As we all know, translation is one of the most essential services a business can engage in. Not only does it enable companies to reach global audiences, but it can also save them a ton of money by providing quality translations that are accurate and timely. However, the process of outsourcing translation services is not without its risks.
In this article, we will discuss some of the most common mistakes businesses make when outsourcing translation work, and offer tips on how to avoid them. By following these dos and don’ts, you will be ensured that your translation project runs smoothly and meets your expectations.
What are some of the pros and cons of outsourcing translation services?
It has become increasingly common for businesses to outsource translation services in order to reduce costs and focus on other areas of their business. There are, however, some pros and cons to consider before making the decision to outsource your translation needs.
Pros of outsourcing translation services:
- Reduced costs – outsourcing these services can save you a significant amount of money compared to having a translator in-house.
- Flexibility – if you have a limited number of translators or need someone on a temporary basis, outsourcing can help you meet your needs without incurring the cost of maintaining a full-time staff.
- Speed – using an outside translator ensures that your project will be completed more quickly than if you were to attempt it yourself. This is particularly important when deadlines are tight.
- Quality control – having an outside source ensures that the quality of your translations is consistently high. This is important because customers are generally more satisfied with translations that are accurate and error-free.
- Geographic flexibility – depending on the language pair being translated, outsourcing may allow you to use translators in different parts of the world, which can save you time and money in travel expenses.
- Flexibility in scheduling – most agencies offer flexible working hours so that you can accommodate any possible deadlines or changes without penalty.
- Greater range of services – many agencies offer a wider range of services than is possible to provide in-house, such as proofreading, localization, and captioning.
- Customer satisfaction – research has consistently shown that customers are more satisfied with translations that are done by an outside source rather than by the company themselves. This is because they feel that the translator has more objectivity and is not biased in favor of the company.
- Reliability – most agencies have a good reputation for being reliable and consistent in their delivery of quality. This is important because customers want to know that they can count on the service to be there when they need it, no matter what.
- Expertise – by using an outside source, you can be sure that your translations will be handled by experts who have years of experience in the field. This will give your project a higher level of accuracy and reliability than if you were to attempt it yourself.
Some of the cons are :
- Cost – outsourcing translation services can be more expensive than having a translator in-house, depending on the language pair and the quality of the service required.
- Quality – like with any other type of service, it is important to ensure that the quality of your translations is consistently high in order to satisfy your customers. If this is not done, they may not be happy with the end result.
- Cultural sensitivity – when translating from one culture to another, there is always a risk of misinterpretation or cultural bias. This is particularly important when working with languages that are not commonly spoken in the client’s country.
- Reliability – like with any other type of service, if you outsource to a Translation agency that does not have a good reputation for being reliable or consistent, your project may suffer as a result.
What should you consider before outsourcing translation services?
When deciding to outsource services, there are a few factors you should consider. Here are some dos and don’ts to help make the decision:
Do consider your needs. What is your priority? Is speed or accuracy more important? What languages do you need translated?
Do research different providers. Do their track records speak for themselves? Are they licensed and insured? Are they reputable and ethical companies?
Don’t be afraid to ask for references. Check with the translator you’re considering if they’re willing to provide references from previous clients. Ask them how much work was completed, what was accomplished, and whether there were any problems encountered.
How can you ensure that your translations are accurate?
Do your homework before you outsource. You’ll need to know the language, the target audience and the industry your translation is destined for. This will help ensure that your translations are accurate and reflect the spirit of the original text.
Always use an agency with experience in your market. If you’re translating a technical document, for example, make sure you’re using an agency that’s familiar with medical terminology and terminology specific to your industry.
Finally, be sure to proofread your translations for accuracy and clarity. If there’s any doubt about the accuracy of your translation, ask a translator for a second opinion.
What should you do if you encounter problems with your translation?
If you encounter problems with your translation, there are a few things you should do:
- Verify that the source text is correct and complete. Make sure to compare it to the translation and make any necessary corrections.
- Contact the translator or outsourced service provider if there are any discrepancies. Explain what you see as the problem and ask for their help in resolving it.
- Request fresh translations if the old ones appear to be inaccurate or incomplete. This will help ensure that your project flows smoothly and that all of them are of high quality.
As a business owner, you undoubtedly know that outsourcing can be an incredibly valuable tool in your arsenal. However, like anything else, there are certain things you should do and avoid when outsourcing translation services. By following these dos and don’ts, you can ensure that your translation project is as successful as possible. Thanks for reading!