Translation Buyers Beware

Do you really know where your translation project has been? The rise of machine translation as part of the typical workflow at larger language service providers should cause concern among translation buyers.

What if your local grocer started selling you fresh apples that had really been frozen first and thawed before sale?

What if your favorite neighborhood Italian restaurant started serving you Lasagna that was pre-made, frozen and purchased from the local warehouse store?

Perhaps the results might be similar, you might be able to choke down the lasagna and the apples might be palatable, but as the consumer shouldn’t you know something about the pedigree of your purchase? Especially if for the last 10 years you have been eating at the Italian restaurant because it boasted made-to-order entrees or if you have always shopped at the local grocery store because they provided field-to-store shelf produce.

More and more translation providers are using machine translation to feed their production workflow. I guess this would be acceptable if the results were similar to human translation and if the translation firm disclosed the practice of using machine translation in the workflow. But most providers simply are not providing full disclosure and machine translation just isn’t ready for prime time yet.

I think translation buyers deserve better.

Translation providers should be challenged to disclose details about their workflow and the individuals creating your content.

We do. Does your provider?

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