Any business owner may be tempted to use automated translation from time to time, especially when tools like Google Translate and Bing Translator are free and available to all. Nonetheless, you should use such tools very carefully if you want your business communication to go smoothly and avoid misinterpretations.
In fact, a poorly translated official document can cost you dearly. Think of a business proposal translated using machine translation or poor translation service that reads like an offer written by a child and full of phrases that are completely unnatural in the target language. This can often be the result of using machine translation for official corporate documents that are complex texts incorporating professional terminology and very specific language.
You want the language of your business correspondence and business documentation to flow naturally, right? No machine translation tool is able to achieve the quality of human translation provided by professional translators and translation agencies. For instance, there are many variations of the term “Commercial Register”. In different countries, it could be “Trade Register”, “Company Registry”, and so on. However, in Britain, the institution that incorporates and dissolves companies is called Companies House and if you trust a tool like Google Translate or Bing Translator to translate the name of this institution you will get odd results in almost any language available.
Actually, machine translation should be used only for unofficial personal communication and could ruin your business if you use these tools in your daily business activities. Even the smallest mistranslation can affect your business but imagine a business proposal or a pitch where every other phrase is de facto mistranslation. It will affect both your business reputation and your business activities.
Of course, any business can hire a freelance translator for its official documentation but you should select a translator who is providing a tiered service that includes proofreading, cross-checking, and editing of the final text. Unfortunately, most freelance translators cannot offer such a full-scale service or lack resources to provide a complete translation service.
What is the solution? If you are running a business, you are well aware that your reputation and the way you are presented before peers and customers is of utmost importance. Sometimes hiring a professional translator or translation agency might appear a bit costly but this is the face of your business. Always opt for a professional translation service instead of freelancing or free translation tools; it will pay off in the long run through better quality of all your documents and presentations.
Sure, you can occasionally use Google Translate or Bing Translator to get the main points of a website you are browsing or to understand the basic meaning of a document. On the other hand, they cannot produce the quality provided by a translation agency where texts are proofread, checked for grammar and context, and where your document will be translated in accordance with its intended use. It is not the same thing to translate a website, a corporate brochure, or a sales letter. The machine translation tools cannot get the difference, they do not translate in context, nor are they able to check their own results.
Therefore, always use a professional translation service for anything related to your business and business activities.