Online machine translation (MT) tools can give you a “translation” in an instant, but will it suit your purpose?
If you want to submit an article to a journal or present a paper at a conference, then I’m afraid that online translation tools will not be able to deliver a text that means the same as your original and reads well. I don’t know if MT will ever be capable of doing that, but I very much doubt whether it’ll manage to reach the required high standard of quality in my lifetime.
Do you run a tourism website or a hotel? Don’t skimp on your translation by using a machine or an unqualified non-professional language service provider. First impressions matter; you don’t want your potential clients clicking away to another site because yours is so littered with mistakes that they feel the quality of your service could turn out to be as bad as the quality of your translated texts. Build trust by showing your future guests that you really do care about every detail of their stay, including your advertising and any written matter you provide for them (menus, safety information, details of hotel and amenities, room equipment operating instructions, etc.).
The bottom line is that online MT tools translate word for word and often interpret those words incorrectly. Human translators don’t do that. We translate words into meaning.
We consider your document or series of documents as a coherent whole; we check to see that it flows properly and we avoid repetition of the same phrases that can make writing sound stilted and boring. In short, we can make your text sing.
Good translators are usually busy translators. You might be lucky and catch me between projects, but chances are I’ll be helping another client achieve a successful communication outcome. The more time you can give me for the deadline, the more likely I’ll be able to fit your text in. Please contact me for a deadline and a quote. If I can’t help you, I’ll try to put you in touch with another ITI qualified translator (MITI) who can.