When we send out a quotation for some work to support our customers with their translation requirements, they often have objections as to why they can’t just do it themselves. Whilst we strongly advocate the use of professional translators for written translations, we are by no means dismissing the many benefits of an instant translation service you can carry round in your pocket.
Google translate, amongst others comes with none of the costs of utilising an experienced professional, and can have a completed translation ready in seconds. A human translator working on a document has absolutely no chance of keeping up with the speed of the algorithms of a piece of software.
As with all commercial exercises though, a greater long-term benefit comes from taking the time to ensure that a translated document, which represents your business, says exactly what you want it to. Our challenge is to demonstrate just how important it is to ensure we are the best option to maintain your company’s brand at all times, and that our professional services can be extremely good value for money.
The essence boils down to the fact that whilst the computer systems are efficient and often effective, they are still merely that, a computer’s interpretation of languages it has no way of truly understanding the human complexities. A professional interpreter would make every effort to avoid the pitfalls of using software to interpret an evolving, complex human language, especially in larger documents, which make the likelihood of errors more likely (as well as the fact that there is a character limit on the amount of text a web-based service will translate for you).
Using their own knowledge and often a lifetime of experience with the language for context (something else a piece of software would be unable to process), checking back with glossaries, dictionaries and having their work proof-read by another professional who speaks the same language, helps ensure that the translation communicates the desired message effectively.
One of the other benefits of using our translation service, as well as access to our pool of professional interpreters, is that we can provide an in house certificate validating the accuracy of our translations. This can be used to add authenticity to translated documents, which for previous clients it has been sent to the Home Office, or translated on behalf of the NHS, where the accuracy of the translations come under intense scrutiny, and has a direct impact on a person’s life.
Another factor to consider is that many electronic translation databases are built on previous translations, so more common languages, such as Spanish or English tend to be more accurate while translations for other languages that are not as available in the database are less likely to be accurate.
Using a professional service ensures you maintain the same high standards regardless of language you need translating. Moreover, any grammatical errors embedded in the Google database would be emphasised in any future translations, especially considering that many algorithms do not take into account grammatical rules.
With all this in mind, over the page is an example of an extract from Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis translated from German into English. Example 1 is Google’s translation of the text, and example 2 is the same text translated by one of our professional translators.