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Looking Beyond Your ESL Teachers for Translation/Interpreting Needs

Looking Beyond Your ESL Teachers for Translation/Interpreting Needs

It may be tempting to use your English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers to translate texts your school needs in another language, or to ask them to interpret for parents who don’t speak English well. However, it is important to note that unless they have a background as a professional translator or interpreter in the particular field you need, your ESL teachers are not those best skilled to handle this task.

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3 Reasons Why Foreign Language Departments Are Not the Place to Look for Translators

3 Reasons Why Foreign Language Departments Are Not the Place to Look for Translators

It may be tempting to email the chair of your university’s foreign language department to translate texts that you need in another language. However, it is important to note that unless those you are approaching have a background as professional translators in the particular field you need (let’s say, a text for marketing), then more often than not, foreign language professors and students are not those best skilled to handle this task. Why’s that? Well, they didn’t study marketing. And they probably didn’t all get a degree in translation.

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How Societal Values and Customs Can Make or Break Your International Deal

How Societal Values and Customs Can Make or Break Your International Deal

If your company is based in the United States, you are likely familiar with business etiquette here in North America. It would be normal, expected even, for you to arrive on time (or better… early!) and shake someone’s hand when you greet them during a business meeting, for example, or even to invite fellow associates out for dinner to both discuss a potential deal and socialize with your colleagues.

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ATS Client Feature: VoicePad

ATS Client Feature: VoicePad

It's time for a brand new ATS Client Feature in our monthly series! In case you're new to our Client Features, each month we share one of our favorite translation and interpreting clients. This month we're pleased to feature a client who has been with us since we opened our doors, VoicePad. If you're a real estate agent and could use their services for your business, please reach out to them!

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ATS Client Feature: Curry, Roby & Mulvey

ATS Client Feature: Curry, Roby & Mulvey

It's time for our latest ATS Client Feature! Each month we are sharing about some of our favorite translation and interpreting clients. This month we're pleased to feature one of our legal services clients, Curry, Roby & Mulvey. If you're in Ohio and need a great legal counsel, check them out!Curry, Roby & Mulvey is a growing civil litigation law firm serving every county in the State of Ohio.

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Preparing your Project for Translation: A Checklist

Preparing your Project for Translation: A Checklist

Ensuring your project or document is translated correctly is of great importance to us at ATS, and we are always happy to work with you to ensure that the end result is the best fit for your brand and company. Since we know how valuable your time is, we have created a checklist to help speed the process along for you. The more we know about your project from the beginning, the faster and easier it will be to assemble the correct team of translators and editors to make your project a success!

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Did You Know? Working with Translators in Various Time Zones

Did you know that we have translators in so many times zones that we have to factor in this small, but very important, detail when we set up delivery deadlines with our clients? That's right! We find the very best translators and editors to work on our clients' translation projects. At Accessible Translation Solutions (ATS) we work directly with professionals all over the world, from Hong Kong to Kefar-Sava, Israel, from Montevideo to Kampot, Cambodia. Of course, we have many U.S.-based translators and editors, so we deal with at least four of the six U.S. time zones as well.

How does this affect our clients' delivery deadlines? Well, first we have to make sure we can take on a project from a client in the amount of time they specify. This includes the time it takes for us to manage the project from start to finish, allowing our translators and editors ample time to work on the job and giving ourselves enough time to perform the quality assurance step that takes place before we send the final deliverables to our clients. Time zones factor into this scenario because if a translator is in one time zone and the editor is in another, which is often the case, we have to ensure that the files are passed from the translation step to the editing step seamlessly and without delay. In our line of work, time is always of the essence. We know our clients need to receive their translation projects back in a timely manner, so we do everything we can to make sure our processes and timelines run smoothly.

If our translators or editors have specific questions about a text they are working on, we need to make sure that they receive the best information, straight from the client. This is why we make a point of discussing specific aspects of our clients' projects with them in as much detail as possible, and we relay that information as quickly as possible during our translators' and editors' working hours in their respective time zones. This may mean we are working with our Hebrew translators in Israel on Sundays instead of Fridays, as their weekends are observed as Friday and Saturday. All of these little details must be considered in order for us to ensure that we always meet our clients' deadlines!

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So, what languages can you handle?

What If I Just Use the Google Translate Button on My Website?

It’s not uncommon to hear someone ask about using Google Translate (or another free machine translation tool) for their translation needs. Those in the language industry probably hear this question fairly often, especially since there is a Google Translate button on many websites, both personal and professional, prompting users to translate a website into the language of their choice with just the click of a button. Although those in the language industry will have immediate reservations about using free, automated machine translation professionally, it is not difficult to understand why many would feel this is a good option. After all, Google provides some amazing services, many of which are free. If you have grown to trust Google for these other services, it might stand to reason that you feel comfortable trusting Google for a free translation, as well. Trust us, we completely understand! However, your organization’s brand and your website’s accuracy may be at stake if you are relying on this method to translate content for your visitors.

The ability to correctly maintain both the meaning and the intended impression of your website’s subject is something, at least at this point in time, that can only be accomplished with professional human translators. These translators are able to dissect the content of the page, understand the intention of its message, and then convey that same message and intention in another language.

Automated machine translation such as Google Translate is unable to identify all of the nuances of a language, and often makes errors involving both the grammar and vocabulary of the target language. If you have ever used the Google Translate button to translate a non-English website into English, it was likely very obvious that the translation was automated and not done professionally by a native speaker. This type of translation does not capture the true original message, even if we can make out what the proper words should have been, some of the time.

If your organization values its branding and professionalism, it is important to have your website translated professionally. A professional translation agency will ensure that a native speaker of the target language who specializes in the subject matter translates your content. The translation will also be reviewed by a proofreader or editor to ensure the quality of the final product. This helps to maintain the professionalism your company conveys through its branding, and it can also keep your company out of legal trouble in certain cases, should your information be translated incorrectly. If you are a food vendor, for example, and your website mistranslates allergy warnings, this could have major legal ramifications for you if one of your customers falls ill.

Even if there are no legal implications, native speakers of a target language will know when a website has been translated through an automated system and may look to your competition for a company that will better communicate with them. After all, good communication is a form of good service.

The process of taking your message, breaking down its intended meaning in all places, understanding the nuances of your ideas and messages, and putting it all back together in another language is complex. Although we completely understand the appeal, we urge you not to rely on a seemingly free service to do this. Just as other aspects of your business are handled by their respective professionals, we recommend doing the same for your translations to help prevent potential mistranslations and bumps down the road.