Many law firms and businesses have discovered they can increase their exposure on the web by having lots of great content. After all, if your content is not on the web, people can’t find you when they are looking for you. This is more important for some types of businesses than others, but, you get the idea.
Of course, if you have bilingual employees or serve Spanish speaking individuals, all of your English content is useless unless you have it properly translated. And that, my friends, is the problem.
Some translation companies are deceptively using software
Any idiot can go to Google Translate and dump text into it and get the output.
Unfortunately, I learned the hard way last week that some businesses are charging for translation services and then running text through software and turning it over.
I was the perfect person to try and screw over, as I do not know Spanish.
How I picked my last translator
I went with a local company, 10 minutes from me, spoke to the owner on the phone. They were the most expensive option I could find, coming in at 17 cents per word, but I wanted it done right, as the content was going on a website in a very competitive niche. And, of course, the client wanted it done right too, for obvious reasons. They supplied me with a copy of a translation degree, and showed me their membership of the American Translators Association (ATA) Code of Ethics. Everything looked great, except for the final product.
Signs to watch out for
I have a good translator I use frequently, however she is tied up for the next 60 days with a very large translation. That, and she just had a baby. My needs are intermittent, so I am on the back burner.
One red flag did pop up with the new (now fired) translation company. They asked for a check. If I had paid with a check, I wouldn’t have been able to dispute the charges with my credit card company later (which I did).
Unfortunately, I’m not sure how else to pick out the bad guys in this niche other than trying them out with some test content.
Personally, I wanted a translator whose first language was Spanish. I also wanted someone who was born in Mexico and moved to the United States. This is the only way to get the best translation, IMO.
There are a wide variety of websites out there that act as a middle man. This sounds fine at first, but these people make peanuts compared to what they should be making. As with many things in life, you usually get what you pay for.
I have never tried any of these, and if you have important content, make sure you do not use one, as computer generated translations are very far from perfect in 2016, and any human that reads them will scratch their head and think you’re an idiot.
- Google Translate
- Ginger Translate
- Cute Translator
- Word Magic
Have you had problems with a translation service?
I am not personally going to name names here, but if you have problems with a translator or a translation service when getting English translated to Spanish, please email me or feel free to comment below. I would love to hear your horror stories and learn from your experience.
Also, if you know a great translator please feel free to email me. I can send them some work on occasion if they can translate medical or legal content.