How to Choose the Right Translator

If you are looking for a quality translation or want to hire a good interpreter then take a look at the following tips to make sure you make the right choice. They are general tips irrespective of whose services you employ at the end of the day.

Follow them one by one to choose the right translator from the list of pre-selected providers you may have in mind or built beforehand.


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    Try to use services provided by well-established companies rather than those by private translators and interpreters. This is for your own peace of mind as well as added legal guarantees. Many private translators are good, highly professional, and highly specialized services, but watch out for those positioning themselves as a company whereas in fact they are not a legal entity. To check if a business you want to deal with is an incorporated company, see if their website clearly shows company name accompanied by a traditional abbreviation such as Ltd or Limited or the like. Also check if the company's registration number and registered office details are shown on the provider's website. Please note that:
    • The pricing quotations from translation agencies tend to be somewhat higher than those from private translators and interpreters. This will normally reflect more rigorous standards of work as well as include the margin for the intermediary nature of agencies. However, there are companies on the market that will be able to provide a competitive pricing and even comparing rates with those of their private counterparts. At the same time this will be coupled with added quality and peace of mind provided by a company.
    • As with any other business, you should use a well-established company with at least 2-3 years of trading. You can check the age of the company you are going to engage by using the search on the Companies House website above.
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    Chose providers whose translators and interpreters are vetted by professional institutions and associations. Examples include the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI UK, the Chartered Institute of Linguists (IOL), the International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC), or the American Translators Association (ATA), etc. You can look for the respective logos on the websites or check with those professional bodies direct. Unfortunately, even members of professional associations often misrepresent themselves by passing off for a company. So, check as above in Tip 1.
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    Make sure it is not just a contact form or a mere telephone number provided on the linguist's website. Look for a full set of contact details including a full company name, office, and company registration details.
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    Know the type of service you require. Not all translators interpret, and not all interpreters translate. Furthermore, if for instance you need technical translation as opposed to film translation, you are best to use a specialist translation company rather than a multi-language agency. However, watch out as there are numerous websites with the words "Russian Translation" or "Spanish Translation" appearing in their names while those are in fact just clone web pages of multi-language companies. You can check the real company name by looking at their contact details or by following our Tip1.
    • If you are looking for a certified translation of legal or personal documents, you should always check who will be doing that. It is going to be a very big difference in the outcomes produced by a mere translator (even by a professional one) and those of a translator having formal legal qualifications. The same rule is applicable to any other specialist translation such as medical, technical, financial, etc.
    • Be conscious of language specific issues and needs. For instance, a document translated into French may be suitable for France but not Canada due to differences in language and terminology standards.

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Categories: World Languages