Popular translation myths

Here are a few of the myths we come across regularly…

 

We don’t need translators – we use Google translate

Machine or online translation tools are exactly that: a useful tool to get a general understanding of what a text is about, but they are no substitute for human expertise and experience.

A machine will not accurately translate anything more than the most simple phrases, and we’ve all seen the results when what comes out is totally wrong. For example, there’s nothing French about french fries, but a translation machine doesn’t know that.

If you want to publish or use the text you are translating for any serious purpose, then steer well clear – don’t make your company or brand a laughing stock by cutting corners.

Anyone who speaks a language can translate

Professional translation should always be done by a native speaker of the target language

Translators, like other professionals, spend years honing and improving their skills to be able to translate accurately and deliver a well written piece of text. Non-translators have generally spent their time focusing on a different career path entirely – there’s simply a different skill set involved.

The other problem with asking someone who is not a translator to work on translations for you is that it isn’t their full-time job. Agents and distributors in particular are very busy and have other demands on their time, so your translation could end up bottom of the heap. In our experience, it takes a lot longer too – months rather than the weeks or days a translation company would take to produce the same translation.

Translation is expensive

When you compare the cost of translation with other professional services such as Solicitors, Accountants, etc, it puts the price into perspective – translators are as specialized and qualified as any other profession, and so charge for their time in a similar way.

We encourage clients to consider translation as an investment rather than a cost – for example, if they localise their website, the company will gain new customers, so the investment will pay off.

Everyone does business in English

English is still widely spoken and understood worldwide, however this is fast changing. The number of people who speak other languages far exceeds the number of native English speakers. If you take the example of internet users, over 70% of them are not Anglophones, so that’s what proportion of the market you could be missing out on by only doing business in English.

To get ahead of your competitors and take full advantage of international business opportunities, contact us now.

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