Translate In-House or Outsource: Pros & Cons

When a regular customer of ours decided to work on a recent translation project in-house, we gave some thought to the reasons for performing translation projects in-house versus outsourcing translation work. If we thought about it long enough we could probably identify a long list of advantages, disadvantages, and considerations.

We decided to identify three top reasons for performing translation services internally (assuming qualified resources are available), and three top reasons for outsourcing translation projects to professional translation agencies.

Reasons for performing translation services internally

1) To maintain greater control

If your organization has qualified internal language resources, using them might allow closer control over the approach to translation.

2) Protect source material confidentiality

Proprietary materials can remain within the organization by performing translation task internally.

3) Cost Savings

Probably the most obvious reason to assign translation responsibilities internally is to decrease costs.

Reasons for outsourcing translation services

1) Faster schedule

Professional linguists will generally work more quickly due to experience and translation tools when deadlines are important.

2) Experienced, professional linguists

The language judgment of experienced linguists is likely to be superior to that of internal resources.

3) Eliminate internal biases

Allow assigned linguists to focus on the optimal approach to translation independent of internal organization language biases.