I know it happened to you!
You have a relatively short email to translate into Spanish, and since you heard that Google Translate could make mistakes, you look for a professional translator. You are trying to impress your new client in South America, and you don’t want to make a fool out of yourself.
After some research, you find a native speaker who seems skilled enough for the job.
So far, so good!
Until he sends back the completed project, and here’s where things get fishy: The Spanish translation is double the length of the original text. Why???
So, you copy and paste it into Google Translate to verify the translation in reverse, expecting to see your original text as a result. Nope! That’s not what you said!
Isn’t the translator supposed to translate the original text verbatim??
How can you be sure that you can send that message and its recipient (Your Spanish-speaking client) will find it flawless?
And the answer is…drumroll!!! You can’t!
Unless you know, understand or study the intricacy of languages, cultures, and the infinite nuances that make each language unique, you just can’t. So, even though it would enrich one’s knowledge and broaden horizons, do you have time for all that? My guess is your answer to this question is no.
The same happens when you hire an interpreter that will translate speech on the spot.
So what now? That’s it?
Wait! You know such and such has a friend who speaks Spanish. Let’s have them check it out!
“I knew it! The translator didn’t do a good job because my friend’s friend said she would have translated the opening statement differently.”
Now you are even more confused.
Was the original translation wrong?
Were there any grammar mistakes?
Or was it just a matter of preference and style?
Your best bet is to hire a trusted LSP (Language Service Provider) who can guarantee the quality of all language services you need.