Business Success and the Role of Translation

Teamwork — Because Success Doesn’t Happen Alone

“Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.”

~Steve Jobs~

Ok, so Steve Jobs wasn’t in the language services business but this quote resonates with us too. In fact, it resonates across industries. Very rarely can we do it alone and hope to achieve long-lasting success. But, when we work with a team of individuals who build on our accomplishments, great things can — and often do — happen. In the translation world, this is most definitely true. Let’s take a look at the totality of the translation process, and more specifically, at how teamwork is the driving force.

The Language Translation Process

Translating is a mentally-demanding, multi-step process that requires skill, discipline, cultural and linguistic sensitivities, and a high level of subject matter expertise. And while professional translators apply a broad range of linguistic and cultural skills when translating, the entire process involves collaboration with a number of individuals. In order for translators to deliver a timely, high-quality, polished translation, they need to work closely with their entire team, including the client, their project managers, as well as their proofreaders and editors. Although the following steps have been somewhat simplified, they give a pretty clear picture of the extensive teamwork that goes into the translation process.

Step ONE: Analyzing the Source Content

It all begins with the translation team receiving the content and translation request from the client. The translator (and sometimes a team of translators) will review the source text against any existing translation memory (TM) to fully leverage savings and consistency. The translator will also use this time to read through the content and the project description to obtain a general understanding of the scope of the translation project. This also allows them time to conduct any preliminary research to ensure the subject matter and messaging intent is fully understood, bringing us directly to step two.

Step TWO: Clarifying Project Particulars

Once the translator has had a chance to review the document to be translated, it is time to communicate directly with the client to ensure that the translator and the client have a mutual understanding of the content, its purpose, and its intended audience. This includes a discussion with the client to determine the style and/or tone of the translation and even how to handle any acronyms that might be present in the source text and audio. Having these discussions early on helps avoid unnecessary and costly revisions down the road, And, it goes without saying that building a strong connection with clients is extremely important to the overall success of any translation project.

Step THREE: Translating

With these preliminary — yet highly necessary — steps out of the way, the translation of the text can begin. The translator will likely start by extracting the source text from the client’s source files and apply this to a computer-assisted translation tool (CAT). The CAT divides the source text into segments. Since each segment is usually one line of text or one sentence, the translator is able to focus on one segment at a time. 

Step FOUR: Editing and Proofreading

After the initial translation is completed, it will be shared with the translation editor on the team. It is the editor’s responsibility to review the translated document by comparing it to the source text. The editor will evaluate the translated text to ensure the intended message is accurately conveyed. The editor will also evaluate the readability, overall style, and quality of the translated text. Just as translators use translation tools, editors often refer to the translation memory (TM) to ensure that the translator’s word choice and terminology are consistent throughout the document. Consistency is of particular importance when more than one translator has been assigned to the same translation project.

It is important for the translation team to also include an experienced proofreader who, at this stage, will ensure that the translated document is formatted and laid out appropriately. This might include a close examination of any graphics and/or image layouts. In most cases, this stage will also involve proofreading the content for appropriate and accurate use of terminology, syntax, context, register, tense usage, grammar, and punctuation. 

Step FIVE: Final Check and Submission

Generally performed by the project manager, this final step involves a careful final review of the translated document before submission to the client. Once satisfied that the translated document is of the highest quality, the project manager will deliver the document to the client using the client’s preferred method of delivery.

Investing in a Professional Translation Team

From medicine labels and hospital discharge instructions to marketing collateral and legal documents, translation errors can cost a company significant financial loss and risk its overall reputation. Even the most subtle mistranslation can cause immeasurable damage. We need to look no further than HSBC’s loss of $10 million due to mistranslation or the Spanish label error that could have spelled fatal to infants had Mead Johnson not recalled 4.6 million cans of baby formula. One surefire way to strengthen your company’s reputation and avoid colossal communication failures is through professional translation investment. By communicating effectively and accurately with your diverse markets and remote workforce, you’ll not only stand to gain (and maintain) your customer’s trust and loyalty but you will also increase your chances of continued success.

A recent IBM survey of 3,000 chief executives reinforces the need for companies to focus on their customers. Aside from strategic leadership, advanced technology, innovation, and cybersecurity, respondents pointed time and again to the importance of customer relationships. In fact, “48% of respondents cited customers, clients and citizens as their most important business priorities.”2

Business Success and the Role of Translation

Data Source: IBM

A growing number of CEOs are prioritizing stronger customer relationships and better customer experiences. And, in an increasingly globalized and digitized world, that means effectively and consistently communicating in languages other than English. Is your business built to communicate successfully with a linguistically and culturally diverse audience? Ingenuiti can help.

Ingenuiti — Helping You Build Strong Customer Relationships

At Ingenuiti, we pride ourselves on helping our customers maximize their global reach through world-class translation services. We offer a qualified team of professional, in-country linguists, subject matter experts, editors, proofreaders, and project managers with seven global offices. Ingenuiti’s team works closely with each of our clients to develop customized translation solutions for you. With the most advanced translation tools, we ensure fast, consistent translation results every time.

No matter your industry, no matter the complexity of the translation task, the Ingenuiti team delivers. Reach out today to discuss your next translation project with us.


1 “Steve Jobs Biography: Leadership Style, Quotes – Business.” Business News Daily.

2 Written by Victoria Masterson, Senior Writer. “The POST-PANDEMIC Future of WORK – According to 3,000 CEOs from around the World.” World Economic Forum.

In addition to:

TreacyView full profile ›, Author: Tree, et al. “Adventures in Mistranslation: HSBC’s Call to ‘Do Nothing.’” Business 2 Community.

Press, The Associated. “National Briefing | Science and HEALTH: Recall of Baby FORMULA (Published 2001).” The New York Times, The New York Times, 10 July 2001. “Find Your Essential – How to Thrive in a Post-Pandemic Reality.” IBM, IBM Institute for Business Value, Feb. 2021.