Translating In-House Doesn’t Have to Be a Risky Business

Translating In-House Doesn’t Have to Be a Risky Business

When law firms need to understand content from other countries or reach clients overseas, many companies employ an in-house translation team to work full time on this endeavor. This means that the efforts of translators, lawyers and specialists can come together to get the job done.

Efficiency at this stage is therefore key. However, be mindful of the following points that many firms might jump to when crunch time approaches for their in-house team, in a bid to meet delivery deadlines.

Watch out for manually reused content

Previous translations may contain similar passages of text, and translators might use these too quickly, by copying and pasting chunks of translation into a new document. This is more common than you might think, despite the fact that errors abound because it’s easy to miss subtle differences between texts. The end result could be disastrous, such as the wrong name appearing on a property deed. When translators manually reuse text, the task of the editor is longer and harder, meaning that any time saved is lost and any errors they miss could well be spotted by your client.

Too many cooks?

Another time-saver is to split a document into batches for several colleagues to work on simultaneously. The main issue here is consistency—once you use multiple translators, terminology and set phrases are bound to be inconsistent across the document. In addition, great care must be taken when putting the various batches of the translated document back together, especially if the individual formatting is not a native speaker.

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Free translation at a high price

There are now many tools online offering to translate your text for free, such as Google Translate. But even for a small job such as a birth certificate or even a tweet, using a machine translator will not finalize your text any faster. Complex legal terminology, idiomatic expressions, words with more than one meaning—these are all elements that a machine still cannot cope with, and this will make the translation highly prone to errors. In a legal context, the text rendered will not be suitable at all given that concepts are highly unique from one jurisdiction to another, and the quality will, therefore, be poor. Thankfully, law firms tend to stay clear of machine translation usage, especially considering that such tools could put confidential or valuable information at risk.

This is where CAT tools come in

Most law firms are running an in-house translation team without using the appropriate programs. Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools are purposely designed with a translator’s needs in mind (unlike standard office productivity apps), and all features are geared toward ensuring an accurate rendition of the source text while maintaining consistency and efficiency.

How does a CAT tool work to make your in-house translation team as successful as possible?

  • It extracts repetitive content from translation memories and terminology databases to simplify reuse of previously approved content, while still flagging differences to avoid errors.
  • With tailor-made and intuitive features, it increases the translator’s productivity and speed of translation while maintaining quality and consistency.
  • Multiple linguists can work on the same translation, boosting turnaround times.

Balance speed, quality, and cost

A company’s bottom line is of course profitability and keeping an eye on costs alongside high quality and productivity is the only way to ensure good results. By using the integrated features of CAT technology, a law firm has a solution that improves speed, maintains high quality and also keeps costs down.

Want to learn more? For further information on how CAT tools can help your firm produce accurate, consistent translations more efficiently in-house, get in touch.


By Aaron Caruso