Do you have a document that you can’t understand? And it’s annoying, right? There are countless amount of documents all around us. No one even knows how many of them are available on the World Wide Web. Documents speak different languages and have different purposes from informing to entertaining. 

The most frustrating thing is to have a document that contains the information you need, but you can’t read it. The answer is right in front of you and you can’t understand a word. If only the document was written in your language. If only you could translate the document. How to translate a complete document? Here are your options:

Search from the web

It’s possible that the document has already been translated into several languages. For example, companies usually offer manuals in many languages on their webpages. So the first option is that you search if the document is available in your language. 

This is a simple solution that takes only some searching effort. The officially translated documents are in high quality and free. Unfortunately, not all documents are multilingually available. No matter how hard you search, most often documents are written only in one language. Then you need to try something else to get your document translated.

Hire a professional translator

Another option is to find a professional translation service. They can translate the document for you. Even if you don’t find the document in other languages from the internet, you can most certainly find dozens of online translation services. The web is full of translation companies and freelancers ready to help you. Professional translation is probably the most expensive option. Professional translation is of the highest quality and thus comes with a high price. 

There are also ‘amateur’ translation services. It means people who work as full-time translators but don’t have a degree in the translation or language field. They might be bilingual, for example. It isn’t always easy to compare different translation providers. You should be aware that the translation quality may not be perfect even if it is made by a full-time translator. The translation quality is dependent on many factors. You should know what aspects are important for your translation job.

Often a professional translation is too expensive and laborious. Especially if you only need to understand the core message of a document. You may not be willing to make the effort to find a suitable translation service, then wait for the translation to finish and finally pay for the high quality. In that case, you might want to consider other options to translate a document.

Ask a friend to help you

Depending on the situation, the simplest option might be to ask for help from a friend. Someone close to you may understand the language of the document. Most friends are ready to make such favors for free or for some small compensation.

Scan your network to see if there is someone who could help you. Sometimes, no one speaks the language or the document is so long that you don’t dare to ask for help. Luckily you still have other options to translate your document.

Translate by yourself

If you have some knowledge of the document language, you can try to understand it by yourself. You can always use a dictionary, either a book or an online dictionary. This option requires that you have a clue about the language, and you know the basics of the grammar. The more you know the easier the task is. Likewise, the less you know the more laborious and error-prone it is to translate without any extra help.

This option isn’t the fastest one. The pace depends on your ability to translate. If you have time and if you want to do the job yourself, go for it. You have all the control when you do it. If you don’t have the time and if you are too uncertain of your translation skills, there’s still one more option for you.

Use automatic translation

You can also translate your document automatically. Machine translation quality is improving fast. Today automatic translation suits very well on document translation. An automatic document translator is a fast, easy, and simple way to get your document translated into other languages.

You should remember that machine-translated text is rarely completely flawless. Yet, small mistakes don’t matter when the goal is to understand the core message of the document. It’s also possible to first use machine translation and then post-edit the translation. This way you can be sure that the translation is perfect. 

When you have a document that you can’t read, don’t worry. You can try any of these six ways to get your document translated into other languages. You will definitely find the best solution for your situation.

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