I often come across organisations who, in an attempt to save on costs, undertake their own translation work in-house, using a member of staff or even maybe the son of someone they know ‘who spent time working as a waiter in London’. While these individuals’ level of English is often sufficient for everyday work correspondence, trusting the translation of your website content, packaging or marketing materials to a non native speaker with no training in translation, would seem a little foolish. In this week’s blogpost I want to talk a bit about this lack of awareness and appreciation of the skills required to carry out translation. I want to show you why it really is in the interest of your business to properly invest in quality translations, using a professional service provider.
Your business, your reputation
As a organisation you will have spent time and resources deciding how to portray a certain image to your customers or supporters. As a business you have perfected this image choosing just the right words for your branding, marketing and product descriptions.
A professional translator is not only able to understand your original text in all its nuances, but can successfully craft an equally impressive version for the English-speaking market. Spelling mistakes, clumsy sentence structures or unnatural expressions always catch the attention of native English speakers. These types of errors are often not spotted by someone who has learned English as a foreign language, even if they speak and write to a very high level. This is why in almost all cases, and most definitely with widely spoken languages like Spanish and English, it is always best practice for translators to only translate into their mother tongue.
A low quality translation does not properly reflect your business and is likely to portray an unprofessional image, reversing all the hard work that you have invested in your original marketing materials. A lack of coherence or errors in your text may confuse and distract potential customers, losing you sales.
Focus on high profile texts
Hopefully I have shown you that investing in professional translation services makes good business sense. If you only have a small amount to spend, then professional translations are especially important for high profile marketing materials and your website where most information tends to be static, representing a one-off investment.
And if I haven’t quite convinced you… here is a great list from Letraduct – 7 reasons to opt for a professional translator rather than an internal linguist