In our digital age, it’s entirely possible to market your product or service to a worldwide audience. Whether your business is a small startup or an established mid-size company, going global is not only feasible; it’s often the key to achieving success in virtually any industry. One of the first important steps in forming your global marketing campaign must be obtaining accurate, high quality translation services. Those can only be created by trained, experienced linguists. But one question remains: should you hire one or more translators to your in-house staff, or should you rely instead on the services of a third-party translation company? There are advantages and disadvantages to both scenarios, and the best choice will depend largely on the size of your organization, your current needs, and your goals for the future.

The Advantages of an Internal Translation Team

• In-house translators will know your company’s products and/or services intimately. They will also understand what your goals are for the future, and what your current translation needs are.
• An internal translation team will be fully dedicated to your organization, so they will be there whenever you need their services, with the ability to meet tight deadlines whenever necessary.
• Because in-house translators are members of your staff, you’ll enjoy all the benefits of open lines of communication.

The Disadvantages of an Internal Translation Team

• It’s costly to add people to your payroll – and not only in terms of money. Recruiting, hiring and training takes time as well. So it’s important to be certain that you really need an internal team before investing the money and effort to form one.
• Your own translators will only be fluent in certain languages. Unless you can accurately predict exactly where you’ll want to sell your products/services in the years to come, and can locate trained linguists who are fluent in those languages – not to mention familiar with the associated culture – relying on an internal translation team will be limiting.
• Quality control may be an issue, particularly if you don’t have translators who can check each other’s work and ensure its accuracy. This would require that at least two of your translators are fluent in the same languages; a redundancy that may not make sense in most companies.

The Advantages of Hiring a Third Party

• Hiring a qualified freelance translator through a translation company allows you to only pay for each translation project as needed, rather than adding a person to your payroll. This means that hiring a freelancer will cost you less money in the long run, even if the translation rates seem high.
• A translation company only works with the best, most experienced linguists – people who not only have the proper education and work experience as professional translators, but who are also localization experts that are well versed in the cultures of different parts of the world. A good translation company has already done the vetting with regard to their own staff of translators, so you can rest assured that you’ll be matched with the right person for the job.
• Quality of the end product is guaranteed, and you can be certain that your deadlines will be met. Remember that the quality of the work and the responsiveness of their staff is the bread and butter of any translation company. Their success depends on the quality of the work their translators produce for their clients.

The Disadvantages of Hiring a Third Party

• Communication with a freelance translator may not be as immediate and timely as it would be with a member of your own staff.
• Because a freelance translator is not your direct employee, you’ll have less control over his/her time and work priorities.
• Translation services can seem expensive initially, although adding a permanent member to your payroll would be more costly.

If you’re preparing to expand into the global marketplace, there’s no better place to start than with high quality translation services. Whether you decide to establish your own in-house team, or choose to find a linguist through a reputable translation company, you’ll reap the benefits that professional translation services bring to your business.