10 Reasons Why You Should Use Professional Translation Services and not Google Translate

Last updated Jan 31, 2022
By Lucy Williams

If your business is expanding into foreign markets, you’ll probably need translation. What can professional translation services do for your business?

You want your brand to be a success. So, it makes sense to use suppliers who are professionals. If your business is expanding abroad, you’ll probably need translation services. There are free, online services, and your English teacher is cheaper. Why should you go the extra mile and search out professional translation services? What benefits can a professional translator provide?

1. No embarrassing errors

As the recent poor-quality translation (link in Spanish) of the Spanish city of Santander’s tourism website has shown, errors can make your business look bad. The managers of the city’s tourism website used Google translate. Readers were confused by recommendations to visit the historic helmet or the Loot Centre, mistranslations of historic old town and Centro Botín. That’s because Google translate struggles with words with multiple meanings. It can’t use context to decide which word is more appropriate.Why do you need professional #translation services? Read this article before you use Google TranslateCLICK TO TWEET

A good example of the perils of not using a professional was the Galician produce fair that was mistranslated as the Clitoris festival. Local officials in the Northern Spanish town of As Pontes wrote the announcement in Galician, one of the regions official languages. Google translate was used to create the Spanish version but confused the Portuguese version of the word which means both the vegetable and clitoris. Errors like these might generate publicity, but bad translation will make your brand look bad.

2. The expertise you get from trained linguists

If you use professional translation services, you know you’re working with trained linguists. Besides studying languages, the people handling your texts have studied translation. They know how to deal with those cultural issues and words with multiple meanings that Google translate can’t handle. The fact that your professional translator is qualified also means they’re faster than someone doing your translation in their spare time. They may well use translation software to help them work faster and ensure consistency. For more information about why you should use trained linguists, see my article: “Why You Should Use Accredited Translation Services”.

You wouldn’t take your sick cat to the dentist, and the same goes for translation.

3. Experts in translation and specialists in your industry

Professional translators often specialise in a limited number of areas. If you use a professional translator who specialises in your area, you know they understand your industry or business. You wouldn’t take your sick cat to the dentist, and the same goes for translation. A professional translator who specialises in your industry can provide a very high-quality service. They’ve chosen to prioritise a particular field and have experience of your kind of text. Read more about why translators specialise and how. It’s important to choose the right professional for your project. Read our “5 Mistakes to Avoid When You Buy Professional Translation Services Online” for more information about choosing the right translation supplier.

4. Translations that get results

If your text is a marketing translation, Google translate won’t cut the mustard (just try Google translating that phrase into a few foreign languages). If you want to sell, you’ll need a professional translator who knows their way around SEO translation and marketing translation. Make sure your translation draws in qualified leads. A translation services provider who understands SEO can create more visibility for your brand. Amateurs are unlikely to be able to offer this service and Google translate certainly won’t.

Bad translation will make your brand look bad.

5. Professionals who are part of professional networks

Professional translators collaborate with other translators. They sometimes work with agencies too, but most professional translators have a network of trusted colleagues that they work with or can call on. What does this mean for you? It means that your freelancer can recommend a colleague if the project is outside their expertise. They can offer you different services, for instance proofreading by a colleague. Professional translators collaborate with others. This means that long-term or ongoing projects are covered when one translator is unavailable.

6. Delivery that’s always on time

A professional translator can use their experience to estimate how long the job will take. They can provide you with a delivery time and you can plan around that. If you’re using someone who isn’t experienced or doesn’t translate for a living, it’ll probably take them a lot longer. They might need more time for queries and questions. When you use professional translation services, you know what you’re getting and when.

7. Clear terms and conditions

Professional freelance translators are running a business. That means they’ll have their own terms and conditions. These will cover payment terms, delivery, text type, copyright, confidentiality and more. A professional translation service provider will mention their terms and conditions in your quotation. So, you know exactly what you’re getting.

8. Transparency at all stages

Related to written terms and conditions is the issue of transparency. Professional translators produce written quotations for customers. These list important details such as the project name and type, length, price, delivery format and date. The customer accepts the quotation and the terms and conditions before the project begins. This ensures everyone is happy with the project and helps avoid misunderstandings. Check out our “Translation Quote Guide for Customers” for more information.

What do you get when you use professional #translation services? Click To Tweet

9. Confidentiality

It may be that the texts your business needs to translate are commercially sensitive or need to remain confidential. Using Google translate doesn’t ensure that information is kept confidential. Google’s terms of service give it a freer hand with your information than you might realise:

When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.

The same goes for a translator who isn’t a professional and who isn’t bound by codes of conduct. Most professional translators belong to professional associations, which all have codes of conduct. Part of good conduct is keeping customer information confidential. Your professional translation service provider will probably mention confidentiality in their terms and conditions. Very important for commercially sensitive material.

10. Consistency

Trained linguists are also well versed in ensuring consistency throughout your text. Professional translators often use translation software to help them with this, especially for large texts. This is important if you’re going to reuse and recycle texts in different ways. You don’t want embarrassing inconsistencies bringing the brand image down.

With professional translators, you know what you’re getting, and you know you’re getting a good deal. Gwen and I work together to provide important benefits for your business. Get in touch to find out what we can do for you.

Written by Lucy Williams

Lucy Williams is a subtitler and a Spanish-English translator for fashion, tourism and luxury goods/services. She holds the CIOL Diploma in Translation and is a native English copywriter specialising in SEO-optimised long-form content. Connect with Lucy on LinkedIn.

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  1. Josephe Angelo

    Great Post and keep sharing. Thank you!

  2. Tridindia

    Hey i am Tridindia, I am an translator by profession and i want to appreciate you for sharing this blog as it is very Informative and helpful as well. Thank you