This is a guest post by Johannes Moe, of Moe Rental, about why he chose professional translation after years of messing around with online tools. OK, so we’re mentioned favorably, so don’t blame us for a bit of publicity 🙂
Like many of us, I used to swear by online translation tools and dictionaries like Google Translator, wordreference.com etc. Whatever I had to translate for my business, I did it myself. Even if I could barely speak German, I insisted on stitching together my own linguistic masterpiece, literally from bits and pieces: a bit of my own German, some sentences translated by the Google Translator, a little bit of help from my friends/the other people in my office, etc. The result was sometimes good, sometimes passable, but more often than not well below par. So why the refusal to use professional translator services? You guessed it: I did not want to spend the money. Until one day when my business partner left a contract on my desk, which had to be translated for the following day. There was no time to go the DIY route this time. So I reluctantly pulled Google search up and started scanning online translation agencies.
After comparing quotes from LinguaTrans and MyGengo, I ultimately settled on G.Brunner Translations, who I thought offered the best guarantee of quality combined with a decent price. Firstly, I was surprised at how cheap it really was, certainly much less than the amount I had feared spending for so long, and secondly, I must admit it was much more efficient. For a modest fee, I found the text in my inbox the next day. Admittedly I had to pay a surcharge due to the last-minute nature of that particular job, but even so it was affordable for my company.
When I opened the received file, I was pleasantly surprised: Not only did they preserve the format, but I received the document as the same file type and with the same file name except for the suffix “DE” (for “DEUTSCH” as in “German”). Perfect for one-click file managing. And when you consider how much time and money I saved on resources (my and my co-worker’s precious time and productivity), it actually hardly cost me anything more than the DIY method. I have since established a positive collaboration with the above, and on occasions, other translation agencies, and I have never looked back. So my business advice for today is, even if at first sight it seems to be an unnecessary expense, leave translation to the professionals. You’ll be rewarded for higher efficiency and productivity increase, and you’ll be able to get on with the work that you’re supposed to do.