When should you order translations online?

When should you order translations online?

Unsure if content is suitable? Suspicious it's all just done by a machine? Like the feeling of having a human to chat to? Concerned about prices and turn-around time? There is a time and a place for everything…

It goes without saying that in today’s complicated and connected world, discourse with those who speak another language is highly likely and quite necessary, regardless of whether you are operating in the business realm, legal world, financial community, or simply heading off on a holiday.

While machine translation tools have improved significantly, and can be useful in certain contexts that only require a gist understanding, there’s no substitute for the nuanced understanding and cultural context that human translators provide. Especially when it comes to legal documents, medical notes, financial reports, and other documentation of an official nature.

But how should one go about sourcing such translation?

Options abound. From looking up individual translators to linking with professional language service firms, from ordering online to discussing needs in detail with a dedicated account manager. Which one is right for you, depends very much on context.

If you need the directions to the address where you’re staying on holiday translating, then an individual fluent in that particular language, or even a free online translation tool will likely do the trick.

If you have a pile of medical notes or financial reports requiring translation, then you’d be much better placed sourcing a professional linguist or LSP Llanguage Service Provider) that specialises in those particular areas.

If the pile is particularly large, deadlines short, content niche, or multiple languages needed, a professional LSP is likely your best course of action.

Now you know what you want, but how to place your order?

If you’re just after directions to a Parisian hotel, your French speaking Auntie Enda might suffice.

But presuming we have a pile of official reports and an LSP is needed, there are usually four ways of proceeding: give the LSP a call, email the LSP, request a quote via an online submission form, or directly place an order online.

The first three options usually give the same output – a quotation document for your review.

Option four, ordering directly online, skips some of the back and forth and you can get your project launched right away. But is this always the best option?

When Should You Order Translations Online?

For straightforward, routine documents like emails, product descriptions, or internal memos, online ordering is sufficient and efficient. It is ideal for simple, editable files (e.g., Word documents).

Unsure if Content Is Suitable?

Online platforms vary in quality. Some offer professional human translators, while others rely on crowdsourcing. If you’re unsure about content suitability, consider using reputable platforms from qualified provided, such as the online translation order platform offered via IMD Translation which only uses professional, qualified linguists.

Ordering a smaller request to sample the offering translation before committing to a larger project is a potentially useful litmus test. This helps assess accuracy, tone, and adherence to requirements.

Suspicious It’s All Done by a Machine?

Rest assured, at IMD Translation human linguists handle the work, regardless of if your project is ordered online or via a member of our team. Unlike machine translation, our linguists have a deep understanding of context, idiomatic expressions, and cultural nuances.

So, should I order online?

If your project is straightforward, your files editable, and you don’t need a dedicated project or account manager, yes. Ordering online is quick, simple, and efficient.

If you have a project that requires translation of multiple file types, transcription, and/or interpreting, if your files are non-editable (such as scanned PDFs or .gif files), or if the content requires transcreation or requires a high level of creativity such as marketing material, you may wish to consider the more traditional project management-led approach - contact our team at info@imdtranslation.co.uk or call us on 03309121530 to discuss today

Remember, the choice depends on your specific project. For legal documents, creative marketing content, or non-editable scanned PDFs, consider direct human contact. For routine communication, standard certificates, or simple prose, online platforms are an effective choice – take our online translation order platform for a spin today!