I was going to ask my friend to translate a document for my manager but she’s only been translating for a few months. She says she can do it but my colleague says I had better get an experienced translator. Is it OK to use my friend? It’s a Japanese translation by the way but she’s English.
Thank you for raising this point, it’s something which is very close to our hearts. I’ve answered below but if you’d like to discuss further, just give us a call on 020 7021 0888.
Experienced translators produce better copy
If your translator has many years of experience they will produce a better quality translation in the same way an experienced driver is far less likely to crash their car.
Whilst this may seem obvious, we find that many people view translations as simply commodities and hence simply buy on price which is very dangerous.
They assume that, given a particular document, translator ‘A’ will translate the document in exactly the same way as translator ‘B’. The only difference between A’s output and B’s output will be the price they are asked to pay for it.
In reality, the quality of the resulting translation is just as much a function of the translator’s familiarity with the subject matter being translated and their level of experience as it is their language skills.
To produce a good translation, the translator must be able to thoroughly understand the document, not just produce a verbatim copy. Such deep understanding only comes with many years of experience.
Our industry is probably unique in that, by definition, you can’t understand the product you are buying from us – otherwise there would be no need for you to buy it in the first place.
For example, your document could be translated into Japanese by an eminent professor at Tokyo University or one of their first year undergraduates and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
Don’t worry though, unlike some of our competitors, we ONLY use mother tongue translators who are suitably qualified linguistically and have an absolute minimum of 5 years’ relevant commercial translation experience as well as references to prove it.