Questions to Ask before Choosing a Translator or Agency

Finding the right team to translate your company’s documents and material shouldn’t be difficult or stressful but, on the other hand, it should not be taken lightly because you only have one opportunity to make a good first impression in another language.

The following are questions you need to ask before engaging a translator or translation company:

  • What are the translator’s or agency’s areas of expertise? Can they provide you with a partial client list that has companies similar to your company?

Always aim to work with professionals that have specialized in your industry/area. Request the resumes of the team that would oversee your project and always check the track record of your language service provider.

  • Ask for the years of experience of the team that will work on your project?

Always ask how long has the translator been working as a professional translator? Ask how many words have they translated in your industry/area? Ask if they have been involved in similar projects?

  • Ask if the language provider is only using native speakers?

When you check the translator’s resume, check to see whether the translator only works into their native or dominant language.  Usually, a translator will have a dominant language and one or two languages from which he/she translates from.

  • Ask how long does it take to translate a document?

A translator’s final quality output is usually 2,000 words per day.  The more complicated the document, the more complexities in the format, the more junior the translator, the more edits made, the longer the translation will take.  On the other hand, if the translator can translate the subject in their sleep, the project will go faster and with fewer bumps.

  • Ask what will the translation cost?

The cost is usually per word or a set fee per project for small documents (at AZ World we like to charge a fixed amount per word) and we base the word count according to what our computer assisted translation software, Studio 2015, provides us.

One last thing, there is no such thing as a “perfect translation” in the same way that not two people will see beauty in the same way.  There are, however, good and bad translations, and there are errors and horrors in translation!  You can manage both of these by choosing the right translator at the beginning.

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