Posted by Jamie Faulkner
There are two main choices when it comes to language translation for your documents and media. You can take the fast, easy route of machine translation software; or, you can hire a Language Service Provider (LSP).
With a Machine Translator, there are many benefits and downfalls. Low cost and fast turnaround times are attractive options for many people and businesses, and these can be great if you just need the “gist” of something. The self-sufficiency of the system is also an aspect that pulls in customers that like to do things themselves and have an active role in what is happening with their information and content. But the main problem with these translations is that the language sometimes comes out all wrong. The English language has been confusing and frustrating people—even first language speakers—with its many homonyms (words that have several meanings). Although these words might be spelled and pronounced the same here, when translated into another language, there is probably a different word for the different meanings. The word spring could be talking about the season between winter and summer, or someone could be jumping, or maybe it refers to some fresh drinking water in the woods. Machine Translators can’t pick up on these nuances the way that humans can.
With an LSP, you get a human translator that can not only understand what you are trying to convey, but carefully choose their words, grammar, and sentence structure to properly transform your material so that it comes across to your audience in the way that you created. Social constructs, political correctness, and confidentiality are also great benefits of professional translators, but with these, you pay for the quality you get. Many LSP companies hold your hand through the process and walk you through every step of the way, which can be great, and even necessary for some. But sometimes these companies will have hidden fees and charges, as well as delays and timing issues with the translation.
Here at Lionbridge onDemand, we have taken the benefits of each and merged into a new option for your translation needs. You pick your turnaround time needs, and we give you a flat-rate per word. No hidden fees, no time delays, we guarantee it in the time you ask for it. And you can do it all right from your computer. Upload your documents into the portal, and it will send them right off to whatever faraway land that our translators are in—native speakers, fluent in the language of your document. They will translate your document, including nuances, homonyms, social and political correctness, and send it right back to your computer.