Many of our clients and customers come to us having never had a requirement for translation & interpreting services before. It’s a bit like going into a sports store looking to buy a pair of running shoes having never before worn a pair of trainers. Go to a standard store, you will get basic advice on your first pair, go into a specialist running store, you will get an in depth explanation on how your running shoes are the most important piece of equipment you will need and what would be the best style, shape & brand to meet your budget and fit your foot. What you really want is to be able to return to the store, knowing which style of shoes is the most comfortable, which shape shoe moulds to the shape of your foot and which type of shoe you need for road / trail /sprint training?
Confusing? Well it’s a bit like the translation & interpreting industry. It isn’t as simple as using someone who is fluent in a language, translating the text word for word. Companies and clients need to be advised on what type of translation & interpreting will benefit their company the most.
Many companies do not have the knowledge or the time to consider different options for their translation or interpreting requirements. They set their budget and cost becomes the only factor. A little advice can help someone enormously within a matter of minutes. Translation and interpreting require special skill sets that someone who is solely fluent in the language cannot provide, as well as someone who is not a specialist in the field required cannot provide. The process isn’t as straightforward as it may appear, yet the way language is perceived is so important for targeting the required audience.
Lingua Translations: “Do you require proofreading?”
Customer: “I don’t know what that is”
If there is a small document welcoming a new recruit for example, the document will remain within the company, so costs can be saved by opting out of proofreading, but if a website translation is required, then proofreading is highly recommended as the text will enter the public domain and is the first port of call for international customers, ultimately reflecting the company values.
Customer: “Don’t translators proofread anyway?”
Well yes, translators do, but after working on the same text for an amount of time, a second, objective opinion can be valuable as suggestions to the tone and style of the text can be made, making the text even more accurate. A Project Brief can do wonders for a translation and save the translator a lot of time in their research. No two translators translate exactly the same but with a brief, all translators used on a project can match the requirements of the client. It would be a waste to translate a text about a new phone accessory, not knowing who the target audience is.
Customer: “What about machine translation, it will save my company so much money?”
Yes, it will save your company money in the short term, however, the quality of the translation you have will be reflected in the quality of your company’s work in the long term. You wouldn’t write a wind farm planning application unless you were a specialist in the energy sector, just like a machine translator shouldn’t translate your wind farm planning application because it isn’t a specialist in the energy sector.
By just reading this blog, someone can learn an awful lot about what may benefit their company the most and ultimately make the right decision. Lingua Translations is founded by trained linguists and all in-house staff are language graduates. This gives us a profound academic awareness of the process of translation and means we are ideally placed to offer our customers the very best service and advice, free of charge. We offer an exceptional and friendly service that keeps our customers happy and keeps them returning.