Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Don't Get Lost in Translation

There are many sites on the internet that offer a free translation. I have gotten a bit of a laugh out of the ways some of them do their job. The translations are extremely literal, the software does not understand idioms or sentence structure. Sometimes an online translation is written as if it was dialogue for Yoda the Jedi Master.

There is a relatively new site, or at least new to me called Translia.com. It offers translations online from real people. The turnaround time for short jobs, such as a word, phrase, or sentence or two is little as one hour. It may not be instant like a free translation service, but you are getting an accurate translation when it counts most. For example, if you have need a business card translation from another language or if you would like to translate yours, there will never be any possibility of embarrassment. While a free service may translate the literal words, the position titles may not directly translate to an exact English counterpart. Also, if an address is not translated in the correct order or the correct punctuation, if you write the individual on the card a letter they may never receive it.

An individual may purchase credits. A translator then bids on the job. You may receive quotes that are free of charge or that charge a more substantial but very competitive fee for the work. You are allowed final approval on the work, but since the translators are professionals, the quality is extremely high. You aren't going to have someone translating your job who has no command of either language. It seems like they can be highly trusted with business documents.

I had another idea. This would be great for someone researching their genealogy. If their grandparents left relatives behind in another country, they are more likely to find them if they can have someone write a letter in the native tongue in an attempt to reconnect.



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