The problem is that most people who use machine translation tools do not have a clue about the language they are translating into and therefore they are not able to differentiate between a good or a bad translation, but they use it regardless because it is free.
Using a free translation tool from the internet is fine for the odd word, but if you are in business, especially a global one, then it will not only make you look unprofessional, but may well be regarded as an insult by the recipient. They will assume that their company is not valued enough to warrant a professional translation and this could harm your reputation and lose valuable clients.
If you are translating a web site, you will not attract much business if the translation does not make sense. You may even find yourself being talked about on one of the social media sites, like Twitter or Facebook. People will not have confidence in your product or service if it is obvious that you do not speak their language.
Translation is not only about changing words from one language to another. A translation should sound completely natural and include any nuances relevant to the target language. This makes the difference between a natural sounding translation and one which does not flow properly because it has not been done by a human.
A reputable translation company or agency employs translators that live in the country of the target language, or have lived there in the past. Agency translators are not only knowledgeable about the language, but they know about the culture and traditions. They know slang words and colloquialisms.
Technical, medical and legal translations can all have dire consequences if the translation is not 100% correct. The translation needs to be carried out by someone who is an expert in the technical, legal or medical field. Therefore it is imperative to use a professional translation agency, which will provide an experienced translator for both the language and the subject matter.
Running a business in a global market means professionalism is a priority, so do not use someone you know personally, who is not a translator, but who speaks the target language. They will not have the experience and they may not have the required level of vocabulary or grammatical skill needed to translate on a professional basis. Professional translators have an arsenal of tools to help them with their work, like glossaries and technical dictionaries, which a non-professional will not have.
A translation agency will give you a clear quote for the work required and provide you with a professional and accurate translation.
In order to ensure that your translation is carried out without delay, make sure that you provide the translation company with the following information:
• The source and target languages – There might be more than one target language.
• The type of translation – Technical, medical, legal, corporate business.
• The target audience – Who will be reading it?
• Where the translation will be seen – Is it a letter, leaflet, white paper, web or is it for internal use only?
• When you want the translation to be completed – The deadline.
You should also be prepared to answer any questions the translation company asks, because the clearer the instructions, the better the translation will be.
Spending the money to have professional business translations will reap the benefits in the future. Your customers will have more faith in your products and services, and you will gain a reputation as a global business which makes the effort to communicate on a professional level, with its customers, clients and colleagues.