Why pay a localization company when I can do it internally?
Establishing your presence in new foreign markets will require work on your part. The sooner you start planning for it, the easier the process will be. One important question that needs to be answered before anything else can be done is, “Do we want to localize in-house or outsource localization to a localization vendor?”
Rarely does a company manage the entire localization process in-house. They would need to hire freelance translators to work on their translation tasks, at the very least. If they choose to outsource more tasks, a business can also hire a localization services provider to take on various parts of a project, or the project as a whole.
Small and medium size businesses, often with limited financial resources, face a real dilemma when choosing whether to outsource localization to a company or to do the job in-house. There is no easy answer as to which approach is better. Everything depends on your business model, and the volume of localization work you anticipate.
- Reliable, specialized translators are hard to find, expensive, and often busy. More than 80% of the people who claim to be professional freelancers would not pass the selection process of a good agency. Even excellent translators can miss deadlines, or perform inconsistently if their work is not proofread. A team adds capacity and services, and offers quality consistency and coordination, not necessarily at a higher cost.
- A common mistake when first evaluating translation and localization costs is to consider external rates as the determining factor, instead of measuring the overall cost of the project, and considering both external and internal costs (selecting, training, coordinating, and supervising the professionals, buying the right equipment, etc). What's more important, the return on the investment is what really matters from a business perspective, and time-to-market plays a basic role here.
- Software and web localization are technical and complex tasks requiring the cooperation of different professional profiles. There are not only linguists, but also localizers, engineers, testers, graphic designers, programmers, internationalization experts, project managers... It makes perfect sense to outsource that to a specialized team to make sure that project goals (budget, schedule, and customer satisfaction) are not missed.
- Translation and localization are very dynamic industries. New tools and practices quickly outdate the existing ones. Professional advice can save you a lot of time and money through automation, workflow optimization, and customized solutions.