How to find the best translator for your company?
If you already decided to hire a translator instead of a translation agency you have to bear in mind that not all translators are the same. Some specialize in technology, some in law and others in medicine. But specialization should not be the only criterium when hiring translators. It is very important, however, other skills and qualifications should also be taken into consideration. Here they are:
Translator and Education
In the localization and translation industry, there are a few rules that translators should follow to be hired, one of them being experience and education. If you have translation education you should still have some experience in translation or interpreting (usually up to 3 years). If you don’t have any translation education then you should have at least 5-year translation or interpreting experience or more. Some translators have education in different fields, not necessarily translation studies, but they do have some translation experience. In such cases, however, I strongly recommend at least a translation or interpreting course because translation is not only about rendering of text from one language to another one. It is sometimes a complicated decision-making process so a god translator must know which decision is good and why. This is what translation education is for.
A good translator has to have both – translation education and translation experience. Experience is a must in every profession, but in translation it is especially important because it is through various jobs and many projects that a translator learns how to deal with certain problems, how to avoid them, how to use various translation techniques to produce a better copy. Also he or she learns a lot about languages especially their native language. Experience enables translators to polish their skills and learn more about their mother tongue as well.
Check their website or social media accounts
Today almost everybody has at least one social media account. More and more professionals, especially freelancers, have their own websites. Social media accounts and websites are good places to search for a professionals because they actually showcase their knowledge and expertise. See what your potential employee is twitting about, how their website looks like? What are their interests? You can find a lot of information if you dig a little bit deeper and not only scan a CV that will not tell you exactly if the person you want to hire is a real specialist in a given field.
Send them a translation test
And last but not least, send your potential translator a sample text. It should be not longer than 300-400 words. Usually, such tests are free, you don’t have to pay a translator for translating the text. But it has to be short and it has to do with a potential job you are offering. So if you need a technology translator, send them a text about the latest technologies etc. But don’t treat this process as translation job itself, i.e. don’t send a text to several translators in order to have your translation for free. By doing so you can receive various versions of the same text and different styles as well. Remember that the translation test is only to see if the translator really knows his or her job. Nothing else.
Hanna Gembus is a professional Polish English and Polish German translator and communication specialist based in the United Kingdom providing translation, content, interpreting and market research services to small, medium-sized and large companies and organisations. She specialises in business, marketing and e-commerce, using linguistic and cultural knowledge to help both start-ups and established companies improve their presence on the market and increase sales. http://langoa.eu