It takes a lot more to produce professional translation than just speaking both languages or even being bilingual. Professional translator must have the ability to correctly and precisely render ideas and concepts (not words) from one language into the other. Often this is overlooked by inexperienced translators who tend to do literal translation. This only comes with experience. On top of that he or she must be a skilled writer and be aware of all cultural nuances in both languages. Quite often translation produced by inexperienced translators does not sound natural in target language or incorrect, as inexperienced translators may pick wrong words or think that being close to intended message translation is good enough.
Strange as it may sound but the cost of inexperienced translators could be higher than that of experienced. Due to lack of experience they tend to spend much more time than experienced translators and price their service based on hours spent for work. They may justify the high cost as they find the work very tedious and tiring, since they’re not accustomed to it and would not be willing to do this kind of work for anything less. Professional translators complete work much faster and price their services at competitive market rates.
If you buy cheaply you pay dearly. Even if you manage to engage inexperienced translators at low rate, you may have to redo the translation later, increasing overall cost. This would be best case scenario. If poor translation results in damaged reputation/relations, lost clients/market share – monetary and non-monetary losses would be much higher.
Translation is a skill that cannot come even with degree in translation or linguistics. Its something that comes only with practice. Experience in professional translation matters.