Is a work colleague the best person to translate the company’s website?

Just because a work colleague is fluent in a foreign language it doesn’t necessarily mean they can translate a document that’s fit for publication!

It can be a false economy to use work colleagues or friends to translate text for business, technical, scientific or website translations unless of course the individual is a qualified translator or highly experienced in translating.

Once a poor translation has been produced it’s time consuming and costly to improve the text. It will take a proof-reader plus editor to rewrite the material to bring the translation to an acceptable level, and it’s unlikely that the text will be of the same quality as a translation completed by a professional translator.

A recent example can be seen in a request we received from a Client to proofread a translation which their work colleague had translated. The proof-reader’s comments speak for themselves.

As far as proofing is concerned, it is hopeless, as the text is not really a text, plus the translated words were randomly translated, and do not relate to the client´s business.

The text needs more than a proof-reader. All I can suggest is a GOOD translator will use a proper TM (translation memory) for consistency. I know that re-writing such bad texts is worse than translating them.”

At least the Client requested that the text be proofread not all companies do this but assume the translation must be good because it was translated by a foreign speaker!