Nobody likes the idea of wasting money on something that we can get for free or that we can do ourselves. Would you pack your own boxes when moving or would you hire somebody? Would you ask a friend with a trailer for help when moving or immediately hire professional movers? Even if money is no object, most people will try to save some money first.
Why would you not want to save money when it comes to translation?
Many people believe that those who grew up speaking a different language, are from a different country, or spend time in a different country and speak that language, are capable of translating anything. Why not ask that polyglot friend for help in translating your document? Even if you do not want the help of a friend, that friend, secretary, spouse or family member might insist that they can translate for you for free. It is worth a try, right?
Translators spend years in college to perfect their language skills and to learn to facilitate dialogue between different peoples and cultures. There might be a few geniuses out there who can translate perfectly well without any education in translating, but definitively not many. Translating takes practice and a complete understanding of the languages, the grammar, the different cultures and nuances between two languages. Not using a professional translator for your document can be a big mistake.
A few years ago, one of our clients had his wife translate the text on a box containing frozen food. As regulations require, each food container needs a detailed description of the content. When we received the translated text for formatting onto the box, we realized quickly that the translation was not usable.
Trans fat (trans-unsaturated fatty acids) was translated as “transportation fat”.
When we informed our client about this and many other errors, he almost broke down and told us that his wife wanted to help him save money. He put the project on hold, but later informed us that he took that food item completely off his product list so that he would not have to confront his wife about her work.
When it comes to translation, we always recommend using a professional service. All our translators are professional linguists who have been tested and will deliver quality products every time and at affordable prices.