If you were wondering why a quote you were given from a translation service was cheaper than expected there is probably a good reason for that and you may certainly have to compromise with the quality and reliability of the translation.


Typically, the Cheapest Translation is Achieved in Several Ways:

  • Some clients seeking translations send files directly to the cheapest translator they can source online. 
  • Some translation businesses use machine translations, i.e. computers, to provide cheap translations.
  • Some translation businesses use free machine translations which are then proofread and edited by a cheap translator before the translation is returned to the client. 
  • Some translation agencies cut their costs by using a reasonably proficient pool of translators. Some of these translators do have degrees or diplomas while some of the others are native speakers. Overall, quality may be an issue using this mixture of translators. 

The worst-case scenario with a bad translation is the translation was so inaccurate that it resulted in someone being injured because the user information was so badly translated. This means the translation company could face a lawsuit.

Possible Negative Outcomes of a Cheap Translation are:

  • The poor business decision being made from misinformation in a translation
  • The chance of being sued for providing wrong information or instructions
  • Productivity and time wasted
  • Reputation damaged
  • Deadlines missed
  • Loss in credibility
  • Loss of customers and sales
  • Offending customers and clients

The Benefits Of Paying More For a Translation

If a professional translator is used, she uses certain methods to ensure an accurate translation, but it costs more for the client. What is frequently used includes both managing terminology and managing translation memory.

Also, better translations that aren’t cheap use professional qualified translators who have industry experience. These highly qualified translators are paid more because of their ability to achieve the best and most accurate translations. Their work is correct, consistent, and far more accurate and reliable as the translators have a thorough understanding of the industry they translate for. Every translation project is proofread to correct mistakes.

Poor Translation in the Medical Setting

Correct translations in the medical settings are a requirement, so doctors, nurses & medical staff can do their jobs wells. Mistranslated documents may have serious consequences and may cause life or death situations. In 2013, a Berlin hospital failed in its duty of care for patients because of a poor translation where the incorrect implanting of 47 knee prostheses took place due to instructions that were mistranslated in a medical manual. The prostheses were called non-modular cemented prostheses but the instruction translated into German said, “prosthesis requires no cement.” The doctors believed the instructions they found so they went ahead and implanted 47 knee prostheses, all of which required cement. Without it, 1/3rd of the 47 patients who received the surgery was quick to complain of problems, while 50 percent opted for additional surgery to correct the problem.

There are a Number of Things Professional Translators Will Do Which Include:

  • Manage terminology by building a list of the key terms for every client so that consistency is maintained when translating documents.
  • Manage translation memory, which means storing translations for individual clients that can be used to help translate further documents.
  • Update their skills, as translators need to stay up to date with technology changes and industry developments so that the best quality translations are always maintained.
  • Offer advice to clients so that time and money can be saved with future translations.