When considering whether or not to hire a professional translation service for translation of your business website, legal documents or other information that needs to be relayed in a language other than your own, one often questions the difference between being bilingual and holding a professional translation qualification. Often, professional translators hear questions such as, “My sister is fluent in Spanish, can’t I just have her translate my business website for me?” While a bilingual individual and someone who specializes in Boston translation services may have some talents in common, the two are not exactly the same.
A bilingual person is defined as one who is “able to use two languages, especially with equal fluency,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Unlike those who are certified translators, bilingual individuals are not necessarily native speakers of both languages. The qualifications for native speakers typically involve a person using both languages from a very young age, or having spent at least ten years in a country where the primary language is not their foreign tongue.
The definition of a translator is one who “turns words into one’s own language or another language, especially as a profession.” A key word in this definition is profession – meaning that one who practices the paid occupation of translator typically holds the appropriate skill set and comprehension of the language, not to mention the necessary certifications required to accurately, thoroughly make the translation.
Understanding The Difference
It is important to understand that not all bilingual individuals can translate, and that not all translators are bilingual. Translators have the ability to produce the most accurate, readable translation possible, while those who are bilingual may have conversational skills, but do not possess an intricate understanding of the written language. Most translators have studied at a graduate level, and have spent many years living in countries where their second language is spoken. Translators must go through a rigorous certification process, ensuring that they have complete capability to accurately translate documents and written content.
While it may seem simpler, or less expensive to have a friend who is bilingual take care of translating important business or legal information for you, careful weighing of the pros and cons of each type of individual’s services point to the fact that Boston translation services are better left to a capable professional, despite higher financial costs.
Translators at The Marketing Analysts Translation Service are certified and backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee.