11 Ways To Identify A Good Translator Match
Like any recruitment decision, evaluating the qualifications and the skills of a good translator is very important. So, how can you evaluate the abilities of a good translator if you don’t speak their native language? After all, that is why you are hiring them to translate your content instead of doing it yourself! Having impeccable language translation proficiency is not enough. In other words, how do you know if they have the expertise in your subject field? Also, how do you know if they have full understating of the source language?
You should consider the following two categories of qualifications when choosing a good translator for your project.
- Native Speakers: A good translator must be able to fully understand the context in the source language. Otherwise, they won’t be able to convey the same meaning into the target language.
- Education: Professional translators should hold a degree in translation and languages.
- Skills Assessments: It is common for language service providers to verify the skills of their translators. Typically, the translator must pass a translation test prior to employment.
- Experience: Obtaining degrees and passing tests are also the minimum requirements, but nothing beats real life project experience. A good translation agency usually requires translators to have a minimum of 5 years of professional translation experience.
- Writing Talent & Style: Writing goes beyond the understanding of vocabulary and grammar, especially when translating between languages. Therefore, the style of a good translator must match the objectives of the project. Always ask for writing samples in a language you read and write well. This will help you assess the overall writing talent and style.
- Professional Affiliations: Many professional translators are members of professional translation associations. This includes the Institute of Translation & Interpreting (ITI), Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) and American Translators Association (ATA).
- References: When in doubt ask for and contact references that have worked with the translator on a similar project in the past.
- Soft Skills: Sometimes soft skills and even personality are the criteria when choosing a good translator for your unique needs. For example, a retail cosmetics company is looking to translate its Chinese social media content into English. Consequently, the translation company suggests its top Chinese to English translator who was born in China but has lived in the US for 20 years and has superior skills to work on your project.
- Cultural Intelligence: As discussed above, the good translator must be a native speaker of the target language. In fact, just as important as the words themselves, the person working on your project should understand the cultural nuances of your target audience.
- Subject Matter Expertise: Understanding specific industry terminology is what makes a good translator great. For example, a general translator should never translate medical, scientific or legal documents.
- Technology: Translation technology has advanced and the ability to use various translation memory software tools is now required. Using translation memory tools ensures fast and accurate content output.
In summary, partnering with a professional translation agency is more than just providing content for translation. The process requires excellent communication and customer service. Furthermore, you may work with a translation partner providing excellent communication, time management and customer service. You can often assess the skills of a good translator while you are in the contracting phase. Ask yourself:
- Do they have a 24/7 service if you are in a different time zone? How quickly do they respond to your requests?
- Do they listen carefully to understand all your requirements?
- Are their responses complete and easy to understand?
- Do you enjoy your interactions?
- Do they seem credible and trustworthy to complete your project to your satisfaction?
Renaissance Translations’ Professional Translation Services
Contracting a translation partner for your important projects is a big decision. We hope this article was helpful in providing some evaluation criteria. Our team at Renaissance Translations would be honoured to satisfy your translation needs. Please contact us to discuss your upcoming project.