Anyone who has used the automated website translator feature on Google or Bing knows that its usefulness is limited. They can help a reader get a rough or rudimentary understanding of the meaning of the text on a foreign-language website, but a lot of interpretation is still required. If the text is to be used for effective sales copy or a clear product description, a lot of syntax and grammar needs to be manipulated before it can be considered useful and published. Even more sophisticated and specialized translation software can provide a translation that does not capture the full meaning or nuance of a text. It takes a person who is familiar with two languages to be able to translate the phrase “Here we go, again!”. into the correct equivalent in a foreign language. Software can translate such a sentence into something along the lines of: “We’ll go to this place another time.”
A cost-benefit analysis may need to be performed to weigh the cost of using automated translation software and then transcribing the text versus hiring a translation service. Ultimately, hiring a translation service is often more cost-effective, especially when considering the risk of an inaccurate translation of a document. The cost of an inaccurate translation can be avoided if the translated text is used for sales copy. The costs can be ruinous if a contract or other legal translation is done improperly. That is why it is important to choose the right translation service. A professional translation service will answer questions about their procedures for translating a document and the qualifications of their staff. The right translation service can provide a certified translation of a document. If possible, have a document reviewed by a native speaker of the language in which the document was written. This translator should also be fluent in the language into which the document will be translated. He or she can contact a native speaker of the second language if the document contains regionalisms or jargon.
Professional translation services should have translators who have education or training in specialized fields such as law, medicine or specific business sectors. This education and training can be crucial to delivering accurate translations. Some translation services specialize in specific areas such as insurance. The translators of these law firms are chosen not only for their command and command of a particular language, but also for their knowledge and expertise in their field. A deep understanding of insurance is often required to be able to translate a document such as an insurance policy. Companies offering legal translations can often assure their clients that the translators working on their documents or translating phone calls are paralegals or lawyers. Not only are they fluent in more than one language, they are also familiar with the culture and laws of more than one nation. It can be important to ask about such qualifications of translators when considering which translation service to use. In many cases it may be necessary to find a service that has translators who are not only familiar with a particular language but also with dialects of that language. When asking questions about each translator’s mother tongue and qualifications, it can also be helpful to ask about the language or languages in which the translators received their university education.