Hiring a Translator? Here Are Four Important Questions to Ask Yourself

When it comes to professional translation services, the details matter. Obviously, your translator should be detail oriented, and capable of providing you with accurate translations. However, you have details to consider as well before you hire a professional translation service. If you fail to do this, the translation you receive may not be the translation that you need.

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When it comes to professional translation services, the details matter. Obviously, your translator should be detail oriented, and capable of providing you with accurate translations. However, you have details to consider as well before you hire a professional translation service. If you fail to do this, the translation you receive may not be the translation that you need.

For example, you need two very different skill sets to accurately translate important medical documentation from one language to another, than to translate a collection of marketing emails. It doesn’t matter how good your translator is, if they are asked to perform a task they are not qualified to, there will be bad results.

When you select a translator, you should always insist upon someone who is a native speaker of that language. Then, you should look for someone who has experience in translating the materials that you need. The more you manage the details ahead of time, the more likely you will be to save money.

Don’t hire a professional translator until you have gone over these four important questions.

1.Where is Your Target Audience? Be Exact

As mentioned above, geographical location is very important. Remember that translation involves more than simply copying content from one language to another. If this were all that was involved, machines could take care of almost all translations.

Many translation projects involve localization. This is the process of ensuring that translated content retains its meaning and is relevant to audiences in a specific location. Keep in mind that pop culture references, symbols, images, idioms, and other elements need to be carefully examined. Then, the translator must be sure the same meaning is communicated to your target audience. For example, there will likely be very stark differences in a document translated for audiences in Beijing vs. audiences in a rural Chinese village.

2.Which Types of Documents or Other Content Will be Translated?

Next, you will want to explore the specific types of documents or other content that you will be submitting for translation. If you are asking a professional to translate instructions to be included with potentially dangerous medication, you will need absolute precision. You will likely  need someone who understands medical terminology as well.

Now, let’s say you need your website translated. You will need a fluent translator who also understands the culture of your target audience. This way they are able to translate your web pages in a way that communicates your desired message in a way that works for your new site visitors.

3.How Will You Put Your Translated Content to Use?

What is your end goal? How do you intend to use your documents or other content once they have been translated. You will have completely different needs and requirements for your professional translator if you intend to use your finished documents for marketing purposes than you will if you wish to use the documents for employee training.

4.What is The Topic?

Do you need a subject matter expert? In some cases the answer is yes. You need a translator who doesn’t simply understand the language.You need one that is an expert on the topic at hand. This applies especially to translations involving finance, safety, medicine, healthcare, and the law.

Conclusion

No matter what your translation needs are, we guarantee that we can match you with a professional who will know exactly how to handle your project. However, we still encourage you to consider the questions posed here. They will help you to clearly articulate exactly what you need. This in turn will help us provide you with the best service possible. We look forward to helping you with your next translation project.

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