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Google Translate – A reliable work tool or the last resort?

You have just finished planning a promotion for the upcoming six months. The deadlines are approaching because the conference flyers were supposed to be printed yesterday and additionally, one of the partners has just sent terms of new agreement for using a media monitoring tool. What’s more, the tool is in English and they want it to be approved as soon as possible because “not much has changed in its content”. How can you deal with all of that?

Why are instant translations key?

This is often the reality of work of the marketing and sales departments at various types of company. Fast action is important because at times of the Internet, a brand should be promoted on an on-going basis. Preferably 24 hours a day. If a company is active abroad, there is a lot of content in different languages to be processed: business mail exchanged with international partners and customers, tutorials, documents, contracts as well as managing channels of promotions in different languages, meaning preparing infographics, videos or involving

It is not a surprise that with such amount of obligations, there is a temptation for using the generally-available tools that will quickly translate the required content into a language of your choice, so the marketing department can catch a breath because another task was completed. The consequences may vary.

A machine translation tool handled the translation well

An urgent email in German is sent from your customers. You can understand one word in every sentence but you want to determine who should handle the matter because the subject “printing advertisement folders” can mean several things, and it will not necessarily be the marketing department’s responsibility.  A moment passes, and the translation tool delivers a ready translation that will make further actions easier.

Translation – seriously?

The Spanish city of Valencia is preparing for La Tomatina, a local fiesta where eveyryone throws tomatoes at each other. You have a spontaneous idea to post a funny text with image on your Spanish Facebook page. It is Friday, make the users laugh and increase your reach. The translation can be prepared by an online translation tool, the rest will be handled by a colleague who has been learning Spanish for a year. Someone spotted errors in a comment, we thanked them and things died out.

A storm in a teacup – failed machine translation  

You receive a contract in English from your foreign business partner for approval. You have been cooperating for several years and you wish to extend the contract. “The contract is almost the same. We changed several short items”. You signed it the last time, you can do it again. And it is best to do it as soon as possible – after all everyone knows English. If something is unclear, online translator will do because contracts include a lot of repeatable sentences. You agree because the cooperation has been outstanding. You forward the contract for approval – why waste time for a company lawyer. Later on it turned out that you left one item unnoticed, while two terms were unclear.

Machine translation or a translation agency?

Does that mean you always have to choose the only right solution? Not necessarily.
First of all, think what type of texts require professional translation and how important are they for the company image – it is hard to compare a post in social media to technical documentation. Nevertheless, the best idea for a multi-party contract covering large amount of money to be translated by a sworn translator.

As much as a mistake by a regular employee of the sales or marketing department can be forgiven, the responsivity of managers in this case is significantly bigger because making the wrong decision may result in loss of profit.

Why haven’t you contacted a professional translation agency?

It is also a good idea to keep a profit and loss account on an on-going basis. It may turn out that paying for services of a professional translation agency will not be a big expense in your budget because you will not make mistakes that cost a lot.

Thousands of translators in one place?