Have you been informed that the user’s guide for one of your product is so hard to read that it is almost incomprehensible? Have you ever wonder why you are getting this type of complaint? Maybe the problem is not your user’s guide in its original English form, but the translated version of it.

The facts

Bad translations are not a myth.

The fact is that the bad translations are done by translators who are not qualified. Everybody can act as a plumber, a painter, a cook or even a translator. However, to be a translator, being bilingual is not enough. There are essential principles, knowledge and methods that need to be learn through a good learning program in translation.

But, an increasing number of people present themselves as translator and offer their services for ‘professional’ translation works. Some of them don’t have the appropriate qualifications; others pretend to be able to do the work in a record time.

Moreover, some companies ask one of their employees whose mother tongue is not the “target” language to do their translations, and sometimes, they even use the services of people who do not speak the language and must look for every word in dictionaries, with no knowledge or understanding of what they are writing. But, an increasing number of bad translations originate from the inordinate use of online translation tools.

When the online translation tools are used in place of the language specialist, they always do more harm than good. Who will be the first to be hurt by a bad translation? You and your company.

Nowadays, many companies recognize that accurately translated documents can have a positive impact on their company's image. At Traductions Cosa, we are taking into account the great care that you took to prepare your documents and we want to make sure that this is reflected in their translation. This is the reason why we have chosen not to offer the machine translation service. There are many internet based companies filling that need.

Machine Translation Tool

It is our opinion that a software package, no matter how sophisticated it may be, can only do what it is programmed to do. As mentioned by a number of professional bodies dedicated to translation, among which the CTTIC (Canadian Translators, Terminologists and Interpreters Council), the translation generated using a machine translation tool does not produce a level of quality sufficient to correctly convey a full message in another language. It must be reviewed by a qualified professional translator.  

At Traductions Cosa, we acknowledge that such a system may be useful when one has to take a quick look at a document written in a language he or she does not know. However, this machine translation will only give a general idea of the content of a document, putting a word for a word. This frequently produces language and translation errors. A machine translation system won’t be able to choose the right word according to the context, the corporate culture or the target audience. This is where the intervention of a professional human translator becomes essential.

As a ‘native’ French translator, which means that French is my “mother tongue” and the language spoken by my parents, I benefit from an advantage that no machine and no software package could never offer: the capacity of thinking.

Translation Memory

A translation memory is not a machine translation tool.

As the name implies, a machine translation is a translation done entirely by a machine or a computer system without the intervention of a human translator. As a result, the poor quality of the translations since no machine is capable to understand the contexts and the subtleties of a language.

A translation memory allows the conservation of the past translation works done for specific client in a directory or a database. The files are saved by segments in a given pair of languages and these segments are later applied to the next translations required by the client. In opposition to the functions of a machine translation system, at this point the intervention of a professional translator is needed to accept or refuse the exact or fuzzy matches found. All the sections of the source document for which there is no match will be translated by a professional translator and these translations will be saved in the translation memory for future use. With this technology, it is possible to avoid translating or having translated the same sentence again and again, which leads to a saving in time for the professional translator and a saving in money for the client.

At Traductions Cosa, we recognize the usefulness and the importance of the translation memories and we are putting all efforts necessary to acquire the skills needed for the adequate use of these tools.

Our services

At Traductions Cosa, the documents submitted for translation may be produced with the softwares of Ms Office Suite, that is Word and PowerPoint, and even Excel (occasionally), and the Corel WordPerfect. We accept documents submitted in PDF format, but they will be translated and delivered in Word or WordPerfect, at the client convenience.

Rates

In the field of translation, with a view of being fair for all the clients, the work is done on a per-word basis. However, every request for translation is examined individually, since a lot of factors can influence the pricing:
  • the type and complexity of the text;
  • the length of the text;
  • the deadline or the delay allotted to complete the translation;
  • the nature of emergency of the request demanding to do the work overnight, during the week ends or official holidays.

To obtain a cost estimate or for all the questions you might have, please use the form provided under the Contact Us tab.

Tools

Electronic tools
  • MS Windows 2010
  • Termium
  • Le grand dictionnaire terminologique
  • Linguee
  • The Government Electronic Directory Services (GEDS)
  • Andidote

Manuals
  • Le Petit Robert
  • Le français au bureau
  • Le guide du rédacteur
  • Le Multidictionnaire de la langue française
  • Le Lexique analogique
  • Le nouveau Bescherelle
  • Various specialised dictionaries, for example the Dictionnaire de la comptabilité et des disciplines connexes (Fernand Sylvain), the Dictionnaire des termes de médecine (Garnier Delamare).