It’s not easy to be the one who is in charge of a company’s translation decisions. The work involves balancing between different needs, goals and resources. On one hand there are strict budget limits and on the other hand there are quality expectations. In these days when the economical situation is what it is, ‘do more for less’ is the mantra that translation project managers have to obey. One question is to decide whether you can or can’t afford to invest on a professional translation service.
Why you can’t afford to buy a professional translation
Companies can have a continuous flow of material that could or should be translated. Translation is an investment and it should be profitable. Quality costs because professional translators are educated and very skilled people. Their work is a first class service. You just need to decide does your material belong to the first class.
These days when social media and emails fill with messages in every language the company’s resources need to be well allocated. Firms can’t afford to pay for something they don’t need. So you should ask yourself: Is it really worth it to buy a professional translation to every comment or email? There may not be any extra benefit that a flawless translation would create to you or your customer.
There are also other options than a professional translation. Sometimes you don’t need a translation at all, and the original text delivers the message very well. It depends on your target audience which languages are relevant to your company. Maybe your audience knows English well enough to understand your English message, and you shouldn’t care about those who don’t understand because they aren’t your potential customers anyway.
If the message you want to translate is short and simple, there might be an employee or a colleague who knows the language enough to do the translation in-house. Sometimes even machine translation combined with post-editing is a good option if you know the language well enough to spot and fix the possible major errors yourself.
Why you can’t afford not to buy a professional translation
Professional translation services minimize your risk. Reputation issues are a common reason for using professional translation services. Low quality translation can harm the image and brand. Rarely companies want to end up to the list of worst translation mistakes ever. Although non-professional translations aren’t always bad, the problem is that without a native speaker or a professional translator it’s impossible to say how good the translation really is. The uncertainty gives room for doubt and insecurity.
Mother tongue is a sensitive thing. Languages are personal and very closely connected to our identities. We use languages to express ourselves. Style and correctness affects the way we absorb massages. The effort that the company puts to make sure that their message is flawless and natural pays off with higher customer commitment and satisfaction levels.
If the other option is to leave your message untranslated, you should think about your audience with care. You are wasting the resources that you allocate to your communication and marketing if your target audience can’t understand your messages. From this point of view professional translation is quite effortless and affordable way to ensure that you really reach those potential customers.
As a conclusion we can say that there isn’t a right answer. It all depends on your situation and needs. Money is well spent when the decision is well argumented.
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