When it comes to translations, a company may face a dilemma – is it worth hiring a professional translator or it is enough to have an employee who is a native speaker of the target language translate or update your materials. The latter may seem faster and more cost effective, however, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of on-staff native speaker vs professional translator.
Having an on-staff native speaker can be helpful for last-minute or emergency translations since they may turn around a translation faster than a professional translator. Budget considerations may also play an important role in your decision. Besides that, regardless of whether you admit it or not, there is a positive bias, or “halo effect”, which may contribute to your decision to choose your employee over a professional translator. You may assume that a person who excels in one area is also perfect in another one, which may be true when it comes to technical skills. However, when we look at translations, this assumption may prove wrong.
Just because someone is a native speaker doesn’t mean they’re automatically a good translator. In order to be a successful translator, one needs to have strong writing skills in both languages as well as an understanding of different cultures. Translations produced by a person who is merely a native speaker may be too literal or inaccurate because of poor understanding of the nuances of the source or target language. Finally, keep in mind that just because someone is a native speaker doesn’t mean they’re necessarily familiar with the terminology and vocabulary of the subject matter you need translated.
It must be admitted that there are some disadvantages to using professional translators as well. First, they may be more expensive than on-staff native speakers. Besides that, while most professional translators are very good at what they do, it’s important to remember that they’re not perfect. There will always be some risk of errors when working with any translator, so it’s important to proofread all translations carefully before publishing them.
However, professional translators are individuals who have received training in translation and have extensive experience translating a variety of different types of documents. Translation skills cannot be developed overnight. When most people think of translation, they think of converting text from one language to another. However, translation is so much more than that. It is about fluency in both the source language and the target language, a deep understanding of both cultures, common customs, idioms, terminology, and colloquialisms. All of this knowledge is necessary in order to accurately translate the source material into the target language while remaining true to its original meaning.
To sum up, both native speakers and professional translators have their pros and cons, so ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which option is best for your business based on your needs and budget. If you need something translated quickly and aren’t concerned about potential errors, then using a native speaker may be the way to go. However, if accuracy is more important to you than speed or cost considerations, then you’ll want to hire a professional translator. We at IC Translations will be happy to offer the help of our qualified translators and proofreaders so that you can achieve your goals no matter which language your clients speak.