Should Translation and Localization be In-house or Outsourced?

Last Updated On: March 14, 2018

inTranslation Tips

In house and Outsource in translation

Many businesses are trying to tap into markets and gain customers who don’t speak their business’ language. This sounds simple enough but there is a general consensus that when it comes to internet marketing through a website 90 percent of browsers will turn to another page if they cannot understand your language. So, when translating, does a company use in-house or outsourced translation services?


Many businesses like yours often decide to use staff currently on their payroll to do translating work. This seems like a good idea until you have a go at using this method and you receive complaints that by mistake culturally inappropriate words have been used in some of the translated text. This happens when you ask someone who says they are bilingual in say a language like Spanish but you are targeting Spanish speakers in Colombia whose cultural contest is somewhat different. The translator has to know the Spanish colloquialisms and innuendos used in Columbia in order to ensure the marketing text is appropriate for the targeted customer. The advertising material could be mocked if it doesn’t read correctly and when spoken doesn’t sound quite right.


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    Is it cheaper to use your own employees to do your translation work?


    This will depend on how much time you allocate for your translation work. If you try to load too much work onto your employees’ shoulders it won’t necessarily get done to your expected deadline and may not appear on a website or a trade symposium on time. Whereas a dedicated translation companies will hire translators on your behalf who have the time to match your deadlines while also knowing how important they are.


    Translation memories are part and parcel of every professional translator’s technique to ensure the right language is used in a translation project. Once the language used has been approved by the client it’s saved in the translator’s translation memory so it can be quickly referred to when another project from the same company comes their way. This is hard to do when using in house translators as they don’t have the time to do the paperwork after a translation has been completed and are less likely to know of the value of translation memories and how to assemble them for later use.


    An in-house translator can’t be expected to manage a whole translation project and issue invoices when the job has been completed. However, when a translation project is outsourced to a translation services’ company it’s allocated a project manage to ensure deadlines are met and projects are paid for. This is can be the make and break of your decision to choose in-house or outsourced translation services.

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