We’ve all been there. At the end of the day, we all want the highest revenue at the lowest cost. That’s why many companies try to get away with asking their bilingual staff to perform translation work. It could be Sue in Customer Service or Mark in Marketing, they’re often solicited for this type of work even if it’s not in their job description.
I myself, plead guilty of this on many counts. I used to do my own accounting and my own graphic design work until I realized that this was taking up way too much of my time and the quality of work was nowhere near what my accountant and graphic designer are capable of doing.
The problem in asking non-qualified staff to perform translation work is threefold:
- The time they spend on translating material they are not spending on performing the work that they were hired to do. So who’s handling that work in the meantime?
- The process ends up taking twice as long because the personnel is not qualified in this line of work and then other employees need to get involved in final touch ups for x number of reasons. A client of mine told me just a few weeks ago: “I have been using internal resources, but they don’t understand the language of optical and it’s a struggle, to say the least.”
- What are the repercussions if even after several touch-ups here and there, the translated piece is still not up to par? And what if ends up tarnishing the company’s image?
In all honesty, how did this save you money? Not convinced? Keep reading.
Speaking and writing are two very distinct means of communication. Oral fluency does not guarantee a smooth writing style that is formal, informative, accurate, and usable. More often than not, written text will identify the writer as someone coming to the text from a second language. Depending on the purpose of your document—to instruct, to represent your company or yourself, to market, contract someone—the quality of your text, the necessity of your intent must be foolproof. If your wish is to project a professional image, a professional translation is a small expenditure with a significant return on investment.
If you’re translating into French, we all know that the French language is abundant with discrepancies, inconsistencies, and exceptions that can easily lead to numerous errors. Typographic and grammatical conventions vary from one language to the next. Many printers and office staff are unaware of this or just do not take it seriously. Some errors may not be significant nor change the meaning of the text but are an indication that someone is not familiar with the conventions and usage of the language and casts doubt on the level of the language used. Even if each glitch is minor, the cumulative effect may well put foreign readers off.
Whether your business needs translation of English to French, French to English or English to Spanish, you’ll almost always end up with better results by outsourcing the job to a professional language translation agency.
The ability to properly translate documents is a skill that can take years to hone, and most businesses don’t have staff members who are actually capable of tackling difficult translations. A professional translator is added value to a project and to a company. He or she offers mastery of the language, quality control, and a professional look to your deliverables.
Finally, no one reads your texts more carefully than your translator does. Good translators strip down your sentences entirely before creating new ones in the target language. Along the way, he or she is likely to find sections where clarification is needed. This additional level of proofing allows you to modify your original text to be more effective, more readable, and ultimately more useful.
Hopefully, by now, you are starting to see the benefits of outsourcing your translation projects to a professional translator. And there are many out there. Stay tuned for our next article Why Outsource your Translations to LinguiScience? We thought it would be wiser to write an entire article on this subject as the list just goes on and on ;-).