Posts by Tag

See all
Joanna Tarasiewicz
November 09, 2023
16 min read

Translations as a Service: Outsource Your Language Tasks

Translations as a Service: Outsource Your Language Tasks

Language can make or break a company's success in today's globalized business world. Whether it's expanding into new markets, connecting with international customers, or translating critical documents, language plays a key role.


That's where Translations as a Service (TaaS) enters the room.


By outsourcing language tasks, your business can efficiently upscale your translation efforts and stay ahead of the competition. In this article, we'll take a deep dive into the various types of translation services, the ideal scenarios for outsourcing, the benefits and drawbacks of this approach, and how to choose the best localization provider.


Ready? Then off we go!









Related content: A Guide To Understanding Translation and Localization









What is Translations as a Service?




Translations as a Service, or TaaS, is a model of translation services that provides businesses with on-demand language translation solutions. It goes beyond just translating words; it encompasses a wide range of use cases, including document translation, localization, website translation, app localization, and marketing materials translation.





What is Translations as a Service?





Types of Translation Services for Businesses

When it comes to translation services, businesses have various needs depending on their industry and target markets. Some of the common translation services for businesses include:



  • Website localization: Website localization involves adapting a website's content, design, and functionality to fit a specific target market's cultural and linguistic preferences. This includes translating the text and images, graphics, and user interface elements to create a seamless user experience.


  • Document translation: Document translation is the process of converting written materials from one language to another. It could be legal contracts, product manuals, marketing materials, or any other documents that need to be translated accurately and efficiently.


  • Technical translation: Technical translation focuses on translating scientific, technical, or specialized texts. This could include documents related to engineering, IT, medicine, or any other field that requires expertise in a specific subject matter. Technical translation requires not only linguistic skills but also deep subject-matter expertise.



  • Video Localization: Video localization involves translating and adapting video content, such as commercials, training videos, or product demonstrations, to suit the linguistic and cultural preferences of a target audience. This includes translating spoken dialogue, subtitling, or dubbing to ensure comprehension and engagement.


  • Video Game Localization: Video game localization is a specialized form of translation that focuses on adapting video games for global markets. It involves translating in-game text, dialogues, and user interface-specific target markets' cultural and linguistic preferences and adjusting cultural references and gameplay mechanics to appeal to a specific target audience.








Related content: How to Really Save on Translation and Localization








  • Software localization: Software localization involves translating software applications and programs to make them accessible and user-friendly for individuals who speak different languages. This process goes beyond simply translating the text within the software interface. It also includes adapting the functionality and design to suit specific target markets' cultural and linguistic preferences.


  • E-commerce localization: As online shopping continues to grow globally, e-commerce localization plays a vital role in expanding businesses' customer base. This process involves translating product descriptions, pricing information, and website content to ensure that they are accurately and effectively presented in different languages. Additionally, it includes adapting payment systems, shipping options, and other e-commerce features to cater to the preferences and expectations of diverse customer segments.


  • Transcreation: Transcreation is a creative form of translation that goes beyond the literal meaning of words. It involves adapting marketing campaigns, slogans, and brand messages to resonate with different target markets' cultural nuances and preferences. Instead of focusing solely on linguistic accuracy, transcreation aims to evoke the same emotional response and impact in the target audience as the original content.


  • Subtitling: Subtitling is a crucial aspect of translating audiovisual content, such as movies, TV shows, and online videos. It involves creating translated captions that appear at the bottom of the screen to convey the dialogue or narration in a different language. Subtitling requires linguistic expertise and an understanding of timing, space limitations, and cultural context to provide an accurate and seamless viewing experience for the audience.


  • Voiceover: Voiceover is another essential service in the realm of translations. It involves hiring professional voice actors to record translated scripts for audiovisual content, such as films, documentaries, and commercials. The goal of voiceover is to ensure that the message and tone of the original content are effectively conveyed to the target audience in their native language. By using voiceover services, companies can provide a more immersive and engaging experience for their viewers or listeners, ultimately enhancing their understanding and connection with the content.





Business Documentation that Needs Translation Services

Translation services are required for various types of business documentation, depending on the industry and international reach of the business. Some of the common business documentation that often needs translation services include:



  • Legal documentation: International business transactions often require translation services for legal documentation, such as contracts, agreements, and patents. Accurate translation of legal documents is crucial to ensure clarity, avoid misunderstandings, and comply with legal requirements in different markets.


  • Technical documentation: Businesses that distribute products or services globally often require translation services for technical documentation. This may include translating user manuals, product specifications, safety guidelines, and other technical documentation to ensure that users in different markets have access to the necessary information.








Related content: Top Types of Documents Translated in Business in 2023








  • Financial documentation: Multinational companies and businesses operating in different countries may require translation services for financial documentation. This includes translating financial reports, annual statements, investor materials, and other financial documentation to facilitate communication with stakeholders across different markets.


  • Marketing documentation: To expand into new markets, businesses often need translation services for marketing documentation. This may include translating brochures, marketing campaigns, advertising materials, and other marketing documentation to effectively communicate the brand's message, marketing offers, and product benefits to different language audiences.


  • HR documentation: For multinational companies with diverse language requirements, translation services may be needed for HR documentation. This includes translating employee handbooks, training materials, policies, and other HR documentation to ensure that all employees, regardless of language, can access important information and comply with company policies and procedures.





When is the Best Time to Outsource Your Translation Tasks?




The decision to outsource translation tasks is influenced by various factors, including the need for professional translation, language pairs, markets for localization, scale, frequency of translation tasks, and in-house capacity to handle translations.





When is the Best Time to Outsource Your Translation Tasks?





Identifying the Need for Translation

Translation is a critical component of global business communication. While machine translation tools like Google Translate have improved over the years, professional translation services still offer significant advantages. Professional translators have the language expertise, cultural knowledge, and contextual understanding necessary to ensure accuracy and consistency in messaging across languages.


Outsourcing translation tasks can save time and money compared to hiring in-house translators, especially for businesses with limited translation needs. It allows businesses to focus on their core competencies while leaving language tasks to experts, ensuring high-quality translations.


Scaling language tasks through translation services can help businesses reach new markets and audiences, expanding their global presence. Outsourcing translation tasks also allows businesses to tap into language expertise for different markets, ensuring the localization of marketing materials, websites, and mobile applications that resonate with local language users.


Quality control measures are essential when outsourcing translation services. Businesses should work with translation providers that have robust quality assurance processes, including proofreading, editing, and multiple rounds of review, to ensure accurate and high-quality translations.








Related content: How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Translator in 2023?









Language Pairs for Localization

When considering outsourcing translation tasks, businesses need to consider language pairs and markets for localization. Choosing the right language pairs is crucial to ensure accurate translations that capture cultural nuances and specific terminology of the market being targeted.


Working with translation service providers that offer language expertise in the target markets is essential. They can provide translators who are native speakers of the target language, ensuring linguistic accuracy, cultural sensitivity, and localization of marketing materials, documentation, and app localization.





Considering the Scale and Frequency

To determine the best time to outsource translation tasks, businesses should assess the scale and frequency of their translation needs. If the translation needs are sporadic or of varying volumes, outsourcing can be a viable option, saving time and money compared to hiring, training, and maintaining an in-house translation team.


Different types of translation tasks may require specialized knowledge and expertise. For example, legal or technical documents may require translators with subject matter expertise. Outsourcing translation tasks allows businesses to tap into a pool of translators with different specializations, ensuring accurate translations of various types of documentation.


When considering outsourcing, businesses should evaluate the quality and accuracy of translations provided by outsourcing companies. Requesting samples, references, and testimonials can help assess the translation services' capabilities and language expertise. Additionally, businesses should look for translation providers that offer a range of language services, including editing, proofreading, and localization, to meet different translation needs.


Effective project management, communication, and handling of confidential information are crucial when outsourcing translation tasks. Businesses need to ensure that the translation service provider has a system in place for project management, regular communication, file handling, and confidentiality agreements to protect sensitive information.





Assessing the In-House Capacity

Before deciding to outsource translation tasks, businesses should assess their in-house capacity to handle translations. This includes evaluating the size and complexity of language tasks, the number and expertise of in-house translators, and the cost and time required to train additional translators if needed.


Outsourcing translation tasks can save time and money, especially for businesses with limited language needs. It allows businesses to focus on their core competencies while language tasks are handled by experts, ensuring accurate, high-quality translations.


Partnering with a reliable and experienced translation service provider can provide the language expertise, scalability, and localization services needed to meet translation requirements effectively.








Related content: What Happens When You Experiment with Machine Translation









Why Machine Translation is Not Enough?




While machine translation tools like Google Translate have made significant advancements, they are not enough for professional translation services. Machine translation lacks the nuances, context, and cultural understanding required for accurate translations.





Why Machine Translation is Not Enough?





Machine translation often struggles with idiomatic expressions, cultural references, and language nuances, resulting in translations that may be inaccurate, misleading, or linguistically awkward. On the other hand, human translators can provide a higher quality of translation, ensuring accuracy, attention to detail, and culturally appropriate language use.






What is the True Cost of Using Internal Resources for Translation Tasks?




When it comes to translation tasks, relying on internal resources can come with hidden expenses that go beyond just hourly wages. Hiring, training, providing benefits, and managing payroll are some of the additional costs associated with using internal resources for translation. Furthermore, internal resources may not possess the necessary expertise required for specialized translations.





What is the True Cost of Using Internal Resources for Translation Tasks?





Outsourcing translation services can be a more cost-effective solution in the long run as it saves time and money. Outsourcing allows companies to tap into a pool of professional translators who possess the necessary linguistic and cultural expertise to handle specialized translations accurately.


Additionally, outsourcing translation tasks can free up internal resources to focus on other core business activities that demand their attention and expertise. By partnering with a reliable translation agency, businesses can ensure timely and high-quality translations that meet their specific needs while reducing overall operational costs.






Advantages and Challenges of Outsourcing Translation Tasks




Outsourcing translation tasks brings several advantages. New languages can be handled efficiently by outsourcing to experts. Google translation services can also be leveraged to ensure time efficiency. However, there are challenges, such as maintaining the quality of translations and keeping sensitive information secure.





Advantages and Challenges of Outsourcing Translation Tasks





Benefits of Partnering with a Language Agency

Partnering with a language agency provides businesses access to professional translators and linguists with extensive experience in translation services. These agencies offer a wide range of translation services, including machine translation, localization, and marketing materials translation. Incorporating technology like APIs and AI simplifies the translation process through optimized translation workflows.


Language agencies can handle translations for multiple languages, enabling businesses to expand into new markets while maintaining consistent and accurate translations for various materials such as marketing collaterals, app localization, and documentation. By using these services, businesses can communicate effectively with their target audience in different regions while ensuring their message is accurately conveyed in the local language.





Potential Difficulties to Overcome when Outsourcing

Outsourcing translation tasks can present several potential difficulties that companies must consider. One of the primary challenges is finding language agencies that have translators for all language pairs needed for the project. Adapting content to cultural nuances can also pose challenges, especially if the translators are unfamiliar with specific cultural references. Maintaining confidentiality during translation services is essential to prevent data breaches or unauthorized information sharing.


Time zone differences can also affect communication and coordination between the company and the translation agency. Therefore, it is crucial to establish clear and effective communication channels to avoid any misunderstandings. Additionally, having a dedicated project manager who can oversee the entire translation process and manage timelines can ensure that the project runs smoothly without any delays.


Another factor to consider when outsourcing translation tasks is the quality of translations provided by the agency. Companies should look for agencies with a robust quality assurance process to ensure accurate translations that meet their standards. It's also important to provide feedback on translations and work closely with the agency to improve their output over time. Ultimately, outsourcing translation tasks can effectively expand your global reach, but it requires careful planning and consideration of potential challenges.








Related content: How Much Do Translation Services Really Cost? [Rates & Factors]









Selecting the Right Localization Provider




The selection of a suitable localization provider can have a significant impact on your business. Choosing a provider that offers new language support, uses computer-assisted translation tools (CAT), and specializes in English translation is imperative. You can effectively scale and expand your business operations by outsourcing your language tasks to the right provider.





Selecting the Right Localization Provider





When selecting a localization provider, it is important to consider their expertise and experience in the industry. Look for providers that have experience in translating content in your specific niche or industry. Moreover, the localization provider should be able to provide customized solutions tailored to meet your business's unique needs.


Another crucial factor to consider is the quality of the translations provided by the localization provider. Ensure that they use professional translators who are native speakers of the target language. The translations should be accurate, culturally appropriate, and free from errors.





Ensure that they use professional translators who are native speakers of the target language. The translations should be accurate, culturally appropriate, and free from errors.





In addition to these factors, pricing and delivery time are also important considerations when choosing a localization provider. Make sure that the pricing is competitive and transparent with no hidden costs. You should also ensure that the delivery time meets your business requirements.





The Role of Technology in Translation Services

AI and machine translation can be game-changers for translation workflows, speeding up production and improving efficiency. Translation services can leverage computer-assisted technology, such as translation management systems, to optimize processes, collaborate with linguists globally, and expand language pairs.


Automating workflows significantly reduces manual work, leading to increased accuracy and productivity. Technology tools like Lokalise offer localization features for effective translation project management. With AI-powered translation technology, the process of translating text becomes faster and more accurate than ever before.


This allows companies to reach a broader audience by localizing content into multiple languages quickly and efficiently. Moreover, incorporating AI into the translation process has many other benefits, including cost savings, improved quality control, and faster turnaround times.


As technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace, it's essential for businesses to stay updated on the latest advancements in translation automation to remain competitive in today's global marketplace.






Final Thoughts




If you're looking to optimize language tasks and expand your business, Translations as a Service (TaaS) is the ultimate solution. By entrusting your translation requirements to a professional language agency, you can guarantee top-quality translations that are precise and accurate translations. This approach also frees up your internal resources to concentrate on core business activities. With a wide range of translation services available, you can readily cater to your business documentation's specific needs and target markets.





To explore how outsourcing your translation tasks can benefit your business, book a free consultation with our experts today!





Partnering with a language agency has several advantages, including access to experienced translators and state-of-the-art translation technology. You can also save costs by avoiding hiring additional staff or purchasing expensive software programs.


To explore how outsourcing your translation tasks can benefit your business, book a free consultation with our experts today!





Recommended articles: 

A Simple Way to Save on Your International Communication

What to Look for in the Translation Rates

How to Accelerate a New Product Launch Globally [e-book]