misconceptions about translation

A few misconceptions about translation you
should know about


“Bob from accounting speaks some French. Let’s just ask him”

Speaking a language at conversational level is radically different from writing in that language in a way that takes someone else’s words and accurately conveys their intended meaning.

Even if you regularly negotiate in French, your written command of a foreign language is likely to be immediately recognizable as “foreign”

Knowing a foreign language is very useful in business but it doesn’t make you a translator!

Professional translators train for a long time!

The years of study and practice that a professional translator has behind him/her means that you get translations that don’t feel like translations.


“We can’t afford professional translation”

Good translation isn’t expensive:
Average cost of creating content = $0.65 per word
Average cost of translation = $0.17 per word

It usually takes only 1 or 2 sales for a translation to pay for itself

“We don’t need a professional translator – we’ve got Google Translate”

Google Translate and other algorithm driven systems are great for the occasional word or to get the general sense of a sentence that you’d like to know the meaning of.

Unfortunately, the one thing they lack is the understanding of cultural and linguistic context that a human translator provides. The result is that automatic translation is often incoherent and full of mistakes, (some of them quite bizarre) and can even create content that is offensive to your customers


“Everyone understands English. Why bother?

This may surprise you, but 75% of the world’s population speaks no English.

Your French customers expect helpful information in a language they understand.

By providing quality content, you make them feel valued and respected.

Also, you make it easier for them to buy from you. Of those who do speak some English, most will only make buying decisions in their own language. People regularly make choices based on what feels familiar and comfortable. What better way to create that comfort and familiarity than to speak to them in their own language.