In a world where we see an increasing number of businesses going global, languages seem to be a point of discussion on several levels. In many ways it makes sense to hire multilingual staff, there are multiple benefits:

  • They can make your clients feel comfortable as they can often speak to them in their own language
  • They can prepare documents in your client’s language
  • They can translate documents received from your client and others being sent to your client as and when needed

All of this is great if you’re hiring staff as in-house translators; if translating in meetings or ahead of projects will make up the bulk of their role.


We all know that when running a business you want to get the most out of your staff, if they can take care of something for you in-house then great, it means you don’t have to pay an external supplier, but what are the drawbacks in this situation?

If your account manager is spending 50% of their time translating are you getting the most value from them? Is translation their core skill? Do they know the local market they are translating for? When were they last in that country? If they’ve never been, how are you sure that your message is going to be received by your target clients in the way you intend it to be?


Keep it in-house or outsource?

Here are some questions to help you decide whether your office junior should be translating text for you or whether it needs to be completed by a trained, professional translator:

Will your clients read this?

Yes: 100% | Definitely send this to a professional translator

No: Will your suppliers read this?

Yes: 80:20 | You could attempt in-house translation, but it would be better to send to a professional translator

No: Is this for internal use?

Yes: 60:40 | Staff with adequate knowledge of your internationally used terms and phrases might be able to do a half decent job, but for a polished finish and peace of mind send the work to professional translator

Time = Money

One translator can typically translate up to 2500 words per day, sending to a reliable translation company will also mean your translation is formatted, quality checked and any feedback is fully followed up as part of the service.


Translating in-house

If you would still prefer to translate in-house, make sure to choose your in-house translator carefully and consider the following:

  1. When was your in-house translator last in the target country?
  2. Your staff know your business, but do they know the country where the translation will be used?
  3. What would this person be doing if they weren’t translating?
  4. What message are you trying to get across? Do they know the best way to relay this?
  5. Who will check the translation once they have completed their first draft?


The Bottom Line: When translating there is more to consider than first meets the eye. A trained translation professional will guide you through the process and make sure you get it right first time, saving you time, effort and money.



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