Why Not Let Your Office Assistant Do It?
“Well, Rachael knows Spanish pretty well. She had four years of it in high school. I’ll just have her do the translation.” If accuracy is important and your company’s reputation is on the line, you need a professional who is translating into her or his own native language. Even if a person is bilingual (natively fluent in two languages), this is not enough. The translator needs to be fully literate at a college level in at least the target language. There are probably hundreds of funny stories of such mistakes in the past few decades. One of my favorite cases is the phrase “Air Cash,” which I saw in elegant, shiny metal lettering mounted beautifully on the face of a building in Kyrgyzstan. The Russian equivalent was also shown, “Авиакассы”—so the intended meaning was “Airline Ticket Office.”