The true cost of cheap translation

People often ask why they would pay for a translation for their business when they could access one for free using tools such as Google Translate. Other clients reply to quotes saying that they have found cheaper alternatives such as the response I received this morning from a client who needed 5,000 words translating from French into English and found a company who would provide this for around a fifth of the price of a professional linguist.

So why would you pay for a service and not just go to a cheaper translator or Google? Although the price for a professional translator may appear to be expensive at first, you have to think about the actual cost to your company if you use a "translator" who is not qualified and doesn't possess the required training and knowledge needed to provide you with perfect translations every time.

Firstly, if you choose to go with online translations or unqualified linguists, it is very likely that the translation provided may not say exactly what you want it to say. We all work so hard to create a professional image for our business that is carefully crafted to suit our own specific needs. By using online translation tools or unqualified translators, you risk jeopardising or even destroying this carefully crafted image and ultimately losing vital sales. Can your business afford this?

Secondly, by working with a professional translation service such as Accent Language Solutions, you can rest assured that your text will convey your intended meaning without any embarrassing errors being introduced to your text. Errors in translation will make your business look bad once again risking your carefully crafted business image. For example, one of the most embarrassing translation bloopers was the slogan from Coors beer, which in English was ‘Turn it loose.’ Sadly in Spanish this was converted into ‘Suffer from diarrhoea.’ Presumably this was not the intended message that they wished to convey to clients!

Finally, professional translators have been trained in their language pairs and can create accurate translations tailored to your specific needs. Online services such as Google Translate cannot do this and neither will cheaper, unqualified alternatives. Besides studying their language pairs, professional translators have also studied translation and have an in depth understanding of cultural issues that may arise when translating from one language to another and will carefully select words and phrases that are suitable for the specific purpose of your text. Professional linguists possess the knowledge and expertise that are required to provide you with a translation that appears natural and clear to your clients and in doing so makes clients feel that working with you is easy and natural rather than being a real effort on their part.

So rather than asking what is the cost of a professional translation, maybe you should evaluate the potential cost to your business of not using a professional linguist. Can you really afford to upset clients simply because you chose to use a cheaper, less accurate translation provider? Do you want to convey the right message first time to potential clients rather than having to eventually have documents retranslated by a professional translator as you chose the cheaper alternative previously?

Many people say, you only get one chance to make a first impression, this is true in business also, if the first impression that a potential client gets of you is a poor quality, inaccurate translation, it is unlikely that you will be given a second chance. So the next time you are looking for a translation service remember, cheap translation comes at a very high price. Can you really afford not to use a professional?

To avoid losing clients and missing potential business opportunities, contact Accent Language Solutions to see how we can help you to succeed in international trade.

01704 821262