How to Source Translation Services for Business

March 23, 2021
Post feature
You need to source external translation services for your business… but where do you start?
Do you really need a Localization Service Provider (LSP) to oversee your global content efforts? Are human translators necessary, or can AI create content in the required languages at the click of a button?

Can’t AI do everything an LSP does?

In time AI may be able to replace humans entirely. But, for now at least, we believe (human) experts still have a vital role to play in the creation of accurate, engaging global content.
AI has actually been part of most LSPs’ toolbox for many years in the form of Machine Translation (MT)—think Google Translate. But MT hasn’t replaced human translators. Instead, MT is an additional tool.
At Rubric we think the same applies to AI. AI (in its many forms) provides a multitude of additional tools that can be used in the creation of global content.

Navigating the digitized tech landscape

In fact, in the past decade a wave of digitization has meant an explosion in platforms, tools and content types being used to produce and house content.
Many tools (particularly AI-driven tools) perform one task or role extremely well. But global content processes are made up of many discrete, specialist tasks.
There are now so many variables in play that the process of creating global content has become much more complex and fragmented. Industry-leading body CSA Research foresees that:

“As organizations pursue their global expansion, they need assistance from LSPs in managing or learning how to manage their increasingly complex omnichannel localization projects.”

CSA Research, The Evolution of Language Services and Technology, November 2023, p.11
This is because whilst a complex and fragmented tech landscape provides many opportunities to streamline and speed up global content processes, augment human and AI services and eliminate wasted effort; there are also a lot more risks, potential pitfalls, and an increased likelihood of costly mistakes.
As with all tools and technology, successful implementation requires expert set-up and continual optimization. It isn’t enough to just plug-and-play and hope for the best.
In this era of AI and data-driven technology, what matters to global business is much more than translation services alone. Most now require integrated enterprise-level services across a wide range of business areas, a wide array of content types, and a variety of platforms.
Today then, the big questions to ask aren’t about cost per word or turn-around times.
Instead, ask whether your chosen LSP can help you navigate this landscape? Can they identify the most appropriate tools and technologies for each task in your global content process, across all departments and content types? And can they then plug into and optimize them to work for your global content, deploying both human and machine resources appropriately for you and your business?
This role is referred to as ‘Orchestration’ by CSA Research. In essence it means being:
 “…the glue that integrates the people, processes, and technologies that combine to produce winning global customer experiences”
CSA Research, The Evolution of Language Services and Technology, November 2023, p.24
Inline image

Translation versus global content orchestration

Large international corporations may require orchestration services, but small companies with limited localization needs may ‘just’ need translation services.
If you are doing a one-off translation or you only rarely translate content, engaging freelance translators might be the best approach for you. You would need to coordinate and administer the process, but for some companies this is the most efficient and cost-effective way method.
There are also many transactional translation providers that can offer “per job” localization, and some AI platforms offer translation services as an add-on to their core service. You submit your content to the provider, they translate it (possibly by machine only). Such services are often fairly cheap and boast quick turn-around times.
For global companies however, using these services risks departmental siloes, fragmented localization, and inefficient processes. If you need to produce localized content at scale, across business areas and content types, and want to make best use of enterprise-level localization technologies, working with an LSP is likely to be a more appropriate choice.

Global companies rely on Rubric

For 30+ years companies have relied on us to help them scale their global content and reach new audiences. Under the hood, we operate differently from other localization services providers.
We provide much more than just translation services—we are a strategic partner for all of your company's global content
We oversee and orchestrate the tools and tech required to successfully deliver your global content
Continuous innovation is a cornerstone of how we operate and we offer cutting edge solutions using the latest tools and tech
We work smarter, helping improve your ROI and get the most from your localization budget
Our approach is human-at-the-core, meaning you will work with an expert project management team headed by a dedicated Program Manager