How to choose the right translator or translation agency

The document you have created is valuable. You have poured days of hard work to create the final document. Each detail counts.
You are aware that if you cannot hire the right translator your work will be jeopardized. Meantime, it’s the first time you need to hire a freelance translator or a translation agency. (or you have done so in the past but the results were poor)
So how do you know if the person you are entrusting has the skills, expertise, and ethics to do what is expected?

 

I- Finalize your document

Before sending your document for translation be sure that you have finalized it. If the document you sent has errors, the translator will have to spot these errors reported them back so that you correct them, after he will have to continue translation. This process is time-consuming. Besides, if the translator cannot find these errors the translated file will be flawed too.

II- Specialty

Be sure that the freelance translator or agencies have expertise in the type of document you want to translate. Don’t hesitate to ask for past work samples and past clients name. It will be highly counterproductive if the freelance you want to hire is not specialized on that subject.

Same thing applies if you are contacting an agency be sure that they have past experience in the type of document you need to translate.

The big no is when a freelancer assumes that he can translate all kind of documents.
A professional translator is specialized in up to 3 subjects and rarely more.

For translation agencies use the same technique, ask from the start what is their specialties. If your document is not a general text, translate your documents by specialized agencies and freelancers only.

 

III-Online presence

Check the online presence of the freelancer and agency, be sure that they state the specialty you are interested in. You may find reviews and feedback read them carefully. Navigate their portfolio and seek if there is a project that
If the freelancer has a well-designed website that’s a good signed that he/ she takes his/her work seriously.

If the translation agency doesn’t have a website that’s a very bad sign. Besides, check if they have a facebook page or a blog and be sure that they are regularly updated.

Then pay attention to the email address used by the freelancer or agency. If it is a @yahoo, @gmail, @live or other free email services this signals that they are not mature as a service provider.

IV-Responsiveness

A professional freelancer or respectable translation agencies promptly reply to emails. A highly effective professional will answer in one hour or less.
If you wait for more than 24 hours to get an email reply you’d better look for another translator/ translation agency.
Moreover, if they missed your calls and do not call you back quickly look move to the next translator or agency in the list.

V-Complete transparency from the start

An honest and professional makes everything clear from the start. The deadline, the rate, payment method and term, and even the methodology of his translation work. If there is a miscommunication from the beginning a larger problem may emerge later. Be sure to ask all necessary questions and get the answer before the work starts

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