hire translators

If you’ve never needed a translation service, you might want to hire translators to have your website translated. At first glance, this option appears quite attractive. Maybe you even think you can save time and money? In reality, hiring translators is a false economy, which most often leads to extra work. What’s more, it’s sometimes a complete waste of time.

E-translation Agency, a translation agency specialising in website translation, explains why it is preferable to use a professional translator or a translation agency.

Hiring translators requires specific skills for translation.

It’s extremely easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a person’s ability to speak multiple languages ​​makes them a good translator. In many situations, being bilingual is enough. Translation requires more than just understanding two languages.

Indeed, as with any form of writing, translation is a skill. Think about your company’s content production: would you trust any old employee to write your marketing copy or product manuals? It is always best to rely on experts and the same goes for translation.

Would you trust any old employee to write your marketing copy or product manuals?

As a general rule, professional translators only translate into their mother tongue. If you hire people to translate a site, they may be translating into their second or third language – which brings us to the next point.

It’s impossible to know the quality of your translation

If you do not personally speak the languages ​​into which your site must be translated, you will not be able to assess the quality of the work of future employees. You also won’t be able to check if the tone, brand positioning, or even spelling and grammar are correct.

Take the example of English. The Nordic countries rank highly in international English proficiency rankings. However, studies in Norway have shown that many Norwegian students lack the skills required at university level.

Similarly, when young Norwegians enter the international labour market, they are often perceived as ‘rude’. This phenomenon is due to the fact that the Norwegian educational system does not include awareness of cultural differences, nor the different expressions appropriate to various contexts.

So, if you are a Nordic company that exports to an English-speaking country, it’s risky to hire a Norwegian translator to translate a site into English.
On the other hand, by using a translation agency, you can be sure that the result will meet your expectations. The particularities of the language (such as inclusive writing in French) will then be respected.

To learn more about the risks of a bad translation, read our article: the consequences of a bad translation.

Hire translators is not a good use of your time and money

A salaried translator generally takes much longer to produce a translation than a professional freelance translator or a translation agency.

It’s possible that, knowing that they are protected by a contract, the person hired takes their time to translate the various content.

In addition, if you decide to employ a translator, the latter will tend to ask questions of other employees. Indeed, this is probably happening in your own offices right now. In fact, it is most likely disturbing your employees during their working day.

You need to consider the financial impact on your business. A salaried translator generally takes much longer to produce a translation than a professional freelance translator or a translation agency. Indeed, they must optimise their working time and translate as much content as possible to increase their turnover.

A translation agency is bigger than a single person. In fact, it can invest in solutions that improve the quality of translations and speed up production times.

Professional translators use CAT (computer-assisted translation) tools that allow them to focus on the text without affecting the formatting of the document. These tools also give translators access to two powerful features that contribute massively to consistency: translation memories and term bases.

  • A translation memory (TM) stores all previous translations on a particular topic – as an example, let’s take finance. If you regularly translate the same type of document, for example a quarterly report in which only a few figures and a few lines of text are changed, the translation memory will significantly reduce the time spent translating and avoid repetition as much as possible. Translation agencies invest in the infrastructure to host a TM, so you don’t have to.
  • A term base (TB) serves as a highly specialised glossary. Translation companies can manage term bases for many specific fields. These bases prevent the translator from wasting time looking up words in the dictionary. They also help maintain accurate and consistent use of each term. Web translation agencies can also create a client-specific TB, which means your internal terminology and tone will always remain the same.

These resources must be maintained to remain effective – which translation agencies consider a worthwhile investment. On the other hand, as a company, it is very unlikely that you will really make a profit by using these tools over the long term.

Hire translators : you risk keeping on staff unnecessarily

Unless you have long-term visibility on the volume of translations to be carried out, it is preferable not to hire translators on permanent contracts. If work volumes are low, this solution will not be a wise investment. Translation agencies have verified and reliable linguists who can translate into almost any language.

The other thing to consider is content volume growth. If you see a sudden increase in the volume of content to be translated, such as manuals, support articles, and marketing materials for a new project launch, translation may become a full-time position. If, after launch, the volumes decrease, the person you have employed will become “redundant”.

In addition to being a financially unwise decision, this fluctuation in workloads and responsibilities can create stress and anxiety in your team.

Want to go a step further? “Should I choose a freelance translator or an agency to translate my website?”