Multilingual Project case study

Working with a translator vs. with a translation company

The translation industry has been frequently called the biggest industry that you’ve never heard of. Translations form part of a $47 billion language services market that, when done well, should not be noticed -- after all, we only see the internet memes related to funny phrases poorly translated, not good ones.

Within the segment, there are many, many good translators, specializing in many, many things. However, even the best translators are limited by the amount of words they can translate in a day, and the languages that they translate to and from.

Additionally, an individual translator is just that -- an individual. He or she will go on holiday, get sick, and simply be too busy to accept more work. A company, on the other hand, is an entity composed of multiple people and multiple translators.

Idiomatic, for example, has an international reach with offices across the globe, multiple project managers working nearly 24 hours a day, and a network of thousands of translators in hundreds of languages. We offer a one-stop shop for our clients’ language services needs.

The Power of the Group: A Case Study

A large company with a national presence got in touch with Idiomatic requesting translations of training materials in seven different languages, as well as narration of the same training modules. The languages were as diverse as Haitian Creole, Vietnamese and Swahili. Several of the narrations featured a dialogue, requiring multiple people to be involved in each narration.

Thanks to Idiomatic’s large network of translation professionals, we were able to perform the project, using translators and narrators with whom Idiomatic has a lasting professional relationship. Thanks to our experience with each professional, there was no guesswork or leaps of faith in hoping that each translator would be able to complete the project within the specified time, and provide a high quality result.

The seven translations and narrations underwent a final quality assurance check before being sent to the client, who was delighted with the quality.

What Would Happen if you Worked with an Individual?

This particular project mentioned above had lots of moving parts: multiple languages -- some of which are uncommon --, multiple steps within each project, and relatively limited deadlines. By leveraging our know-how and team’s experience, Idiomatic was able to deliver a top-quality result to the client, who didn’t need to worry about the actual organization of the project, other than sending the training materials to Idiomatic and giving us specific instructions.

Had the client worked instead with individual translators, the client would, firstly, need to find professionals capable of undertaking the project, who may or may not be available at that moment. The challenge of finding so many people available in each language pair, who are available to record a dialogue at the same time is no mean feat!

Beyond that, the time to manage and coordinate the various facets of the project and the final quality assurance (if any were conducted) would be tremendous.

Working with individual language professionals is certainly an option, but working with a company with multiple resources available brings with it peace of mind, and eliminates the guesswork. An individual may or may not follow through, and may or may not have a Plan B. Conversely, a good company has a Plan B, a Plan C, and all the way to Z.