My business idea is to offer my clients the best services money can buy. My services are translation, language editing, and consecutive interpretation between English and Finnish. I am an authorized translator, which means I am authorized by the Finnish Ministry of Justice to make and confirm official translations from Finnish into English and from English into Finnish. It also means that I have taken an oath before a court of justice to maintain secrecy about all matters revealed to me in my work as a translator or interpreter. Read more, if you like, about

The need, the making, and the pricing of translations

Transferre necesse est; vivere non est necesse

Translations are needed, and made, in enormous and ever-increasing quantities. They often end up being done in a big hurry by underpaid amateurs with varying skills; and in too much of a hurry, not even professionals perform as well as they should – quality cannot be rushed. Consequently, one runs into bad translations everywhere: on the Internet, in brochures and bulletins, in instructions, in menus, in signs and shop windows. There are far too many of them already for my taste, and more being made every minute. I suppose bad translations serve a purpose, but that is not my scene. I am not going to add a single one to that lot. I go for quality and reserve enough time for every job to work at my own pace and make full use of my background and experience to produce top-class translations.

Translations come in many forms and at many prices, and so do the needs of translations. For example, if you just need to get a text understood, more or less, in another language and quality does not matter, why not have the job done cheap by a university student or another dabbler? Or by your neighbour’s niece, for a meal at McDonald’s? Why pay for champagne if beer suffices?

Then again, there are situations where mere comprehensibility is not enough, where the translation must also be elegant and convincing and make a favourable impression. For example, if you write an important letter, say an application, abroad, if you have your web pages translated to get new customers, or if you offer a scholarly article for publication in a top international journal, it is not to your advantage to go about it with a cheap amateur translation, which may draw pitiful smiles or open ridicule from the reader. In such situations it may well be worth your while to invest in a proper translation, which does justice to your message, inspires trust, and makes an altogether favourable impression. For that, you need an experienced professional and have to pay more.

Like cooking brandy and yesterday’s doughnuts, cheap translations have their place and their makers. Just like Courvoisier VSOP, fresh doughnuts, and quality translations. Choose what you need.