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Reasons to avoid free online translation tools

6th December 2018

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It’s understandable that you want to expand your business, grow globally and reach international target markets. In order to do so, your documents and content needs to be translated into each language you want to reach. Budgets can be tight and free translation tools can seem very tempting, but despite their initial allure, a free online translation tool can end up damaging your business.

Quality


Translation technology has come a long way in the past few years, with companies such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook leading the way. These tech giants have invested a lot of time and money into improving their tools, which are currently used by over 200 million people each month.

However, while these tools may effectively translate a few words, sentence and paragraph structure in other languages can be more nuanced and complex, and very difficult to replicate accurately, especially when you’re not a native speaker and don’t use the correct grammar, accents or nouns.

To ensure that your documents are translated in a professional manner and to a high-quality standard, you’ll be much safer hiring a translator that can provide a bespoke service, ensuring that the true meaning of your words come across, no matter what the language.

Security


As soon as you begin to type into an online translation tool, your text instantly becomes public property, which means using these tools for confidential files and information should be avoided at all costs.
News site Slator conducted its own research into the free translation website Translate.com and discovered that an astonishing number of sensitive documents and information were now freely accessible online, including a doctor’s email exchange with a global pharmaceutical company.



Pricing


Online translation tools are popular, and may seem like a smart choice because they’re free. However, what if something goes wrong? What if the translation doesn’t make sense, or even worse, what if the original meaning has been altered? The cost of re-printing materials, changing ad campaigns and the overall damage to your reputation will far outweigh what it would cost to have hired a professional translator in the first place.

Professional translation services might not be cheap – but they should be looked at as an investment, rather than an expense.



Summary


Online translation tools will only grow in popularity and understandably businesses will continue to use them. However, by doing so they are compromising on security, confidentiality and quality, which in the long run could end up costing them more. By using a professional translator, you’ll be effectively engaging and communicating with your chosen target market, while simultaneously investing in the future success of your business.
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