Arabic Translations: How to get the best value for your money

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Getting high-quality Arabic translations can be extremely challenging and clients struggle while trying to balance quality of translation, turnaround times and cost. What adds to the confusion while selecting translation options are other factors such as type of the content to be translated, viability of workload, knowledge of domain etc.

Here are your options for getting Arabic translations, each with their pros and cons, to help you get the translations that are value for your money.

In-house translators provide great consistency, and can be made to work on internal workstations to ensure data security. That said, several organizations face two main issues – capacity utilization, and ability to work with different language styles.

Translators can translate 2000-3000 words a day. Unfortunately, demand is usually not that consistent, causing in-house translators to be underutilized at times, and unable to meet tight deadlines at others. Second, most translators can’t work on all types of content – e.g. a translator that does literary translations may not be very good at translations with business related content.

In terms of cost, in-house translators cost almost as much as any good translation agency if you account for overheads, benefits, and utilization.

Conclusion: In-house translators are a great option if you have consistent quantity, of a single content type, and your requirements are not time critical.

Read our insights on Perfecting the Translation Process

Freelance Translators are almost at the extreme other end of the spectrum as in-house translators. Hiring a freelancer is a great way to overcome the capacity utilization conundrum, get access to diverse experience, and they even end up costing the least of all available options – you only pay for the amount of work you get done!

However, clients usually complain about consistency in translation quality, timely deliveries, going through a complicated acquisition process, and having to explain the context of the document over and over.

Even after all these efforts, several times clients have to revise the end-product as there is no quality assurance mechanism for the translation.

Conclusion: Hiring a freelance translator is the best option if you have infrequent requirements, a very tight budget, time to find and manage the freelancer, and to potentially quality assure the output of the translation.

Translation Agencies vary significantly in their capacity and quality. Lets focus here on the good ones – the ones that have the ability to provide good quality, consistently.

The best way to understand their value is to think of them as in-house translators to multiple organizations. They can usually fulfill capacity requirement for large projects unless there is a large spike across clients, so it does happen, but less frequently than in-house translators. They can usually provide consistent translation quality by hiring good translators and often dedicating them to specific clients. The two challenges are price and data-security.

Agencies are the most expensive proposition as they build their overheads (office, workstations, benefits, marketing, management costs, etc.) and under-utilization (when there is less work than capacity) into the price.

Secondly, most translation agencies will transfer your sensitive documents over email, which are extremely prone to cyber attacks and hacking, exposing your confidential information to the risk of breach.

Conclusion: Use translation agencies if you have short turnaround times, high quality translation requirements, spikes in capacity requirement, and can afford to pay the price for it. There is however no good solution for data-security.

Machine Translation despite the buzz around machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is still a thing of the future, specially for Arabic translations. Just take any Arabic text and try translating it using Google or Bing Translate.

It’s effective to get a rough sense of what a person is trying to say but cannot be used even for composing emails, let alone formal documents. Some languages have made more progress but Arabic is a complex and evolved language.

Conclusion: Use machine translation if you want to quickly understand the crude meaning of a text. It is not recommended for any written/formal communication.

ArabEasy has spent months refining its operating model and the translation process to balance and optimize across all the dimensions – High-Quality, Quick Turnaround time and reasonable cost.

While developing operating model and the translation process, ArabEasy has incorporated data security to the process and eliminated variables such as workload, content type and domain knowledge.

These industry leading initiatives taken by ArabEasy makes translation a breeze for clients and surely provides the best value for your money.

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