There’s been a remarkable increase in the number of companies providing translation services, but not enough people taking advantage of this important service. Still, majority of those who choose to seek language translation go for tools that are not best-suited for them.
Think of a wonderful service like Google Translate, for example. This is a free tool that is offered by the world’s most popular online platform. It allows users to turn text of audio into different languages with just a single click of a button- for FREE. But is it the best tool for everyone?
The answer is No. Even Google will tell you that. Theirs is a community of volunteers that seeks to give basic translation. They are not in the business of digging meaning from text- which is a key part of translation. Rather, they look to change content from one to another.
For this reason, despite being a wonderful tool, Google translate is not fit for translating documents meant for detailed communication. Moreover, the tool already has shortcomings in that it cannot be used in areas like sign language interpreting.
For this reason. It is important to always look for professional translation. Even when it comes at a cost, the money spent is worth the cost. Even as a translator, I vouch for other professionals because there’s enough translation for everybody.
Translation with Meaning
When seeking to translate a document or clip, you should view it as translation. Rather than change words from one language to another, translation should explain the original content to the recipient in a language that they understand. It is for this reason that knowing two languages does not necessarily make one a good translator.
Rather, translation is a communication skill. Over and above knowing two languages, a translator needs to have communication skills. These are skills that come naturally and improve with experience. A good translation company is one that looks at such abilities when putting a team together.
But what is the worst that could happen from direct translation, some people ask?
There is a lot that could go wrong if translation is simply a word for word change. For starters, it is important to note that different words have different meanings in different languages. Therefore, changing words directly may turn text into a whole different meaning. Such meanings may sometimes be offensive.
Think for example, of an instance where a company offering conference translation services does direct translation. People who are meant to be discussing the same topic would thus end up getting different messages from the speaker. Translating in conferences is especially tricky as it is done in real time. A translator in such a set up does not have much time to think of alternative words.
Another problem that gets in the way of document translation is synonyms. When learning languages, people are unlikely to get all the meanings of a word in one go. It becomes even more difficult to learn about related words. Now, context is a big issue in deciphering meaning. If a translator does not understand the context of a document, the meaning is likely to get lost in synonyms.
Direct translation is also a killer for content meant for web consumption. When content is translated directly, there is every chance that it will flout grammar rules. This is because different languages have different rules of sentence construction.
Search Engine Ranking
In an age where search engines are becoming user-oriented, this could be a major problem. Engines like Google and Bing will automatically rank difficult-to-read text lowly. Anyone who knows the value of SEO will tell you that this is a major blow to any website. It makes a site difficult to find by searching the internet. Furthermore, people who land on the page are unlikely to read an entire poorly translated article. Google takes these statistics too. If people visiting your site leave in a huff midway, it will conclude that your site is not resourceful. The result will be an even greater drop in rankings.
Basically, everything that can go wrong will go wrong if text is poorly translated. Entities that value communication have noticed this and are actively looking to spend on quality translation. Some are even setting aside budgets for the same. However, there still are many businesses that have not taken translation seriously even as they try to reach a global market. This leaves a great opportunity for you as a business person to exploit.