Hiring a translator online has numerous benefits, whether you’re translating your latest marketing campaign or your brand’s entire software application. Online recruiting gives you the flexibility to interview and access talent from around the world.
However, it’s important to not simply select translation services based on their online profiles. Instead, arrange for an interview where you can learn more about potential providers’ backgrounds and determine whether they will fit in with your business needs. The following are five questions that can help you choose the right translator online:
Are Your Translators Native Speakers With the Right Country Expertise?
When choosing translation services, the first step is to determine your business needs. Each project scope includes project format, languages needed, and destination countries. Ideally, your translators should be native speakers. While it’s possible to achieve complete fluency in a language that is not your native tongue, the best translators are usually native speakers. If you’re working in a language that has variations in usage between countries—for example, Spanish in Mexico and Spanish in other parts of Latin America—ensure your proposed provider has the right country-level expertise.
Do You Have Any Format or Subject-Matter Expertise?
There are usually two types of expertise for which companies want to vet translation providers. The first is area specialty. Whether you’re an app developer or work in a specialized field such as health care or legal, the right translator for you will understand your industry terms. The second level is format. Does your project require you to translate website content, creative content for marketing campaigns, copy for mobile apps, or documentation? Translating content for different mediums requires unique skills and approaches to problem-solving. Interview candidates and look for a match in both subject matter and format.
Can I Verify Your Credentials and See Past Examples of Your Work?
Ask your prospective translators for concrete examples of their work. If they claim to hold degrees or specific certifications, verify that information is correct. Obtain examples of their translated work, preferably in a format similar to your project. For example, for a marketing translation, ask to see copies of brochures or fact sheets on which they have worked. For website translators, ask for links to online portfolios. Ask them which professional translator associations they belong to. Finally, ask to speak with multiple references to understand both the quality of their work and their work style to determine whether it will fit your needs.
How Do You Scope the Cost of Projects?
Budget plays an important role when selecting your translation and localization services provider. It is important to understand how each translator you interview scopes the cost of projects. What is their per word rate? Do they offer reductions in price for redundant translations? It is also helpful to ask about fees for factors such as technical content, premium creative content, image selection, graphic design, revisions, client meetings, and reviews. Based on the budget you’ve discussed, ask your prospects to outline a time frame and explore whether premium pricing would be charged for expedited projects.
Are You Comfortable Using Translation Software?
From speeding up the translation process to minimizing staff time spent on administration, there are many benefits of using translation software. When selecting a translation provider, choose a vendor that is comfortable working with software localization or translation platforms. Previous experience with your specific chosen platform is helpful, but not necessary. A standard level of technical proficiency and a willingness to learn the software you choose is all they need.
Asking the right questions of prospective translators will ensure you hire the right person for the job. Don’t just rely on online profiles—take the time to have a conversation, review examples of past work, and gauge whether their expertise is a fit for your needs. Learn more about how the right translation provider can take your content to the next level when you expand globally.
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