You can have a document translated into practically any language with a 24-hour turnaround, and there is a chance that the translation will be of at least acceptable quality. We can’t deny it: speed and simplicity are wonderful benefits for many businesses. But this model may not be so well suited when you have multiple files that have to be translated into multiple languages.
And when you look more closely at that original 24-hour translation—with your company’s brightest future in mind—it may not appear so acceptable anymore. Then you have to wonder about the ramifications of fast and simple for your higher objectives. To determine what the best online translation services really are, get clear on your expectations and hold vendors to those standards.
Determining the Best Online Translation Services for Your Company
When you have ongoing updates and translations in multiple languages, every second counts. That’s why you want the most efficient strategy and resources in play. Speed will never really make up for quality, especially when your brand and your product are on the line.
Many translation vendors still operate on an outdated paradigm. You locate the document, log in to the website—possibly register— then attach the document with instructions, process the payment, record that payment somewhere for accounting, wait a day, send the translation on to quality assurance, and route it to its ultimate destination after that. It’s hard to imagine going through all of that for every small file. Some people do. The minutes add up.
Human Resource Challenges
The scenario we have just outlined requires a lot of repetitive action from you. You do the same things, write the same cover messages to the same people, track their responses, track your expenses, format and upload the files. If there are issues with the translations, they have to be assigned to an editor, and that will take more time, more correspondence, and more money. It will also slow the progress of the translation down considerably, but, of course, it’s worth it for the level of quality you need. Or is it? When all of the busy work could be replaced by automation, it’s hard to justify the arbitrary efforts.
One of the most frustrating aspects of online translation services? You may never know how the quality measures up against your investment. There absolutely has to be a solution for managing quality. If not, you risk wasting your investment on useless results or even damaging your brand around the world. Who is translating your content? Who is editing and overseeing the process? Do you have knowledgeable in-market reviewers to extend and ensure your quality standards? Some languages may be more trouble than others. Two different translators are likely to describe your product differently if they are not leveraging a single source of truth for consistent terminology and style. Across the board, you need to know that you have the best teams working on your adaptations and updates—teams who know and care about your brand.
Automate Localization for Better Performance
We may want to rethink what we call fast. A quick translation offers no guarantee of time saved. If the emphasis is on speed alone, then quality is the sacrifice, and you’ll inevitably invest more time and resources to pick up the pieces. To achieve speed and quality together, you need a higher level of organization and responsible efficiency than what we usually associate with even the best online translation services. An automated localization platform reimagines the translation ecosystem so that it can not only keep up but also launch you out to the front edge of your industry.
The Automation Solution
If you’re willing to invest the time up front to create a solid foundation on a localization platform, you can achieve truly fast turnaround times. By integrating with an automated platform, all of your content for translation is in one place—along with all of the necessary collaborators. You can order translations with a single click that will route your content directly to a translator who has the skills and experience to match your style and quality standards. Likewise, completed translations are automatically routed to reviewers and integrated with your content systems for end-to-end localization. Rather than a tired series of transactions, you can develop a reliable ecosystem capable of real speed and quality.
The Centralization Solution
Having everything on a centralized platform not only allows for better workflow management, but it also provides a place for knowledge to accumulate. Translators should not have to second-guess which critical terms will make or break your brand and your product. Instead, they can lean on intentional style guides and term bases, as well as the translation memories that track successful translated strings that have come before. And in turn, each new translation project contributes to that single source of truth, allowing your content to evolve with your markets. These tools (that potential vendors may or may not provide) can free your linguists to focus on more nuanced questions of your brand’s identity and your product’s value to a unique local audience.
The Transparency Solution
Transparency is an often underrated benefit for all stakeholders along the localization pathway. Under the right paradigm, translators are treated as valued team members, and they have incentive to deliver higher and higher-quality work. Plus, they can take advantage of the most coherent resources and communicate directly with editors and with you to clarify important questions. Managers can watch the progress of their projects in real time. They know exactly who is doing what, and communications are open and easy to address to the right party. Within a transparent system, everyone shares the responsibility of product quality, and content trajectories are carefully tracked to facilitate data-driven improvement.
The Consistency Solution
The aggregate effect of these advantages is excellence through consistency. Thanks to well-equipped, well-informed linguists, who are given the chance to develop in-depth knowledge of your product, you can achieve long-term brand integrity. Meanwhile, every step of the localization process is expedited—with no delays while you wait on emails coming from different time zones or for your overworked web department to get around to uploading. A centralized, automated localization platform makes the job of every member of the localization team easier. The workflow, the team members, the terminology, the goals are always consistent.
Choosing the Service That Works Best for Your Company
Setting up a transparent, automated system is the only way to truly speed up your localization process. The upfront investment in top localization services will pay for itself—in time and money saved and in quality gained. Not even the best online translation services can offer as much.
Don’t settle for any less than a fully transparent, automated, centralized software solution that can shore up your localization pathways and ensure consistency even as you scale up your company and your content. And better yet, focus on the caliber of the people behind that automated localization platform—the people who might become your long-term partners in unlimited global growth.
Bureau Works provides continuous automated localization services to startups and enterprises. Our seamless API/CLI solutions make translation, quality assurance, and technical support accessible with minimal management and fast delivery. Contact our team to find out how you can improve your quality and efficiency through automation.
Written by Luciana Passos
Luciana is Bureau Works COO. She is known as a gap bridger and a heart follower.