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The Cost of Low-Quality Translations

July 01, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 172

In the world of business, communication is everything. While companies work diligently to maintain a good reputation and make their mark in the business world, the importance of investing in quality translation is often overlooked. Companies who are more concerned with their bottom line find the cheapest ways possible to translate their material. This is a mistake that usually ends up costing the company, in the long run. Poorly translated text or communications can ruin a company's good reputation, cause loss of business, and even lead to injury or death.

First, let's consider one of the many cultural conventions that need to be understood and interpreted to ensure accurate and effective translation. Dates are formatted differently in different areas of the world. In the US, we communicate dates as DD/MM/YYY, while in other areas of the world; they use MM/DD/YYYY. While this might not seem like a very big deal, imagine for a moment that a memo is sent out to a supplier that a shipment deadline is 03/04/2012. While the American company may mean that they need the shipment by March 04, 2012, their UK supplier might not have it ready until April 03, 2012. This could cause a delay in a shipment, loss of business, and loss of money. A quality translator will take all of this into consideration and make sure the date is formatted correctly to avoid a problem like this.

While that particular translation error could end up costing the company money, other translation errors can be dangerous to people's health. In 2003, 4.6 million cases of baby formula were recalled due to faulty translation. Had the formula been prepared as the container instructed, it could have been fatal to the infants consuming the product. What if this had not been caught? Not only would it have risked the lives of millions of infants, but the company would have been held liable.

Consider for a moment the possible repercussions of inaccurate translations of any of the following documents; contracts, safety guidelines, operating manuals, chemical properties of materials, medical documentation. No matter how you look at it, settling for low-quality translation practices is asking for trouble. Not only can it be very costly for the company, but it can be dangerous as well.

Let's say a factory in Germany orders a new press machine from the US. The operating instructions have been poorly translated from English to German, to save money. A very important piece of information is either left out or misinterpreted and it causes one of the press operators to lose their life. Not only will this cause the US company to lose further business and be subject to legal fees, but the improper translation cost someone their life. It simply isn't worth it.

While quality translation will cost a bit more than low-budget translation, it goes a long way toward protecting and ensuring the integrity of the company. The money spent on proper translation pays for itself by ensuring none of these costly scenarios befalls the company. The health and lives of people may be at stake, not to mention the reputation and future of the business.

Finally, for more information and resources about finding the best Arabic translation company, head over to

Source: EzineArticles
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