How to choose the best translation option and save money

Choosing an appropriate translation option impacts your brand and bottom line. In order to make an informed decision, consider the type of content you are looking to translate.

Professional translation (specialized)

Your content will be unsafe or inadmissible if not translated perfectly.
e.g. legal documents, instructions on how to assemble a piece of medical equipment.

If an imprecise translation will impact the legality of your information or the safety of your customers, you need a translator with specialized knowledge to ensure the wording is accurate.

Why you don't need specialist translation

Consider going with an agency that assigns dedicated translators with hands-on experience in your field and thorough working knowledge of your brand and content. They can provide ongoing translation support to keep terminology and style consistent as your business evolves.

Professional translation

Your content was created by marketing or copywriting professionals, or by an influencer in your organization (such as an executive).
e.g. website landing page content, contact page, letter to customers from the CEO.

If your content is seen by the customer, is intended to promote your business, and/or support your brand, it is worth having a professional translator. In these instances, the quality of your translations directly relate to business performance. Choosing a cheap option will at best decrease conversions, and at worst it will damage your reputation.

Ensure that your professional translator is qualified, as there are many people who call themselves professional translators without having any experience, education, or talent.

Crowdsourced native speakers

Your content required no specific experience to be created. It could be easily outsourced to a non-professional writer.
e.g. news articles that will be relevant for a limited time, product reviews, crowdsourced blog posts.

If there was no experience necessary to write the article, then translators with minimal experience will be sufficient to translate it. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of low-cost human translation. We recommend this option if you are translating content that will only be relevant for a limited time.

Machine translation

Your content was user-generated, automatically generated, or intended for private non-commercial use only.
e.g. forum messages, personal blog posts, user reviews.

If the quality of this content does not impact your business, machine translation is the most efficient option. It is cheap and fast, which is advantageous when translating large amounts of user-generated content.

Conclusion

No matter which of these options you choose, ensure your content is proofread before going public. We use these guidelines in our own business to help our clients choose the best translation option for their business.