So, you need a translator?


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Most people know when they need a translation. It’s clear for those who have products or literature that is intended for a foreign country. They know they need language translation services to help them succeed in those markets.

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So, you need a translator?

  1. 1. So, you need a translator?Most people know when they need a translation. It’s clear for those who have products or literaturethat is intended for a foreign country. They know they need language translation services to help themsucceed in those markets. Others are less sure of the need, such as smaller businesses that are currentlyonly marketing in one language. However, these same businesses are in areas with multiple languages.Companies doing business in the southern United States where a large percentage of the populationspeaks Spanish are great examples of this.Whether you are a company that frequently uses language translation services or one that is justconsidering it as an option to reach new customers, there are a few important factors we would like youto consider. To appreciate the value of this information, it is important know about how the translationservice industry works and what are the critical elements of getting a great translation. It may also be helpful to explain who we are. The International Translating Company has been in thetranslating business for over 40 years. We are veterans in the industry and have an accomplishedhistory. Our clients rely on us for their most important international communications. Each day we holdthe reputations, trust and confidence of our clients. Having been in the industry for so long, we knowwhat it takes to ensure your international communications and translations help you succeed.Myth:” I know I get what I pay for. Therefore paying more is better.”Some companies will lead you to believe that if you want a good translation, you need to pay very highrates. While quality does come at a price, it’s important to consider the business factors behind pricinga service such as translations. There are difference reasons for high prices in the translation andinterpretation industry. Sources of high prices can be summarized by the following list. - Large Translation Firms - Poor Operational Processes - Middlemen offering little value beyond the translatorsWe have included greater detail regarding these factors that drive prices higher below. - Large Translation Firms: While many would lead you to believe that the large the firm the better the pricing due to operational scales of economy. While some large companies are capable of keeping their pricing low, their size and ability to attract clients lessens the need to keep prices low. As a result, these companies rely heavily on volume pricing. The bigger the project the better the pricing. No surprise, right? However, clients with smaller translation needs very frequently pay higher rates because the company is less motivated to
  2. 2. take their business. In fact, in many cases, the higher fees are exacted on smaller clients because of the overhead costs the larger company has for each project they accept. This combination of not needing the small business and the larger company overhead can cause unnecessarily high prices. o The Solution: There are two ways to address this. Clients should look for companies that demonstrate one of two characteristics. First, find a company dedicated to streamlined and efficient processes. Companies that are committed to operational excellence know that process efficiencies are critical to long-term success. This is the reason so many companies struggle and often go out of business during economic downturns. When times are good, it’s difficult to maintain financial discipline and keep a lean organization. Second, find a company that’s interested in your business. Do they market to small and large companies alike? Do they try to win your business or simply try to fit you into their processes and pricing? o ITC is very proud of our streamlined processes and our ability to keep the pricing appropriately low regardless of the economic weather and size of the client. One key reason we are strong in this area is our investment in systems and processes that make it easy for us to translate a large project or a small project. If the process is efficient and scalable, we will have less overhead and unneeded costs. Some of these investments have been significant and include operational experts who help us leverage the very best processes.- Poor Operational Processes: Poor processes can wreak havoc on client pricing. As mentioned above, we know that large companies can struggle with efficient processes. However, it’s not the size of the company that determines whether they are efficient. It is common to see these companies struggle with processes regardless of their size. Often companies become so busy taking new business that little resources are allocated for process improvements. The same processes the company used last year will be perpetuated far longer than they should be. Some of this is a result of management’s focus. Management typically dedicates efforts to growing the business or cutting the obvious costs such as cheaper translators. While they are doing this, the day-to-day operations are delegated to lower-level employees who lack the motivation, experience or empowerment to improve the processes.
  3. 3. o The Solution: We have found many ways to overcome this issue. First of all, we start with the best processes possible. Then we motivate and provide incentives for any employee who suggests additional efficiencies regardless of the significance of the impact. If the suggestion provides any gains in efficiency, we pay the employee a bonus. Helping everyone understand how they can impact the customer through process improvements helps break down the walls between departments and gives everyone a common purpose. - Middlemen offering little value beyond the translators: Another reason some translation costs are high relate to the type of translating partner being used. Often companies set themselves up as middlemen for translators, but offer no significant value to the client. Their costs are often high because they lack the volume and consistency of work to find good translators. The translators they do find charge higher rates because they don’t receive consistent work. Then the middlemen have to markup those rates to make a profit. The type of translating partner can be fraught with issues that range from poor quality of translators, no operational processes or safeguards and a higher risk of errors and failure. o The Solution: Work with a company who is truly “IN” the business. One that has invested in the future of the translation industry, demonstrated a track record of success and growth. Being in the business for 40 years, ITC has seen many companies come and go. Others who remain firm in the industry and continually invest as we do in the advancement of high-quality, fair-priced and accurate translations.Myth: “Someone who is fluent in a language can provide quality translations.”Examples abound of poor translations in websites, product manuals, brochures, etc. Some companiesunderestimate the importance of a quality translator. See the following is an example of a productinstruction manual translation into English completed by a translator who is obviously not a nativeEnglish speaker. We have all seen things like this and this is by no means the worst.“When you replace fuse, please don’t operate suddenly or else the product will be damage or causeaccident.”“When you feel it hard to be operated, please make sure you have got the right way.”It is common knowledge in the translation industry that barring very rare circumstances, the besttranslators translate into their native language. Additionally, it is very important that they have beenformally trained in their native language. Other translators will lead you to believe that if they arenative speakers, then you can be sure that they will give you excellent translations. It is the balance ofthese two variables, cost and quality that makes a successful translation.
  4. 4. Think of your own native language. Do you know people who are native speakers of your language, butthey don’t write well enough or have the adequate education to write your marketing, operations orother material? Of course! We all know people who are suited for other things, but not writing and notlinguistics. The same holds true in other languages. Translators can come in all levels of translatingcapabilities. Hiring a translator who is not qualified and very educated in their native language can giveyour customers the opposite impression than intended. Making sure you have quality translations froma reliable source is critical to success.The International Translating Company ( is dedicated to improving the translationindustry through quality processes, fair prices and world-class accuracy. Our translators are highlyeducated and provide quality language translation services, have additional expertise and training intheir translation industries whether it is healthcare, manufacturing, advertising, etc. By leveraging thesegreat resources who are seriously engaged in the translation industry and expect to be here year afteryear, we continue to meet and very often exceed client expectations.We certainly hope you decide to use ITC for your translation needs. Nevertheless, we stronglyrecommend you use a firm that is committed to quality not just in what they say, but in what they do,and how they invest in their business. Please contact us for more information.