7 Common Misconceptions About Translation

7 Most Common Misconceptions About Translation, and why should you care…

There are many misconceptions about translation in the translation industry but today I have chosen just a few to highlight the problem and point out why businesses wanting to outsource translation to translation agencies need to be mindful of these urban myths to avoid losing money in the future.

So here they are..

  1. Google Translate can do the job just as well

    This is probably the most damaging misconception for both businesses and translation agencies alike. Not only does it imply that the translation process is as easy as copying and pasting your source text into a text field but also that it can be executed by anyone in the company saving you the cost.

  2. My staff can speak the language – we can do it in-house

    This misconception is similar to the first one. However, it implies that virtually anyone can translate, including your in-house staff, as long as they know a bit of the ‘other language’. This philosophy hurts businesses and their hard-earned reputation by exposing translation mistakes made by unqualified personnel.

  3. All translation agencies are created equal

    Because many business owners believe that translation is a relatively simple process involving not much more than merely replacing a text in one language with the text in another (very much like Google Translate does), they often don’t a waste Are they wrong? Well, there are translation agencies and there are Translation Agencies. I have heard many stories of how businesses suffered when a translation went terribly wrong. You can read of these stories in our past blog post.

  4. Translation Quality depends on the Translation Agency you choose

    Yes and No. Of course, the better and more professional your Translation Agency, the more chances there are of receiving a high quality target text. However, as we demonstrated in another post earlier this year, translation quality also largely depends on the individual translator assigned to your job, especially with translation agencies which do not implement very strict Quality Control measures.

  5. Quality Control is a norm

    It’s not, unfortunately. I know of some very large and respectable Translation Agencies which do not proofread their translations for instance. That is why businesses need to be aware of this fact when choosing your provider, especially when the translation is to be published whether in print or on the company website.

  6. Translation cost is directly related to translation quality

    This is a very common misconception among many of us. When we think of any business or service they provide, we tend to think “It must be good if it’s so expensive. It can’t be bad.” Unfortunately, quite often it’s just wishful thinking. There are some very decent inexpensive providers out there and there are horrendous company who often charge their clients up to 5 times the translator’s fee!

  7. Translation training is just an added bonus

    So what can you do as a business to guarantee high quality of your translation? I’d say your number one priority should be to make sure that the person translating your material is a fully qualified, professional translator – a linguist not only fluent in both the source and target languages but also trained to perform high quality translation work. At Columbus, we have made this our number one priority when hiring new translators – each and every translator working for us has to be a fully qualified and trained linguist with at least 5 years’ professional translation experience.

And why should you care?

Simply because it is your money that is at stake. But also because poor translations and incompetent translation agencies mean a waste of your time and resources and, even more importantly, they can seriously damage your company’s reputation in no time at all, like in the case of these Chinese companies. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

eighteen + 2 =