San Francisco Language Services Specialist Auerbach International Explains Top Five Reasons Not to Rely on Native Language Speakers for Professional Translation

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In hard economic times, businesses may try to save money by using bilingual employees for translation services. But Auerbach International says this can end up being a costly mistake, and explains the top 5 reasons native speakers of a language are not necessarily the best resource for translation and interpretation.

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Aurbach International played a crucial role in turning around a last minute request that we needed for a workshop that had to be translated from English to Chinese.

To save money during this recession, companies often rely on in-house native-language speakers, overseas reps or distributors for language translation services. But this attempt to cut corners can lead to embarrassing and disastrous consequences if something gets lost in translation. Based on its 20 years' of experience, Auerbach International, a professional San Francisco language services provider, lays out the top five reasons relying on native speakers may not be a good idea:

1) People in this role may make mistakes such as choosing the wrong descriptor or writing in their native dialect, which can be extremely localized.

2) Even if these people speak the company's technical terminology, they may not truly know the proper translation for advanced technical terminology or will use non-standard speech.

3) These in-house speakers or agents may also not be great spellers, leaving words with extra letters, or they may add claims that the home office is unaware of.

4) Mistranslations—particularly with brochures, websites and other promotion—can easily happen with in-country contractors and machine (software) translation; the resulting errors are often amateurish, inconsistent, humorous and embarrassing.

5) Translation errors on products can lead to serious consequences if the products are misused as a result. Ultimately, the company—not the in-house speaker, rep or distributor—is usually liable if a user is injured or dies using the product advertised.

The San Francisco professional translation service says the best practice when translating is to hire professional document translation providers whose expertise is language. They know how to render concepts quickly and accurately and with proper subject-specialized expressions, acculturation, nuances, term consistency and discounts for repeated text.

Auerbach International welcomes partnering with clients' qualified native speakers, particularly to learn their in-house word preferences, but companies will save money and bolster their image if they use these native speakers only to review (rather than to implement) language projects and then send the native speakers' edits back to the language agency for final approval. While rephrasing and alternative technical word choices are acceptable, the language agency needs to warn the client of text omissions, additions or other edits that do not correspond to the source text.

"Auerbach International played a crucial role in turning around a last minute request that we needed for a workshop that had to be translated from English to Chinese. Their thorough review of the documents and attention to detail was key to delivering a high quality translation. They were able to maintain the integrity of the presentations and deliver on time as promised, allowing for our delivery of the workshop to be seamless,” said Thunderbird School of Global Management.

For more information on Auerbach International and how they can help with translation services, please call (415) 592-0042 or visit them on the web at

About Auerbach International
For over 20 years, Auerbach International—serving globally from San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose—has helped clients gain revenue in ethnic markets in the US as well as globally. They are one of the nation’s foremost language agencies providing translations; interpretations; software and website localizations; multilingual layouts and desktop publishing; voiceovers, dubbing and subtitling for videos and CDs; multimedia; PowerPoints; and Flash files from or into over 80 world languages and many more dialects. Their subject expertise ranges from simple to technical texts with emphasis on health care / medicine / pharmaceuticals / biotech; dentistry; human resources; pumps / engineering; green and environmental technologies; information technology; law; manufacturing; and government.

From inception, they pioneered the art of generating the most accurate and rapid deliveries possible, adapting terminology usage to specific countries and providing flexible pricing for all budgets. They are the only language agency in all North America to be three-time consecutive winners of the Client Satisfaction Award from ValueStar, an independent ratings firm.

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Philip Auerbach
Auerbach International
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