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Internal review of a translation

Partnering with a translation company

If you’re looking to do business in another country, it will be vital to have some of your content translated or localized.  Partnering with a translation company such as EPIC Translations can be very beneficial and cost-effective. One of these benefits is immediate access to expert linguists with industry knowledge and experience.  A translation company will most likely have experienced linguists in various areas of expertise such as legal, marketing, technical, and medical.  You can put this expertise to use for your business right away.

translation company

However, having your own internal reviewer will prove to be priceless for 2 of the following reasons:

  1. Your reviewer will be able to ensure the content matches your corporate branding objective(s)
  2. Your reviewer can judge whether certain language is compatible with your business culture

Once the review is done, the translation company can implement the changes into the master file fairly quickly. An important thing to remember is that there should be a limit of 2 rounds for an internal review.  Otherwise, there is a risk of analysis paralysis.

Machine Translations: Two Approaches

Human translators quite often wonder why would anyone use machine translations?  Larger companies quite often wonder why can’t machine translations be made better?   As simple as this sounds, we can not underestimate the complexities involved when deciding which option to consider.  To begin with, I think it’s important to define machine translation. It is “the application of computers to the task of translating texts from one natural language to another.”  This concept is much harder than it sounds. There are 2 different approaches that have been used thus far.

  1. Machine Translation (MT)
  2. Machine Translation PLUS Human Reviewer

For certain cases where extremely structured content is the norm, it makes sense to use a MT system. These cases are far and few, however. Ford Motor Company uses an MT system to translate some of their content that is continuously and dynamically updated such as vehicle assembly build instructions. In these kinds of situations, the content has to be very structured and detailed; preferably written in a language known as Standard Language. This language is a subset of the English language and is restricted to about 5,000 to 10,000 words.

Companies can create content in Standard Language that is specific to their operating environment. Additionally, the source content must be developed and/or converted into a format that an MT system can easily understand. Note that the MT system learns your environment specific vocabulary over time so it can not be used right out of the box. A lot of engineering time is needed to customize the MT system for your environment.  For some companies, this might be a cost-prohibitive option.

Machine Translation PLUS Human Reviewer option is viable for situations where there are not a lot of dynamic changes and at least some of the content is structured. Such examples include machine/engineering specs that have to be shared between engineers in different countries and the need for the translation is not urgent. In these scenarios, an MT system must be deployed for a company-specific operating environment and previous structured text must be fed into the MT system in order to do any translations. The need for engineering time and cost to customize the MT system must be given a serious thought.

Benefits of outsourcing your translation needs

Benefits of outsourcing your translation needs To Translation Companies

Consider the following scenarios:

  1. Does your company have operations in multiple countries?
  2. Does your company have patents that you’d like to file in other countries?
  3. Does your company outsource manufacturing to other countries?
  4. Is your company involved in a legal dispute in another country?

If you answered Yes to any of these questions then there is a good chance that your company will need translation services.  The question then becomes should you hire a translator(s) in your company or should you partner with a translation company?

It often doesn’t make a lot of financial sense for companies to have an in-house translation team simply because of the amount of effort required for a production-ready translation.  Another reason why a lot of companies don’t have an in-house translation team is that there may not be a consistent need. In 99.5% of the cases, it makes better financial sense to partner with a translation company.  No matter how sporadic or often the needs may be; having a reliable partner for your translation needs will definitely be an advantage for you due to some or all of the following reasons:

  1. Translation companies have ample supply of well-qualified translators
  2. Translation companies have a very well practised quality control process in place
  3. Translation companies can often meet very tight deadlines
  4. Some translation companies give you the ability to check the status of your projects in real time.

In the case of EPIC Translations, you will certainly be able to log in to our portal and check the status of your project in real time.  We also have a proprietary quality control process in place that ensures that the translation will be production ready.

Bottom line:  it can make a lot of financial sense for your company to outsource your translation needs.

Case for local content creation

Companies that wanted to expand to other countries not only exported their products and services, but also their managerial human resources. This practice provided a sense of assurance that corporate policies of virtually all areas of business such as customer service, and sales and marketing were consistent with the corporate expectations.

This method of doing business in a foreign land might have worked in the yesteryears, but is simply unrealistic in the current global political and business climate.

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