Hiring a translator – There is no profession on earth which is immuned from being compromised by fraud or even grave levels of incompetency. While lots of suspicious and negative attention and focus has been put on the translators themselves, it is critical to highlight that the effective provision and delivery of translation services as well as the necessary scrutiny mechanisms on the part of the client can best be described as a dual process which can only run smoothly if both the service providers and clients take certain necessary steps and get the insights of the translation industry.
What should be pointed out from the onset is that a translator does not need to be an expert in the field of your document. It is common practice that a translator will carry out research to get the right terminology for the work at hand. While the price of hiring a translator may vary from charging per word to charging per 100 words, caution before the pricing factor must be applied to ensure the right levels of competency, experience and professionalism are found. While client expectations may vary, clients should be able to measure their expectations against yardsticks like the quality of the original text, terminology used in the text, amount of research involved coupled with personal attributes like typing speed, computer skills etc.
Clients can also use certain general pointers to identify a good translator. A competent translator should have some language proficiency in at least two languages which enables them to translate with the same measure of effect and meaning as the original document. This language proficiency also enables the translator understand idiomatic expressions which cannot be translated directly but rather adapted for the intended reader.
As indicated earlier, a client must also adhere to certain requirements to ensure the translators work is made much easier. These requirements include the allocation of adequate time in your production schedule for proper translation, sufficient briefing of the translator with regards to style, register and content, settling of any outstanding matters such as price, delivery date, corrections, final format, payment terms and delivery modalities (plain text, hard copy, email or cd), assist the translator with terminology specific to your field and if possible supply translator with bilingual terminology lists, details of commonly used acronyms, abbreviations and any other translations and resources which can help.
If the above steps and insights are embraced by both the clients and service providers, the translation industry will be a harmonious one.