Choosing a Translation Service Wisely

Companies and individuals who seek translation services are often buying blind. They are unaware of what exactly they are getting, especially when they are buying service for a language which is other than their own. Remember that translations are not born equal. Anyone with experience can attest the horror, amusement and confusion which come with a poorly done translation.
The price of bad translations
Bad translations can vary. There are some translations which are a little bad, some are quite bad and others are just downright the worst. The injury bad translations bring about can also vary. There are those which really do not affect your business while there are others which can break big business deals. You could end up losing business partners and sometimes valued customers.
Menu items, when translated wrongly, can be amusing or funny but it says a lot about the care a restaurant puts to its menu. How about brochures? Well a lot of people have come across “hotels located in the bowels of greenery”. What about emails? Although you can get the gist of the message by using online translators, you cannot rely on them to translate your business emails correctly. There is no doubt that the person on the receiving end will be laughing once he or she gets your message. Surely no one wants to go through this predicament.
What can a company or individual do to avoid embarrassment and unintentional comedy? How can you make sure that the translation services company you are investing in is worth the money and can deliver what is asked of them?
Look for accreditation
Accreditation can vary from one country to another. If you are in the United States, you should hire translators who are accredited by the American Translator Association or ATA. For those in the United Kingdom, it is the Institute of Translation & Interpreting or ITI. You can be more confident knowing that the people you hire for translation services have credentials compared to those who do not.
Look at samples
Before you hire any company to do translations for you, you should at least look at some of their samples. Companies which offer translation services, at least decent ones, should have sample to show prospective clients. This will help you gauge their ability better. A bit of research can tell you a lot about the skills of the translator. Just because an individual is a native speaker does not automatically make her an excellent translator who is worth hiring. Speaking a language fluently and being able to convey the correct meaning to another language are two very different things.
Match translators to documents
Not all translators are alike just as not all documents are also alike. There are people who are better at translating certain documents than others and you must keep this in mind when shopping for translation services. It is a must to match the translator to the document to get the best results. Language is complex and you need someone who can handle it well.