Why Professional Translations Matter for Your Business

Professional translation services give your business the best of the best when it comes to your localization process. Here’s what you need to know.


“Hey, can you take a look at this translation?”

It’s every bilingual employee’s nightmare.

While they can be a great resource if you need a quick check or the occasional client email, your bilingual or multilingual employees aren’t translators—and you shouldn’t treat them like it.

Today’s global consumers expect personalized content that resonates with them, which requires a level of context and complexity in multiple languages that bilingual employees (or machines, for that matter) can’t produce at scale. 90% of online consumer buying power in 2022 requires support for 16 written languages. If you’re expanding and want to reach that global audience, you’ll need to invest in professional translators.

What are professional translation services?

Professional translators—often native speakers—offer cultural experience and awareness that helps deliver better translations. The best professional translators make sure your translations are accurate and align with your messaging, so it sounds like it was written in the original language.

Hiring professional translation services may also be part of a larger set of services, including a translation management tool (TMS). Smartling’s suite of translation and language services eliminates manual translation efforts, provides black-box project management, and increases translation quality while lowering your costs. Here’s why we work with a network of professional translators, so your business always gets the best:

The top 5 benefits of working with professional translators

Working with a professional translation service saves time, makes the localization flow easier, and ultimately delivers better results. Here’s why every business should consider professional translations when expanding globally:

1. High-quality translations you can count on

When we think about fluency in another language, we often think about holding conversations or the ability to think or dream in another language. But professional, certified translation services take it a step farther. They can write persuasively and confidently in another language, effectively making them another writer on your team.

Professional translators give you the highest quality results because they don’t just translate one language to another with accurate translations. They also look at the overall meaning and argument and make sure that they’re true to your brand, putting together a translation that resonates with your audience.

By working with Smartling, IHG improved their translation quality by 33%. With over 5,600 hotels across a portfolio of 15 brands, the company does business in 16 languages in more than 100 countries. For them, consistently delivering a personalized experience matters when it comes to their clientele.

“It’s not just about offering languages that are important to our guests, but languages that are important to owners and investors, where using their native language is critical for our mutual success. The ability to do that in a very short time is a competitive advantage for us.” - Chris Hamilton, Intercontinental Hotel Group, Director of Digital Experience for Marketing Channels & Applications

At Smartling, we add another layer of proofreading through automated quality checks and our Quality Confidence Score. This enables you to deploy a consistent translation experience across all of your content types and devices without checking every string.

2. Faster time to market at scale

Yes, machine translation can work in minutes or seconds. But if you want to build a market-ready, competitive website in multiple languages, human translation is going to get you there with an equally fast turnaround time. Smartling automates the entire process surrounding translation so you can achieve high-quality results quickly and continuously deploy new content to customers.

AdRoll worked with Smartling to reduce their time to market by 50%, from more than 93 hours per project to 35. By leveraging Smartling’s Global Delivery Network, a solution that requires minimal developer involvement, AdRoll was able to scale its website into any language without internationalizing its code.

“We were able to launch our new AdRoll Group website in 7 languages within just two weeks! Smartling's Managed Services team acted as our localization manager, coordinating translation deliveries and communicating with vendors. Since we started using Managed Services, we've more than halved the time we spend each week managing localization projects.” — Gavin Flood, AdRoll, Senior Director of Marketing, EMEA & APAC

Smartling’s translation management workflow is simple and easy to use for managers and translators alike for hundreds of language pairs. They have access to translation memory and glossary at their fingertips, and managers can see at-a-glance where projects are and can proactively address any roadblocks.

3. A collaborative workflow that builds relationships

Done right, professional translators can become extensions of your team. Actively collaborate with them through the translation process to build a strategy that captures your brand personality in each language, not just to change words from your source language to your target language.

Smartling works with a network of translators and makes sure you get to know the real human behind the translation work. That way you can build a collaborative relationship and understand the nuances of the language, and they can get to know your business and your audience.

Smartling facilitates collaborative translation practices by making it easier for all collaborators to provide source material, context, and quality assurance without juggling multiple spreadsheets.

4. The ability to handle context and complexity

How many times did you get stuck on “there,” “their,” and “they’re” growing up? That’s one of many weird aspects of English that require fluency to get right (and let’s be real, some of us still mix them up on a regular basis!)

The more complex your content, the more it’s a requirement to work with a professional translator. They’re able to effectively make an argument, persuade someone to buy your product, build a long-form piece of content, and write at a high school or college level in another language.

Context is key. Take the word “Add” or “Added” — as in the common eCommerce phrase “Add to cart”— which could have eight different translations depending on whether the subject is singular, plural, masculine, or feminine in a gendered language like French or Spanish. Phew!

Professional translators know what questions to ask and how to understand the context to deliver a translation that’s accurate and feels correct to the reader.

Translation technology often offers features that address this, like Smartling’s Visual Context, which gives translators a direct view of the content they are working on. As translators begin their work and input translations, Smartling will auto-generate those translations within the existing design, eliminating guesswork for your design team and giving you higher-quality translations overall.

5. Specialized skill set for whatever you need

Translators often specialize in a given market, region, or dialect. As you drill down into your targeting within a given market, professional translators can help you achieve personalized and effective content.

The same goes true for your industry. Professional translators develop niches and subject matter expertise (like medical translation, legal translation, or technical translation) within given sectors as they deal with specific vocabularies. The more regulated and complex your industry is, the more likely you’ll need a professional translator.

Many translators also specialize in specific types of assets or have graphic design skills, so if you’re looking at document translation, online translation, transcription and subtitling, voiceover, or international SEO, professional translators can help you out.

Smartling’s professional translation services create meaningful experiences for customers — in every language

Smartling’s powerful language translation services give you access to tenured translators with extensive industry experience. Use our professional services and white-glove support to optimize your localization program today. We’re here to help you move the world with words.

Try Smartling today - https://www.smartling.com/translation-services/