How to find a good content translator
By helloDarwin
November 21, 2018

How to find a good content translator

Having your website and content in more than one language is beneficial for a number of reasons. In Canada, where both English and French are widely spoken, a bilingual website doubles the potential for customers. No matter where you live, having your content appear in multiple languages broadens the appeal of your business to an international market.
Although there are plenty of translation software options on the market, most languages have nuances and expressions that can’t be determined by technology alone. This is why it’s recommended you hire a content translator.
But, why exactly should you hire a translator and when doing so, what should you look for? Read on for all the answers.

4 ways to find a good content translator

If you don’t speak multiple languages, it can be initially difficult to know what to look for when hiring a translator and judging their work can be a challenge. However, there are some specific ways that you can identify their skill set and choose the right translator for your company.

Create a list of translators

Creating a shortlist of translators is the first step in the hiring process. This list will be based directly on the needs of your business and the kind of work you’re looking for. At this stage, it’s important to determine why you’re hiring a content translator: are you looking for someone to duplicate the copy on your website into another language?
Do you need promotional material translated to reach out to an international market? Are you looking to engage with social media posts in other countries? Whatever the case, during the hiring process look for someone with direct experience in your specific field of content translation.
In the same regard, if you’re a small business and you come across a translator with small business experience, then we’d recommend considering them over other applicants. However, if you’re a large corporation with plenty of output, think about working with a translation agency rather than a single person with limited resources.
Finding a few options for those who suit your individual needs is key to having your translator work and grow successfully alongside your company.
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Consider experience and specialist knowledge

As mentioned in our previous paragraph, you should consider the experience of the translator and how that can be applied to your business. Since translations are about much more than language, you’ll be looking for specialist experience or knowledge that can be applied to your content.
For the most part, translators have a specialization in one field, this is absolutely necessary so they can understand specific language or jargon in relation to your markets. This is important when working in a medical, political or legal field. Look for translators with relevant experience or those with a degree or certification in the specific domain you are targeting.
Further, working with someone who has established authority in your field is another great option when it comes down to choosing a translator. It's important for the translator you choose to be able to deal with cultural barriers in place, and understanding language beyond the country.
The audience you’re targeting will need to not only fully understand the text, but will need to be able to sympathize with the text enough to want to continue reading it.
A native language speaker will be able to spot a shaky translation easily. A business is generally looking to instill confidence into their customers, and thus, a strong translation is necessary to show that you care and you’re putting in the effort.

Writing skills

When it comes down to it, a translator will be writing. Therefore, when hiring a translator it is necessary to consider their writing skills and make sure they are strong enough to withstand the test of time.
Collect work samples in both their native and targeted language and look for a similar style and tone. Further, look for someone who is adaptable and consider the success rate of their past work.
If you feel it necessary, offer your prospective candidates a translation test and pay attention to their ability to adapt to the tone of your brand. This will allow you to see whether they are capable of playing the translator role that you’re looking for.
Proofreading, editing and formatting are other vital skills for your prospective translator to have. Again, this will come down to the needs of your business but ultimately, working with someone who understands how to edit their own work, in addition to being able to format it, is crucial.

Competitive pricing and turnaround time

Check the going rate of a translator working in your specific field and consider competitive pricing during the hiring process. In most cases, individual translators will charge per word. If this is the case, negotiate based on experience. If you’re working with an agency rather than an individual, make sure to establish everything from the get-go.
Not only this but make sure you establish the rate at which your prospective translators work. Turnaround time is important in the realm of content translation, especially if you are outsourcing the work or working with other businesses or agencies. If your workload is quite large and you require a quick turnaround, it is necessary to be upfront and work with your prospective candidates who have both the skills and experience to adapt.
For more info about the costs associated with website and content translation, check out: How much does it cost to translate a website?
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