In our article, The Four A’s of Picking the Perfect Translator for your Business, we discussed some basic skills and attributes you should look for when selecting your language professional. Here are some additional questions you might want to ask before making your decision.
Experience in your field
A translator’s overall number of years of experience in translation is important, but so is expertise in your specific area. By specializing in an industry, translators learn to master the terminology, which means they can work faster and better. For you, the client, this adds up to higher quality, quicker turnaround and cost reduction, since your in-house staff won’t need to spend time tweaking terms and vocabulary when the work comes back. It’s a win-win!
Translation firms will often list their areas of expertise on their Website. Look for it. If you’re working with a freelancer, don’t be shy about asking for samples of similar work or previous experience in your field.
Quality control process
When it comes to producing impeccable work, two sets of eyes are better than one. The translation process involves several steps and it’s always best to have these carried out by more than one person. If you’re dealing with freelancers, ask if they work with a proofreader, editor or fellow translator. If you’re thinking of entrusting your translation tasks to a firm, enquire about the process they have in place to ensure no pesky errors slip through the cracks.
Asking you questions
When shopping around for a translator, pay attention to what he or she is saying to you. Telltale signs of professionalism include asking about an in-house style guide, old versions of similar projects or any other helpful reference material you may have. Remember, too, that a translator who writes or calls for questions about a project is generally someone who truly cares about accuracy.
Getting the right language professional onboard can be a valuable asset for your business – saving you time, money and frustration. So take a few moments to consider your needs and ask a few questions. You’ll be happy you did!