The Hidden Costs of In-House Translation

18th September 2015

In-house translation, undertaken by members of your staff appears, initially, to be a very efficient way of having your company’s documentation translated without incurring additional, external costs. However, the benefits and advantages of using a professional translation agency can far outweigh the perceived savings of in-house translation in the long run.

While the economic outlook appears to be improving for many, the lessons learnt from the recent recession have changed the way many companies structure their organisation’s supplier roles and staffing decisions, with many cost saving methods being carried forward in an effort to maximise profits and recover some of loses incurred over the past decade.

One such phenomenon is the rise of the ‘hybrid employee’ – someone who is able to fulfil two, or possibly more, roles within a company. Within the IT industry, for example, gone are the days where you could confidently expect to walk into a job because you know how to configure a web server. Nowadays employers expect staff to not only be technically competent, but also have project management and / or sales experience, as well as a good understanding of service management practices.

The expectation of an employee to be able to carry out multiple tasks within an organisation is nothing new, but the hybrid model is seen by some as the model for the future. A report by Advantage Resourcing states: “As the economy remains uncertain and staff remuneration packages remain a hot topic, hybrid roles look set to become a crucial part of our workforce and those who thrive in them can quickly become, for now at least, indispensable.”

If the outlook seems rosy for workers with multiple skills, it does increase the potential for someone to become a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’. This can be especially true when it comes to translation, as, in a lot of cases, the job of translating the project documentation is given to the only person in the office that ‘speaks German’. While it may be true that the member of staff has an in-depth knowledge of the product or service being promoted, the same cannot be said for the quality control checks, if any, being applied to the translated document – if there is only one German speaker, who can sign off the work!?! Just because the document is now ‘in German’, it doesn’t necessarily follow that the grammar or tone of the writing will be correct. Potentially, the inexpensive in-house translation has become a costly error – once it’s been discovered, far too late, to have been poorly written.

One way to avoid this situation, and also maximise staff resources, is to have employees concentrate on skills that bring value to your business on a day-to-day, week-in, week-out basis and outsource any tasks that are only required occasionally. Budgets can be better utilised by spending money on management or sales training that will benefit the company as a whole, and in the long term, rather than asking staff to invest the time and money into a skill that will be infrequently employed.

By outsourcing your translation requirements to Foreign Tongues Translation, not only can you be assured that the translation will be undertaken by qualified, professional linguists, you are also able to allocate staff resources to other, high priority, long terms tasks and objectives within your organisation.

Knowing when to outsource is key in today’s business environment and working with Foreign Tongues Translation is the perfect example of how partnering with a dedicated translation agency will prove to be more cost effective in the long run, allowing your company and staff to concentrate on its core business functions, where time and in-house resources can be utilised in creating sustained growth and profitability.

Let Foreign Tongues provide you with a free, no-obligation, quote for your next project and see how much we can help you save – and yes, in more ways than one!

Sign up to our newsletter

  • Here at Foreign Tongues we take your privacy seriously and we will only use your personal information to administer your account and to provide the products and services you have requested from us.

    From time to time we would like to email you with details of our services, latest translation and language trends, best practices, updates on recent surveys and studies and much more. If you consent us to emailing you for this purpose, please tick to confirm.