Many businesses regularly requiring high volumes of translation work from human translators in a kalaedoscopic variety of languages may well be casting an interested eye towards translation software packages as a means of cutting costs. However, although computer technology has improved somewhat over time, there are still considerable difficulties in ensuring accurate results when using a software package alongside human translators.
Intuition is not a word generally used in connection with business matters, and yet it is human intuition and understanding that can make all the difference between success and failure in translation. When the customers we are communicating with come from very different backgrounds and cultures from us, we can see how using a computer software package and losing the benefit of human control could lead to serious mistakes. At the very best, we allow ambiguity of meaning, which is not ideal in an instruction leaflet or a Health & Safety manual. At the worst, we could cause offence or allow our communications to become open to adverse comment or publicity and possibly even to be cited by the business world in the future as a bad example!
Here are a few more reasons to trust in a competent technical translation service:
Many languages are complex with their vocabularies containing many different meanings, English being one of the main culprits.
Subject specific terminology (legal, for instance) or jargon is too complicated for a computer software programme to handle. Our translators are picked for their expertise in your specific field.
Computerised translations are very literal. The computer is unable to capture a writing style or cross-cultural differences, for instance, and so if you are trying to produce marketing literature in a foreign language and for a different culture and want to get a specific meaning or nuance across, again this is a problem the computer will not be able to recognise.
Finally, cost. Getting a professional translator/agency in to correct mistakes in a machine translation could result in most of your document needing to be extensively edited or re-translated from scratch, at even more expense than having the document properly translated in the first place. Even more precious to any business than this is the underlying truth that your competence is reflected in the quality of your literature as well as the quality of your products. Don’t let a poor translation spoil your good name!