No longer lost in translation

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Cornish translation agency AJT has launched a set of icons to help brands inform their audiences of the type of translation they are reading.

Despite lacking the quality of professional human translation, low-cost machine translation solutions are becoming increasingly popular, particularly on less frequently visited web pages.

AJT says while there is nothing wrong with this approach, customers expect the same user experience across an entire brand and should be informed of the type of translation they are reading.

MD Anja Jones said: “Companies shouldn’t be embarrassed about publishing machine translation or, even worse, try to pass it off as professional human translation. In our opinion, what’s important is that companies let their customers know what they are reading so they can manage their own expectations.

“For example, if a customer reads some poorly translated copy from a brand they admire and are usually loyal to, then it could very easily damage their perception of that brand and could negatively affect their buying habits.

“However, if that copy was clearly labelled as machine translation, at least the customer would be warned and would perhaps be less critical of the translation.”

With this in mind, AJT has developed a set of free to download icons to help brands inform their audiences of the type of translation they are reading.

“We think it’s important that professional human translators clearly identify themselves as such, differentiating their work from automated output and celebrating their contribution to a brand’s marketing collateral,” Jones added.

“Translators can use the icons as a badge of honour and to position themselves as providers of professional human translation, hybrid translation or both, within the translation market place. We hope that this will go some way to help remove the stigma attached to using machine translation and also help to celebrate the effort and expertise that comes with professional human translation.”

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