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How it works

Of course, if one has a "good" knowledge of a target language (which is not one's mother tongue), one can always be tempted to make a translation oneself - BUT the dangers of this are myriad. The subtle turns of phrase which a native speaker would automatically know often escape even the cleverest non-native speakers - quite apart from the specialist terms required for particular fields like law, science, economics and so on.


Unfortunately, some organisations still regard a translation agency as an afterthought in, for example, marketing communication. It's as if they said, "Oh yes, and we should get this translated into a few other language versions too." Quite often there are people who think such a job can be quickly and simply handled internally, because "someone in Marketing worked for a couple of years in the States and it would be no problem for them to dash off a quick English translation".

But translating is a highly-specialised skill - a skill that requires a special aptitude and sometimes takes years to acquire. With our years of experience in this business, we are only too aware of this.

For this reason, in our profession there is an unwritten law that if translators are not sufficiently familiar with the material that they have to translate, they simply don't accept the assignment. For the client, this provides the assurance that all translations are of the highest quality.

Time is money

Another consideration is that non-professional translators often underestimate the time needed to do the job. What's more, they have to do this in their normal working hours, and of course this means less time for their normal work. While inexperienced translators waste time searching for the right word, the professionals go straight to it. And, when all is said and done, time is money. The quicker you get your translation, the sooner you can benefit from it.

Translation Bloopers