When you need translation services, it may seem reasonable to ask several providers how much they charge and choose the lowest figure. However, cutting costs may affect the quality of the final product.
Translation mistakes can be detrimental to your image and credibility. For instance, in my field of expertise, mistranslations may result in medical malpractice.
When choosing translation services, you must take into account several factors, such as:
The type of document that needs translation
The subject-matter expertise required by the translator
The intended readers of the translation
The purpose of the translation
The regional variation of the target language
Your best bet is to create a list of the project specifications and check if the prospective provider meets them.
My advice is that you don't look at translation as an expense. Instead, think of it as an investment!
The fact that one may not have to pay money for automatic translation services doesn't mean they're free. Instead, the price is the data being provided.
Remember – Machine translation saves every piece of information. Using it may violate privacy agreements when working with confidential and sensitive data.
Just like other professional services, translation is not free. Yet, choosing the right provider will yield considerable returns to your investment.
I prefer to think of my services as solutions. As a medical translator, my mission is to bridge language barriers between LEP Hispanic patients and US healthcare providers. My ultimate goal is that Spanish-speaking patients have access and receive the right care in clinics and hospitals.