Translation tips

To Hire or Outsource – Which Is the Best Model for Translation?

Andrew Samkowski 19 May 2017
outsource or in-house hiring model for translation

Expanding overseas is exciting. It also means that there is much work to be done and many decisions to be made. One of those decisions will be in the area of translation. Do you hire an in-house, local team or outsource to a language service provider? Here are some things to think over before you make that choice.


That may seem that fees of the companies providing outsource translation services are high, however to hire an in-house employee would be not cost-effective.

  • There are the costs related to recruitment, screening and interviewing.
  • There are the costs of orientation and training.
  • The employee then receives a salary and benefits, even during those times when the workload is minimal. And during periods of heavy workload, there will be some type of “overtime” pay.
  • You will need to purchase newer technology (software) for your in-house team.
  • Your facility will require space to house your internal team.

Outsourcing occurs on a contract basis, and benefits.

  • You pay for work as you need it.
  • When there is no work, your cost is $0.00.
  • If you have spurts of heavy workload, a language service provider will have the manpower to handle it.
  • In the case of TheWordPoint, the latest software is integrated with our manual translation, updated regularly, and allows us to streamline work with lower costs.

Most managers and executives agree that it is more cost-effective to outsource translation services. The single drawback, of course, is communication. If you have the right partner translation service, you can be sure that your processes are in place for regular and emergency communication needs.       

Quality Control

The types of content that must be translated can vary widely. You have employee manuals, marketing materials, perhaps technical documentation/instructions, and certainly local legal document requirements. Your in-house translators may be quite adept in certain types of translation. But they may be a bit “lost” when it comes to technical and/or legal terminology. This means they have to conduct a research, and that takes time.

Generally, a solid language service provider will have the expertise of specialists in content types. For example, you may need legal or financial documents in order to comply with local laws and regulations. Having specialists in these areas means that translations are accurate and of high quality.

Useful information: Choose only accurate technical translations services for your personal and business needs.

Managing Workflow

Someone has to be in charge at a management level, especially when the work load is heavy. Tasks must be delegated; employee progress must be monitored so that deadlines are met and projects come in at budget; and all work must be reviewed. In short, a project manager will be necessary – someone who keeps his/her “eye” on the big picture, especially for lengthy and complex projects.

Good outsourced language service providers will already have managers in place for those big projects, along with the project management technology that keeps everything “on track.” Deadlines and budget parameters are much easier to meet.

As You Grow

At some point, you are ready to expand into new markets and translation becomes an issue again. Working from an office in Paris, for example, you may decide to establish a web presence in North Africa, offering products and/or services. Who will localize website for you, all of your marketing content, etc.? Your current in-house staff does not have this expertise, so you are faced with finding more translators to add to your existing staff. Again, cost and time are involved.

If you are already set up with an outsourced translation company like TheWordPoint, this will never be an issue. Expert translators are already on board, ready to assume those translation needs for you. It becomes simply a matter of communicating those needs to that service, providing the content to be translated, and establishing a deadline and budget.  Done and done.

Read also: Expand your audience with the help of software localization service.

What Translation Model to Choose?

We live in a global society. And businesses want to establish a presence in as many parts of the world as possible. Doing this requires lots of translation tasks – tasks that can become expensive and sometimes a bit chaotic, if deadlines are urgent. Your time is valuable too. And you can choose to spend it in recruitment, screening, training and managing translators, or you can choose to outsource translation service to a trusted partner, so that you can focus on other critical aspects of your expansion. We think the latter is the better choice. 


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