I translate texts from English to Czech and occasionally also from Slovak to Czech. I specialize in advertising, media, marketing and market research, but enjoy any general text whether it is a manual, a website or a freaky smartphone app for detecting ghosts.
As a freelancer with university background directly in Translation Studies (combined with Media Studies), I know the necessary theory. Imagine that you want to sell a mobile phone for pensioners. You’ll probably want your translator to use more explicit language in the manual to counterbalance for missing working knowledge of your target customers. Should the translator fail, your customers will be unable to take full advantage of your product, some may even feel so lost that they return the product. The translator should also know what to do with accidental mistakes in the source text. He should inform you and correct them, otherwise the manual doesn’t serve its purpose well.
Random linguists, students or teachers translating for side money are rarely aware of these principles and create texts that are hard to comprehend and simply don’t work.