As the world continues to get smaller, bigger and bigger opportunities continue to emerge for companies that can do business anywhere on the planet.
Of course, in order to make the most of those opportunities, companies must be able to effectively communicate with potential customers and other businesspeople in these burgeoning markets in other countries. More and more, this requires business translation services.
However, before you go investing in them for your company, you need to understand what’s entailed in doing so successfully.
4 Essential Points You Must Understand Before Investing in Business Translation Services
When seeking out business translation providers, expect that you may need to do a fair amount of research in order to make the best possible choice for your organization. With that said, you’ll dramatically improve your chances if you first appreciate the following four points about this industry.
1. Technology Still Hasn’t Caught Up to Experienced Translators
For years, you may have heard about the debut of one technology after another that will promise instant translations between two people speaking entirely different languages. One of the most exciting prospects hit the market two years ago with Google’s Pixel Buds. The company’s advertisements claimed that this simple piece of tech would translate conversations as they happened.
Unfortunately, the truth is that even Google’s translation technologycan’t compare to the real thing. Whether you need a translator by your side to translate in real-time or you have a document that needs to be in another language, your company will have to look to an actual translator. Technology just isn’t there yet.
Until it catches up to experienced, human translators, entrusting your company’s needs to software will remain a costly mistake. Hiring professionals is still essentialto the accuracy of your business’ translations.
2. Successful Translators Need to Be Familiar with Your Industry
One of the points made in the Business Insider article linked to above is that technology can’t beat business translation services offered by professionals because software doesn’t understand meaning. It points out that technology can’t interpret “sentiency and abstraction”, two major hurdles when addressing the language unique to a specific industry:
“A professional translator or interpreter with knowledge of the subject will be able to parse it and convert it into another language while retaining its meaning — while translation software would likely render it nonsensical.”
However, this is also why hiring a professional isn’t good enough. You need to pick one who has experience with your field – the more, the better. Otherwise, it will be all-too-easy for them to misunderstand the meaning of some industry-specific words and terms and then mistranslate them, as well.
Assuming authenticity matters to your market, that would be a major blunder with costly repercussions. Even if the translation is grammatically correct, it will still sound as though your company doesn’t understand its industry.
3. Cultural Familiarity Is Essential
Similarly, you’ll be wasting your company’s budget if you spend any amount of it on business translation services from providers who don’t understand the culture in your intended market’s country.
As globalization continues to spread, most companies have realized that cultural barriers can hinder growthbecause they impede effective communication, even when both parties are speaking the same exact language.
So, such barriers become even bigger problems when translation services are involved.
Still, these problems can be made far worse when the translators aren’t familiar with the other party’s unique culture. Just like the major failures of software-assisted translations, if the translator doesn’t understand the cultural context, it’s impossible for them not to make easy mistakes that will stick out in the translation.
When you interview a prospective translation company, ask about the cultural familiarity their employees have with the countries in which you’ll be doing business. This will save your company the embarrassment of easily avoidable errors.
4. Reputation Should Be a Deciding Factor
Reputation always counts for a lot, but when you’re in the market for business translation services, it needs to be the deciding factor. That’s because there’s no other way of judging a company’s abilities aside from actually paying for a test piece.
After all, you can’t be 100% sure that any portfolio piece they show you is legitimate. Maybe they paid another company for it. Maybe their top translator did it, but you’ll be working with someone else.
To make sure you’re getting the level of service your company deserves, be sure to do some research before hiring anyone.
Hire a Business Translation Company You Can Trust
As you can see, even though business translation services are fairly straightforward, it’s extremely easy to make a costly mistake when you’re in the market for them. That doesn’t always mean it’s easy to recover from these mistakes, though.
That’s why you shouldn’t take any chances. If your company needs high-quality translations, go with a company that has a well-respected reputation and a team of professionals with industry-specific experience.
At Metropolitan Translations, we’re very proud of bringing both to the table and so much more. If you’d like to learn more about why so many companies from so many industries trust us with their translations, please contact us today.