Priority in Translation: Quality, Speed or Price?

When faced with a large or even small translation project, there are three factors to consider when choosing a Chinese translation agency: quality, speed and price.

factors to consider when choosing a translation agency

In an ideal world, your goal would naturally be to achieve the three objectives and result in a translation of excellent quality, delivered quickly and at the lowest possible cost. Unfortunately, in the real world, achieving these three goals together can pose big challenges. Let’s see why.

An error in this paradigm is the assumption that these factors are equally important, but this is a fallacy. In the business world, poor quality is never an option for a company that wants to keep its customers and grow its business. The written materials of a company, especially your website, are your cover letter. A 2011 study conducted by Charles Duncombe, which manages the online stores of various industries, found that spelling and grammar errors ruin a company’s credibility and consumer confidence, generally in the first 10 seconds a web page is viewed. It is estimated that the total cost of business lost due to these types of errors is around hundreds of millions of dollars.

Therefore, if we agree that quality should be the top priority, what weight should the speed and cost have?

In fact, these two factors also affect the final result, since a high-quality translation involves finding the right translator that is available and able to deliver the translation on time. Urgency can adversely affect a translation, since working against the clock limits the ability of the translator to carry out an effective investigation of the appropriate terminology and to polish the translation to perfection. Price can have a significant effect on the quality of translation, good translators are rarely cheap; highly skilled professional translators are in constant demand and do not have the need to work for a low rate.

The bottom line is that if you are looking for a quality and accurate translation, you will need a good translator who has been given enough time to deliver the translation you need for the success of your business. Other options can cost you much more than the money you save when you prioritize cost rather than excellence. Translation mistakes can be extremely expensive, both in terms of finance and reputation.

Times have changed and the world has become globalized but the old saying “the cost of going cheap is expensive” has never been more true to the success of your business.