Have you seen offers on the web promising delivering within the day (or even the hour!) the best quality translation at 7c per word? If you haven’t it is not hard to find half a dozen of them online.
These sites claim immediate access to thousands of translators and hundreds of languages at a fraction of the cost that professional translators usually charge other professional translation service providers. For the experienced person that has performed translation services, this is simply an oxymoron. There are hundreds of reasons that we deal with on a daily basis that can disprove their claims. For simplicity sake, here are three of them.
Quality is best achieved by having the best fit translator work on the translation project and then by having another pair of trained eyes look over the translation and make necessary edits. When translations are rushed to the first available and lowest bid offer and when the review is short-circuited, how can quality be maintained? It is like depending on any person in your company who’s available to write your urgent marketing copy and then releasing it to print right after he or she is done writing it!
Translation services also often depend on a two-way communication channel between the translation team members and the translation consumer. Queries about the source and the correct terminology to be used have to be answered before the final product is delivered. This requires diligence and time. Not providing the time or the access to the people in question is like asking your PR agency to come up with a new brand for your company without access to your marketing group or clients.
Once translations are completed correctly, they become live assets that should be maintained and reused on future translation services. Don’t you want your translation quality to be consistent throughout all your translated text? Don’t you expect continuity in the translation style and terminology? Wouldn’t you like to get credit for already translated and paid for text? Translation management systems exist today to deal with these requirements, but they come at a cost that can be justified with better quality translations, reduced liability exposure and lower long term translation costs.
It is no surprise that one disgruntled user of these translation services wrote, “it is BAIT & SWITCH with translators who speak very little English and provide verbatim Google machine translations with no quality control”. What do you expect for 7c/word?!
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