Translating your website opens your business to the world. But do you need to use a professional translator? It’s tempting to take a short cut and go for an amateur translator, or even run your text through an automated translation system. But resist the temptation! The consequences for your reputation and your business can lead to lost opportunities that could be much higher than the investment needed to commission a professional website translation.
Suzy Kassem, in her book “Rise Up and Salute the Sun” said that one should “Never trust the translation or interpretation of something without first trusting its interpreter.”
So, how do you ensure that you can trust your website translator? Follow these 5 guidelines and you won’t go too far wrong:
- A professional translation company makes its living at aiding effective communication. It takes pride in its results and will be able to show you a portfolio of relevant work. Beware of relying on relatives, friends, even distributors or partners in your industry – you may think that their work will be “good enough”; it is likely that your trust is misplaced.
- A professional translator will be translating into their native language. This ensures that the vocabulary and idiom are correct, and there are no jarring pieces of language that are just “not quite right” to your audience.
- A professional translator has to be a good writer. Your target audiences should not be able to tell that what they are reading is a translation – it should express your ideas naturally, and maintain the tone and level of the source text. This is a skill that takes practise. An amateur translator is unlikely to be able to achieve this.
- Availability when needed – your translation agency should have a roster of translators so if one is away or fully booked they can source another quickly for you. There are times when you may need a website pages translated in a hurry, and using amateur translators means you are playing Russian Roulette with availability.
- A professional translation company will deliver quality work, to your deadlines. Your nephew who speaks a bit of Spanish is likely to be on holiday when needed, and common practise with amateur translators is to over-estimate their talents and under-estimate how long the job will take. A professional will allow time for review, get your translations to you at the agreed time, and allow you to maintain your timescales for your projects.
It may be tempting not to employ a professional – when customers who have gone down this road come to Accutranslate they usually tell us that cost was the reason. At Accutranslate we are often asked to help with mangled website translations that need urgent first aid. These unfortunate companies find their ability to serve overseas customers is seriously impacted by unreliable translators.
Poor results are a high price to pay, and our clients tell us that we charge a fair price for a good service. Why not give Accutranslate a try? Ring 0800 466 1335 to find website translators you can trust!