Looking For a Translator? Why You Should Hire a Freelance Translator
Did you know that there are around 350 languages spoken at home in the United States alone? Although most residents of the United States speak English, many households also communicate in other languages.
Spanish and Vietnamese are common languages spoken in the United States, but there are also less common languages, such as Dutch, Amharic, and Turkish. The 350 languages spoken in United States households also include 150 Native American languages.
Are these figures much larger than you imagined? Well, we haven’t even left the United States yet. In fact, there are close to 7,000 languages still spoken around the world today.
But, why is this information relevant to you?
You don’t need to translate your content into every language under the sun, but you do need to acknowledge and, where relevant, utilize the enormous range of languages spoken across different parts of the world. The best way to resonate with your global audience is by putting out content that has been translated into their mother tongue. To achieve this, it is best to source seasoned and authentic translation experts.
While there is a lot of translation software out there, when you translate your content without the input of a real human being who actually speaks the regional language, you run the risk of falling prey to cultural inaccuracies and mistranslations. Since the Internet connects us with people all around the world, it’s easier than ever to work with professional translators to take care of your translation needs. Check out the benefits of hiring professional translators below.
The Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Translation Expert
Check out the benefits of hiring professional translators below, including:
1. To Avoid Errors
Why get translation done by an expert when you could just as easily use free translation software like Google Translate?
As a business, you have to look professional at all times. A simple error or overall poor translation can diminish your credibility. As a result, you might lose customers.
Customers aren’t always forgiving, especially when you don’t take the time to properly translate your content into their language. They will find a mistake and zone in on that instead of your great product or service, which will likely have the opposite effect than what you were hoping for: rather than buying into what you’re selling, they’re more likely to view your product, service, or even company as unprofessional.
When you haven’t put care and effort into your translation, the message of your video or other marketing materials won’t matter. Poor translation shows that you didn’t care about the message or its audience enough to translate it properly, so why should your audience care about you or what you’re offering?
That’s why you should always use professional translation experts. They have the knowledge to translate any type of document, from closed captions to corporate training. Relying on software to translate one language to another won’t cut it.
For one, the software will struggle to find the correct word for translating words with multiple meanings. Translation software has evolved significantly over the years, but it’s not perfect. It still struggles to define context. As such, it may not provide you with the best translation of a specific word.
Keep in mind that software doesn’t always translate something into a coherent sentence, either. Often, it translates word per word, which can make the whole sentence lose its intended meaning. If you ever come across a sentence that looks awkward or doesn’t make sense at all, Google Translate or some other software might be to blame.
Professional translators don’t translate word for word. They translate the sentence as a whole so it retains its original meaning even when translated.
2. For Better Communication
If you want to be successful in other geographic locations, you have to learn how to communicate with the people living there. In most cases, you can’t replicate the same strategy you use in your current location because your target audience is different.
They have different cultures, upbringings, beliefs, range of emotions, and more. Although your target age or surface-level demographics might be the same, you’ll still have to account for the location. This has a big impact on the target customers’ purchasing behavior.
This will factor into how you communicate with them. You’ll have to localize your content to reach out to them in a different way. That’s why you need professional translations of your content and marketing materials. When you get a local translator, they’ll know your target audience well enough to make the content useful and impactful to them specifically. Experienced translators take the market scenario into account when translating. They are also aware of cultural nuances and issues to avoid when translating your content.
Unlike translation software translation experts don’t translate word per word. They can make any sentence appropriate for the target audience.
Do you have any idioms in your content? You’ll need a professional freelance translator for that. Idioms are culture-based, so their meanings aren’t well-communicated to those who didn’t grow up hearing them. As such, you need a translator who understands the real meaning. They must also know how to communicate that same meaning in another language.
Idioms aren’t the only things that might muddle the content for a foreign audience. Figures of speech, slang, and colloquialisms also don’t translate well to other languages without the knowledge of an expert translator.
3. For Better Videos
When it comes to videos, translation becomes even more complicated. Why is that?
Because translators don’t only have to think of the best translation. They also have to ensure the translated audio matches with the timing of the visuals on the screen.
Whether it’s for dubbing or subtitling, the length of the translations matters. It has to coincide with the character’s lip movements, for example. At the same time, it must have the same meaning. Otherwise, it might interfere with the video’s script or even create plot holes.
The same is true for subtitles. It can’t be so long that the scene changes while the subtitles are still the same, but it must not be so short that viewers become confused about who’s speaking.
Translating for videos requires a lot of thought and planning. That’s why only a professional is right for the job. It might be tempting to use software instead. It will get the job done more inexpensively and almost instantly, but you can’t trust the quality the way you can when you use an experienced translator.
4. For Accurate Translation of Specific Terminologies
Professional translators undergo training for their specialization to understand specific terminology. This is especially important in the legal or medical industry, where 100% accuracy is a must.
Think of it as going to a specialized doctor rather than going to a general doctor. The latter will only provide basic care, but for your specific medical issue, you’ll need a specialized doctor who really understands your condition and needs. The specialist will be able to administer the exact care you need to bring you back to health.
Professional translators are the same. They can better understand the material, so they’ll be able to provide the best translation. The material won’t lose its meaning even when translated.
These translators are capable in their specific field, so they have high accuracy. Of course, you can also turn to any professional translator for basic translation. But if you settle on a non-professional for legal, medical, and technical domains, you might get into trouble.
A patient could end up physically harmed because of a translation mistake. A costly error might happen because of a misunderstanding with the instructions. These mistakes cost companies millions to rectify and the damage to their reputations is priceless.
These are only some examples that can arise when translation efforts aren’t dealt with by a professional.
5. To Keep Operations Smooth
Speaking of instructions, professional translations are still a necessity for internal documents. If all your documents are in English and your foreign branch doesn’t understand the language, what would serve as their guide for operations? Do they have to create their own from scratch?
Of course, this isn’t efficient, especially when they have a lot of technical terms to learn. To ensure smooth operations, you have to hire a professional freelance translator.
6. To Get Results
You know the importance of every word in your marketing materials. Each element serves a purpose. All of your copy has to work together to capture your audience’s attention and retain it through to the end.
But it must also be enticing enough that the audience takes action.
If you’re using the same marketing material for a different audience, you’ll have to change a few things. The colors or the kind of music you use might need to be adjusted to reflect the specific needs and desires of your new target audience. Without refining and adjusting your materials, they might not be receptive to your campaign.
In other words, you’ll have to take careful steps. You have to keep your different audiences in mind to create effective content for all of them. This way, you will still see results from your marketing materials.
Translation is no different. It’s not something you should skimp on, as your audience needs to understand the material. The translation must have the same impact on your target audience as it does in its original language to its original audience.
7. For Efficiency
It’s also a good idea to work with a professional translator while you’re creating your marketing campaign rather than waiting until the end of the project to get all the materials translated. If you wait, it becomes a much larger undertaking for the translator and could add more days, weeks, or even months to the project.
To make things more efficient, get a translator to work alongside your campaigns. It will save you significant time and boost productivity. Everything will be ready the moment you want to launch your campaign, saving a possible reshoot if you wait to involve a translator too late in your project.
8. To Take Advantage of the Professional Network
Professional freelance translators have a network in which they collaborate with other translators. This benefits you by ensuring you get the best translation. Your translator can work together with others who may be more familiar with the subject. For example, if they’re stuck on something they can discuss it with fellow translators to come to a solution.
They may even recommend a better translator for the job if it’s out of their scope of expertise. Because they’re part of a large network, there is ample opportunity to draw on the expertise of others or redirect your needs to a translator more suited to assist you.
This also ensures you can always get a reliable translator, even if your usual one isn’t available. They will only recommend colleagues they trust, so you can still ensure the quality of their work.
9. For Clear Terms and Conditions
You always know what you’re getting when dealing with professional translators. You’ll have a contract with all the details provided, like below.
Professionals with a lot of experience can tell how long a project will take them. They’ll provide a good estimate, so you can plan around their timeline—and yours—with confidence.
The not-so-experienced translators might give you an inaccurate timeline that is too short for their skillset. This could go two ways: they might not be able to deliver on time if they overestimate their speed, or they may rush through the translation to finish by the deadline and the quality may not be up to par.
When you hire a professional, you can expect your delivery time to be quicker, too. Someone who doesn’t translate for a living will take more time and fit you into their schedule after hours because it is not their full-time job.
Similarly, don’t assign this job to a staff member, as you’ll be taking them away from existing duties, meaning all tasks on their plate will take longer to accomplish, ultimately hindering their productivity for your business.
The payment terms will be clear in the contract, as well. You’ll know the exact amount you’ll be paying for the job and when the payment is due.
The translator will provide details like the length of the project, type, and price for the work. Their quote should also include any additional work you might request.
This ensures that both parties have the same expectations and that each party is treated equitably.
Any other details of the job are part of the contract: the terms and conditions, confidentiality agreement, copyright, and more.
You’re free to raise questions about any part of the contract. Both sides have to agree, so the translator can always make a new draft to accommodate your concerns.
10. To Ensure Confidentiality
If you have confidential content you need to translate, always go to a professional. They know how to handle sensitive materials and they’re bound by a code of conduct to keep the details to themselves.
If you use translation software to translate your material, you can’t ensure it will remain confidential. Did you know that Google can use anything you submit, upload, store, or send through their services? Take the time to read the terms and services. You’ll see that you’re giving them permission to use, reproduce, and modify your content when you use their service.
The same is true for non-professional translators. They may not have a code of conduct they must adhere to or may not bother themselves with the level of professionalism your project requires.
As such, you can’t ensure confidentiality is going to be a priority. For sensitive materials, you can’t take this kind of risk. That’s why professional freelance translators are your best option.
Find Professional Translation Services
To reap the benefits outlined above and find the right professional translation services for your specific needs, simply sign up for a Voices account, post a job for free, and get access to a pool of translation experts with experience translating and localizing content for a range of linguistic markets.
Don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us today. Let us help you find the best match to make your project soar!
For better communication
You’re absolutely right! A translator can help make sure that what you mean to say is properly communicated to your audience. Translation can be hit or miss without a human making sure the translation is communicating the proper message, not just the words!
Thanks for adding to the conversation, Suryakumari.