April 24

If you want your business to grow, you need to speak the client’s language. Hmm… sounds pretty obvious isn’t it? Most of us are aware that translation is critical for any company that does business across borders or within its own domestic multicultural community.

But apparently this alone doesn’t seem to constitute a sufficient motive for companies to truly invest in professional translation services. Why is that so? According to our experience, the following could be some of the underlying reasons.

First, budget reduction. Companies tend to assign the translation work to a staff member, who is already being paid anyway, so that they can save costs by not engaging external service providers. Second, confidentiality. By translating the content in-house, it is assumed that there will be no risk of information leakage.

Are these reasons as valid as they sound?

One recent study sheds light on this topic. Researcher Jukka-Pekka Peltonen concluded that a large bulk of translation work was done by in-house employees, and translation was not part of their job scope. Thus, the employees felt upset and taken for granted when they were tasked to carry out extra work. Also, since the employees did not receive any professional training, the quality of the translation may not be up to standard, and additional workload in the form of repeated revisions may even impede their performance in other tasks assigned to them.

What’s more, when the employees were unsure of the translation for certain terms and terminologies, they resorted to various means to find out the appropriate expressions from their colleagues or friends who were familiar with the area in question, leading to a breach of the confidentiality that was supposed to be protected.

So, it is really up to the companies to devise their best strategies after weighing the relevant costs and benefits.

As a side note, if you are still having doubts about how a professional translation agency can bring benefits to your business, just bear this in mind: professional translation done by translation companies allows you to protect and enhance your global reputation. Only when you are able to convey your messages clearly and effectively to different groups of target customers, then can your business prosper in the global market.

After all, accuracy makes all the difference, as translation with quality is definitely not something everyone can do on the spur of the moment. What about machines? Will they replace human translation someday? No, not even close. Even with today’s technology, machine translation is still miles away from producing an acceptable quality of translation, as the intricacies of language are still beyond the ability of talented programmers to imitate.