To Outsource or Not Outsource? That is the Question

Outsource translation

Businesses that serve multiple target-language markets or are planning to expand in more markets ask themselves this question continuously: Should we outsource translation or resort to in-house translators. If the translation resource exists in-house, it might be tempting and may sound more cost-effective. Leveraging an employee’s expertise in a foreign language can save you money, but unfortunately a speaker of a foreign language does not equate to a translator much less a full translation service.

Good Translators Do Not Simply “know” Two Languages

Good translators do not simply “know” the languages they translate to and from, but they have developed a deep and refined understanding of the terminology in specific fields in both languages. They are able to effectively turn a document from the source language into one in the target language maintaining the same register, communication objective and cultural awareness. Translators are able to effectively create a text that is technically accurate and that sounds as if it were originally written in the target language.

A lot of multinational companies and governments outsource some translation work because translation does not pertain to their core competencies. They hand off their translation work to third-party language service providers. However, not all multinational companies and businesses realize the core importance of budgeting for the services of third-party language experts.

Complications of Selecting Good Translators

In-house translators could seem like a good idea in order to save money, but it doesn’t come without a few complications. First of all, selecting the right translators is no an easy task, especially without being in the translation or language service business. Just like it would be hard to assess the quality of a translation without speaking the target language, it would be hard to assess the qualifications of a good translator without being a language expert. Language service providers deal with assessing the skills of language professionals and the recruitment process and can provide you with a pool of skilled and expert translators to choose from, according to their subject matter expertise. This will mean that the translation will be more accurate and of superior quality than a translation which could be delivered in-house, with the limitations of a limited number of translators with limited experience and subject matter expertise in a limited number of fields.

Also, the advantage of hiring a language service provider is that the LSP deals with all other aspects of the translation process. The LSP provides other specialists like subtitlers, copywriters, proofreaders, web developers and IT engineers.

It is worth it

Despite seeming like the most cost-effective option, employing in-house translators is not the best for small businesses and multinationals alike. Language service providers provide a pool of experienced translators with subject matter expertise to draw from, who will ensure that the translation is of outstanding quality and will take care of all other aspects of the translation process. Thus, it is wise to invest in language service providers. Trying to cut corners on translation expenses will end up costing a company more in the long run. An inferior end result could mean a damaged reputation and cost you future business. It is worth the extra cost and effort.

This article is written by a professional writer, Ilaria Ghelardoni, associated with Ulatus.  

Share your thoughts