Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Professional Translator

Sep 17, 2020 by

Does your company need professional translation services? Whether you’re hiring an online French translator or a Latin translator, it’s important to know what you’re looking for before you actually begin the hiring process. Here are a few questions we recommend asking before hiring a professional translator:

  • Do they look like a professional translation service? Make sure to check out the website of any professional translation service before hiring them. Do they have a professional-looking website or is their website full of errors? Is their domain name professionally hosted? Is their email account tied to their website? Make sure to consider all of these questions before hiring the professional translation service.
  • Is their information easy to find? Furthermore, make sure that the translator or translation company’s information is easy to find. If a translation company truly wants your business, then their information, including their social media, their address, their phone number and their email address, should all be fairly easy to find. If their information is difficult or impossible to find, then move on.
  • Is there a name attached to the professional translation service? When you are hiring a freelance translator, it is usually pretty simple and easy to find their name. But you should also be able to find the name of a person, whether it’s the owner or one of the translators when you hire a translation company.
  • Is the translation company willing to discuss your project? Make sure that the translation company wants to take the time to discuss your project before hiring them. If they are not willing to discuss the project, then they will probably not spend enough time on the project itself. The translator or company you hire should go above and beyond to meet your expectations.
  • Where is the company or freelance translator located? The location of your translator or company should not matter too much when it comes to the quality of the work, but at the very least, your translator or company should be willing to tell you where they are located currently and where they are from originally in order to build a relationship with you as the client.
  • What is the pricing structure of the translation service? The pricing structure of the translation company you’re hiring should be readily available. Some translation companies charge on a by the word, by the line or by the page basis, while other companies charge hourly rates and others simply charge based on the project at hand. There are usually a few different things that factor into the pricing, including turnaround time and the availability of translators for the target language or the field.
  • What are the company’s policies regarding revisions and unacceptable deliverables? Figure out if the company has a written policy when it comes to revisions or unacceptable deliverables. Do they have consequences for translators that fail to deliver the product as agreed upon? If not, you should probably look into hiring a different translation company. Every translator and company is going to make mistakes from time to time, but a good translation company has policies in place for when that happens.
  • What is the company’s turnaround time? Every translation project takes different amounts of time, but most good translators and translation companies should be able to give you a ballpark figure of how long the translation will take and how much it will cost you.
  • Who specifically is going to work on my project and what relevant experience and qualifications do they have? If you are hiring a translation company, they likely have a number of different translators available to work on different projects, but you should be able to find out who exactly is going to be working on your project and their relevant experience and qualifications.
  • How professional do I need my translation to be? Before you hire someone, you should figure out how professional you want your translation to be. For example, if the project is simply a letter to a friend, it probably does not need to be super professional, but if it’s a legal document or a PowerPoint presentation to a prospective client, it probably needs to be more professional. Keep this in mind and make sure to relay this to your company before hiring them.
  • Can they deliver the final product to me in the form I need? Before you hand your project over to a professional translation company, you need to know and understand what you want the final product to look like and communicate that to the company. For example, do you want the product to include graphics? Do you want the product to be in a Word document or a PDF file? Where exactly do you need the product to be mailed? Figure out which questions you need to answer and communicate all of these answers to your translation company when you are hiring them for the job so that they fully understand the product that you need and expect.
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