It’s important to be sure that when you entrust your important documents, correspondence, or marketing material to a professional translator that you have chosen someone you can trust. Many translators work for a translation company and this does mean that these companies probably have certain standards which apply to the translators they employ.
There are a number of questions for translation companies or individual freelance translators that you can ask which can help you choose the right company or person for your requirements. Most translators tend to specialise in the sort of translation work they do and there are genuine differences in translation skills and abilities which it is useful to be aware of when selecting a translator.
Translation Skills A Translator Must Have
Before hiring a translator it is useful to consider what the most important basic translation skills are that they should have. The most important basic skills are listed below.
- Good standard of fluency in two or more languages;
- Familiarisation with the culture and social norms of the language pairs offered for translation;
- Experience in the type of translation you are requiring, e.g. legal document translation, marketing translation, medical or scientific translation and so on.
- A sincere level of honesty and professionalism with regards to translating potentially sensitive documents.
Questions To Ask A Translator Before Hiring
There are a number of questions that you could ask a translator or translation agency before using them to complete your work. Here are some useful questions you could ask:
- What languages are you fluent in and can provide translations into or from?
- Do you have any certification or accreditation as a professional translator?
- What experience do you have as a translator?
- What field of translation do you specialise in?
- How do you charge for translations, e.g. buy the word or by the hour (typically by the word);
- What sort of software or technology do you use to make your translation work faster?
- What proofreading do you do?