Why you would need professional translation services
If you’re in the business of selling products or services internationally you need the services of a professional translation agency. Many companies start managing translation on an ad hoc basis, delegating translation to bilingual staff, using nothing more advanced than Microsoft Word and a couple of spread sheets. At this point, approaching a professional translation agency might seem like an unnecessary step, especially if budgets are tight and your process is working. However, building a long-term partnership with a professional translation agency early on can help you avoid potential pitfalls and give you the edge over your competition. Here’s why:
By partnering with a professional translation agency early on you benefit from access to a wealth of experience from language professionals who’ve worked with companies like yours on similar projects, and who speak the language your customers use every day. A professional translation agency can advise you on everything from how best to set up translation workflows, to the cultural connotations of your latest marketing campaign. They can help you avoid common pitfalls, help you plan your internationalization strategy, even help you adapt TV adverts or digital marketing materials for foreign markets.
Many companies that start managing translation internally find it very difficult to scale as their business grows. As a company expands and resources become stretched, translation management often gets shuffled to the bottom of the pile or delegated to junior employees. Deadlines get missed or translation jobs get rushed out and mistakes happen. Business development teams complain about the poor quality of translations, calls to customer support increase and the cracks begin to show.
A professional translation agency will have access to a huge pool of professional linguists that can be called upon as demand increases or when ‘special projects’ come up. Often senior linguists can be found who have expertise in your particular field of business. They have an understanding of your customers, your competitors and your market so you can rest assured that translations are always of the highest quality.
A professional translation agency will have access to a range of tools for managing translation projects. The benefits these tools offer over internal processes that use word, excel and copy/paste are huge. The first step for any company that’s serious about language support is to begin building translation memories. Using translation memories can then help drive down your long-term costs. With a translation memory each new project is scanned for translation matches and pre – translated content is reused. This not only reduces your costs, but also helps you support language consistency.
The tools required to do this are often complicated and expensive, requiring significant investment if you want to do this yourself. In addition, translation tools and translation memories require constant management and revision to make sure they work efficiently. A professional translation agency can manage this for you, without the investment required in the tools and resources to do so.
Another new area that is becoming more widely adopted is Machine Translation. Customized Machine Translation engines can translate faster and more cost effectively than a human only approach, but once again, they need the skills and expertise of a professional translation agency to set up, train and manage. That said, for large projects of hundreds of thousands of words, they can cut costs by up to 30% and increase the speed at which you can get translations to market.
Managing translation internally through in country teams can work to begin with, but the challenges this approach throws up far outweigh the benefits. One of the biggest problems with this approach is how to support language consistency. If staff members leave, teams change, or products change, how do you make sure that translations aren’t impacted? For example, where one person might translate ‘front facing camera’ another might use ‘forward looking camera’ or ‘front mounted camera’. This inconsistency in the use of language can make it very confusing for your customers to understand your products; especially where feature commonality across a product range is high, or where customers are used to ‘version A’ and the new ‘version B’ contains the same features described differently.
The solution to this is language standardisation and control, an important area where a professional translation agency can help. Using terminology lists for each language, setting up glossaries and clearly defining your language style and tone of voice is key to providing consistency across all your multilingual documentation. Again, the tools required to manage this are expensive and time-consuming to manage, which is why outsourcing this to a professional translation agency makes sense.
Partnering with a professional translation agency to help manage your translation and localization projects is much more efficient and less risky in the long-term than trying set up the tools, resources and workflows yourself. Why direct important internal resources to managing translation that could be better focused on improving your products or services, or increasing market share? Using a professional translation agency is less risky, requires less upfront investment and is much more flexible. Using professional linguists guarantees the highest translation quality and faster output than using members of your in-country sales team, who should be selling.
As translation technology advances your translation agency will update their tools and processes to deliver time and cost savings, all without you having to worry about capital investments or depreciating assets. Workflows can be quickly scaled and languages quickly added, often giving you a crucial edge over your competition.
With all these points covered, for anyone involved in translation or localization management, the decision to use a professional translation agency should be a no brainer. However, questions will always be raised and answers sought. That’s why we recommend a chat with one of our team. If you’re looking for a new translation vendor for the first time, or if you’re looking to change, contact us for a friendly, impartial chat. Whatever your requirements, large or small, we’re confident that TDN can help.