Should you manage translation internally or externally?

Internal translation

While it is a popular option, especially when online retailers start the translation process, it may not be as fast and cheap as it may seem.

  • Quality: a native-speaker is not necessarily a good writer, which can be a problem for content that needs to be engaging and persuasive.
  • Cost: an employee that is working on translation is not working on other projects. If they are not a seasoned professional translator, they will also take longer to finish the work.

Internal translation has its place and can be a fast and cheap option for understanding customer comments or internal emails. However, business communications and important content such as a product catalogue or brand web pages require professional translation.


External translation

Outsourcing your translation to a specialised provider comes with a higher cost, but can also lead to better quality and the ability to scale your translation (by targeting several languages at once).

When working with external translators, it is important to ensure that they have a clear understanding of your company and requirements. Ideally, they should be tested (also called a casting process) to find the ones that match the brand’s style. They then need to be given a detailed briefing that includes the desired tone, glossary containing SEO keywords, and any other specifications.

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