Ask anyone today to translate something to Spanish in the office, and their first inclination might be to run to an online translator or an AI bot. However, while this might seem like an easy solution, there’s a very good chance that what was produced by a computer is grammatically wrong. This is a common problem with computer-driven translation; the programs and algorithms simply don’t have a grip on how to calculate the nuances of language the way a fluent speaker can perform. As a result, what does come out is a disjointed Spanish translation that immediately reads incorrect to a native speaker.
Translation Errors are not Immediately Visible to a Non-Native
Unfortunately, many non-native speakers to Spanish are quick to accept what an online translator program provides, and then they learn the hard way with embarrassing mistakes.
The problem isn’t new; it’s been present in automated translations for decades, at least dating back to the 1990s when the Internet started to become available, and people globally started to connect. Today, the translation errors in casual speaking online are not an issue. However, for a business trying to make a presentation and come across as competent in their industry internationally, these preventable grammar mistakes can cost big opportunities.
Go Native, Go Correct
There is no question that when a translation matters, the best product and highest quality work comes from a professional translator. And in business, an English to Spanish translator service is best provided by a trained and certified expert. The biggest fear companies have, however, is the cost. Up front, the urge to go to an online translation can be extremely attractive. However, managers have to ask themselves this pertinent question: how much more business is lost because a shoddy translation insulted a potential Spanish-speaking client? The answer becomes obvious.
Tips on How to Use Online vs Real Translators
There’s a place for everything and even bot translators have a use. Here’s a recommendation list about when to use which one:
- Community channels – where conversations are casual, everyone is known and there’s no reliance on the talk, bot translation works fine.
- Understanding someone else – If you’re trying to understand someone else’s email or document in Spanish, a bot can be very helpful too.
- Formal documents – Anything important should be translated correctly by a service. The wrong word can create an incorrect reliance or understanding.
- Business presentations – When trying to land new customers, business or market opportunities, absolutely use professional translation. The 1970s Chevy NOVA marketing goof is a great example: it was a car that in Spanish literally meant “no-go.”
- Government or regulatory documents – Always use a professional service for completion. In fact, an attorney might be needed too.
Again, the Internet has provided people with a lot of new resources at their fingertips, but that doesn’t mean everything can be handled by a computer. Proper language translation is one of those exceptions. Think smart, work smart, and translate correctly!