5 Things About Business Translation Services People Think Are True
Language services companies receive inquiries every day from business clients concerning translation and other related language services. Judging by the questions we receive there are a few things that prospective new clients think that aren’t necessarily the case. A few of the most commons ones are profiled below.
1) Translators are Interpreters and Vice Versa
A common misconception that comes up almost daily is the distinction between translation and interpreting services. Stated simply translation involves written language and interpretation involves spoken language.
Translators tend to work with bodies of text including documents, websites, manuals, elearning courses, and other text based materials. Interpreters provide verbal language services either in person or sometimes via electronic devices to facilitate spoken communication between two languages.
2) Translation Memory is Machine Translation
Machine translation of written text has reportedly made advances in its accuracy in recent years, although we still see publicized incidences of spectacular failure in machine translation resulting in poor translations. So for business translation applications customer must consider whether the lower cost of machine translation is really a bargain when their brand is at stake.
Human translators use tools that produce a ‘translation memory’ for access over the course of translation projects. Software tools that produce a translation memory create a record of translations prepared by human linguists. These software tools provide benefits that improve the quality of human translation and also lower costs. Software tools allow human translators to access previously translated text to help build in continuity in translating larger volumes of text. Since repeated text requires less attention from the translator costs are also reduced.
Software tools utilized by professional translators are not in the category of machine translation. Machine translation lacks the full linguistic benefit the comes from the judgment of skilled human linguists.
3) Translation Companies Have In-House Translators in Most Languages
Sometimes customers have the impression that our company has in-house translators in all the dozens or more languages that we perform translation services into and from. While it’s an interesting picture to imagine translators in many languages sitting at a desk in our office, each tasked with the projects of the day into their respective target languages, in practice it’s not the case at all.
Instead language companies work with a network of native speaking professional linguists who work form their locations worldwide. This approach produces the highest quality and most authentic translations since they’re performed in-country where linguists speak the language daily.
Utilizing a network of linguistic specialists also allows language services companies to assign the most appropriately suited translators for the specific requirements of each project. There’s no need to favor in-house linguists simply because they’re in-house.
4) Standard Translation Services & Certified Translation Are Different
What’s the difference between standard translation services and certified translation services? for starters it’s important to point out that there’s no translation process compromise with the standard process compared to certified translation. The only real difference for certified translations is the written statement from the translation company that the translation is accurate and that the translators performing the work were qualified to perform the services.
When business customers request a certification for the delivered translation it’s usually to meet a requirement they have for some official purpose. It doesn’t mean that the translation is “better” or “more accurate” in some way. All translations performed by our company adhere to defined quality control processes.
5) There’s Only One Correct Translation
In almost every instance there are multiple combinations of words and sentence structure to convey equivalent meaning in languages. Language is flexible and the quality of translations is improved when translators aren’t restricted to a mechanical word-for-word replacement between source and target text. It’s meaning that must be communicated rather than a dictionary approach to translation.
In a real sense customers for business translation services buy the judgment of the professional linguists assigned to their project. Someone else’s judgment might be different, although not necessarily better. Translation clients can sometimes have preferred translations, preferred translations for key terminology for example. When provided at the beginning of a project, translators can implement the translation preferences as specified by customers.