If you’ve never had translation work completed than you probably assume you just need to find someone who speaks both relevant languages for the work you need done. So if you’re looking to have a piece of writing translated from English to Spanish than you probably assume that anyone who speaks both English and Spanish will be able to give you a great, readable translation.
This actually isn’t the case. Just because someone can speak two languages doesn’t mean that they are any good at expressing themselves clearly in each language. There are plenty of individuals who are Native in one language and can get by with a second language, who call themselves “bilingual” who would be terrible candidates for your work.
You see, translation isn’t just about replacing the word “cat” with “gatto” in your text. Languages are complex, and each language embeds a ton of different cultural assumptions into its grammar, its phrasing, and even in the words that compose its dictionary. We’ve all heard the banality that Eskimos have 80 different words for snow, but that blunt example gets at a more profound truth about language and culture. Different cultures value different aspects of life, and those differences show up in their language. For example philosophical arguments that are easy to discuss in Greek or German can be difficult to communicate using English or Spanish. A great translator understands the assumptions built into each culture and their language, and that great translator will know how to get at those profoundly held beliefs and values using the closest Best PR Agency in Toronto approximations available to them. Great translation goes above and beyond basically exchanging one word for another.
Great translation isn’t just a straightforward technical skill, it requires a depth of understanding and a personal sensitivity that you’re unlikely to find at a farm-like translation agency. Is it conceivable to get great work done from a translation agency? Absolutely, but you ought to be wary of any agency that doesn’t appear to value the tremendous complexity of their work. While you ought to expect a fair cost from whomever you employ for your translation work, remember that you’re not going to get good work from a bargain-basement translation agency.
This is the reason many individuals choose to work with either small translation agencies or individual translators. It’s a good idea to gain a personal read and foster a relationship with the translator that you choose to work with, and the smaller the agency you choose to work with the more accurate that personal read is going to be. Make sure you talk extensively with the translator you’re going to be working with, and that they completely understand all of the subtleties of the work you need done. You’ll both get a better translation out of the deal, and partake in the process considerably more.