No matter what industry you may be in, if you need translation services it’s absolutely vital that they be the highest quality possible. The ramifications of a poorly done translation can be devastating. This is especially obvious in professions like the legal and medical fields. But a bad translation can have negative consequences for any company in any industry. As is so often the case when hiring a professional contractor, it’s always best to find a seasoned translator rather than choosing someone with little or no experience. Here are just a few of the dangers you face if you choose an amateur translator.

Lack of fluency

It’s difficult (if not impossible) to know how fluent a person is in a language if that individual hasn’t actually made a living in the translation field. Two or three years of college Spanish doesn’t necessarily qualify someone to be a translator. If you choose an amateur, you have no way of knowing how fluent – or NOT fluent – that person is.

Lack of industry knowledge

As vital as language fluency is, that’s not the only thing necessary to produce a high quality translation. The linguist should also be familiar with your industry. This is particularly important in the healthcare and the legal fields, where much of the jargon is industry-specific and the concepts can be complicated to a novice. But it’s equally important in education, insurance, technology, real estate, manufacturing, advertising, or whatever other field you’re in. You’ll need to find a translator who is not only experienced in translating, but one who knows your industry.

Lack of editing ability

A good translation is one that communicates not only words, but thoughts and concepts as well. When converting text from one language to another, the translator often needs to employ editing skills so that he or she can produce a translation that is not only grammatically correct, but also conveys the meaning intended by the author. That requires a certain amount of skill and experience that you won’t find with an amateur translator.

Lack of communication

Consider it a bad sign if your translator is not communicating with you on a regular basis. In fact, just the opposite should be true. Whether he or she has questions about the original text, foresees a delay in meeting a deadline, or simply wants to provide you an update regarding their progress on the project, an experienced translator communicates with the client on a regular basis. An amateur, on the other hand, may avoid contact and often believes that asking questions is a poor reflection on his or her skills as a translator.

Lack of confidentiality

Another nightmare scenario unfolds when a translator doesn’t understand or appreciate the confidential nature of the content being translated. Although this is more of a concern in some industries than others – finance, for example – it’s generally true that confidentiality plays an important role in every field. An experienced translator understands how vital it is to respect and maintain the confidential nature of the content they’re translating.

Lack of consistency

If you choose a professional translator, you’ll never have to worry whether terminology, word usage, and details such as spelling and capitalization will be consistent throughout your text. These details are given all the attention they deserve by an experienced language professional. An amateur, on the other hand, may not understand or appreciate the importance of consistency, and the translated document will reflect that.

The best way to find an experienced, professional linguist for your translation needs is to contact a reputable translation company. They can match your requirements with the best translator for the job – one with the knowledge, background and experience you can count on to provide the highest quality translation possible.