For every kind of language translation need, there is a suitable translation service solution. This is an encouraging fact, but unfortunately problems can arise if you happen to choose the wrong option for your precise needs. Imagine Microsoft having their software products and marketing materials translated by a free online translator... They would never have been taken seriously in foreign markets, let alone become the massive multinational company they are now!
On the other hand, imagine spending too much money in professional translation services for your casual internal communications with your foreign language employees, or just when you need to get the gist of something you are not sure you need professionally translated...
This guide will point you in the right direction and help you choose the most suitable and cost-effective option for your specific language translation needs.
Choose a Translation Service to Help you Get the GistWhen you are browsing the Internet and just need to know what a foreign language website is about, or when you receive a foreign language e-mail you don't understand, free online translators will come in handy. They're great for any situation when you just need to get the gist of a foreign language text.
Choose a Translation Service for your Casual Internal CommunicationsWhen you need to communicate with your foreign language employees on a casual basis, you can have one of your bilingual employees (a native speaker of the intended foreign language who also masters your language) translate for you. But remember to use this option with caution. For more important internal communications, such as motivational materials or key business messages, or any other communications where style and content are critical, you would need to look into a professional translation service option.
casual communications for your foreign language employees.
Choose a Translation Service for Short, Rush and Important TranslationsYes, indeed! There are translation services out there which specialize in quick translations for very short texts, and charge no minimum fees for this!
short rush translations performed by professional translators, and they don't apply any minimum fees!
Choose a Translation Service for your Important, Medium to Large Translation ProjectsWhen you need translations into one or a few languages, a freelance translation network is probably the cost-effective and quality option you will want to consider. Freelance translation networks choose professional translators carefully and offer affordable prices since they have no brick and mortar presence or highly staffed organization to support.
BeTranslated is another solid freelance translation services network specializing in the main European and Asian languages, such as French, Italian, German, Dutch, Spanish, English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.
You can also skip the translation network scheme altogether and go for freelance translators directly. This might or might not lead to a further discounted translation price. Indeed, there are translation marketplaces such as Proz.com where you can find your freelance translators yourself. As a downside, you will be on your own, and the translators you choose will not have the seal of approval of a translation network. This can be a good option provided you take the time to select top translation professionals, not just cheap translators. You should also definitely order a review from a second professional translator as a quality assurance measure. You will be glad to know that a translation review, provided the translation in question is good enough, usually costs less than half the price of a translation job. Make sure to also choose carefully the professional who will perform that quality review.
Choose a Translation Service for Translations into Many Languages or other Highly Complex ProjectsWhen the translation project you are considering is really massive or complex, a freelance translation network may be overwhelmed or not have enough resources to meet your needs. We are talking about translations into 25+ different languages, or translation projects where you require both oral interpreting and written translations; highly complex DTP work; full-fledged software globalization, localization and translation; voice-over; sworn translations, or other complex tasks to be performed. In these cases, going with a solid and reputed multinational translation company will be your safest bet.
- Identify your precise translation need, then review the action steps to match that need with the most suitable translation service option!