With the massive arrival of automatic translation technologies like Google Translate, quality in translation takes bigger importance.
Today there are different types of offers and prices on the translation market. But beware, not everyone can improvise translating. It is not enough to be just bilingual in English to translate content from French, German, Italian or other into English or vice versa.
What are the factors to consider when choosing a professional translator? How to ensure the final quality of a translation?
What Criteria Should be Used When Selecting a Qualified Translator?
There are different criteria to consider when choosing a professional translator for your projects:
- Areas of expertise: Do not just rely on the declarative profile of a translator, compare the type of document and the areas in which he has already carried out projects.
- Native language: If you want to translate a text from French to English, you should prefer a translator whose mother tongue is English.
- Rates: Beware of translators that are too cheap, they will most likely be of mediocre quality. Usually anyone offering his services for under 0.06 EUR per word, he cannot guarantee the quality of work. It is therefore necessary to favor a good value for money.
- Experience: Has he been a translator for a long time or did he start only recently?
Every Translator Has His Own Specialty
Each area of specialization has a very specific terminology. In order to be able to translate a text into another language, it is important to have a working experience and understanding of the subject and its terminology.
Some fields are more specific and require more knowledge, such as medical. In this case, it is preferable to entrust the project to a linguist trained and competent in the field in question. It is essential that he / she fully understands the text, the context, the specific terms, in order to be able to translate them at best of his abilities.
It is therefore not necessary to be part of the profession in order to be able to translate a technical document, but it is necessary to have comprehensive knowledge of the subject in order to avoid any mistake or misinterpretation.
Conclusion: an excellent translator specialized in the medical field will not necessarily be able to translate your legal text.
How Can You Be Certain That You Are Entrusting Your Work to a Qualified Translator?
Today you have on-line directories such as ProZ, Translators Café, ATLF or other. These sites allow you to find professional translators and have access to a number of information.
However, there is no assurance of the skills of these since everyone can register. These are declarative profiles, but there are ways to filter out the ones with the good feedback and activities in the Proz.com forums.
As a client, it is complicated to judge a translator and the final quality of the translation. Indeed, it is difficult to know whether the translator you have chosen will be competent to translate the document in question. In addition, not all companies have the ability to reread and correct the translated document if necessary. This is why it is essential to check the skills of professionals upstream, in order to choose a person who will be able to best answer your needs.
What About Automatic Machine Translations?
This type of translation, carried out by a computer and without the human factor, remains approximate and usually contains many errors. Most of the time, you get content translated word for word, without taking into account the context in particular. This may taint your reputation by appearing unprofessional. Worse, there may be misinterpretations that could severely damage your image. This can expose you to legal and financial risks (errors on a medical dosage or on a technical sheet of an electrical appliance, for example).
It is therefore important to keep the human touch in every translation. The translator is sometimes a true author and conveyor of the right message. His work is therefore essential if one wants to obtain a quality end product.