Long before the invention of AI and the internet, businesses relied on human translators to intermediate conversations in two different languages. The human element ensured that syntax, grammar, and context were properly transferred and that ideas were well-received.
Fast forward to today, where automated services like Google Translate are trying to pick apart textual data and transcribe them into other languages.
It’s a great concept on the surface. Finding a translator often took time and effort, so having a free translation service at your fingertips provide time- and money-saving benefits.
But let’s be realistic: what online translation services offer in terms of convenience doesn’t make up for their lack of accuracy.
If you’ve never used Google Translate before, this round-up of brand-killing translation fails should be proof enough that automated programs aren’t foolproof. Changing harmless vocabulary into words you wouldn’t say in front of your grandma can be damaging to a brand’s image.
What’s more, it makes it clear to your target market that you have no idea on how to speak their language, which also indicates you’re not tailoring your product or business to their needs.
Granted, Google isn’t the only online translation program out there, but others experience the same challenges. English to Swedish translation isn’t word for word, yet that’s how the majority of non-human services treat it.
As a result, you end up with an Americanized version of Swedish content that’s more suited to American culture.
There’s no substitute when it comes to using human English to Swedish translators. Professional translators pour time and energy into learning the linguistics of specific languages, as well as develop intel on subject matter like culture, branding, and lifestyles.
If you want to win over your international target market, you must be able to speak their language. This includes general linguistics, but it also means knowing the language they use on a daily basis, much like how we use slang in our society.
There’s a higher essence of quality and accuracy that most computer programs will never be able to compete with. When you create your content based around how they’re used to speaking, you’ve taken the first critical step in building international trust.
Though many jobs and skills have gone the way of the buffalo in the digital era, the role of the professional translator is still largely relevant. An online translation service may be sufficient for locating a single word or phrase in another language, but it’s hardly reliable enough to provide large-scale translation services for business purposes.
And since businesses often have profits and a reputation to protect, there’s no reason to risk turning your translation needs into a potential PR disaster just to save a little time and money.
If you’re ready to meet the needs of your target market, contact Tess today to schedule a free consultation!