5 Crucial Things You Should Know Before Hiring A Translator

Never in your life would you expect yourself to hire a translator. Unless you are in the business of travel, tourism, or corporate dealings that requires you to be able to communicate with overseas partners and clients, translation may be something outlandish.

Until now.

Currently, you might be in a situation where you need to communicate in two or more languages and your boss is not paying you enough to start learning a new language. So the next best thing is to engage a professional translator for your needs.

In this article, I’ll be sharing with you 5 crucial things that you should know before hiring a translator. Some of which, you’d probably don’t know yet!

5 Crucial Things to Know Before Hiring A Translator

1)    Difference between interpreters and translators

Wait… Aren’t they the same?

No, they actually are very different from each other!

For the general population, these two terms are used interchangeably so this might be the first time you are hearing that they have their own definitions.

Interpreters are professionals who translate one language to another verbally or orally. Whereas, a translator is one who translates one to the other in a written format.

You may think that a person who has good command of a language should be able to listen, speak, read, and write just as well. That is a common misconception.

Just because you are able to listen and speak a language does not mean you are able to ensure that the words are written accurately. In addition, many people in the world are able to listen and speak a language but are illiterate.

2)  Different specialisations in the translation industry

Similar to any other profession, there are specialisations in the translation business as well.

Two of the more sophisticated ones are legal and medical translations.

Legal and medical translation requires translators who meet certain requirements to be qualified to handle such documents. It is more stringent simply because such documents have their own vocabulary and if translation is not done correctly, it can cause misinformed decisions and miscommunication between the participating parties.

You can find out what are the requirements for legal translators and medical translators in Translated Right’s blog article.

3)  Choosing between an agency or freelancer

You already know that they are both going to be very different. Here are some of the pros and cons of hiring an agency and freelancer.

Hiring an agency – The Pros:

  1. Get the best translator that’s a perfect fit for the job all from one source
  2. More professional in terms of processes & systems
  3. Be assured that your project is managed by someone dependable
  4. Faster turnover rate

Hiring an agency – The Cons:

  1. May cost more than a freelancer
  2. Tend to be slightly slower in terms of making changes
  3. Sometimes your projects will be done by several translators

Hiring a freelancer – The Pros:

  1. Able to bargain for lower rates and usually cost is cheaper than an agency
  2. Work directly with the person translating for your project

Hiring a freelancer – The Cons:

  1. If freelancer has a lot of clients, turnover rates can be slow
  2. You have to manage the freelancer
  3. Usually only specialised in one area or none at all
  4. Terms may not be as detailed as an agency

4) Location actually matters

Translation services are usually done remotely. Even retirees can easily become translators at work at the comfort of their own homes.

This can be advantageous for both client and translator. The key considerations are related to being in different timezones.

Hiring a translator from the other side of the world would mean either you or the translator would have to be working at odd hours and suffer the consequences of the delays in communication.

5) Pricing structure differs across the board

There are a handful of pricing structures that are used in the translation industry.

The most common pricing structure will be to charge per word. Other pricing structures include per page (common in medical or legal documents) or by time (per hour) which is less common.

Rates itself will vary on the location the translator is in, and the agency of choice.

Hire a professional translator today

You can reach out to Translated Right’s customer service to enquire more on our translation services and rates by emailing [email protected] and find out more about translation services on our website.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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