In today’s global business environment, translation is a vital factor for doing business. The ability to communicate and sell in other languages is a clearly distinct advantage given it not helps customers appreciate but also patronize products from other countries. Consequently, the language barrier has to be bridged.
For instance, in the UK, approximately three-quarters of the population cannot speak in any other language other than English. As such, these people cannot conduct a basic conversation in a foreign language hindering their ability to sell their goods and services to people of other nationalities or to negotiate business deals. In effect, the country loses more than £48 billion yearly due to this inability.
A business can benefit from a foreign language translator in different ways such as getting new revenue options, gaining a competitive advantage over other businesses, and enjoying better and robust business presence locally and internationally. Additionally, the business also benefits by enhancing better communication with global consumers, penetrating the global market more effectively, and minimizing miscommunications within its target market.
Given all the benefits a business stands to gain from translation, it is crucial that it pays keen attention to the process of hiring a language translator. Below are some tips to take into consideration while hiring a translator:
1. Determine your needstrans
From the onset of your translation project, you should determine if your business needs will be best served by a freelance translator, full-time staff, or by a translation company. This decision will be determined by the nature of your project, the difficulty or ease of the subject matter, and the turnaround time for the project. Other factors that come into play include the availability of translators and the volume of the work.
If for instance the language your target language has many speakers such as French and Spanish and your turnaround time for the project is relatively flexible, chances are you will quickly get a translator. However, if you need a voluminous project translated into a rare language and you need the document within a few days, you are better off working with a translation company which will assign the assignment to a group of language translators for faster completion.
2. Determine and verify your translator’s qualifications
Translators’ credentials and qualifications vary greatly. Consequently, when hiring a foreign language translator, you need to determine the qualifications of the type of translator you are looking for.
The most critical credentials when hiring a translator are industry expertise and specialization. If the document being translated is for external circulation, the chosen translator should understand the norms in the industry you operate in. Under these circumstances, translation companies have the upper hand over freelancers since they have a pool of translators who can work together to produce the best version for your specialization.
Additionally, other factors that come into play when looking at the qualifications of a translator are whether the translator is a vernacular speaker of the language you want your document translated to, their level of education, area of specialization, years of experience.
Most importantly, the source language of the document being translated is not as important as the translator’s proficiency in the target language. Your translator is better off being a native speaker of the target language since they can use different resources to understand the source text.
If you are unsure about a translator’s qualifications, you can ask for client references and sample translations.
3. Determine the going rates for your project
Pricing for translation work depends on the availability of translators, level of difficulty of the project, credentials of the language translator, and the turnaround time for completion. As such, any job can be charged per word, per page, per document, or hourly.
Before you hire a foreign language translator, you should find out the going rate for your project by asking for multiple quotations or conducting an online search. If you opt to pay per word, you should ensure your target language uses fewer words compared to your source text. Otherwise, you will end up paying more. Paying per hour is risky since a simple document to you could be very involving on the translator’s side leading you to pay more. If not, the translator could be inexperienced and end up taking longer with the document than necessary.
If your document contains redundant language, negotiate for a fair price since this means less work for the translator.