When it’s best to use your bilingual skills and hire a translator too
It is tempting to advise you to ignore your bilingual staff when you have a language need and always use a professional for translation. It also seems a little counter-productive for us, a translation agency, not to do so.
However, we have worked in and with enough global companies to understand it is not always necessary or appropriate to hire a pro. Your employee, or you, were hired, in part, due to your additional language skills and background and you should, of course, take full advantage of those skills.
Use your staff where they can add most value
If your requirement is for documents that will be legally binding, if they will have an impact on your company’s brand or if they impact on anyone’s health and safety, it is time to ask a trained professional to step in.
Why? Well since your employee is not a trained translator, they will take much longer to produce a piece of work that can be presented as if it were an original. (Hopefully you would not think of using them if they are not able to produce such work.)
This is time they cannot spend on their actual job role, which presumably still needs to be performed. With both the translation and their other job tasks now facing delays, your company will lose time and money, as well as potentially demotivating your employee, and their colleagues.
Instead, our advice is to recognise when you can get excellent results from using a professional translator in collaboration with your member of staff, so your employee can continue to perform their role, yet still have a positive impact on and add value to the translation project.
Collaborate with your translator
If you hire a translator for a project, they can work together with your employee as a subject expert.
Your employee knows your company, your customer base and your aims for the project and can provide valuable insight into the context and any jargon or specialist terms. They are also expertly placed to do a final read-through or proofread of the project and make any adjustments.
The translator is able to produce a professional, quality document in the optimum time. This saves you time, keeps your employee close to the project whilst still being able to perform their own job role.
The collaboration will ultimately save you money and improve your corporate image both internally and externally to your customers.