Five Reasons to Hire a Professional Translator

Words provided by Institute of Translation and Interpreting

If your business is planning to move into foreign markets it is likely that you will need translation services as part of that expansion.


Sometimes businesses think they can use a friend, employee or family member who speaks the language to take on this role, but this can be a costly mistake. Just because you speak two languages, it doesn’t make you a translator. 

Perhaps even worse is to rely on Google Translate to translate your instruction manuals, marketing materials or legal contracts. Translation apps may be useful when ordering in a restaurant or checking into a hotel but are certainly no substitute for a human translator for anything more complicated.

Translating is a skilled profession that involves so much more than fluency in another language, and the consequences of not using a professional can damage your reputation and your brand. Meanings can get inadvertently altered, key phrases misrepresented, and precision lost, and before you know it your expansion plans could be in jeopardy. 

Here are five key reasons why a professional translator is worth the investment.

1. Quality - Whether you are expanding into a new market or launching a new product, it is crucial that you make a good impression and communicate your company values and message appropriately. Professional translators are not just excellent linguists, they also have the skills required to deliver your documents accurately and consistently and to your deadlines.

2. Subject or Industry Specific knowledge - Many translators specialise in a specific industry which gives them a higher level of understanding of any technical terminology that is used. So, whether your business is chemical engineering, pharmaceuticals, food and drink or fashion you will be able to find someone who is an expert in your field. 
3. Culturally Correct - Professional translators don’t just immerse themselves in the language but also in the culture of a country. Lack of knowledge of cultural norms can lead to costly and embarrassing mistakes, but a professional translator will give consideration to local regulations, legal requirement and social norms, ensuring your materials ring true to a local audience. 
4. Accuracy - Professional translators are also excellent writers. They will provide accuracy of spelling, grammar, punctuation and will ensure that any technical terminology is represented accurately. 
5. Consistency - A professional translator will ensure consistency throughout your text(s). They often use translation software to help with this, especially if working on large texts. This consistency is important if information and messages are being produced in different formats as it ensures brand cohesion. 

The translation and interpreting industry is not regulated. Therefore, it is important that you work with freelancers or language services companies who are members of a reputable professional body like the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI). 

ITI membership requires that admissions criteria have been met, including sitting an assessment in order to become a Qualified Member. You can search for Qualified ITI members according to their language and industry specialisms in the ITI Directory at iti.org.uk.