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The Value of Translation

What’s the value of translation for a company? People may ask this question assuming translation has no value to their companies and, therefore, they shouldn’t pay a premium for it.

I read a comment from someone saying companies have “more important things to think about than translation” and they want a “return from their investment.” A very simplistic way of analysing things in a global world, where nothing is circumscribed to a country, region or language.

Every investor wants a return on their investments. But one will never see the return of an investment if one can’t see the value of that investment. There’s an old saying “You don’t make money if you don’t spend money”.

Open your horizons

Companies of the 21st century are not circumscribed to one country. If they locked themselves in one country, they would be very limited, having only one market to work with and very little options.

The Internet allowed companies to grow beyond borders. They can venture out of their street and reach people anywhere in the world. It opened their horizons to other markets and cultures, which ultimately lead to new clients.

Investing in translation adds value to a company

Investing in a great quality translation service adds value to any company. Today, it is unthinkable a company without a website and social media presence. A multilingual website means that the company will reach more countries and more clients.

Investing in great quality translation ensures the company’s website is translated accurately and it is culturally and linguistically acceptable, in every country it reaches. The value it adds to the company is measured by the number of clients it gets from those countries and by the great reputation the company gets worldwide.

The return from your investment

The return companies get from a good translation service goes way beyond the dollars. A good, professional translation is a good representation of the company overseas. It gives it prestige and a good reputation, the same way an unprofessional translation, inaccurate, full of errors or culturally flawed will make that company look clumsy, unprofessional and not reliable. The bad reputation goes beyond the dollar figure it may represent on the company’s bottom line. That’s why a serious entrepreneur must think of translation as a valuable asset in their business. Investing in a professional translation service will provide a great return: more clients, great reputation, more value.

So instead of asking “What’s the value of translation to my company,” consider instead “What damage a bad translation can cause to your company.”

Cátia Cassiano is a NAATI Certified Translator, Member of AUSIT and a CIOL Chartered Linguist who has been working as a translator for more than 10 years. She is the founder of Updated Words, a team of independent translators and is very passionate about her job.

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