Factory or online?
One question I’m often asked by software developers is why they should go with an independent translator or indie translation provider instead of the “big guys”â€”traditional agenciesâ€”or factory translation companies like icanlocalize or mygengo.
I can think of a million reasons, but here are my TOP 5
- Quality.Â Doing an outstanding job is everything to us. It’s our reputation and our livelihood.
- Accountability. When issues crop upâ€”and they do in complex localizationsâ€”you can bet that an independent translator will listen to the problem and help you find a resolution instead of passing the buck.
- One price doesn’t fit all.Â If you think that all translations can be reduced to a single per-word rate, you’re fooling yourself. Factory translation companies make money with add-on pricing: it looks cheap but you end up paying more and more to get the quality you deserved in the first place. You always get what you pay for.
- Answers.Â Unless your question is listed in an FAQ, chances are a factory translation company won’t bother to help you. Indie translators willâ€”every time.
- Because you care.Â You care about your software. You put a lot of work into it and you genuinely want people around the world to use it. Why would you trust your baby to a website?
How do today’s cloud translation companies compare?
Click to enlarge
The death of Traditional Agencies
I don’t talk a lot about traditional agencies, because honestly there isn’t a lot to say. They are outmoded and outclassed in the localization world: high prices, low quality and response time, and problems handling new localization formats. They don’t “get” software and they never will.
|Your translation questions
|Independent Translators||Factory (“cloud”) translations||Traditional Agencies|
|Are the translators good?||We’ve been working together for years.||We do random checks, just like at the airport.||Yes, and we replace them periodically with lower wage ones.|
|Who manages my project?||The translator.||An algorithm.||A rotating menagerie of low-paid, overworked “coordinators”|
|Do you use a smartphone?||For work and play.||We see money!||BlackBerry FTW!|
|Do you know what a Localizable.strings file is?||“Yes” = “SÃ, seÃ±or!”;||Parse error.||“SÃ” = “SÃ”.|
|Are you obsessive about quality?||Always.||Depends how much you pay.||We’ll offer a discount on your next translation instead.|
|Personal one-on-one service?||Email me right now. I dare you.||How about one-on-zero?||It depends how long before your coordinator quits.|
|Fast answers?||Lightening fast.||Did you read our FAQ?||Let me get back to you.|
|Localization advice?||Ask us anything.||Did you read our FAQ?||Let me get back to you.|
|Can I add new languages?||We’re always ready for more.||Did you read our FAQ?||Yes, we make more that way.|
|Any format?||If it’s got strings, we’ve got translations.||Did you read our FAQ?||Let me get back to you.|
Tell me in the comments!