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Lost in Translation

How many times have you run across something written in another language and wanted to understand what it meant?  You copy and paste the text in an internet translation tool (also known as Machine Translation, or MT for short), only to receive a broken phrase where you must piece together some semblance of meaning from the result.  For personal use, this may be humorous, but if this happens on a basic phrase, you might ask yourself, why would anyone consider trusting these tools for their important documents?

At first glance, MT is an excellent means to save money and get a quick gist of what might be keeping you awake. But, in the end, if your message is not translated correctly, it could lose the effectiveness and also cost your organization valuable clients.  Since each language has a formal and informal way of speaking and writing, MT often times might not capture the idea, localisms, and thoughts behind a message like a human translator.

When talking about MT usability there are certain parameters to take into account: baseline MT vs. a customized engine, language combination (not only the pair itself, but also what is source and what is target), technical level, expected quality output (mostly, usability for the end-user), literal vs. creative content, source quality (it’s not the same an ambiguous text written by a lawyer to serve the purpose when compared to a highly technical text written by an engineer with excellent mathematical but poorer grammar skills), etc.

However, you may be tempted to take the easy road by thinking, “But it is just a small phrase, MT should work.” If you’re still not convinced, perhaps this photo will give a better picture.

By Bridget Coila from Beijing, China

Photo: By Bridget Coila from Beijing, China

Before we begin any project, we consider your audience and how the translation will be used. From there, we provide our clients with the best possible translation solution for their project. Our conventional Three-step process includes translation, editing, and proofreading, which are performed by three different native speakers of the target language. The human touch ensures quality and accuracy of your message, something which your readers will appreciate.

Contact us today for a free quote. One of our Account Managers will be more than happy to guide you through the process.


**Featured Image: