Translation is so simple – one might think. You type a word or sentence into automated translation software, and receive the translation in a language of your choice almost immediately.
Translation is so difficult. Without a human eye trained in nuances of both languages, it’s impossible to create text that is both accurate and effective.
Anyone who has worked in translation or needed translated texts in a business environment knows about these two truths. Available software makes translating texts deceptively easy, but especially longer and industry-specific documents need close attention in order for their meaning to fully transfer to the language in question.
Take Dutch as an example. Spoken by almost 30 million citizens of the European Union, its a necessary language to consider in a variety of multinational industries. Corporations like Philips, ING Group and Heineken operate around the world from headquarters in the Netherlands. Whether you need to communicate with these corporations, or simply conduct business with native speakers of the language, here are 5 types of documents that require the expertise of a Dutch translator.
1) Legal Documents
Especially if you engage directly with businesses who operate in the Netherlands, you need to work with a translator who understands both the country’s language and its legal landscape. Labor and corporation laws differ significantly from their U.S. counterpart in some respects, and mistranslating a legal term can have serious implications.
In other words, never rely on a machine for your Dutch legal translations. Doing so could lead to serious problems for you and your company’s international efforts. For any type of legal document, the expertise of a translator is an absolute must.
2) Financial Records
This category is similar to legal documents, with the exception that it’s more tempting to rely on machine translations. You may think that because financial records consists mostly of numbers, translation requires little more than automated calculations of dollar amounts into Euros.
In fact, it’s more complicated than that. Dutch culture approaches finances very differently from the U.S., requiring companies looking to communicate their finances in this foreign language to make adjustments accordingly. In addition, Dutch banks may require different records, so engaging with a financial translator for the language is both beneficial and necessary.
3) Operating Manuals and Technical Texts
Especially if you manufacture products in the Netherlands, you probably rely on instructions similar to those you would develop for your domestic operations. But while a one-to-one translation seems like the best choice for your needs, that document needs to be meticulously crafted to avoid misunderstandings and potential workplace hazards.
For example, you will likely use a fair amount of technical jargon to convey your operating instructions. That jargon, however, does not always translate easily into Dutch. To maximize your accuracy, make sure you work with a translator who is familiar with your industry and can provide the documents your foreign workers need.
4) Internal Communication
Finally, don’t forget about the need to keep your Dutch workers and partners updated about your international operations. Any experienced international manager knows that engaging foreign workers and keeping them in the loop about the big picture can go a long way toward boosting morale and productivity.
That means internal marketing communication, from company brochures to an intranet, can help advance your business. Of course, these types of materials can only be credible if they are translated by a native speaker; make grammar or syntax mistake, and your efforts could have the opposite effect.
If you’ve ever read a machine-translated text into your native language, you know the often silly mistakes that software can make. Making sure that your business partners, acquaintances, and workers don’t interpret these mistakes as an affront to their value within your company is crucial in keeping your international operations flowing smoothly.
In short, a professional Dutch translator can help your business in a variety of ways. Especially if you conduct business in the Netherlands, that translator becomes a crucial asset to your operations and success. To learn more about the value of human translation for international business, contact us.