A translation company might tell you that they can deliver incredibly fast and accurate linguistic support at low prices. Unfortunately, this promise misleads customers. The truth is that it’s rare that all three objectives: accuracy, speed, and low prices are possible. Language service requires incredible expertise and professional experience—especially when it comes to efficiency and accuracy. Many times, lower prices might mean that translations aren’t as quick or as accurate as some language service companies promise.
Since we believe in full transparency, it’s important to dispel the myth that you can have all three: accuracy, speed, and a low price. You could easily have two of these three, but when you need rapid translation services with the utmost in accuracy, chances are you will need a seasoned language service company to do the job. As with any industry, accuracy and speed tends to come with tenure and experience, which means that you’ll need to work with a language interpreter in the upper echelon of their industry. Like other professions, experience and on-the-job know-how increases your costs but your quality will not suffer.
The Importance of Accuracy and Professionalism in Language Services
Millions of people rely on languages other than English in the United States. Additionally, there are millions of hearing-impaired people who communicate with sign language. From news events to diplomatic, medical, and legal needs, interpreters perform a valuable service. Their ability to interpret and translate source languages into target languages (including sign language) is a fine-tuned skill set. Beyond speaking and understanding one or two languages, a linguist must have experience to perform accurately and quickly.
So, what happens when amateurs try their hands at interpretation and translation? We have real-life examples, both of which occurred in Florida. In 2017, two amateur interpreters provided American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation for live news conferences. Our first examples, involves a news conference from the Tampa Police Department regarding updates to the investigation of a murder. The would-be interpreter was actually not a professional and began to sign non-sensical and confusing messages. The ASL community who watched was shocked and bumfuzzled. As the conference lingered, the police department and the press had no idea that the language interpreter was less than qualified.
A couple months before this shocking event, another interpreterdelivered confusing ASL messages during Hurricane Irma. While this interpreter knew some sign language, due to having a deaf relative, he still wasn’t a professional and because of this fact, his accuracy suffered. Again, the ASL community was denied correct information on matters of public safety.
While these are extreme examples of “interpreter fails”, it goes to show the impact that inaccurate interpretation can have on an entire community.
The Need for Speed in Language Services
While not all linguistic support requires intense speed, there are instances where speed matters. For example, a language interpreter is often needed in a diplomatic, medical, and courtroom setting. If an interpreter is too slow, a person could go without life-saving medical treatment or developing diplomatic talks could come to a stalemate.
Accuracy and speed require experience in a professional setting. And in some cases, people’s lives depend on accurate and fast translations.
Cost Reduction in Language Services
Fortunately, not all language services require immediate translation Some less expensive services, for example, involve remotely translating of written documents. It’s also important to note that the advancement of technology and access to the Internet has reduced language service costs substantially.
Here’s a few examples on how technology has reduced cost.
In the past, a translation company may have sent out a language interpreter for in-person interpretation—especially in communities where there were no professional linguists for specific languages. Now, however, a pool of interpreters with experience and fluency in hundreds of languages can be accessed with web-based video applications. This reduces travel expenses and gives people access to linguistic support in regions where they didn’t exist before.
Costs can also be mitigated with telephonic interpretation. This is helpful when interpreters are working to interpret a conversation between two people from the source language to the target language and vice versa. Telephonic interpretation eliminates the need for in-person language support in some medical, legal, and diplomatic settings.
As a leading language service company, Geneva Worldwide has provided language support for over 30 years. We source experienced and talented linguists who speak hundreds of languages from our New York City-based headquarters. Give our friendly team a call today to learn more about our services.