9 Essential Points About an Excellent Certified Translator and the Secret to a Perfectly Translated Business Document
02/25/2018, by TripleTrad Translation Services
Finding a good certified translator isn’t an easy job.
On top of your laundry list of work tasks and projects to finish, you also need to trust the translator that you contracted.
Here, a serious problem can arise: If your certified translator hasn’t done a good job, you may not be able to communicate effectively with your target audience. That’s money thrown away.
Often times, you won’t be fluent in the language your document will be translated into - so verifying your translator’s work can be difficult.
The good news is that you don’t need to worry about these risks. You have the right – and deserve – to have your personal and business documents translated effectively and flawlessly.
On this page, you will learn to work with these variables in order to successfully make your projects international. We will go over:
9 essential points to consider while hiring a certified translator;
How high-performing companies use affordable, correctly translated business documents to effectively expand their business worldwide.
While seeking a high quality certified translation, consider the following points:
1) Google Translate does not solve your problems
If your intention is to get an idea of how your text will look in another language, Google Translator will do the job just fine.
If you would like an error-free translation that conveys the professionalism of your work, site, article, book, or other official document, this article is for you.
Inasmuch as there have been considerable advances in the algorithms used by Google Translate, there are still many nuances that automatic translators can’t quite get right.
Many of the improvements in automatic translators are, to a large extent, thanks to contributions and corrections from ordinary users.
This means that the translations to and from English have much to improve. Loss of meaning in translation increases when automatic translators are used for less common combinations, such as Hebrew-Swedish.
In these cases, there are simply too few users capable of improving erroneous translations done by automatic translators.
How can you trust, then, an automatic translator to translate your documents and business ads? It’s important to accurately translate your message to your target audience in the intended country.
This process, called “transcreation”, requires, in addition to excellent translation skills, strong amounts of intuition, insight, experience, and creativity on the certified translator’s part.
Automatic translation is still quite far from this stage, but we hope they continue to advance quickly.
2) The target language needs to be the translator’s first language
Truth be told: except in rare cases of dual nationality, you shouldn’t trust your translations to someone who isn’t a native speaker of the target language.
Perhaps you’ve heard someone say: “I have an American friend who does English to Spanish translations”. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly common to come across this kind of dangerous situation in the translation world.
The Native Speaker Principle is fundamental to any translation project.
This principle states that, for example, that although an American may have learned advanced Spanish, and may have had many years of practice, they could only translate documents from Spanish to English, not the other way around.
The reason is quite simple: the American translator, if well versed, is completely familiar with the English language.
The same is not true for a Spanish translator who learned to speak English only a few years before. Would you trust your Spanish to English translations to a native Spanish speaker? Probably not.
No matter what others might say, only trust your Spanish translations to a native Spanish speaker (who also speaks English, obviously). The only exception in these cases is an official translator.
It’s the best way to avoid future headaches.
3) Seek a translator who specializes in the subject matter of your document
Imagine that you're a doctor and someone asks you to review a document in English about advanced accounting or microeconomics.
It is very likely that you will lose a few hours (or nights) researching the meaning of different terms, or that you will have to call on your accountant and economist friends to help you out.
Now imagine not only reviewing this text in English, but also translating it to another language.
It would be very risky to trust a translator who specializes in legal documents to translate a document on wind energy, don’t you think?
That's why it's so important to find translators who specialize in specific subject matter; experience in itself isn’t enough. A translator’s experience might not be in the field you want.
The secret is to evaluate potential translator’s résumé in order to find past experience on other translation projects.
You want to find someone who specializes in fewer fields, otherwise you’ll end up with a translator who is a “jack of all trades, master of none”. Focus is essential, both in translations and in life.
4) Seek a translator who can communicate clearly
Often times we think that the quality of the final translation is the most important part of a project, but there are other important elements in the process that a project depends on.
One important element is clear communication between the translator and the author of the transcript.
Before the translator begins, it’s essential to establish the purpose of the translation, deadlines, payment options, appropriate language and terminology - depending on the subject matter - and, above all, what you expect of the final document translation services.
Often times, your original transcript will be written with special vernacular, jargon, and other particular terms specific to your field or company, which are important to maintain through the translation process.
Through clear and direct communication with your translator, you’ll prevent any misunderstandings about your expectations.
Learn to communicate effectively, and avoid hiring a translator who isn’t interested in making your project successful in other countries.
There's a big difference between translators who will provide a minimal translation service, and those who will go above and beyond to ensure that your project will have high quality, lasting success.
5) Don’t limit yourself to translators near you
Without a doubt, finding a local translator to help you with your document translation seems like the most convenient option. Technology, however, has exponentially increased our ability to contract freelancers worldwide.
Freelancing translators and their document translation services can now reach farther than ever before, and provide translations for clients all around the world.
This gives you a much larger pool of professional translators, which allows you to minimize your costs and work with more qualified translators.
So before you decide to go with a “friend of a friend” don’t forget to do a wider search for highly qualified translators in and out of the United States.
Remember, if you need an English to Spanish translator, always contract a native Spanish speaker - not an American who is fluent in Spanish. It will make a big difference in your project. We cover this topic in item 2.
6) Always look for a professional translator with more than 5 years of experience
Few translators work exclusively as translators, for various reasons: inconsistent work flow, time limitations, other interests, etc.
Professional translators, however, are fully devoted to translation, and generally have worked exclusively in this field for at least 5 years.
Translators working on a full-time contract are no longer commom these days.
Their place in the market is taken by seasoned translators who have diverse experiences - outside of the field of translation - and who have rich academic backgrounds and knowledge of the market.
Look for a certified translator with a minimum of 5 years of unique experience translating, and relevant previous experiences in fields that will supplement their translation abilities.
Few exceptions to this rule exist: rare professionals such as aerospace engineers and specialized doctors who know the particulars of their field better than others. These professionals are best suited for these kinds of translations, but they are more dedicated to their careers.
7) Verify that your translator is qualified
When it comes to translation, experience and skill often count for more than a certification.
While selecting a translator, it’s important to pay attention to the institution with which they are associated. Some translation firms and associations have more rigorous requirements than others.
For native English speaking translators, look for certifications from the following institutions:
8) Find a fast-paced & dynamic translator
Even though your project may have urgent deadlines, speed isn’t always the most important aspect of translation.
It’s better for you and your translator if you create comfortable deadlines than if you implement difficult due dates that will overload your translator and leave them more prone to mistakes.
Obviously, you want a perfect translation.
So, to make sure that happens, give your translator reasonable terms so he can comfortably produce quality work.
Instead of looking for someone who translates quickly, you SHOULD look for someone who is accessible.
The more accessible your translator is (i.e. responds to emails promptly, answers phone calls), the more it will feel like they are a part of your team - even if they are working remotely.
9) Price: the game changer
None of the points we’ve gone over will get us anywhere if the price of the translation is out of your budget.
Before assessing the price of a translation, do some research. The rarity of the language combination (ex.: English/Spanish is much more common than Bulgarian/Swedish), prices other translators charge, and the experience of the translator (portfolio, years, etc.) are all important factors to consider.
The quality of work is fundamental in any project, but nothing should prevent your translator from giving you a fair appraisal with a price that excludes unnecessary costs.
Choosing a quality translator shouldn’t be a “reverse auction” where you win the translator who offers the lowest price. Price isn’t always the bet indicator for worthwhile translations.
You should consider some other more subjective indicators of a successful translation job, such as quick and clear communication on the translator’s part, qualifications and past experience, in addition to their proposal for the project.
How to get perfectly translated documents at an affordable price
Whether your project is big or small, there are always ways to to innovate and gain publicity.
You can expand your business through traditional marketing, digital marketing, international expansion strategies, or the more recently popularized exponential growth method commonly referred to as Growth Hacking.
Generally, companies and businesses seek translations for one of two reasons: expansion into other countries, or to maintain their business affairs in places where they have already expanded.
In both cases, it’s necessary to have marketing materials and complex legal, technical, and financial documents translated quickly, affordably, and accurately.
Here is the secret: large companies will frequently partner with translation agencies which are capable of meeting high demands without sacrificing quality, and which offer discounts for high volume translations in order to guarantee accurate and cost-effectiveness.
In a world with sharing economies, decentralization, and individual autonomy, these translations are just as accessible to individuals as they are to startups, small businesses, and corporations.
If you made it this far, that means you're a well-informed reader and want your business or project to gain publicity and new audiences.
Document Translation Services at TripleTrad
Here at TripleTrad, we don’t just dream of a world where international commerce and expansion are easy and accessible; we make it a reality! Through accurate translations in over 300 languages, we break down language barriers between you and your target audience so that your projects and business endeavors can reach their full potential.
We know how hard it can be to find a certified translator when you need one. That’s where we come in: we give your international business endeavors direction and power, that way you’re as effective abroad as you are locally.
It’s as if we were a translation department within your own company, except you don’t need to worry about contracting workers or finding professional document translation services for your projects.
You only pay per project, with no recurring or monthly fees.
We are here to help and we’re passionate about expanding projects to other countries. If you have any questions or if you want to contact us, you can reach us at +1 212-203-0301. You can also contact us via live chat. 🙂
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TripleTrad thrived in over 10 years delivering comprehensive translation services into 300 languages to newly empowered and long-established organizations. They are comprised of fields such as:
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