Nowadays, there are plenty of apps and online tools available when you need to translate a word, phrase, or entire document. Whether you have a project to translate or you just need a quick answer to help you communicate with a client, it can be tempting to go the quick and easy route. Google Translate can’t be that bad, right?
Machine translation (MT) can come in handy for certain uses. If you’re ordering food at a restaurant in a foreign country or on social media chatting with a new friend who doesn’t speak your native language, then MT can help you quickly get the gist across.
When it comes to connecting clients to resources or publicizing a project you have spent hours working on, only a human can communicate the message in a way that respects the nuances and cultural context. But does that mean that anyone who is bilingual is qualified to translate? Not necessarily. Being fluent in more than one language is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to translation skills.
Here are five reasons to hire a professional translator.
A professional translator has devoted hours to education, training, and professional development. This means we have a translation method and research skills to properly understand, and therefore render, the meaning behind the content in one language to another.
A professional translator has developed a rigorous quality assurance process to ensure a flawless translation every time. This process can involve Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools, collaboration with other language professionals who act as reviewers, and more.
A professional translator has a specialization, or a specific industry or subject area, that we usually translate in. We are well-read in that field. We stay up to date in the latest trends, terminology, and developments in that field. We have established relationships with other experts and professionals from that field. Machine translation might be a jack of all trades, but it is a master of none. There is no substitute for the mastery of a professional translator.
A professional translator doesn’t only study languages. We study the people and places where the languages are spoken. We spend time living with and working among the cultures of our language pairs. The cultural knowledge that comes from this lived experience is irreplaceable for accurate, high-quality translations.
And last but certainly not least, CUSTOMER SERVICE:
A professional translator can provide that extra human touch to guarantee you get exactly what you need, when you need it. Whether that involves prompt and transparent communication or added services like shipping or certified translations, customer service is our top priority.
So while it may seem appealing to cut costs and get “good enough” results with low cost MT, hiring a professional translator will save you money and the headache of dealing with inaccurate or unprofessional translations in the long run.
Interested in finding out about which language services I can help you with? Learn more here.