You trusted the language translation agency when they promised you the work would be impeccable. When you receive the translated document, however, you discover a glaring typo in the first page of your twenty-page document.  Clearly, this is disappointing. But not only that: now you begin to wonder whether you can trust the rest of the document to be correct. Does it have other types of errors? Did I make a mistake by hiring this agency?

Well, before you panic and run to your own conclusions, let me assure you that errors in language translation exist and to an extent, this is normal. They creep up in a variety of forms. Sometimes, it’s something minor such as a typo. Other times, it may be something more serious such as a mistranslation. It could also be something that seems like an error, but really isn’t. In any case, you need to contact the translation provider and inquire to FIRST confirm whether what you think is a mistake, really is erroneous. And if it is, then the agency needs to fix it, and thoroughly review the rest of the document. And do it ASAP.

And you need to know why the mistake happened in the first place. Errors in translation may result for a number of reasons, but it all almost always comes down to human error. If you purchased the full service, including proofreading, that means that the translated document would have been translated by one linguist and proofread by another one. Both individuals should have ensured accuracy. The agency would then have also run an automated quality check before delivery. So, if there is an error, then one of the individuals in the chain of quality let it slip in. And I am sorry to say, but that just happens.

And just because there is one error, it does not necessarily signal a bigger problem. So, if you hire an agency that does its due diligence and employs a series of quality steps, one or two errors once in a while should do not be cause for alarm. But I encourage you to always communicate the error to your language translation company. Keep them on their toes!

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