What Can Translation Vendors Do that I Can’t?

If you are looking at translation vendors to help you connect with your non-English speaking clients, you may wonder if you can manage the projects yourself. I’m going to tell you something you won’t hear from too many translation providers. . .you can!

You may consider an in-house team if you frequently need to provide translated material for similar customers in a set group of languages. Like, if you always need documents translated into Spanish, Russian, and Chinese, you might benefit from your own process. When there are variable document types and language needs, that could bring extra head-aches. One of the benefits of using a vendor is you can focus on what you do best.

Pro’s and Con’s for Building an In-House Team

There are definitely pro’s and con’s to developing an internal language team. For example:

Pro’s Con’s
A dedicated team can build expertise in your content. You may not have the infrastructure to qualify linguists to ensure they are the right fit.
You can save some money on Project Management tasks. Building this service takes time away from your already busy job.
You can be assured that files are securely handled. Specialized translation database tools can be expensive and difficult to learn
You can manage the quality process. You may not have the expertise to manage the quality process.

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Should I Support Translation In-House?

But for those of you who love DIY (Do-it-Yourself) tasks (I’m guilty of this!). You might consider if you’re really able to take on managing your translation workflow. If I haven’t convinced you, have you see these “pinterest fails”?

I’m always happier with the end result when I leave it to the professionals!

Fortunately, there are some options where you can get the best of both worlds. By partnering with Mindlink, you will have all the benefits of the professional agency while engaging with your own team. Let’s talk!

Keys to have good relationships with your translation vendors


Having reliable vendors is crucial to your project success. Most clients think that their vendors should be grateful to be able to work with them. That is a short-sighted thought, and is a recipe for a project failure. Finding the right vendor is like having a good marriage. Once you find them, treat them well, build a good working relationship with them, and appreciate them. So, what can you do to stay married with your translation vendors? Here are a few keys to remember.

Give them adequate lead times!

Sure, there are some unavoidable rush projects that you need them done ASAP. But for every project, try to provide your translation vendors as much lead times as possible. Remember that your vendors need to reach out to their linguists, checking on their availability too. By giving them enough lead times, it also helps them understand your needs, making any necessary changes before the start of the project, and preventing any hiccups during the project. So it’s beneficial for both you and your vendors when you can give them a heads up!

Remember that you’re not the only client!

It’s important to understand your vendors have other clients that they are working with too. Your vendors are doing their best to meet all of their clients’ satisfactions. Often times, clients think that they are the only client and every email or phone call should be responded or answered within minutes. It’s clearly not the case. Sometimes the project manager/coordinator or linguist that you want is working with a different client or another project.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communication is key in every relationship. You could sabotage your projects or even your relationships with your translation vendor with a lack of communication. Remember to communicate with your vendors if there’s a change in the project timeline, scope of the project, or even point of contact. Having a continuous communication between you and your vendors can help eliminate issues of project quality and delivery, and a headache!! Additionally, having a good communication with your vendors also helps strengthening your relationships and building trust with them.


Accept Accountability and Be Flexible

To have a successful working relationships with your vendors, learning to accept accountability is crucial. Having a success or failure in project delivery depends on both you and your vendors. When you decide to change your project scope or delay your project, it could impact your vendor’s (linguists’) availability or ability to meet your needs or deadlines. So accept your accountability when you make decisions to make any changes to your project(s).

We are all human – be respectful

Sure there are times, that your vendor upsets you, whether not being able to meet the deadline or not being to get a PO in before your quarter ends…

When an unexpected incident happens, you want to scream, write an angry email, or pick up the phone to call them. Take a breath! We are people, we make mistakes – everyone does. There might be times that vendors are just horrible and deserve your anger, but often times, mistakes happen due to everyday hiccups. There’s no need for an angry email or phone call when a small mistake happens, which could lead to a sour in your relationship with the vendor.

Building, maintaining, and strengthening relationships

When you can, meet with your vendors at their offices, your offices, for coffee, for lunch, etc. Getting to know them better, learning more about them, and developing respectful and mutually beneficial relationships. Invite them to your project meetings, asking for feedback, encouraging them to give you suggestions on how you could effectively and efficiently work together. Good client and vendor relationships are crucial for every project success.


How to Choose the Right Method for Working with Interpreters

Effectively working with interpreters can transform the way you talk to your clients. You can understand your non-English speaking clients on a deeper level and connect them to the valuable service you provide.

Have you thought you might benefit from having an interpreter, but weren’t sure where to begin? Check out this little guide I made up for to how to choose the interpreter that is right for you. 


Learn even more about interpreting by watching this video. By knowing what interpreters can do for you and your clients, you can get the most out of that service. Wouldn’t you like to communicate on a whole ‘nother level?


Check out some other helpful articles!




If you have ongoing translation projects it’s worth your while to get to know some industry lingo: it will save you time and money and help you understand translation tools. Read up so that next time your translation agency mentions fuzzy you will be clearly thinking “savings”.

CAT tools

The acronym CAT derives from “Computer Assisted Translation” and describes software programs assisting translators with their work. These programs boost efficiency and quality allowing multiple people to collaborate simultaneously on the same large text.

The most popular choices include programs such as SDL Trados Studio, Wordfast Pro, MemoQ and WordBee.

Exact match/100% match

Exact matches appear when the current source segment fully matches the one stored in Translation memory. When translating a sentence, an exact match means the same sentence has been translated before. Those generate the highest savings in your translation cost.

Basically, these are words or sentences that partially matched previous translations. These matches are usually assigned percentages greater than 0% and less that 100%. Repetition and TM matches can lead to substantial discounts for you as they allow the new documents to be partially pre-translated.

No match

This indicates the number of sentences which haven’t been translated before. Unless you give the exact same document for translation twice (which we don’t suspect you would) there are certainly going to be no match segments. These types of segments offer no savings.



Sentence or phrase that is separated from the rest of a text based on language grammar rules such as punctuation.

Segment of a source text and its translation treated as a single unit of meaning.

A translation memory is a database of your company where all the translations including the source text have been saved. This memory is built by the translation agency for consistency purposes (it comes in handy when your company uses certain terminology). New documents that you need to have translated are going to be analyzed against the translation database to find sentences that have already been translated.

Food Banks and Globalization: Speaking the Language of Hunger

Poverty—a word difficult to define. What is poverty? Who is considered poor? For how long is a person considered poor? Some argue that poverty is a temporary state, while others would take it a step further and define it as a label that defines the whole trajectory of a person’s life. And while the debate can take contrasting positions and lead to different conclusions, most agree that food insecurity is an element that reflects and affects poverty. To combat food insecurity, food banks must be able to reach the poor wherever they are.  Understanding the relationship between food banks and globalization can increase the chances of helping migrant communities come out of poverty. 

Reasons for Food Insecurity

Food banks must be able to react to economic changes. Indeed, the recession led to a large growth in people attending to food banks. Many food pantries saw their attendance multiply. For example, the Christ Church, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, saw a tenfold increase in monthly attendance from 2007 to 2009(

Besides economic downturns, a second developing and phenomenon also requires foodbanks to adapt: migration.

Globalization has encouraged the people from other countries to seek economic opportunities. In 2010, the Center for Immigration Studies estimated that the United States had 40 million immigrants ( Of this group, one in four are in poverty.


Unique Challenges of Migrants

Migration is  important to food banks because it creates several challenges that must be addressed. As previously mentioned, a quarter of migrants are considered poor. These migrants would increase the attendance to food banks.

Food Customs

The challenge arises when migrants wish to combine the available food stuffs with their cultural culinary coustoms.

To support their transition, food pantries find they are charged with educating the migrant community on food preparation. This entails acquiring human capital   First, migrants bring with them their cultural identity, including culinary practices. But in the new country, their culinary heritage begins to shape under a different social environment. Food stuffs they enjoyed in their home country may not be as readily available in the host country. In this situation, food banks are charged with a educating migrants on creating a meal plan and consuming the available food stuffs.

Language Barrier

This brings a second reasons that help some adapt more readily, others preserve as many of their traits as possible, including their language.  The ability to communicate how to access food bank services can make a difference for migrants working to overcome poverty. Quality language access, including translation and interpretation,  can make the difference.

That’s why food banks are so important to combat poverty. In American, poverty can be linked to an monetary problem. Most people can relate in one way or another to the economical pressure the 2009 recession placed on families. Having access to a food supply means that family providers can spend more time looking for work instead of food. 

Why Hire a Professional Interpreter Instead of a Bilingual Employee

If you work for an international company (or one that employs people from different countries) you may be tempted to use a bilingual employee for interpretation services. You may even convince yourself that you’re saving the company’s money and your own time by skipping research and not hire a professional interpreter. Would you do the same with a contract – give it for a review to anyone who can read instead of a lawyer? Odds are slim that the bilingual employee would possess the knowledge and experience in the specific areas you need. Hiring a professional avoids a host of avoidable problems.

If that hasn’t convinced you, here are other reasons to take into consideration:


Just how experienced is the bilingual staff in interpreting? It is always a good idea to give an interpreter a brief orientation of the situation and expectations that need to be met, but professional interpreters meet standards far more readily. Has the employee done any interpreting before? What if the person stalls, makes many pauses to search for adequate words, or worse yet, interprets something incorrectly? Unlike translation, there is not quiet time to carefully determine correct wording. Are you willing to bet your company’s good name? Professional interpreters are properly trained and certified, and study terminology specific to the fields they work in.


By giving additional tasks to a bilingual staff member, you may be creating a stressful situation. He or she will have to catch up on regular job responsibilities, which may cause unnecessary burden.

Cultural awareness

Is your bilingual staff aware of cultural sensitivities? Interpreting for somebody from a different country may be a daunting task. Knowing another language does not equal cultural immersion. When Nikita Khrushchev’s famous phrase “We will outlast you” was interpreted at United Nations as “We will bury you” it was viewed as a threat of attack. Mistakes of that sort can be quite expensive (product re-branding, falling stocks) or simply embarrassing.

Finally, there are some circumstances that require using a professional interpreter, such as court hearings or medical appointments. Whatever the reason, you may rest assured that professional interpreting services will render the best results.