Six reasons to centralize translation

When exporting into a new country or market, it’s really tempting to rely on in-country distributors to translate your communications. In fact, I’ve sat in trade sessions and read trade magazines that advised new exporters to do exactly that. In a way, it makes sense. In-country distributors speak the language, know your product and they are already in your new market. But in reality, leaving translation up to your distributors might stop your international growth before it even begins.

Text by Terena Bell


Six reasons to centralize translation

Image: © Franck Boston/

That’s because, at the end of the day, your distributors aren’t you. They are separate legal entities making their own autonomous business decisions in tandem, but apart from yours.

Let’s think about this pragmatically. When your distributors translate your materials…

  1. …it doesn’t save you money.

    While it may seem cheaper at first because the distributor fronts the costs, the loss in sales costs you far more in the long run. That’s because every minute a distributor spends managing translation is less time spent selling your product. So weigh up the few hundred dollars you’d shell out for translation against the few thousands your distributor could make in that same amount of time.
  2. …it increases your time to market.

    Think about ROI. How much do you sell in a month? On average, involving a distributor slows the translation process down by one week to three months. So you might ...