Being a translator is much more than knowing two languages.
Picture this: You've just received a last-minute change to the corporate brochure you're about to send to be printed in English and Spanish. This means an update to the translation. So what do you do? Of course! You turn to the Spanish-speaking colleague next door rather than sending the brochure back to the translation company. After all, how hard can it be to change a few lines? But unfortunately, after printing and distributing thousands of brochures, you learn that accent marks are missing and the terminology used is quite colloquial and not appropriate for the target audience. Ouch!
You've just learned a valuable lesson: Being bilingual or simply knowing how to speak another language doesn't make one a translator. All too often, it's these individuals that are given the very challenging task of translating. And many times, the result is disastrous. Merely speaking a language is perhaps the most insignificant part of being able to translate.
So what does it take? Having a complete and thorough understanding of the content is imperative in producing an accurate translation. A professional translator is a subject matter expert. Your translator should be immersed and experienced in the field in which they are translating. You wouldn't ask your HR manager to troubleshoot your network, would you?
And then there is the language itself. Sentence structure. Verb agreement. Proper use of grammatical gender. Correct use of prepositions. The understanding of grammar, style, and linguistic nuances are blatantly obvious between a person who simply knows a foreign language and someone who is formally educated in that language. More than likely, this means a professional translator is a native speaker.
Over the years, Omni has helped numerous clients in distress over projects that were translated by the 'wrong' people. When you hand off a project to Omni, rest assured that it's being done by subject matter experts who are native speakers of the target language. Before a translator is given a project, we make sure they are qualified in both language and field of expertise. It's a meticulous part of the process but it's one that assures your translation is done correctly, the first time.