Why Use Professional Translators?

In recent years, with the ever-increasing internationalisation of businesses and trade and the impressive growth of information and communication technologies, the need to communicate in other languages has increased dramatically at all business levels. For a large number of businesses, this need was a new one, making it sometimes difficult to know where to start outsourcing translation and interpreting services.

For many, new and inexperienced in this field, the first port of call was their in-house employee or a recent language graduate with some knowledge of the relevant foreign language but lacking the translation experience and cultural insight only a native can have. Over the years, it has become increasingly clear that this “cheap solution” is no longer an option when mistakes can be very costly, and quality and professionalism are expected at every level. In too many instances, the translation of their material by an in-house non-native employee without any translation skills has ended up costing businesses a lot of money and credibility.

As a result, the translation market has recently become much more visible as, in the last few years, many companies and practices started to use translations when they would rarely or never have used them before. And it is unlikely this trend will change in the near future. With the Internet phenomenon and its potential for companies, more and more businesses have come to realise that they can vastly increase their potential market with a relatively small investment, by localising their website.

Localisation is the process of adapting the textual and cultural contents of documentation, now mainly in electronic forms (very often computer programs themselves), to specific target audiences in specific locations. It is a process that goes beyond translating. When it comes to localising a website or a computer program, the cultural contents and technical aspects are as important as the purely linguistic adaptation.

That is why, no matter how efficient automated translation technologies ever become, the translation and localisation process will have to involve a human translator. However, the translation market has been keen in making the most of new technologies such as Computer Aided Translation tools and Translation Memories, able to speed up the translation process while maintaining terminology consistency within a particular project.

The terminology used by a particular client within their company or in their contractual documentation can be memorised during the translation process and used for further translations this client may have. However, the human aspect is always the most important in any field, whether legal, technical or commercial.

Only an experienced translator can understand the intricacies of a document and the ins and outs of the target culture and render them into the relevant language. And whoever has tried to use automated translation before will agree this is a fact unlikely to change in the near future!