3 Ways to Build a More Effective Translation Team

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Here at Glyph, we have an obvious bias towards outsourcing translation solutions. Beyond the fact that it’s our core business, there are a number of very compelling reasons to look for out-of-house help in planning and executing your localization program for international markets. But… if you are convinced that you are better off doing it alone with your own translation team, never let it be said we didn’t want to lend a helping hand. 

Here are the three most effective strategies we use when we build our own world-class translation teams. These three important clues will ensure that your localization and translation vendor offers more than just a great sales pitch.

How to Build an Effective Translation Team

Use Native Speakers

Time and again we get frantic calls from clients whose translation projects have either flopped or hit a brick wall in their new market. More often than not, the root problem lies in the fact that the translation team are members of the home office staff who happen to have some experience with the language in question. It is always great to see someone step up and offer to dust off their old minor in Italian. However, these translators often lack both comprehensive knowledge of idioms and usage and a deep understanding of the dynamics of that market itself.

Whenever possible, include in your translation team individuals who are not only native speakers of the target language but who also have extensive travel or living experience in the source language market (typically the US or the UK).

Concentrate on Project Management

As strange as this sounds, many in-house translation projects are derailed because they are not part of the organization’s core project management system. You would think that the move into a foreign market would see companies concentrating heavily on the process behind the translation elements of the campaign. But this is often not the case. That’s because translation, localization, and transcreation are not processes that are already baked into the organization’s culture. As a result, they become a single “box” in the development flow chart rather than a distinct and measurable process in their own right.

Imagine a US based culinary school preparing to launch a recruiting drive in South America. They will list all of the assets they’ll need, do some research on where they think they will get the best traffic, prepare to develop new web assets, and so forth. But more often than not, the project plan will only substitute “translate copy” in place of the copy writing stage instead of outlining a process for accurate and effective localization of each key piece together with a plan to measure effectiveness and fine-tune the campaign.

Build Feedback Loops

Many translation projects are seen as “one and done” on the part of management. And internal teams contribute to this approach because they are seldom in a position to have localization comprise the majority of their work day. “Getting the brochure done in Swedish” is something to check off a list rather than part of a cycle of continuous improvement aimed at communicating as efficiently and effectively as possible in the target market.

Be sure to build in some capacity for gathering feedback on your market’s reaction to localized pieces. Then, incorporate that feedback into successive print runs, packaging updates, and website content.

Keep these three tips in mind when putting together an in-house translation team. You will be well on your way to developing a more effective and powerful localization program for your international markets. If you are having trouble with any of these stages, get in touch. We can help.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin


Don’t need a quote, just want to talk?
Let’s connect!

To our valued community,

With the inevitable measures that all businesses need to undertake to support staff and clients, I would like to provide you with an update on our operations. For over 5 years 100% of our staff have been trained and able to work remotely while still maintaining weekly office days for collaboration and team building. We have cultivated business platforms and operations that run digitally without sacrificing security, service quality or capabilities during the better part of the last decade. As of March 9th, all company operations were transferred to work-from-home with no expected change in services, capacity or staff availability.

We understand that many of our partners have experienced challenges due to having a large international presence and multilingual employees. As a result, we are extending our help by monitoring requests after business hours and on weekends for projects associated with the coronavirus. This is to ensure we provide you with the best possible support and the fastest turnaround possible.

If you do have time-sensitive requests associated with the coronavirus, please send them to newrequests@glyphservices.com and include a clear subject line or title so we can act accordingly “COVID-19 Translation”.

We encourage you to reach out if there’s anything we can do to help you and your team during this difficult time. We sincerely hope you, your family, and colleagues remain safe and healthy.

Best wishes,


This website uses cookies to improve our users’ experience. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To learn more, see our Privacy Policy.