In-house vs. outsource

Or, the advantages of using a professional translation service

Many companies depend on in-house staff, or their independent distributors, when they need translations. They prefer not to use a professional translation service. Usually, the thinking goes something like this:

We’ll let our distributor in country X translate our product datasheet — they/their staff are fluent, and it will save us time and money.”

Unfortunately, too often the opposite result occurs and companies end up spending more time and money than they should. The result is often an inferior translation. And for a greater cost than they would have paid if they had outsourced to a professional translation service.

Why? The following are a few reasons:

Professional quality

While it’s true that your distributor in Germany, for example, will have employees who are fluent German speakers — this doesn’t necessarily mean that they can perform a quality translation from English. What level of command do they have of the English language? What kind of linguistic background do they have? How will they handle tough idiomatic challenges or English words/phrases that simply do not make sense in German? Finally, who will review their work?

The unexpected costs of in-house translation

Handing translation work off to distributors, or another non-professional, can create a nightmare in terms of coordination. Suppose your company has a product datasheet that you need translated into seven languages. Consider how much time could pass before all seven distributors get around to doing the work? Although the distributor has the most incentive to get the materials translated, this kind of project can frequently end up on the back-burner!

Imagine one translator has a casual, informal style and another writes in cold, technical terminology? Imagine if someone decides he can make improvements? Do you then pass on those comments to the other six?

Consider, if you are spending a lot of time chasing down translators, you are not performing other responsibilities. You are not concentrating on your core business. The time cost, and the hassle, could be substantial.

A professional translation service

An in-house approach has several potential risks:

  • A poor translation can fail to accurately capture a marketing message, or communicate technical details.
  • Ending up with different messages in different markets, therefore losing brand consistency and image.
  • The danger of mistranslating product warnings, and other legal content. This is simply too important to hand over to non-professional translators.

When you entrust your translations to a professional translation service, such as QuickSilver Translate, you are guaranteed the highest possible quality of translation and an extremely competitive rate. Our integrated processes also mean that all the hassle associated with translation in the way described above is removed.