The Human Factor

When it comes to translations the human factor prevails at Aplomb

Language is about people and their interactions. It changes, it’s fluid, sometimes it’s illogical. Experienced sector specialist translators excel at combining correct technical terminology with native expressions to creatively craft the fine nuances from one language to the other. It’s an artform of words. Just as lawyers use words to twist meanings out of phrases to their clients’ benefit, translators craft phrases to relate the meaning of the twists to the target audience. Human led translation ensures accuracy. Machine translation only achieves up to 70% accuracy and only for some languages.

Phone apps for quick translations of phrases when travelling are great for ordering drinks, asking directions in a foreign language or communicating with foreign friends. Everyone enjoys the speed of knowledge provided by a translation app, as well as the silly phrases and amusing inaccuracies presented. However useful and fun, it is not yet advisable to rely upon your phone app to translate your new business contract. After all, would you sign a contract that was only 38% to 70% accurate?

Translation has changed dramatically in recent years with advances in machine translation and computer-assisted translation software, and many people are tempted by the cheap cost and speed at the expense of accuracy and diligence. Some translation agencies now cater simply to certain sectors’ whims of speed; providing rough and inaccurate translations completed by translators who are not necessarily native speakers, only conveying the gist of the text and a few relevant and necessary facts. 33 years ago, people were interested in the most accurate translation they could obtain. Now, there is a global use for all levels of translation.

Courts do still require certified translations carried out and signed by qualified professional linguists. However, as clients no longer all demand high quality translations, not all agencies employ top level linguists. Like lawyers and other professionals, translators are not all of the same level of qualification and experience. Now, with differing levels of translation quality deemed acceptable for different uses, fewer translators are gaining the necessary experience and training to become specialised top-level linguists.

At Aplomb, we support our linguists’ continuing professional development and we continuously assess their work on each project. We know our exceptional linguists are at the top of their profession. When it has to be accurate, trust Aplomb.

So far, at Aplomb, the best way to maintain our high level of quality and service is to employ exceptional people

All our translations are carried out by qualified, experienced professionals and then proofread by a person. Where appropriate, computer-assisted translation tools are employed by our professional translators on local computers to guard confidentiality, and top quality is maintained through their specialism and linguistic expertise. With or without the use of machine translation, we always proofread everything. We do not quickly “spot-check” or “sample” documents for quality control. We thoroughly proofread the entire document. This is how we can assure reliably that all text has been translated, including handwritten notes, stamps and seals; that all numbers and formatting are accurately reproduced; and that terminology and style is consistent throughout. 

Our exceptional clients settle for nothing less.

Aplomb’s translations are still carried out by people at the top of their linguistic field

Our clients do require true representation, confidentiality and specialist application of knowledge not yet available from a machine.

Professional quality translations and interpreting are necessary when it is important to deliver all aspects of your message accurately.
This is where Aplomb excels.
We assess:

  • Language pairs
  • Subject specialism
  • Quality of the original text
  • Level of technicality
  • Requested format
  • Time constraints
  • Security levels
  • The intended use of each assignment

We expertly match each assignment to our best experienced people to carry out your work. We translate, edit and proofread each document to ensure accuracy to Aplomb’s exceptional professional standard. We happily incorporate your stylistic and formatting requests. All this is done by people. It does take a bit of time to produce excellent translations. Most of our clients appreciate this. They understand that an expertly produced translation will save costs and time overall. Everyone has had to work with bad translations at some point and we all know how frustrating this can be.

Having a reliable translation to start, or to finish your project can make all the difference for your successful business outcome. Getting your point across with ease and grace is what we all strive for. After spending weeks and months perfecting your presentation in your native language, it only makes economic, brand, and image sense to ensure the translation or interpreting of your matter is accurately and professionally delivered in the appropriate style fit for purpose in the target language.

Aplomb’s exceptional level of service is carried out by highly experienced and qualified people whom we trust. While it is true that some documents do lend themselves to machine assisted translation, this is not true for most of the documents which we translate at Aplomb. Many machine translation platforms are online and therefore not secure. This means we never upload documents onto these tools as it would not be possible for us to maintain security and confidentiality.

The accuracy of both the input of the source text and the translated output varies throughout machine translation software, from system to system, and the source text and the translated text always need to be edited. If the source text is poorly written, the translation will not make sense. The degree of editing depends also upon the technicality of the subject. Translation software accepts word files or requires inputting of source text onto its own platform and then translates only those words or phrases which have already been input into it. Usually, these are the most common vocabulary definitions and uses for the words. To translate legal, financial and technical matters, specialised vocabulary is employed. Machine translation software works well with repetition of words which are always employed in the same manner. For instance, it is great for translation of clothes labels where words like cotton, viscose, wool are always the same. Even so, it is quite common to see in today’s speedy cost-cutting economy, that even clothes labels have often not been proofread and one error input into a machine is often reprinted and repeatedly stitched into 100,000 garments.

A “woolly thought”, however, will not translate successfully via machine translation. Possibly an equivalent phrase in the target language exists which is not necessarily an exact word for word translation; or there may be no equivalent, and in such case, the translator may have to either invent a phrase to convey the point or add a note of explanation. Machines are improving rapidly, but they are not quite up to intelligent creative thinking.