What To Avoid When It Comes To Professional Translation Services
Most of us are under the false impression that translation services are all created equal. After all, the only thing that needs done is changing the words from one language to another, right? Well, not quite. A good translation requires a lot more work than that and also requires a human touch.
Google translate is a great tool and is very helpful for getting the general idea of a body of text, most of the time. However, it isnâ€™t a true translation. Language is cultural and contextual — two qualities that are difficult to automate. With the world continuing to evolve into an international economy, the demand for translation services is higher than ever. However, the industry hasnâ€™t received much public attention yet and the consumer is not educated on how to spot a good service from a bad one. Until now.
Avoid the Cheapest Translation Services
More often than not, you get what you pay for — especially when it comes to services that canâ€™t be fully automated. Which is exactly why you should avoid translation services that are too cheap to be true. These services are likely using software to do all of the translating and not having an actual human follow-up to revise. Either that, or the translators arenâ€™t very experienced and are willing to work for less.
However they are able to offer such low prices, it likely isnâ€™t good for you if youâ€™re interested in quality. Good translators are valuable and are generally well-compensated for their time. The less a translation service costs, the less your documents are being serviced by a quality translator.
Avoid Translation Services With a Bad Reputation
Thereâ€™s nothing more valuable than a strong recommendation to help you decide which service to use. When shopping around for a translation service, keep an eye out for which companies are more reputable and have a solid track record of satisfying customers. With so many companies available, why bother taking the risk on a service that is reviewed poorly?
Another factor to consider regarding reputation is the type of clients that the agency you are considering has or is working with. A translation service doesnâ€™t have to work with a lot of large companies for you to feel assured that they provide great service, but it certainly doesnâ€™t hurt. The fact is that large enterprises are approached constantly by various service providers. They also are rarely limited by budget, so they can really work with whoever they want.If the translation service you are considering has experience with several large companies, you are likely in good hands.
Avoid Translation Services That Specialize in Everything
Itâ€™s very common to see translation services that claim to specialize in all industries and documents in order to get as many clients as possible. Unfortunately, itâ€™s impossible to be an expert at everything. What this means is that while their marketing might sound good, their actual service is mediocre.
Thereâ€™s so much more to translation than simply replacing words. The context, tone, and meaning must all be taken into consideration. A quality translation requires deep understanding of the material being translated. Seek out translators who specialize in the type of documents you need translated and your final product will be of much higher quality.
Avoid Translation Services With Poor Customer Service
When you initially contact a company that you are considering doing business with, you are taking their customer service for a test drive. Itâ€™s important to note the quality and speed of their customer service to you as a potential client. If they donâ€™t treat you well when theyâ€™re trying to convert you to a customer, how do you think theyâ€™ll treat you after youâ€™ve paid? Probably not very well.
Look for translation services that are happy to answer questions and make the process as easy as possible for you. Of course this is true with all companies, but sometimes we tend to let our standards slide when weâ€™re unfamiliar with an industry. Bad customer services isnâ€™t an industry trend, itâ€™s a trend in companies that should be avoided.
Avoid Common Client Mistakes
Although youâ€™re hiring someone to do all of the translating for you, that doesnâ€™t mean there isnâ€™t any work required on your part. That is, if you want the best translation possible. There are a few things you should do before contacting a translation service.
The documents you submit should be fully edited and revised so that there are no grammatical errors and that everything makes sense. Translation agencies often end up with documents containing sentences that a native speaker canâ€™t even understand, simply because the documents werenâ€™t edited. You canâ€™t expect someone to translate a document to another language, when it isnâ€™t properly written in the native language to begin with.
Also, providing contextual information is very beneficial. If you are having an excel spreadsheet of abstract data translated it helps tremendously to provide a brief summary of background information for the translator. Remember, translation is more about the message than the actual words.
About the author:
Kyle Stout is a freelance writer based out of Tulsa, OK. This article was written on behalf of Pemex English Library, a digital library of translated technical documents for companies working with Pemex.