Translating documents into different languages is a different skill set than reading something and telling another person what the document says. You have to be prevalent in both languages, understand the dialect of the people in the region, and be an investigative person to find the right phrase for the document. It’s not an easy job and not everyone who is bilingual can do it.
I am often reminded of this through my thirty years of translating documents. This came up again the other day as a client told me a story of a translation they had done by a translator that they didn’t really know. The client had a hired someone to do their translation that said they could handle the job. It was a small job with potential for more work in the future if it had gone well. The translator took their time with the project and missed a deadline required. After a revised time frame the project was returned as complete. Even though the client was able to read French they didn’t double check the translation and forwarded it on to their customer as complete. The translation came back from the customer saying the translation was incorrect and needed many revisions. The translation was checked by my client by entering phrases into some translation software expecting it to be different. It was not different!
This translator took a shortcut and caused the client to lose potential future projects due to their lazy way of translating documents. They didn’t double check their work and certainly didn’t care about their customer or their customers. We often work with clients that can’t speak French but know that their customers can and will complain if the are any issues with the translation. This is why we only take on projects for Quebec and not other areas. French may be similar around the World but each area has their own dialect and phrases that don’t translate in other regions.
Know your translator and this goes for any contractor that you work with. The internet is laden with stories of people being less than satisfied with work done because the contractor didn’t do a good job. Protect your name by hiring the right people for the job.
About the Author
Carmen Outridge has been translating documents from English to French for over 30 years. She is the owner of Outridge Translation Services and specializes in translation services for the Province of Quebec, the way Quebec expects it! You can learn more about the services available at www.outridgetranslation.com