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Some misconceptions about translations and translators

24

Jan

2016

The majority of people and firms looking to have translations done often have similar misconceptions regarding translations and translators. Below are some of the most common ones.

I know where I can get it translated cheaply

The first thing to keep in mind when looking for a translation services provider is what kind of quality a translation you are looking for. Please note that a guaranteed quality translation cost cannot be less than a defined rate. At present the market rate is at its lowest and if you are looking to save money, you risk compromising in quality.

QUALITY TRANSLATION

We only work with the best linguists around the world, ensuring 100% quality and unbeatable completion time

For example, if you are offered a fee of less than US$3 per page for common languages (i.e. English, German, French), it is likely that you are wasting your money. Professional and experienced translation agencies offer rates that guarantee acceptable quality levels. That is to say that for the rate you are paying, you will get an adequate translation: without linguistic, grammatical, lexical and stylistic errors.

You must bear in mind that the higher the rate, the more qualified and experienced translators will be in charge of your order.

Of course, even most professionally done translations may be completed better or worse, excellently or simply well, but would all nonetheless all be adequate and equivalent. Do not try to save money on quality!

I know where I can get it translated quickly

Another important criterion to bear in mind is the completion timeframe. Do not forget that translation is a creative process that cannot be speeded up without losing in quality, even at a higher fee. That is why if you are looking to get a large volume of documents translated within a short timeframe, it is best to place your order with an experienced translation agency. As a rule we work with the best translators and they can advise on the most realistic timeframe whilst ensuring quality and professionalism.

If the majority of experienced and professional translation bureaus insist on the impossibility to complete your order within the shortest timeframe, but you have managed to find an agency that would do that, do not rush to agree. Inquire about why the deadline is not acceptable and how the agency would address that. Most likely you would lose in quality or the agency has overestimated its abilities, which may result in the failure to deliver the order. Or worse, the transition will be completed unsatisfactory and upon client’s complaint it would take additional time to get it newly translated. Do not rush unnecessarily.

One of our employees speaks the language and can assess the quality of translation

It often happens that some clients believe that their employees speak have sufficient knowledge of a foreign language that thus allows them to make undisputable assessment of the quality of translation. Unfortunately it may lead to amendments that may change the meaning of the text. Thus, we strongly recommend that our clients refrain from making any changes to the translation unless they are 100% sure of their accuracy.

It is better to hire a full-time translator

In case where a company has a large volume of translation work, it may decide to hire a full-time translator. Unfortunately, this decision may not always solve the issue, but may on the contrary result in additional costs. The reason being that translators specialise in a small number of defined subjects and the full-time translator will simply not be in a position to deliver quality and to translate all the documents he / she is assigned to. Keep in mind that it is not always easy to check the quality of translation work as partners, especially from abroad, often diplomatically refrain from commenting.

No translator is in a position to see all his / her errors or to perform a detailed proofread. Translator is only human and you need to be prepared that some mistakes do not arise from his / he inability to translate, but out of simple lack of attention.

Professional translation agency always hires a specialised translator, whose final work is always proofread by another person in order to minimise chance of error.

We would also like to point out that translation workload is not continuous and a full-time translator would either be sitting with no work to do or overburdened with assignments that he / she would be in no position to perform.

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