Why Don’t More Agencies Have In-house Translators?

Well, the reasons not only make commercial sense but are related to accuracy and skill.

As businesses continue to expand globally; technical, marketing and commercial trade agreements are being signed between countries which speak different languages. This calls for translation of documents like legal papers, trade agreements, commercial invoices, etc. Several translation agencies now provide efficient translation services to such companies. But why don’t more agencies employ in-house translators? Well, the reasons not only make commercial sense but are related to accuracy and skill.

Literal Translation – A translator’s job is more than a literal translation. Just knowing the two languages is not enough. A meticulous word for word translation does not usually work. Translating documents requires a particular skill set, professional training and the ability to research meticulously and communicate efficiently.

One has to understand that many words and short phrases need a better sense of syntax and meaning to be able to translate into the target language. This cannot be accomplished by a bilingual person. A translation agency will do a better job.

Professional Terms – Terminology used in the technological, legal, business, marketing sectors is particular to both the country of origin and the target language and country. An employee may translate many known business terms but may fall short when it comes to legal or mechanical terms. Whereas a professional translation service will have experts from various fields, who will convey all the technical and professional terms with accuracy.

Editing and Proofreading – The person hired by the agency may be an expert in his/her field. But once the translation is done can it be checked? Editing and proofreading form the basis of a good translation. A professional translation service has access to skilled translators from the particular sector based on the translation required, who check and correct any mistakes. Thus the documents convey what needs to be said.

Cultural Nuances – As a translator is converting a document into the target language, he/she has to accommodate not just cultures and traditions but consider metaphors and beliefs of the target country. Nuances of cultural difference should be sensitivity assessed when translating or converting any text. Companies realise that one in-house translator may not be able to do all of this.

Usage of software – Complex, heavyweight and expensive industry standard software is used by translation agencies to not only speed up the translation process but also to make the translation consistent. An in-house translator cannot have access to such resources. Thus the system becomes slower and prone to mistakes.

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