Which Translation Option is The Best For Your Business?

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In the past couple of weeks, we’ve been covering several important localization subjects such as the potential target languages for your website and stylistic issues you should tackle when entering a foreign market.

However, there is still the question of how the content should be translated. Who will localize your website, marketing materials, software, or e-mail communication and which approach is the best for your brand? Today we will look at the various approaches you have at hand, and help you choose the best translation option for your business.

#1. Machine translation

 The good:

Machine translation is the simplest way to localize your content using machine translation engines, such as Google TranslateThere are several benefits to machine translation, the most important ones being the price, and the turnaround time. This means that you can have your website localized into several languages, in a matter of seconds, and without breaking the bank.

Machine translation has a bad reputation due to old versions of machine translation engines, which used a statistical approach to translate content. This often provided hilarious resultsIn the past couple of years, however, machine translation has moved on to the neural approach, meaning that it now is trying to understand what you want to say, and it also tries to learn from its mistakes.

The bad:

Of course, machine translation can still not translate highly sophisticated content, marketing messages, or legal documents. It also can’t provide equally good results for every language combination you throw at it. However, from our experience, machine translation provides very good results for the most popular languages, and for various types of general content.

How to use it with Text United:

Machine translation can be used in two very distinct ways within our system.

  • The first one is the full machine translation of files

This means that you upload a file to our system, run machine translation on the whole file, and download the translated version back. There are no human translators or reviewers involved in the localization process, and you get results almost instantly. Usually used by our clients for internal files or documents.

This is a very popular approach, as it provides you with a localized version of your content almost instantly, and you can then have a human reviewer (usually, a native speaker of the target language) check the translation, comparing it to the source and making necessary corrections.

It’s worth mentioning that with this approach, anyone can be the human reviewer:

  • it can be you
  • it can be your colleague from your office or another subsidiary
  • it can be a freelance translator you work with
  • it can be one of Text United‘s reviewers if you don’t have anyone for the specific target language
  • it can be all of the above

This approach is often used by our client for website localization projects, but also for translating product lists and catalogs. Another big benefit is that this approach is cost-saving. The review costs only a fraction of the full human translation, so you can actually get high-quality translations, at low costs.

#2. Colleagues

The good:

As you saw above, our clients often use machine translation in combination with their colleagues from other subsidiaries, who then check and improve the machine-translated content, where necessary.

When you think about it, your colleagues can be a free source of translation, and with the right Translation Management System, such as the one we provide, you can set up a very efficient internal localization workflow.

The bad:

Although you don’t pay your colleagues to review or translate your content, the downside to this approach is that your colleagues usually also have other things to do, so they might not be able to help you finish the translation on time.

How to use it with Text United:

You can set up the whole workflow within our system and invite your colleagues to translate the files you want to handle internally. On the other hand, they can also start working immediately in our online portal, so there is no need to install any additional software.

This approach is used by our clients to translate any type of content, as your colleagues can help you with anything, from an important e-mail you want to send out, to highly complex marketing messages.

#3.Human freelance translators

The good:

Obviously, human translators bring the highest level of quality to the table. You can use freelance translators to translate anything you need if you have access to good and experienced translators.

The bad:

The downsides are also quite obvious, with this being the most expensive option, which you will probably use for highly-specific contentThe turnaround time can be slower than for content which is machine-translated and reviewed by a human, and you will probably want to define the terminology and the style guide.

How to use it with Text United:

As with all the other approaches, our Translation Management System allows you to set up the workflow anyway which suits you best. 

You can upload a file for translation, choose your own freelancer, or send it to us and our freelancers, or use a combination of both. Then, you can define the terminology within the system and work with our PMs on the style of the translation.

 

All of the translation options above have their own upsides and downsides and don’t forget it’s up to you to decide which approach you want to use. With our system, you can set up any of the workflows discussed above, and even combine them.

Our project managers are there to help with advice so that you get the right approach for your contentOur network with over 4.500 freelance translators enables you to cut out the traditional translation agencies and to save costs.

 Feel free to reach out to us to talk about the best approach for your localization projects!

Gosia
Written By:

Gosia loves copywriting and product translation. Additionally, she's a content marketing and lolcats junkie.

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