any business or organization. This quote also reminded us of a frequent phrase that we hear in the translation and localization industry: “We handle translations in house.” This really resonates, too. While this might be something that looks more cost-effective on the surface, this might not always be the best approach. Looking at outsourcing your translation services could be a change that you make that will be more cost effective and efficient in the long term. More Markets Equals More Linguists Let’s put it in context – you are a United States-based company and you have just expanded into Mexico. You have a team in your Mexico office that handles all of your Spanish translations. Things are going well, so you decide you want to move into China, Brazil, and maybe Russia. Hiring internal translation teams might prove to be costly in this case as the demand for more languages increases. Speaking of demand, you might not always need someone on staff full time for German translation or Finnish translation. Agencies have an extensive pool of freelance translators that they can align on demand to help your organization best meet its needs. Finding the Right People Handling translation internally might mean having employees in Brazil translate documents into Brazilian Portuguese or having a bilingual employee in the marketing department translating documents into Chinese. This doesn’t always mean the quality will be up to your standards. Linguists are in-country speakers with subject matter knowledge of the content. In other words, they are professionals. An LSP should also have a vetting process for their linguists to ensure quality. When You’re In A Hurry When deadlines are tight, it is hard to scramble for resources. Due to a linguistic vetting process, a translation vendor will have quality linguists readily available. Think of your vendor as a resource. A good journalist has their sources that they can call upon when writing a story on deadline; this is somewhat similar. For Large Projects Then there’s volume… compounded with time. The average linguist translates about 2500 words per day. Sure, this statistic applies to an internal translator or a freelance translator, but an LSP can have multiple translators working on a project. How? The wonders of technology! Translation memory and CAT tools like MemoQ allow for more efficient workflow which means consistency, time efficiency, and cost effectiveness. It makes more sense to see this claim in practice. Why not read one of our case studies on a large-volume project that we recently completed? There is one theme that is present throughout the key points above: be proactive. If going global is part of your growth strategy, or even if your domestic client base is multilingual, taking the time to carefully select a vendor and weigh your options is much better than being reactive on a short notice. It’s like when you’re in college and know you have a long-term paper coming up – start researching now for when the deadline approaches. The task will seem much less daunting then!