Should I trust a cheap translation?

26 November

I sometimes get some clients who tell me my prices are higher than somewhere else's. When I tell them about the process of translation most of them decide to use my services. Now I'm going to share with you why you should only trust an experienced linguist who is going to devote a reasonable amount of time to your translation.

Yesterday I offered a quote to a new client for the translation from English to Spanish of a website. This particular website has a lot of content to translate. So I spent a good two hours to prepare a reasonable but fair quote. He didn't agree with the quote but he was honest and open about it. He told me someone else translated another website for him and the prices of translation were lower. I looked at this other website which has been translated into Spanish and I was surprised to say the least. You can tell it is an automated translation. So, I told him: "It doesn't sound natural to a native Spanish speaker. So, it could be improved. Especially if you are targeting a Spanish audience."

I suppose this client was looking for confirmation. Is the translation of my website good enough? Then he asked me: How much would you charge for correcting this text? I answered that I offer translation services. I have never corrected someone else's work as a paid job. Some translation agencies offer localisation services, which basically means that they adapt a text that has already been translated to the speakers of a specific country.

As a fully qualified and experienced translator I offer translations of high quality and this means that my translations include cultural awareness (localisation). As a linguist and Spanish national my translations into Spanish sound natural to Spanish speakers but this is a result of a process of translation. This process starts by understanding the intentions of the text in English and its target audience and then getting familiar with similar texts in Spanish used by similar companies in the same industry that are targeting a similar audience but in Spain. It is then when I start translating the text.

Nowadays, some people think that translating is about translating content word by word and a machine can do that and this is not the case. If a company wants to build trust in a community they will improve their chances to get this trust by having content that is written by a qualified linguist with enough time to think about the text. Does this mean a cheap translation is unrealiable? Yes, definitely.

Certified Translator - French and Spanish