In this day and age, when we rely so much on technology in nearly every aspect of our daily lives, it’s tempting to turn to software or online translation tools when we are in need of translations services. While some of these programs may suffice in some circumstances, you should exercise caution when choosing translation services for your business. The truth is that machines will never be able to master language in the way that human translators can.
Accurate, precise translations require much more than simply converting words from one language to another. Consider the countless nuances of language: how one word can have different meanings when used in a different context; how slight variations in word choice can drastically impact the tone of a sentence or paragraph; how slang terminology may be used in one country that speaks a certain language, but not in another country that speaks that language; or how popular culture influences and alters language from one year to the next. While machines may be able to perform simple translation tasks that involve converting words from one language to another, they are not capable of understanding the nuances of language and the culture of the people who speak that language.
As it turns out, the old saying, “You get what you pay for” is usually right. Machine translations are typically much less expensive than professional translation services provided by human linguists, but the quality of the translations done by software or online programs leaves much to be desired. Some machine translations produce the worst of all possible results: literal, word-for-word translation that is not only incorrect, but often nearly incomprehensible to the reader. This is why it’s so important to choose a translation company that offers high quality services for your business.
There are several things to look for when choosing a translation company:
• Native speakers – Choose a company that employs native speakers. Those people are best at understanding the nuances of language.
• Experienced linguists – Make sure that the company employs trained translators with years of experience.
• Industry-specific background – It’s best to ask for a translator that has experience in your industry, so he or she will be able to understand industry-specific terminology.
Although machine translations may have some utility, such as translating an online article that you’re reading for your own enjoyment, it’s never a good idea to rely on machine translations for your business. It’s important to remember that any text or document you produce – whether it’s printed marketing material, a contractual agreement, website copy, or whatever other example you can think of – is a reflection of your business. To make sure that your organization is seen in the most professional light possible, make sure you rely on experienced human linguists for the highest quality translations.