When you have a translation project, how do you select the right translator or language service provider? How do you make sure the quality matches your standard and how can you check the quality if you can’t read the language?
Many marketing and communications professionals struggle with outsourcing translations. They often enlist the help of multilingual colleagues, either in their office or overseas, or they enter bits into Google Translate and see if there’s somewhat of a match in meaning.
Materials like press releases, product descriptions for webshops, AdWords campaigns or SEO texts need to be top-notch. It is essential that the translator understands what you need, that he or she understands the culture of both the source and the target language and has excellent linguistic and communicative skills.
Finding the right translator is easier said than done. Everyone can decide to start working as a translator tomorrow and the vague certifications in the industry provide few guarantees. On top of that, many scammers are pretending to be translators: they steal the identities of real translators and offer their services via fake e-mail addresses.
Everyday I meet translators from all over the world, in almost any language combination. It is a wonderful part of my job as I get to talk to them about anything from their business to their newborns. We connect via LinkedIn, networking groups, translator communities, Skype, Gchat, our website, e-mail and face-to-face at events or at our office. I can distinguish professional applications from unprofessional ones and I have specific tests to assess linguistic knowledge. Also, I get to know everyone’s hobbies, interests and areas of expertise, since translating an Italian cookbook is very different from an AdWords campaign for an online marketing company.
Some translators have been working with us for more than 15 years – we’re very proud of those cooperations. Finding the right translator takes time. It takes a close-knit network of peer reviewers and a thorough understanding of marketing strategies, communications, cultures and linguistics. It’s one of the things we love most about our jobs.