IS THAT EVEN SOMETHING YOU CAN DO, LIKE, AS A JOB? I ONLY NEED TO GET MY TRANSLATION CERTIFIED. SURELY I CAN DO THE REST MYSELF?
Does this sound familiar? “Why should I pay for an expensive professional English translation? I can do it myself! I had English lessons for many years, I even speak it occasionally, and I have a dictionary on my shelf. And if need be, there’s always Google translate. If I need a certified English translation, then all I really need for my own perfect translation is the stamp of a sworn translator. Right?”
Google translate and other translating apps and software can‘t give you that subtlety of meaning and the ability to differentiate between contexts that a human being who knows what they‘re doing can.
And these good people found out the hard way:
Now you know that it is, in fact, better to work with a professional translation agency, let‘s find out exactly why:
Schoolroom English and language practice that consists of, primarily, speaking English with non-native speakers is not enough preparation if you expect a translation that is accurate in terms of content and language. From my experience as an English trainer, I know that people rarely use English grammar correctly and usually have only a limited vocabulary range. This means that comprehension problems are already inevitable while reading the English source text. And then there is the difficult German language in the target text. Even German native speakers make mistakes, some more and some less, but very few Germans actually use German spelling and grammar to perfection. You very likely might just end up with a text with sketchy translations and a few very entertaining mistakes in German.
Entertaining, yes. Representative for professional purposes or suitable as a template for a certified translation? No.
Our translation agency for English, German and other languages at Spracheninstitut Babel is happy to help. Find out more about our services:
How can you recognise professional translators?
The term “translator” is not a protected professional title, so anyone can call themselves a translator and offer their services on the free market. Of course, it is not possible to say across the board that someone who does not have a degree or similar in this field will deliver poor quality translations. As in many professions, there are also natural talents in this field who do excellent work without having a certificate to prove it. But these truly rare individuals must first be found. The likelihood is high that, in the desire to save a few euros, one will end up with self-proclaimed translators who certainly have a good command of the languages of the source and target texts, but who do not have the tools and skills to be able to produce truly flawless and correct translations. This is something you learn either through a great deal of experience or through appropriate training.