Translation Workflow: The Need-To-Know About People and Process
It takes more new employees and workflows than you probably think to build a great in-house website translation team.
If you’re thinking about providing your global customers with the world-class in-language experience they expect and deserve, you’ll need a solution that combines the best technologies with incredible translations.
That’s a harder tightrope to walk than you might think. Why? There are many translation options available on the market—but not all are worthy of your brand. Take machine translation or crowdsourced translations. Both are speedy and affordable approaches. But both also deliver low or inconsistent translation quality. They can’t reliably represent your brand’s voice, or meet regulatory standards.
This authenticity is what wins the business of global customers. You can’t fake great translations.
Most website translation options aren’t worthy of your brand. You can’t fake great translations.
What You Need for an In-House Team
Savvy marketers understand that human-crafted translations are a much better approach for their global websites. What they often don’t understand are the personnel requirements they’ll need to build an in-house translation team. The roster gets big and expensive, fast. At the very least, you need:
- Project managers and linguists with deep subject matter expertise
- Proofreaders to evaluate the translators’ accuracy
- Editors to ensure the translations preserve the spirit and meaning of the source content
- Quality control editors to ensure your brand voice is being represented authentically and accurately
Most companies don’t understand the personnel they’ll need to build an in-house translation team. The roster gets big, fast.
Unseen Processes with In-House Solutions
But the personnel needs represent just one side of the story. You probably don’t have visibility into the many process requirements for properly translating content, either.
Your in-house translation team, which would probably include at least five new full-time employees, must gain a solid understanding of the scope of your website, your brand voice, and your global customers’ linguistic expectations. You’d soon be overseeing:
- A glossary of preferred translated terms that accurately represent your products and industry—and are optimized for local SEO
- A style guide that represents your localized brand voice and tone
- Examples of translated content for internal review and feedback
- An audit process to validate translation quality
- Iterative revisions of the glossary, style guide, samples and more, based on that feedback
- And eventually, translating the website(s) for your global markets
Your translation team must know more than your brand’s voice. It must manage an ambitious, iterative workflow, too.
But this isn’t actually the end of the workflow, either. You must maintain your multilingual sites on a daily basis, preserving content synchronization between them and your flagship English site. This means regularly monitoring the English site for changes, and translating new content as it’s published—while ensuring the translated sites preserve the quality in word choice, tone, and voice.
And you’ll need to keep those translations consistent across all of your online, digital and offline channels.
Are you getting worried yet?
A Straightforward Solution
The good news, of course, is that you don’t have to hire and manage an in-house translation team. (Indeed, it’s pretty clear that you probably shouldn’t!) There are hundreds of vendors around the world who want your business—but amazingly, only a handful are uniquely positioned to translate websites in an economical and efficient way.
And fewer still are built to translate, operate, and deploy multilingual websites while specifically solving the operational complexity and cost associated with website translation. Much of this operational efficiency is powered by technology, but great human translators—fluent in the unique demands of website translation—can make all the difference.
Solutions built to solve the operational complexity and cost associated with website translation are rare—but they do exist.
As you look for website translation solutions, keep an eye out for ones that provide a fully turn-key solution that relieve you of the burden of translating your website in-house. And make sure the solution provides flexible, scalable technology that delivers fast, quality translations.
And on the translation side, look for:
- A guarantee that all translators and editors are professional linguists
- And that they’re native speakers of the language translating into, and their skills were thoroughly vetted, pre-hire
- They’re veterans at translating subject matter in your industry
- Translation processes that comply with certified international standards to maintain high quality standards
- The ability to choose the members of your translation team
- A guarantee that those linguists are assigned to your account for the long term, to deliver a consistent voice and style to your translations
- Ongoing and rigorous audits to ensure ongoing superior quality
Translating your website for global markets is a very tricky process. You need an efficient, cost-effective turn-key approach that delivers translations that are worthy of your brand—created by world-class linguists.