Let’s talk about common conceptions about translation. The first one is that there are different translation forms and it takes practice to know which one is the best for you. The second one is that the translation process is much more complicated than you think because it can involve complex processes, such as transcreation and internationalization.
All of this can be true! It doesn’t mean it has to be scary, or that you cannot do it yourself, at least to a large extent. This is exactly the reason why companies such as ours exist in the first place. We want to help you learn how to effectively and transparently translate content, but first of all, we want to make you understand different forms of translation and how to approach them for your benefit.
That’s why we created this blog post! Let’s discuss some of the most important aspects of this subject by asking you a few questions.
Translation forms – research
- How complex are your needs?
In other words, do you need to translate relatively simple files (like Word files with little to no formatting), or do you need to translate your website, web app, Android app, legal documents, or marketing materials? Perhaps you need a bit from all these sources, and this complicates things.
- Who is your audience?
If you translate documents that will only be used internally, then you usually don’t have to have a translator and reviewer checking the translation. In many cases, you won’t need sophisticated forms of translation and machine-translation alone will be enough to help you understand what the document is about.
- Do you have resources to do it yourself?
If you have colleagues, partners, or friends, who can translate or review translated content, then you can save quite a lot of money in the long run. Remember, human services are always the most expensive part of a localization workflow.
- What is your translation budget?
If you must make it work with a limited budget, then you should try to find a colleague, or even a trusted client speaking the target language, who can help you with the localization process. Or find a company that offers translation services at a competitive price.
- How quickly do you need to localize your content?
The less time you have, the less likely it is that you will manage to translate your content internally. In that case, outsourcing seems like a good idea.
Different forms of translation
If you answered the questions from the list above, you will notice that it’s not that complicated to establish your key decisive points for choosing the right form of translation. This is not a complicated list, and many of you knew the answers to these questions immediately. Based on your answers, you can then build the localization workflow in accordance with your needs and wishes.
There are three main approaches to translation, which you can also combine:
- Translation Management System – using a platform offers you the ability to handle complex files and enables multiple users to cooperate in real-time
- Machine-translation – thanks to MT engines, you have the ability to translate content immediately and cost-effectively
- Translation services – there are several types of services, but we are mainly considering translation and desktop publishing (file preparation) services
Choosing the right translation form for you
Combining the five main aspects and three approaches, you can make your life a lot easier.
If your content is complex, it will be used publicly, and if you have colleagues who could translate or review the translation, you are best served with a combination of a translation management system and outsourced human services offered by a dedicated translation platform such as Text United.
If your content is simple, it should only be used internally (like documentation), and if you don’t have colleagues to work on the translation or the budget to outsource, then you are best served with machine-translating your content. At Text United we are currently in the process of starting new, ultra-fast translation services, TUFT (Text United Fast Translation). You can sign up get to get 10% off your first order here and you will be notified when we launch!
If your content is simple but should be used publicly, and if you need to have it translated quickly, then it’s not advised to use machine-translation only, at least not without a human reviewer. You might be best served by a translation service provider such as TUFT, which can guarantee lightning-quick delivery, and quality translations.
Pick your weapon
In any case, every company and every type of content is different, just as there are different forms of translation. There are no two completely identical situations, but we can use the experience from similar localization workflows to help you with your specific one.
Reach out to us to find what suits you most. As always, there are no strings attached, and you can just talk to us to gain some perspective!