Which Would You Rather Drive?
Quality comes with a price, and many businesses have yet to realize this all-important fact. I have had discussions with clients who truly seem to not care about the quality of their content as much as the price. One client even tried to equate translation services to cars. That was an interesting conversation, believe me. His premise was that if society has a market for cheap cars like Chevys, Dodges, and Fords, as well as a higher end market for Cadillacs, Lincolns, and Audis; then society should also have lower end markets for translation services for those who place less emphasis on quality than affordability.
This line of thinking simply shocked me. The market for translation services cannot be compared to the car market. You can take the same road trip in a Chevy or a Cadillac, and be confident that you will arrive at the same destination in the same amount of time. The only difference is your level of comfort during the trip. With translation services, the use of a lower cost service provider can be disastrous - comparable to an unmarked detour that sidetracks you and delivers you miles from your intended destination with no clear path back to where you need to be.
Another client pointed out to me that there are multiple websites available where translators are able to bid on projects. On the surface, this sounds like it has the potential for being a good idea. People looking for translating work are able to find the service at a price they can afford, and the competition helps to keep costs down. Unfortunately, in the translation business, just like many others, you get what you pay for. A highly skilled and qualified translator is typically going to bid higher, while the lower bidders will typically be those who are using ineffective or inaccurate tools or methods. Those clients who are concerned with quality and accuracy will invariably choose the higher priced service provider. However, those who care only about price will choose the substandard providers at a lower price.
The Bottom Line
The painful truth of the matter is if someone is unwilling to pay an expert to produce a high quality and professional translation, the low-cost alternative they are paying for can be nothing more than a waste of money. When it comes to your business’s reputation online - or your own professional reputation - would you rather save pennies and gamble with your reputation, or invest in your business and yourself? Would you rather drive a Chevy or a Cadillac?