If your business has expanded and you now need to translate a lot of your marketing material into a number of other languages, you may be wondering whether you really need a professional translation service to do it. You may be asking yourself whether you can just use one of the free online translation services like the Google Translate tool for all your translation needs.
The answer is that at the present point in online translation development, the quality of translation is not yet accurate enough for serious translation purposes.
How Does Google Translate Work?
This may be an oversimplification of just how Google Translate works and it must be acknowledged that online translators are getting better all the time but basically, it is a literal word for word or at best a phrase for phrase translation service. A Google Translate document used for marketing purposes, or even more serious, one used for legal, medical or scientific translations simply isn’t up to the level of language precision needed or the nuances in the language.
What Google Translate or any other online translation tool, (there are certainly plenty to choose from now) is to get a general gist of a chunk of text in another language. They can also be used for quick communication, e.g. emails with a client or customer whose language is different from yours as long as you don’t expect total accuracy.
Google Translates Challenges
Google Translate is deceptively easy and better still, it’s free! It’s the fact that it is free which is probably what interests you. It’s a reality that using a professional translation service is going to cost you some money and that has to be budgeted for, but if it means opening your business up to thousands of new customers you just have to think that it is an investment.
Google Translate Limitations – Why Can’t You Rely On It?
Google Translate and similar online tools have a lot of limitations as has already been mentioned. There may be some doubt about which is the most accurate online translator, but it is the fact that none of them are controlled by a human translator which is a serious limitation.
If you are unconvinced, there is an easy way of having any future as an international player. Take a chunk of text from an online news source, say a German newspaper like Die Zeit or Bild and feed it through a German to English Google translation tool. Read the English that it generates and ask yourself whether you want your customers to get the same poor standard of translation coming from you. Incidentally, many of the more widely read German newspapers have an English version. You can bet your bottom dollar that they use professional bilingual translators to do the translating for them! You should do the same.