When you are looking to expand your business internationally or reach new target markets, hiring a translator or translation company can be a great way to start. These professionals help open doors to new communities and cultures that your business may never otherwise have access to. They can also help you make those connections into conversions – something your bottom line will really like!
However, far too many business owners and operators make common mistakes when hiring a translator. Whether it’s a mistake based in misunderstanding or oversight, these common concerns can keep your finished translations from being the high-quality products you need them to be.
Here, we’ll address five of these problems, as well as their solutions. You might not believe how simple it can be to keep these things from happening to you – and to make the most out of your translation investment, as a result!
Relying on Machine Translation
It seems like translation services are everywhere, thee days. Whether it’s a website you can access from your computer or tablet, or a mobile phone app that you can keep on hand at all times, cheap, automated translation is readily available to almost everyone.
However, that can create some major problems. The translations offered by these services cannot provide professional-quality results. In fact, many of them disclose this information upfront, stating that their products are to be used for entertainment purposes only. Far too many professionals rely on these services, though – and that can cause some serious problems with your finished translations.
When your business is on a budget, it can be very tempting to utilize a free translation service. After all, why pay for something you can get for free? As we mentioned, though, these free translations are often worth very little in terms of their accuracy and effectiveness for marketing and even business communication purposes. They use direct, word-for-word translation that fails to take cultural concerns into account. They yield stiff, mechanical-sounding finished products that are often full of grammatical errors.
The truth is, you get what you pay for – or don’t – when it comes to translation services. Human translation simply can’t be beaten in terms of accuracy and nuance. When your business is on the line, that’s definitely worth investing in.
Failing to Disclose Important Project Details Upfront
When you pitch your project to your prospective translator, be sure to give them all the details upfront. This isn’t usually difficult. After all, the details of most corporate translation projects are fairly straightforward. However, failure to disclose them properly and before committing to the project can cause major issues later in the process.
Tell your translator how many words you need translated, what your budget is, what time frame you have to work with, and address any other details like cultural considerations, etc. Doing this upfront will save you time, money, and stress later!
Expecting Your Translation Professionals to Perform on Very Tight Deadlines
Your translator will typically offer you an expected turnaround time – or TAT – when they accept your project. This will give you an idea of how quickly they can complete your order. In some cases, they may be flexible on this time frame, and may even be able to speed up completion of your translation project for an additional fee.
However, it is important to remember that translators are human. They can only work so many hours in a day, and their time is important to them. Requiring them to work on very tight deadlines will cost much more, as well as narrow your talent pool when choosing someone to work with. No one likes to be rushed!
Handing Over Poor-Quality Text for Translation
When you submit text to your potential consumers, investors, or business partners, you want that text to be flawless. You want quality and readability, with a touch of personality and charm. That is exactly what you should turn over to your translator. After all, their job is to translate your text – not write it for you. Make sure your original coy is correct and free of flaws. This will yield a better finished product and make the translation process quicker and easier for your business partner.
Not Making Yourself Available to Field Questions Your Translator May Have
Italian translators are experts in Italian and the many facets of culture that go into learning the language. But that doesn’t mean they will automatically understand every aspect of the project you assign them. They may have questions regarding small details, cross-cultural references, or even just logistics issues.
Making yourself available to field these questions will do two things. First, it will ensure that they are answered promptly and correctly. Second, it will keep the project moving along at a good pace, preventing stagnation and extended wait times that could be bad for business. Truly a win-win!
Working with a translation professional is just like any other business partnership. You have to put into the project the same level of professionalism and focus that you expect in return. If you do that – and use these tips as a guide for how to conduct your business along the way – you’ll love the way translation services boost your business.