A word of caution

When comparing quotes from different translators, my advice is not to be seduced by the cheapest. To quote the ITI's publication Translation: Getting it right. A guide to buying translations:

If translators are netting little more than a babysitter…how much time do you expect him or her to spend crafting the text that will promote your product or service? (How much time did your team spend producing the original?).

As these two examples show, mistranslations can be highly amusing:
  • Sign in a hotel in Paris: "Please leave your values at the front desk"
  • In a dry cleaners in Bangkok: "Drop your trousers here for best results"
but think about how much a flawed translation might affect the image of your company or brand. Do you want to risk ruining it with a cheap translation that contains errors in both content and style just to save yourself a few pounds? Mistranslations can be extremely costly, embarrassing and potentially dangerous, indeed, in matters of law there is no room for ambiguity or translation mistakes.

Good translations should read at least as well as the original and because they've been edited by a second specialist they're often better. Translators are, after all, skilled writers whose job is to accurately convey the message of the original text using the appropriate style and register and the correct terminology.

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