If you’ve read articles 1-3 of this series, Translation: Are You Costing Your Company Money?, you may have identified an underlying theme from the real world examples in each article.
A quick re-cap:
- In article 1, a ridiculous 3 day turn around on a translation job so large a whole department of translation professionals could not have managed. Somebody requested this project, who clearly had no strategy beyond “I need this project completed like ASAP”.
- In article 2, a two week English Japanese translation project turned into a 6 month nightmare. Somebody was at the helm of this project, who had no experience in project management.
- In article 3, self defeating behavior that scuttles projects before they even get off the ground. Somebody sourcing a project, who over emphasized cost reduction leading to counter productive results.
The underlying theme is personnel -- A SOMEBODY.
Elaborating on the example in article 1, the person may have been the “go to person” in the company to get things done. However, launching such a large project without a proper strategy will ensure not quality translation, but countless translation errors that cost the company money. Definitely not the right person for the right task!
Yet, this happens more often than one would think. Here’s an example I ran across on a blog doing SEO research the other day.
A wealth of information is to be had from this seemingly simple blog post.
Traffic is the lifeblood of a website -- No traffic no sales! SEO (search engine optimization) is the positioning of a website on the internet to boost traffic and by extension sales. SEO is such an important function it is a multi-billion dollar industry. And for good reason. A good SEO strategy can mean tremendous profits for a company; a poor strategy may well sink a company!
Getting back to that blog post, we know whatever product or service this company is selling, it's valuable enough to offer a free trip to Sin City. And, they put a clueless person in charge of SEO…!? Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m sure this person is a quick study; but, this is beside the point. In SEO, even seasoned professionals have their work cut out for them. This is simply not the situation to cut one’s teeth on SEO!
So, we’ve come a full circle, to the first question of this article series. How is it possible that 80% of global firms, generally being staffed with exceptionally bright, skilled and experienced people, lose revenue due to translation errors?
The answer is pretty straightforward: Unless you employ the right personnel for the right task, even exceptional personnel with the right tools at their disposal will drop the ball.
There's really no need for companies to lose revenue due to something that can be as easily eliminated as translation errors. As a consumer of translation, using the right people for the right task will ensure you don’t lose money for your company. If you intend to handle the translation yourself, ensure this happens. If you use a professional translation service, ensure this happens.
Of course, ensuring the right personnel for the right task is precluded by an understanding of the fact that in a global environment, translation is an extremely important function and NOT a mere after thought of some other larger process.
About the Author
Ivan Vandermerwe is the CEO of SAECULII YK, the owner of Tokyo, Japan based Certified Translation Japanese Visit SAECULII for the latest professional case studies, articles and news on Japanese Translation Services
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