You might be thinking of reducing translation costs by having someone you know as a website translators. This may be a good or bad thing.
It might be a good thing because, let’s face it, you may only have to pay your cousin little or nothing.
But it may also be a bad thing, for two very good reasons.
The first being that the resulting translation will probably be mediocre or even terrible. In fact, you’ll most certainly lose credibility and consequently turnover.
The second is that to perfect the amateur translation completed by your cousin, you will have to call upon a professional translator. You’ll therefore have wasted time and money.
So why should you not have your site translated by a non-professional person you know?
Why professional website translators are essential?
Having a vague idea of a foreign language is not enough to avoid misunderstandings.
Translation is a profession in its own right. A professional translator is always native (i.e., they only translate into their mother tongue). Why? Because otherwise, the text will contain mistranslations.
An example well known to our French friends is that we do not translate:
“Polish sausage” with « Polissez la saucisse”, but rather “Saucisson polonais”
In addition, the theme of your website is certainly specific to your sector of activity. Your site therefore contains specific phrases and words, which will certainly be unfamiliar to the person you know. It is therefore risky to entrust them with the entire translation.
An amateur translator does not have a good understanding of SEO challenges.
Any website must be correctly referenced on search engines, otherwise it will be invisible. SEO referencing, or natural referencing, is a technical field, which cannot simply be thrown together.
In fact, having a site translated without taking SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) into consideration means that the mere exercise of translating your website is pointless.
This is even more true for e-commerce websites! If you want to make sales, it is essential that your site appears among the first search engine results, especially on Google and Bing.
What are the dangers of a bad translation?
The harmful consequences of a bad translation are numerous. A poor-quality translation impacts customer experiences, sales, branding, and SEO.
·Poor customer experience and lost sales
When an Internet user visits a website, it is essential that they feel confident. However, reading incorrect sentences, including mistakes or nonsense, is particularly unpleasant. Chances are that your visitors will flee immediately if your site’s text content is poor.
Similarly, if your payment interface includes mistakes or inconsistencies, many prospects may freak out and not close the sale.
·Impact on brand image and credibility
Bad translations can be ridiculous. Let’s take the example of the KFC slogan translation: when teams translated “It’s finger-lickin’ good” to “Eat your fingers!”
A poorly translated site will have a strong impact on your credibility. Your business will not appear reliable or prestigious.
· Decreased turnover
Any bad translation represents a financial loss.
Today, 99% of communication on the Internet takes place in the native language of Internet users. If they are not satisfied, there is a good chance that they will not buy your products or services.
In addition, the time lost in restarting the project and doubling the workload also represent a financial loss.
To sell on the Internet, you have to gain trust.
Why have your content translated by professional website translators?
Entrusting the translation of your website to a translation agency means benefiting from the best translators, computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, and the best turnaround times.
· Native translators
All professional website translators translate from a language they have learned into their mother tongue. Thus, they are guaranteed not to make any spelling, syntax, or comprehension errors.
In addition, native website translators will be able to master the technical aspects of SEO. Only a person who practices a language as their mother tongue can define which keywords will be conducive to good natural referencing.
· Computer-assisted translation tools
All translation agencies use Computer Aided Translation tools.
These tools guarantee high-quality translations. But that’s not all. CAT tools can lower translation costs by 30% to 40%.
Indeed, CAT tools detect “new words” and those which are repeated several times. On e-commerce and e-tourism sites, 40-50% of words are repeated. When a translation agency uses CAT tools, it only charges for new words.
If your site has volumes of dense text, CAT tools will allow you to obtain your translation quickly and inexpensively.
· Fast translation
It is likely that your cousin also has another professional activity. Therefore, your translation project will not necessarily be their priority.
On the other hand, using a translation agency guarantees you quick turnaround times in the languages of your choice.
Not sure you should hire a professional translation service? Take some time to look at our article which covers the consequences of a bad translation!
Good to know:
Thinking of using machine translation tools to translate your site? Not a good idea! Automatically translating the content of a site with Google Translate may seem like an attractive option, because it’s fast and costs nothing. However, you will end up with a very poor-quality translation.