Home Company News “How to” series: Being friends with in-house translators

“How to” series: Being friends with in-house translators


Dealing with our potential clients, we often face the situation “We don’t need your services, we’ve got our in-house translator(s)”.

OK, fine. It’s a good option indeed, especially for the companies that have:

  • A constant flow of standard translation jobs, for example: translation of user manuals or interpretation at business meetings with clients/suppliers within one language pair;
  • A possibility to select such a specialist competently and to control the process of his/her work;
  • A wish and a financial possibility to keep this specialist as a member of the staff, although translation is not the company’s core business.

For all the other cases it’s easier and more cost-effective to assign all translation-related jobs to an outsourcing partner. Why?

  • An employer bears a lot of additional costs (such as taxes, work place arrangement, benefits, etc.) for every in-house employee. So if a company doesn’t have many translation tasks on a permanent basis, it would be definitely more cost-effective to assign them to outsourcing partners.
  • An in-house translator might become sick, take a vacation or be absent for other reasons, so his/her duties will stay uncovered.
  • Translation tasks can be related to different areas of specialization and language pairs (for example, translation of promotional materials from Russian into English, translation of contracts from German into Russian and interpretation at business meetings between Russian and French partners). There are really few all-round translators who specialize in (almost) all the possible fields or are proficient in several languages. As a result, there’s a risk to complete just one task successfully and fail all the others. Or complete all of them somehow. Then, chances are, the result will be also quite decent…ish.
  • European Quality Standard for Translation Service requires translations to be done by at least two specialists: translator and editor/proofreader. If there’s only one in-house translator working in a company, it’s impossible to cover the whole process, which can influence the quality of the final product.
  • From what we observe, in-house translators have fewer opportunities for their professional growth. They usually work in their specific field of expertise, making knowledge and experience deeper, but not wider. Besides, they may be satisfied with the way they work and not interested in changing anything. Thus, an employer can be the last one to learn about new technologies, while their translators use cutting-edge tools of the past century.

In our opinion, for companies with sufficient volumes of translation work the most preferable option is working with freelancers and translation agencies through an in-house employee. He/she will assign tasks, check translations’ quality, control deadlines, define budget for each project and make sure that the whole process is accomplished successfully, bringing benefits to the company.

Such in-house employees are our true friends :) They don’t see competitors in our agency. Vice versa, they’re interested in cooperating with highly-qualified specialists like us. They become our contact persons on the client’s side, understand all the peculiarities of our profession and act as a connecting link between the company’s business interests and our work.

And how do you solve your translation tasks?

Customer Reviews

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