It is a monumental misconception that bilingual speakers are also able to translate.
When searching for translation services, it is vital to remember that just because someone speaks two languages does NOT mean that this person is qualified to translate between these two languages. The fact is that most bilingual speakers do not receive the sort of education or expertise required for a quality professional translation in either language or in the field of expertise for which the translation is intended. Often an employer will ask one of their Spanish-speaking team members to translate a letter or some short document from English into Spanish. It happens all the time. It never occurs to the team leader that the employee may not be equally well-educated in both languages–especially not for a translation of a technical or medical document. Without really thinking about it, the assumption is made that they are equally well educated in both languages but this may not be the case. Commonly in these office scenarios, the employee believes that they speak proper Spanish because they learned the language from their parents. Often, however, their parents may have been undereducated and use a more colloquial Spanish with improper grammar usage often mixed with Anglicized words that even dictionaries won’t recognize.
What kind of impression does this leave with a client when they review the final draft of the letter or document? You and your company will be judged by the quality, accuracy and proper word usage of your product. When used improperly, some words can even be insulting when read by a person from a different region or dialect.
Equipped with a true understanding of the real-world benefits of accuracy in your business translation, you may decide to hire a freelance translator. Just keep in mind that there is no official licensing process out there that anyone of them are required to complete. So how do you know if you have found a good one? Even using referrals from your friends and colleagues to locate a good translator, you will still need to have someone in your business coordinate the workflow. Additionally, extra costs will begin to crop up when you need to locate and hire other translators for editing and proofreading.
A professional Translation Agency will remove all of the risk and stress from this process. They work with hundreds of qualified translators and editors so you can be assured that the translated documents will be accurate. In addition, any such agency will perform the supervising project management and quality control for the entire task…from inception to completion.
Have you found it easier to work directly with a professional translation agency? Have you experienced the extra effort and time involved with using a freelance translator? We would love to hear your input on either side of the argument.
Using a three-step process ensures an accurate and complete translation that conveys every nuance in the target document.