3 Myths About Translation

By | March 20, 2014


"… Many corporations realize that billions of people don’t read English at all or well enough to make buying decisions, so they're increasing information in other languages to reach many more prospects. However, the big question is: If they localize their websites, will more buyers come? How much will localization help them grow? Common Sense Advisory polled 3,002 consumers in 10 countries in their languages to test the hypothesis that companies can increase their sales by localizing their products and websites. We found a substantial preference for the consumer's mother tongue. … In summary, we found that more local- language content throughout the customer experience leads to a greater likelihood of purchase." – Common Sense Advisory

  Translating and localizing your content shouldn't be left to chance, when you are going to be in front of a worldwide audience. You want people to remember you for your strengths not for incorrect and inconsistent translation. If you're in the position of having to translate internal documents for your company, then you know that choosing the wrong vendor can cost you more in the long run. Before you get started on your search, here are some common myths to dispel before making your final decision.

  1. Anyone who speaks another language can be a good translator.

    Simply being bilingual doesn't make a great translator. Translators have to be able to know the two languages better than a native speaker would.  They need to be able to know the idioms, what they mean, and be able to choose the best translation for the people who will read it. Your friend who is a doctor in Taiwan is not the best choice to translate defense related materials going to people in China. It does not work that way, and it shouldn't. If you want to get materials translated, why not do it the right way? The people reading it will thank you and your company will have a head start on becoming a global competitor.

  2. Everyone speaks English so you don’t really need translation.

    This is simply not true. According to the British Council only about one-quarter of the world speaks English with some competence and only 36% of internet users communicated in English, so even if you have the best product, how can the other 64% buy it, if they can’t read about it? This goes both ways of course. It’s also important for companies outside of the United States to provides translations of their materials for English speakers. As you can see translation can only help your business.

  3. Sample translations are the best way to judge the quality of a company’s translation service.

    Asking for sample translations will not give you the most accurate view of how an LSP conducts business. Ask who they've worked with. Ask what kind of work they have done and for what fields. Ask what kind of volume they can handle. Ask about turn-around time. Ask for testimonials. Although it may seem logical to ask for a sample translation, it's not an accurate depiction of how a high volume project with scope changes and SME would go.

At Omni Tech Translations, we keep track of the translators you've worked with in the past with our company to make sure your documents stay consistent. We are always finding new ways to improve the experience for our clients. If there's topic you'd like to hear more about, please leave a comment below and we will add it to our growing list.   

For a free quote or if you just have some questions about translation and localization for your company,send us a message.

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