Nataly Kelly Got Us Thinking
And in many ways, translation technology has transformed the translation industry. As Nataly and others can remember, translation used to be done via a typewriter. Simply with the advent of the word processor, things changed. Add to that translation memory tools, speech recognition software, machine translation tools and other computer aided translation technology, and you soon realize that how translators work has changed remarkably quickly.
There is Efficient Translation Technology
But at the point where businesses think that they can and should use Google Translate for their translation, or where, as sometimes happens, agencies hire humans to fix the machine translations, the efficiency stops. Things get muddled.
Marta Stelmaszac, a Polish to English translator working in the United Kingdom, did her own research and found that 83% of the more than thousand people asked were more willing to buy with a polished, professional translation. 83%! And a near majority were willing to pay more for the product/service with the more professional translation.
Common Sense, Really: “It’s Guaranteed”
You’re not really thinking this is a company you trust, are you? It’s great for a few laughs, but if it’s your business, do you really want to risk something like this?
Consider this our PSA to you.
One More PSA: Think Twice Before Using Only Machine Translation for Internal Documents
Fire is a Kind of Technology
There is a great podcast over on the RSA about children using technology. In that podcast, the analogy is made between other types of technology that once were new, but we now take for granted. Fire is a great example. Think about how dangerous fire can be, and then think about how we have learned how to tame fire so that now, with a few precautions, use it without really worrying all that much about the consequences. Use a lighter, strike a match, or turn on your (gas) stove if you disagree.
We feel that machine translation has done an excellent job of making people aware of the need for translation, and how difficult it can be sometimes. Contrary to Nataly Kelly’s position, we don’t feel that it’s created a situation where people feel that translation should always be free and fast.
Most people, when shown a professional translation next to one that was either done by machine or done unprofessionally, clearly understand the difference. And we also feel that to be perfectly honest, sometimes “good enough” is, well, good enough. You don’t need every internal memo perfectly translated. You do need materials that will be read by a large audience, or any legal materials to be professionally translated.
We Can Help.
We offer a wide variety of translation services to fit your needs. We also have a resources section on our website, as well as a translation glossary and an FAQ.
We use the highest quality standards for our translations. One thing that may surprise a person who has not worked with a professional translation agency in the past is that, contrary to what you may think, using an agency can cost less and be more efficient. What we are able to do is use our resources efficiently, which helps both the people on our teams and the client. Our translators translate, and then we hire editors and proofreaders to, well, edit and proofread your work. A project manager makes sure your project runs on time and on budget. Everyone wins.
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