The Mistakes to Avoid in Translation

Over the years Debonair Languages have been providing translation services, we have noticed that companies use different methods to get translation done.

We understand that for infrequent and short translations are sometimes sourced in slightly unprofessional ways.  Some companies may initially try to cut corners when they need content to be translated but the results, no matter which industry they belong to, can be disastrous especially when they have more and more substantial and regular needs of translation.

1st: Google Translate

It is true Google Translate has improved, but there have been several issues underlined no later than a couple of months ago that there is still a lack of fluidity. A company could use a bilingual employee to check the translation but there is still margin for error and it can still be extremely time consuming.

Debonair Languages recognise that new technologies in translation allows some great improvement, but these technologies need to be “handled with care.”

Other machine translation with search engines can be better trained for specific language. On the occasion it depends on the company’s budget.

However, we cannot stress enough that some translation needs to be extremely accurate, in the medical, legal or industrial industry for example, or it can trigger major problems.

A specialised translator in your field or industry will know how to identify those key words and how they need to be understood.

2nd: When bilingual employees become internal translators

It could look as an attractive solution to use bilingual employees because they know the industry terminology. It may work very well for translating short emails, but when it is dealing with websites, technical brochures, instruction manuals etc., there are drawbacks that may not appear obvious to start with:

  • While employees spend some time translating, they may not be able to accomplish their job. There is a false economy as it probably would cost the company less to use a professional translator compared to the value of the work lost by the bilingual employee.
  • The bilingual employee may take longer than expected.
  • Debonair Languages recommends that you use a professional translator with years of experience, expertise, and knowledge in your industry, and with good writing skills in the target language. You will struggle to find all those qualities in a bilingual employee.

3rd: Rushing a job can waste a lot money

Debonair Languages proceed to a detailed consultation period with our clients to establish how and where the content is going to be used, which level of specialism is required, and what are the deadlines. We are not trying to up sell but Debonair Languages want to quote the project at the right price and answer to our clients’ needs.

When our client consists of several departments or offices that may all have translation needs, we always raise that it is important that you share their plans internally, so you avoid inconsistent quality and climbing costs. By doing so, we can work on maintaining a translation memory to each project, so our client avoids paying full pricing for updates. Ultimately, it will increase the quality and the consistency of the general translation project.

4th: Lack of Planning

Debonair Languages recommend that if you know that the written content is to be translated, you should include it fully in the writing process. The content must be clearly written and thoroughly proofread so it saves you time and money.  You need to avoid making changes when the content is being translated to avoid increase in costs. We would generally advise you to provide us with most of the content to be translated at once. It can allow a volume discount compared to more expensive minimum charges for small documents.

We hope that this general advice may be a guide for you when you need to decide on how you are going to translate website content, legal documents, technical manual or medical report which could be key to the growth of your business.

Our translation department are available for an initial discussion to review your needs and to provide you with a free estimate of all the translation work you may need.


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