Saturday, 11 June 2011

Quality or low price?

Every business, whatever the size or industry, is aware of the importance of marketing and creating the perfect image of their company. It is particularly important when you target an audience of non-English speakers. In order to get it right, some businesses are ready to invest a large chunk of their budget for translation but there are companies that assume this could be done at a low cost.
Low cost translation equals poor quality and it can be seen across the market. Only recently, an international men’s fashion company inserted their brochure into a prestigious business magazine which was overflowing with typos, incorrect grammar and punctuation errors. They may produce the best suits in the world but if they can’t compose a decent and most importantly correct presentation of their offer, their brand will not go across as a reliable one and clients will go somewhere else.
I decided to consult this issue with other professional translators, and it turned out that there are plenty of catastrophic translations used by companies and even local authorities on their websites, brochures and other marketing materials.
What is it caused by? Companies are likely to choose those translation providers who offer them the lowest rates claiming that they will provide high quality product in several languages. Allured by the low quote for the service, the companies very often are not aware that the translation of poor quality can cost them dearly. Linguistic errors and inconsistencies in the company’s offer can be hugely detrimental to the brand making it look unprofessional and unreliable. No one will trust a company that fails to properly communicate their offer.
How to avoid it? First of all, use trusted translators with appropriate credentials. In case of large volume projects, don’t be afraid to ask for a short test translation – in some cases translators will agree to give you a sample of their work. Secondly, don’t be swayed by low rates and promises of high quality translation – these two do not occur together in the real world.


  1. Cliché but oh-so-true: You get what you pay for! I've lost many clients to cheaper translators over the years, but they often come back after seeing the results.

  2. Cachandochile,thank you for your comment. I've also lost some clients to cheaper translators but I'm more than sure that the results were poor... The issue of high quality vs. low cost translations is an oncoming one but recently I've seen so many crappy translations that I just had to write about it.

  3. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is excellent, let alone the content!

  4. Wow, this is what you call a brilliant feedback! Thank you ever so much, Wizard, I am delighted that you like the design as well as the content. I have been blogging since November last year, so not too long but with happy readers like you, I am going to continue blogging for as long as I can. All the best!