Have I scared you? Then that’s good because now you’ll be more focused on how to prevent most, if not all, of these things happening! That’s right -- There’s absolutely no reason why any translation project should ever lose money. Whether you’re doing translation in-house or outsourcing follow this one simply rule to ensure your projects don’t lost money.
Losing money refers to the true cost of translation:
- Cost of the translation project and/or
- Cost of poor translation quality, including but not limited to lost customers, lawsuits and fees & penalties for non compliance.
First, by way of introducing examples -actual translation projects- you’ll be able to see where potential problems start. These are the problems we want to nip in the bud before they have an opportunity to blossom. My company gets access to these projects from translation directories which we have signed up to. While we don’t bid for these projects, having access to this kind of information provides a pulse on the translation services industry, i.e. how many projects are out there, what kind of projects, who is posting projects, etc. Let’s jump in:
English to Japanese Translation project of 16,000 words due within 24 hours. Problem: Can only be completed with machine translation, translation crowdsourcing and/or a combination there of -- The results scream Poor Quality
English to Japanese Translation project of 300~500,000 words due within 72 hours. Problem: Can only be completed with machine translation -- The results…Trust me, you don’t want to know!
These types of projects are surprisingly common. The poor quality guaranteed on these projects through the use of poor translation tools and methodologies such as machines translation and translation crowsourcing is merely a symptom of a much a bigger problem. So, what’s going on here?
The root cause is personnel -- The person, or persons, who erroneously believed they could bring such a large project to fruition while maintaining your quality standards, within such ridiculously short deadlines. These folks are either clueless about translation, or have ulterior motives such as profiting from you regardless of the true cost to you. In other words, the real problem is who’s on your translation team? Whether your translation project is handled in-house or outsourced, follow this simply rule:
Ensure the right professionals are on your translation team.
And, oh, know that there’s no magically wand you wave for instant translation -- Producing quality translation is hard work that requires the skills and expertise of professional Japanese translators, so plan ahead to avoid any ridiculous deadlines that pressure translators unnecessary.
Translation Article bY Japan based Tokyo Translation Service