This is Step 5 of our series on getting good translations. In step 4 we recommended using native speakers to translate into their own language. If your translator is not a native speaker their translations risks sounding “wrong” to a native ear. Even a small degree of “wrongness” is distracting to a native reader and undermines the credibility of your materials. Accutranslate’s ebook on getting good translations is a good place to start.
Your translator needs translation skills and experience
However, it’s about more than just using a native speaker – it has to be a native speaker with translation skills and experience. A native speaker of your target language does not necessarily make a good translator. Of course they know their own language well but translating requires a very skilled person, to match the tone and style of your English document. These skills do not come with every native speaker – to acquire them requires experience and practise. This is why Accutranslate uses translation professionals.
Your native speaker employees don’t necessarily produce good translations
Many businesses will think that it’s OK to ask a distributor or customer in their overseas markets to translate for them. After all, they know the market and the specialist vocabulary – what could be more convenient? However, using a non-professional translator is a false economy. They may be good at selling your product, but getting them to sideline as a translator is risky and also distracts them from their main role in your business.
How you can use native speakers within your organisation
A better solution is to ask native speakers within your business to have input with the translator before they start, to explain specialist terms. They could also review a final version of the translation before publishing.
Get a proper professional translator!
The most important thing is to give the actual translation work to a proper professional. A specialist agency like Accutranslate can source a translator with the right range of skills, and ensure that your translations are spot on, every time – give us a ring to chat about your requirements!