Perhaps you need to translate your company’s website or marketing campaign. You need translations into several languages and you’re not quite sure where to start – totally understandable! You could reach out to colleagues internally for help or you could outsource the task to a professional agency or even a freelance translator – but what are the pros and cons of each option?

Let’s take a closer look.

Types of translation solutions

Although most of your potential readers will understand English, you can inspire confidence and reach customers more effectively by speaking to them in their own language. However, the right translation solution and choice of languages will depend entirely on your overarching strategy and the resources you have available.

In some cases, you might want to go for a combination of in-house and outsourced translations, taking care of the smaller day-to-day jobs yourself and outsourcing the bigger and more important ones. Say, for example, your company sells high-tech niche products. In this case, a good approach might be to have your internal experts produce an initial translation before then having the text reviewed by an external partner.

When should you use a professional solution?

When a company has text content that they hope will reach a broad audience, then it always pays to use a professional solution. This will help ensure your text is adapted to the target culture in terms of linguistic subtleties, national units of measurement, humour and regional preferences. A clunky or inaccurate translation can quickly cause damage to a company’s reputation and leave you looking unprofessional or amataeur.

Quality is especially important when it comes to specialised and technical texts – especially within the field of healthcare and medicine, where mistakes really can be a matter of life and death! Specialist texts typically require specialist knowledge and so these kinds of translations are usually done by translators who hold the necessary expertise.

The pros of outsourcing a translation project (to a freelancer or an agency)

No matter whether you need translations into multiple languages, within multiple different specialist areas or even if you just need simple texts translated into one or two languages, there are many good reasons to hire a freelancer or a translation agency:

  • Fast delivery of large projects, such as entire websites or marketing materials in multiple languages.
  • Translators with specialist knowledge within your company’s area (e.g. IT, medicine, marketing, legal, gaming or similar).
  • The translator will be a native speaker of your target language in order to guarantee the highest possible level of quality.
  • Quality assurance and thorough proofreading.
  • Your company will appear credible and authentic.
  • You can avoid misunderstandings and misinterpretations among customers.

What about just translating internally?

Many companies choose to translate certain things themselves, like internal communication materials and similar texts. We often see that companies choose to translate certain things for themselves when they have employees of different nationalities.

In such cases, we would recommend that the translations are proofread by an external partner (a professional proofreader) as your internal colleague likely won’t be a professional linguist. And even if they are, it is always better to have every translation reviewed by a fresh pair of eyes that can spot things the original translator may miss.

Tempted to have a go at doing your own in-house translations?

We have written an article with some useful tips on how to best go about tackling translation projects in-house here.

Professional translations for small and medium-sized businesses

If you are still unsure what solution is best for you, then you are very welcome to contact us to further discuss the options available. Here at Comunica, we have been working for fifteen years to assemble a team of loyal, creative and highly competent translators who we know very well. We work with both freelancers and in-house translators to cover a range of different client needs.

We nurture the relationships we have with our translators and facilitate knowledge sharing, job satisfaction and professional development – because we believe that’s how the best translations are made!