Global Lingo Blog

Internal translations and multilingual employees

Our world seems to be ever shrinking, at least from a linguistic point of view. As distance has become more of an inconvenience rather than an insurmountable obstacle, there are few places in the world where you won’t hear people speaking different languages.

Successful international companies are aware of how important it is to find the best employees when looking beyond a country’s borders. Most multinational corporations today are made up of people speaking dozens of foreign languages. These companies have a lot of documents to manage:

  • Contracts with employees and with clients
  • Marketing materials – including brochures, business cards and websites
  • Technical product manuals
  • Legal documents

Managing all these documents is difficult enough in one language, but if they need to be available in all the languages used by the company who is going to handle all the translations?

There are two solutions for this: either use the multilingual employees, or outsource to professional translators.

Are multilingual employees suited to translate internal documents?

You may argue that your employees already know how your business works, so they better understand the nature of the documents. However, professional translators usually specialise in one business field or another. This means that they not only master of at least two languages, but they also know the intricacies of their specialisation. For example, only a translator who knows the commercial law of a specific country would be chosen to translate your contract with a supplier from that specific country.

Again, only a translator with good knowledge of online marketing would translate your website for a target market that speaks a different language. Multilingual employees should do what they were trained for, and, if they weren’t trained for commercial law or online marketing, they are probably not the best choice for translation jobs.

Time is money

You may also think that putting multilingual employees in charge of translation tasks will help you save money, as you won’t have to pay extra for the work. You might save money, but what about time? Your employees usually have other priorities, specific to their job requirements. If the translation is urgent, they might put their other tasks on the back-burner, thereby affecting the company’s overall performance.

Simply speaking another language doesn’t mean professional translation. Few words have precise equivalents in two different languages. Sometimes there is no equivalent, sometimes there are many, in which case only context can clear the fog. Professional translators are trained to carefully choose the best word for the context.

Outsourcing translation services can save your business

We only use in-country translators for our translation services. This means they live and breathe the language they translate. The local terms and colloquialisms are always understood. In fact one of our translators linguistic skills helped one of our clients to uncover a fraud conspiracy.

Our teams of professional translators can translate any type of document for you, from a simple internal notice, to a legally binding contract, to whole websites and everything in between. The vast array of specialist translators we have means that we can translate into or from any language.

 

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