“It’s good to see people trying to translate, but they should really ask for expert help.” — Mr Iorwerth, Glowg Magazine
Translation mistakes: You’re searching for a great translation company to work with, but how do you know that your message is going to be translated properly, and not end up on Buzz Feed or the BBC as an hysterically funny viral post about embarrassing translations? It’s happened to the biggest and best companies: Electrolux, Clairol, KFC — The list goes on. The California Dairy Board just thought about a mis-translation and it’s been haunting them ever since (We feel a need to exhonerate them – No one should go to so much work to do the right thing and then be penalized for it.) In the case above, the English is perfectly fine. If you happen to read Welsh, though, you might be a little surprised to read “I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated”. This translation mistake may not cause much more than sighs and the odd snide remark about “tax dollars at work” but this kind of translation mistake could happen anywhere. Think about it. You’re in a hurry, you send off some text to your translator, and you receive that automated reply. Wow! So fast! But hey, you think, it’s your lucky day…so you forward the “translated copy” to your boss, wipe your hands, and move on down your inbox. Until you realize the mistake…which, depending on how much oversight involved, may not happen until it’s really too late.
To Avoid Translation Mistakes, Ask for Expert Help
You don’t have to use Language Tran (though you’ll be in excellent company if you do… ) but the number one way to avoid mistakes is to use a reputable translation service. Here are a few other ways to avoid mistakes and make sure your translations work:
- Look for a guarantee — When the company you choose is willing to offer a full guarantee of their work, you know they stand behind what they do and are confident of their ability. It’s an important piece.
- Talk to past clients. See what they have to say. A company with a strong history of happy clients is a great sign that they mean what they say in their promotional materials and will provide competent translations for you.
- Ask questions — A translation company that is proud of its work will want to explain the process to you, spend time learning about your needs, and answer any and all questions you have.
- Listen to what they tell you — There are often clues about trustworthiness either that they try to oversell what they can do or seem not to care enough. Both of these options are bad. A good translation will cost money & will take some time to be done right. On the other hand, timeliness and sticking to a budget are signs of professionalism. Listen carefully.
- Look for third-party verification. Better Business Bureau, professional translation association memberships, etc.
We don’t believe in a “hard sell” — So if you have any questions about translation, feel free to look over our FAQ page and other resources on our website. And if you still have questions, contact us. We’re always happy to help.