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Written by Montserrat González

Montserrat is a professional translator who likes to read and write fictional stories. There's nothing she enjoys more than spending time with her friends and family.

December 12, 2018

Choosing low-cost translations can be… expensive?

 

If you’ve decided to translate the content of your company, you should keep in mind that a low-cost translation won’t always be the best option. No pay, no gain, that’s why you have to invest in professional translation services to get the benefits you want.

With this, I’m not saying that the most expensive services are always the best (there are quite a few scammers On-line). Keep in mind that the translation process not only involves rewriting a text from one language to another; it also includes the preparation, editing, and revision of the document, which are included in the final price offered by the company. So, if you notice that a service provider gives you a price below the average, it might mean that they aren’t doing one of theses things.

To better understand this, I recommend you to read the article,5 things you didn’t know about the translation process. Meanwhile, we’ll continue with our topic.

Why do companies choose low-cost translations?

When a company request a translation of their contents, they usually want to obtain a benefit from their investment; but it all depends on the quality of the service.

Unfortunately, some people make the mistake of saving on costs for their company in order to get more benefits. But when it comes to translations, it may be more harmful than good. A bad translation, no matter how cheap, can damage the corporate image of your company and damage your sales. And, at the end of the day, you’d end up spending more money requesting a new translation.

 

Mala praxis by non-professional companies

Sometimes bad translations are the result of using machine translation, which is often inaccurate and incomprehensible.

Machine translation programs are easy to use and faster than a human translator. Therefore, a company doesn’t need to invest too many working hours to deliver a translated document. By using a machine translator, they can offer you a cheap job in a short time; however, without a human editor who can correct the errors and mistakes on the document, you may end up with something unreadable.

Another common mistake companies make is to offer an impossible number of words to translate (with good quality) per day. So, if you encounter an offer that looks too good to be real, don’t hesitate to reject it and go with professional service providers and translators in the area.

In order to meet their tight deadlines or, even, finish the assignments in shorter periods of time, low-cost companies distribute a long project to several translators. The issue with this approach is that each translator has a personal writing style, so the terminology used and the wording in the different translated parts will be different.

And, when the client and the readers get document, they might be confused as to why a concept that appears throughout the entire document has been translated in various different ways, according to the personal style of each translator.

 

What does professional company do

A professional translator not only writes a text in another language, they also understand that a message is affected by several aspects, that a word can vary according to its context and that culture is an important aspect to convey the message and transmit it in an effective way.

For a service company or professional translator the culture of origin and the target culture are very important. They also care about knowing the client and the audience the texts is addressed to, because you can’t the same vocabulary for doctors and lawyers, or children and adults, each group is different and a professional translator knows how to adapt the language to reach the audience.

On the other hand, we know that the terminology used in a topic can be concrete and invariable if we are translating one or more documents for the same client. Therefore, Term bases, translation and quality assurance tools are used to standardize terminology.

 

Think about what you really want to get

Be honest with yourself and think if you truly believe that the price you’re paying is the correct one for a translation work of good quality. We have all heard the phrase that says, “You get what you pay for”, and we agree that most of the time its a very accurate saying.

If you really want to get a good quality job, you have to know how to invest in it. And, if you still have doubts about how to hire a company or translator, I recommend that you read these 7 tips before hiring a translation service provider.

 

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