As the world becomes more and more connected the need for good quality translation services will continue to increase. If you are doing any business with countries and cultures other than your own than you’re going to need a steady stream of documents, messages and communications translated. Of course translation services aren’t reserved for companies and business people alone- there are plenty of individuals who are looking to have their writing translated so they can share their thoughts and passions with the widest audience possible. No matter the reason behind your need, let’s look over the effectiveness of two of the most common forms of translation services out there.
Perhaps the most common translation services available to the general public are all of those free, automatic translators out there. These automatic translation services include websites like Google Translate, Babelfish and a number of other free programs and websites online. Some browsers, like Google Chrome, also offer plugins that will automatically translate foreign websites that you visit. These free services are used all the time, but are they really accurate enough to be useful?
The effectiveness of these websites and programs really depends on what you’re looking for from your translation. If you’re just looking to read a blog written in another language or order a product from a foreign company than yes, you’ll be able to get the gist of what they’re talking about using free translation services. If you’re just looking to translate a small amount of text that you come upon or that someone sends you then Google Translate or Babelfish or other similar translation services will probably be good enough to get the job done.
But these services aren’t really thorough enough to provide you with a truly workable translation. All of these free services and programs provide very literal translations- they just replace each word with its equivalent in the other language and clean up the grammar well enough so the translation makes a passable level of sense.
A literal and passable translation might be god enough when you’re just browsing the web, but it’s not going to be accurate enough for any piece of writing that you’re serious about or any communication that has any sort of importance attached to it. You wouldn’t want to write out a high-stakes blog post or email, feed it into Google Translate, and send it off to your foreign business partner or audience.
When you need truly accurate translation services you need to bite the bullet and hire a professional for the job. You can find translation professionals all over the place- from agencies, from colleges and language schools, from freelancing boards. There’s no lack of individuals out there who will provide you with a beautiful and accurate translation for a price, though you want to make sure you don’t just find a bilingual individual who claims they can translate for you.
Just because an individual is bilingual doesn’t mean they understand the complexities of culture and language to provide an accurate and appropriate translation for you. Casually bilingual individuals often provide translation services only a step or two above the free translation websites. If you’re going to spend the money for a translation, make sure you hire an experienced professional.