Pros of Outsourcing Translation Services for Asian Languages

Outsourcing translation as opposed to having it done in-house comes with a wide range of benefits. Not only can it be more affordable but the quality of the translation is also guaranteed, whilst taking cultural factors into account. In our globalized world of shrinking borders, many companies are beginning to offer their products and services to new markets. Entering a new market, while exciting and potentially highly profitable, should be done with cultural sensitivity and accuracy in order not to offend and thereby alienate your target audience.

Hence, it’s crucial that every word that you have prepared in a source language is accurately translated and localized for the intended market. This means relying on an outsourcing company for your translation and localization needs. But what goes into outsourcing translation and what is the relevance of taking cultural factors into account? We explore the answers to these questions in more detail below.

What does it mean to outsource translation? 

Outsourcing translation means that all your translation needs and documents are sent to an outsourcing company that deals with translation and localization. This is so that your documents can be converted into the target language in the best way possible whilst ensuring high and accurate quality output. However, with all the technological advancements that are taking place in our day and age, outsourcing translation should have the human touch so that you avoid certain errors. Some of these errors, which can affect the quality of the final project, may include but are not limited to:

  • Having incorrect autogenerated text that makes no logical sense;
  • Using translators who are not native speakers;
  • Not paying attention to the nuances of the messaging behind the content;
  • Not having a review process for the translation to assure of its quality;
  • Not having a quality control process in place;
  • Using translators who are not certified and who therefore cannot guarantee the quality of the final project; and
  • No insurance protection in the event of errors arising and time being lost in the project.
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When these errors and precautions are not taken, you can have outsourced translation services that are of poor quality. However, when an outsourcing company offers a legitimate list of benefits and protections, this is when outsourcing translation can yield impressive results.

Factors involved in outsourcing translation

If you are ready to outsource translation services, you should know what goes into the process. For starters, you should look out for translation companies that use professional translators who are native speakers. These translators should, in turn, possess the relevant certifications and credentials, as well as have the necessary years of professional experience to ensure high-quality output.

Once the translators have been taken care of, you also need to look at the processes that go into a professional translation when outsourcing translation. These processes include having quality checks in place as well as second and even third-party reviews of the project. Project managers should lead each translation project for a smoother flow, and in addition to this, translators with highly specialized knowledge should be matched to the appropriate project, too.

The purpose of all this is to ensure that there are no discrepancies between the original text and the translation, no typos or spelling mistakes, no phrasing mistakes that a native speaker would typically not make, and worse – errors in technical or legal details as well as cultural insensitivity to the audience in the target market.

What are the pros and major reasons to outsource translation?

Outsourcing a translation, as opposed to having it done in-house, comes with a range of benefits. Not least of which is that it’s more affordable. Even if you have a team of in-house translators, you could end up paying several times more for their services than those of an outsourced translation company. This is because outsourcing a translation generally means that you pay for a particular word count. In-house translators get a monthly fee for their services, but this doesn’t guarantee that they have the necessary expertise to carry out the translation project. Mistakes can easily crop up and can be more costly to fix over the long term.

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Furthermore, if you are translating into multiple languages, the chances are that your in-house translators are neither thoroughly familiar with each of the language requirements you need nor are they going to have the cultural sensitivity required to embark on a high-quality translation and localization service.

And lastly, when it comes to affordability, you’ll need to consider hiring a project manager, which will incur additional costs. On the contrary, when outsourcing a translation, the entire team of individuals required to make a translation project perfect is at your disposal for a fixed price. You don’t have to worry about retaining them over the long term. This is because they work on a project-by-project basis.

Another important consideration and major reason why you should consider outsourcing translations is that relying on an external translation company to take care of your translations is much more efficient. Outsourced translation services have procedures, systems, and processes in place already. This means they are ready for any incoming translation project and all that it takes is setting out your goals, and specifying your requirements, and the team is ready to get to work. The workload will be streamlined and distributed in the best way possible, meaning that your translation project is going to be completed much faster than an in-house team could finalize it.

Outsourcing Asian translation servicesThirdly, quality is guaranteed. This is because outsourced translation services guarantee levels of consistency in the translations because they work with the same individuals. In addition, they have technological “memory” and software tools to check, double- and triple-check the output, which guarantees much better results in terms of quality. Proofreading is also a service that is added to the final price as a quality guarantee.

Lastly, there is the issue of cultural sensitivity involved when outsourcing translation. And this is a crucial part of the translation process. If the translators involved in the project do not have the cultural awareness or sensitivity when translating, a business, company, organization, or an individual who has requested the translation will merely have a string of meaningless words or worse, words that can cause insult and even offend the target market without intending to do so.

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How important is cultural adaptation and why can it be crucial for your business?

Overall, cultural adaptation is crucial when you want to outsource translation services because any cultural insensitivity can result in a loss of business, loss of reputation, and ultimately lead to costly financial losses.

But what does cultural adaptation mean in the context of outsourcing translation? In the Asian continent, it means being aware of the need to save face and respect people’s dignity, characters, and personalities. It also means being aware of the concept of family and hierarchical and honorific societal requirements that are usually never put down on paper but are socially and culturally recognized by vast portions of the population. Other smaller, yet significant details to consider when adapting a text culturally include the meaning behind colors used, the use of idioms or uncommon figures of speech, jargon and slang, humor (which can be translated with great difficulty), socially sensitive/taboo topics, offensive content, and even text layout and font sizes and types.

Why should you opt for outsourcing translations?

Outsourcing translations come with a number of perks, not least of which is that the intended message will be conveyed accurately to the target audience. However, it also guarantees consistency with the original style and even the primary author’s tone of voice. It must be remembered that when you choose to outsource translation services, you’ll not be getting a word-for-word translation, but rather, a new text that is culturally sensitive and well adapted to the unique societal needs of the target audience. All this combined together should produce the same emotional effect as the source text, which is culturally adapted to the unique local social groups. Overall, outsourcing translations is a big plus for any organization and should seriously be considered for its cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and high-quality outputs.