The decision is yours.
As most company leaders, you probably intend to increase your exchanges and partnerships with foreign counterparts. So as to achieve this goal, you already invest considerable time and money on your documentation.
Poor communication, misunderstandings and mistakes are much more expensive to correct a posteriori and the extra post-production work required at that point will in most cases cost much more than the initial cost of hiring a translator. Moreover, unprofessional translations and poor texts make your company appear unprofessional.
This is why successful companies have their translations undertaken & proofread by professionals to ensure a high-quality product people can rely on, leaving them free to concentrate on their business.
But how can business leaders choose the right providers?
While selecting a freelance translator or a translation agency, two factors should be considered by you as a business leader:
• What are the services required by my company?
• What are my working preferences as it comes to translation?
When managing multilingual translation projects, would you prefer working with a project coordinator who will manage your translation needs for you, or do you prefer working closely and directly with your translators? Both options are viable, depending on your resources, needs, and cost.
• You can find and hire a different translator for each language.
A freelance translator is a professional language services provider whose primary activity is translation. Some freelancers also offer project management services as well as valuable additional services such as proofreading, editing, glossary creation and typesetting as well as desktop publishing and/or web site localisation.
• You can find and hire a professional translation agency.
A translation agency is an organized independent business whose primary activity is to coordinate and provide a range of translation-related services, including associated tasks like typesetting, desktop publishing and software localization. Agencies also offer management services for multi-language translation projects.
• Agencies can handle large-scale multilingual translation needs and/or complicated projects. The agency coordinator passes technical information on to all the freelance translators working on a single project and acts as a project coordinator.
• You may also have the in-house capability of coordinating one or several freelance translators to meet your translation needs. You or your in-house project coordinator will be in direct contact with the freelancers and will pass technical information on to the freelance translators directly. The in-house coordinator will also ensure consistency with company-specific terminology.
Whatever your final choice, the most important factor when choosing a professional translation service provider is quality.
It is worth building up a strong and mutually rewarding relationship with a trusted and competent translation provider. This will ensure terminology and style consistency for your business documentation, thus leading to the best possible quality, which is the most important factor when deciding which way to go.
You may invest a little more for quality translation services upfront, but you will keep losing sales because of an inadequate translation for as long as you use, publish, or distribute it.
The huge cost in lost business due to unprofessional translations really needs to be taken into account while considering the money spent on a quality translation.
By Anne-Charlotte PERRIGAUD | Published 02/26/2007