RE: Outsourcing translations versus in-house?

Subject: RE: Outsourcing translations versus in-house?
From: "Garrett R. Winn" <garrett1 -at- garrettwinn -dot- com>
To: <ryan -dot- minaker -at- ca -dot- pwc -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 12 Dec 2012 09:40:35 -0700

Interesting question, Ryan. We have actually recently started a transition period.

In the recent past (the last 5 years or so), we have been using outside vendors for translation. They have generally been okay, but our industry has a lot of jargon that was not getting translated correctly (and our company didn't want to pay for a glossary to be created). This resulted in some poor translations. We also tried to save money by doing the QA work on translations ourselves. However, that turned out to be a bad idea - people just weren't available when we needed them to test. And QA requires a significant amount of time: time that took away from the job the person was supposed to be doing. In any case, last year we spent a significant amount of money (over $150K) to translate over a million words into European Spanish, Latin American Spanish, European French, and Canadian French. This represents only about 5% of what actually needs to be translated, and we still need Chinese and Arabic translations.

In any case, because of the cost and the problems, my company decided on a multi-tiered approach.

We hired 3 part-time translators (with the option to go full-time in the future) - French, Spanish, and Chinese. These are first-time translators, so they are not as expensive as professionals, but they are also slower and are not all trained in linguistics. They have been here about 3 weeks now and are doing a pretty good job.

Some useful statistics: a professional translator can translate about 2000-2500 words per day. A new (non-professional) translator can translate about 1000-1500 words per day.

The next tier is a community translation initiative where we will be working with our customers to translate software and help into the languages they want. We will "compensate" them for their time and help. Crowd-sourced translation is even slower than a new translator - but the community aspect can make things go faster if there are enough people to help. We'll be using a machine translation primed with our own translation memories to start off the process (people are more likely to fix problems than to give whole new translations). We'll be using our internal translator resources to also check the translations and to work with the communities. After lots of research into the possibilities, we decided to go with Lingotek's web-based solution for the community translation interface.

Finally, there are still things that we will want translated by professionals (like marketing materials, legal contracts, and release notes). Because of the problems we've had with our current vendors, we are looking into some other options. One of those is Lingotek. We have a project going right now with their professional translators and I've been very impressed. It has been much better and faster than any of our other vendors (as well as being cheaper).

Here are some of the considerations I think you should keep in mind:
* It is difficult to hire internal resources for translation - especially for finding native speakers.
* Translation vendors can make managing all the people and things much easier.
* Translation vendors can hire multiple translation contractors on a project-by-project basis, so that you can speed up the process with 2 translators without doubling your cost.
* It can take a long time to train internal translators on your software - but it is easier to do so than for translation contractors. Our internal translators already understand the software better than any of our professional translators.
* Take the time to create a translation Glossary (term base) to help both internal and external resources.
* If going external, spend the money to have them do QA (unless you can guarantee that an internal resources will be able to handle it whenever you need it done).

That's all I can think of right now, but I'm sure I'll think of more as soon as I click Send ;-)

Good luck on your decision!

GARRETT WINN | Documentation and Translation Supervisor | SirsiDynix

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+garrett1=garrettwinn -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+garrett1=garrettwinn -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of ryan -dot- minaker -at- ca -dot- pwc -dot- com
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 6:19 AM
To: TechWR-L
Subject: Outsourcing translations versus in-house?

Hi there,

Just curious -- does anyone on the list outsource translations versus having in-house translators? Or have you recently transitioned from one to the other? If so, can you recommend some companies that I should look into and/or share some thoughts or experiences?

We do all our translations in-house now, but I'm trying to put together some numbers (cost, turn around time etc) on the benefit (if any) on moving to outsourcing. By looking strictly at the cost, the outsourcing is looking like it's far cheaper, but I'm sure there is always some caveat...

I guess I should mention that I'm translating from English to French (Canadian - if this matters).

Thanks!

Ryan



______________________________________________________________________
This e-mail is intended only for the person to whom it is addressed (the "addressee") and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use that a person other than the addressee makes of this communication is prohibited and any reliance or decisions made based on it, are the responsibility of such person. We accept no responsibility for any loss or damages suffered by any person other than the addressee as a result of decisions made or actions taken based on this communication or otherwise. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and destroy all copies of this e-mail.


Ce courriel est strictement rÃservà à l'usage de la personne à qui il est adressà (le destinataire). Il peut contenir de l'information privilÃgiÃe et confidentielle. L'examen, la rÃexpÃdition et la diffusion de ce message par une personne autre que son destinataire est interdite. Nous dÃclinons toute responsabilità à l'Ãgard des pertes ou des dommages subis par une personne autre que le destinataire par suite de dÃcisions ou de mesures fondÃes sur le contenu de cette communication ou autrement. Si vous avez reÃu ce courriel par erreur, veuillez communiquer avec son expÃditeur et en dÃtruire toutes les copies.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Writer Tip: Create 10 different outputs with Doc-To-Help -- including Mobile and EPUB.

Read all about them: http://bit.ly/doc-to-help-10-outputs
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as garrett1 -at- garrettwinn -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com


Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Writer Tip: Create 10 different outputs with Doc-To-Help -- including Mobile and EPUB.

Read all about them: http://bit.ly/doc-to-help-10-outputs
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-leave -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com


Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit
http://www.techwhirl.com/email-discussion-groups/ for more resources and info.

Looking for articles on Technical Communications? Head over to our online magazine at http://techwhirl.com

Looking for the archived Techwr-l email discussions? Search our public email archives @ http://techwr-l.com/archives


References:
Outsourcing translations versus in-house?: From: ryan . minaker

Previous by Author: RE: Back again.... looking...
Next by Author: Re: e-hyphenated words
Previous by Thread: Re: Outsourcing translations versus in-house?
Next by Thread: Re: Outsourcing translations versus in-house?


What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads


Sponsored Ads