WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A TRANSLATOR
Translation is a powerful tool that allows people to connect. Knowing how to speak two languages is not the same thing as knowing how to translate. In addition to linguistic skills, a translator needs to have specialised knowledge, an understanding of the cultural elements and experience with translation techniques. Whether you’re launching a product in a new market or communicating medical information, expertise is crucial. A bad translation can cost millions, create legal problems, damage reputations, cause medical errors, and in some cases, can cost lives. What can go wrong?
QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:
Training and experience are equally important. Check both.
CERTIFICATION OR APPROVED TO CERTIFY DOCUMENTS:
Although this is critical for certifying documents it also serves as a good indication that a translator has been vetted and had to demonstrate a certain level of competence.
Translators often specialise in certain areas eg. legal, marketing, medical etc. If you are looking to have specialised or technical information translated it is worthwhile to find a translator that has this expertise.
NATIVE SPEAKER OF THE TARGET LANGUAGE:
A translator fluent in both languages is a must but you also want to ensure the translator you choose is translating into their native language. For example, If you are having a document translated from French to English you need a translator who is fluent in both languages but who is also a native English speaker.
HOW TO FIND A TRANSLATOR
Finding a translator or agency can be daunting. If low cost is your primary objective, you can simply shop around and find the best price. The problem is that low-cost translations are often achieved by compromising quality. The result is inaccuracies, errors, texts that don’t read well and words that are not appropriate for the culture or context. If you want to obtain a quality translation the process becomes more complicated. How do you know, much less find, this elusive quality translation? Sources for referrals include: friends, acquaintances, social media, website reviews, translator organisations, consulates, google my business. Here are a few tools:
PROFESSIONAL TRANSLATOR AND INTERPRETER ASSOCIATIONS:
Many countries have professional translator associations. You can locate translators and find information about their qualifications, specialisations, etc..
GUIDELINES FOR BUYING TRANSLATION SERVICES: