Skip to main content

5 signs of a professional translator - my first guest post is finally here ;)

It has already been a month since the time when Christian Arno from Lingo24 contacted me on Twitter and asked if I would be willing to write a guest post for their blog. Of course I said yes! I had never done that before, so it was a completely new and exciting experience which also involved a new degree of responsibility. I am generally a responsible person, and I normally spend quite a bit of time on my blog posts, making sure there are no mistakes and my thoughts are worded clearly (more or less :)). But writing for somebody else's blog is a totally different thing. There were many reasons for my worries, and one of the most importantof them was the fact that English is not my native toungue. Thankfully, Christian Arno and Nick Jarvis were merciful to me and my English, and after a bit of editing (even less than I expected!) they published my post. Thank you once again guys! You rock!
So here it is. Forgive me for posting it so late! You can find the original here.

5 signs of a professional translator

So you’re in need of professional translation. Maybe you‘re a business owner and you want to open a branch of your company in a different country.
Or maybe you have a website, or a brochure, book, etc, and you want it to be available to people who speak a different language.
Either way, you need a translator. But how do you make sure you’re hiring a professional? In my experience I’ve found there are five important things to remember:
1. Linguistic training: It’s not enough to just speak a foreign language. Professional translators have normally been educated in the field of translation or linguistics. They also understand the culture of the country whose language they speak, and have an excellent command of their own native language. This helps to ensure that the translated text sounds natural, is easy to understand and doesn’t contain spelling or grammatical mistakes (although even professional translators can overlook errors, so it is best to hire a proofreader as well).
2. Areas of specialisation: Professional translators won’t agree to translate texts on topics which they don’t understand or are not educated in. This is especially important for medical, legal and technical translations. Sometimes a wrong translation can lead to fatal results. It’s impossible to be an expert in all fields at once, so if you see a translator’s CV where they claim to specialise in many different areas without any proof (no samples of work, no references from clients, etc), this could be a huge warning sign.
3.  Professionals translate into their native tongue: There’s an in-depth discussion about translating into one’s mother tongue here. No matter how well a translator speaks a foreign language, they know how hard it is to maintain the same high level of work if it is done into a foreign language. It’s just impossible to gain the same feel of the language that the natives have!
4Reputation is vital: That’s why professional translators will provide you with samples of their work and references (it is usually done upon your request). You may also want to search your candidate’s name in Google and see if there’s any unfavourable feedback about their services. If someone is claiming that they are an experienced translator with XX years of freelance experience, but you can’t find any information about them online no matter how hard you try, this is also a warning sign.
5. But there’s one more thing to remember: No matter how good your translator is, the best results are achieved in close cooperation. Therefore, a good quality source text, clear instructions and timely answers to the translator’s questions are vital.

What do you think are the essential traits of a professional translator? As you see, the fifth point in my post is not a trait. It's more of a recommendation for clients. What do you think could be added there?

Popular posts from this blog

10 interesting facts about the Russian language

In my previous post I promised to follow with the  interesting info about some other languages. So here are 10 facts about the Russian language which might be of interest to those who are studying it. If you would like to have this list in Russian, please contact me and I will send it to you by email. So, what do I find interesting about my native language?

1. Russian has about 500,000 words, but only 2,000-2,500 of them are used frequently. 100 most frequently used words make 20% of all written and oral speech. A high school graduate's vocabulary usually has 1,500 to 4,000 words. Those who have graduated from a higher educational institution normally have a richer vocabulary consisting of approximately 8,000 words.
2. It's compulsory for all astronauts in the international space station to learn Russian, so we can call it an international language of space :)

How to Reply To a Negative Feedback About Your Translation

We are humans and we screw up many times!

And receiving a negative feedback about your translation work if one of them.

As translation professionals, we work daily with people from different cultures and backgrounds. So, it is quite important to keep a level of etiquette while we do our business communication.

Whatever your years of experience or your educational background, there are times when daily life affects our business badly. It is how we react to these situations what makes a big difference between professional translation service providers and those who are not.

I was lucky enough when I started my translation career back in 2004 to read about the “A Complaint Is a Gift” business book and receive my training by a true professional Arabic translator.

My colleague taught me the tactics of a professional’s reply to a negative feedback and the book mentions the bright side of receiving a complaint about your work. If the client does not like your work, he can just move to anothe…

Guest post: Where is Marketing Translation Heading in 2017

2016 was some year! It was a year when the breakneck speed of globalisation got a bloody nose, first from the Brexit vote in Britain and then the U.S. Presidential election shock result. In many parts of the world it felt that the trend towards greater communication and business expansion worldwide might slow down, even contract as communities in many countries signalled their discontent with being left behind. Could this affect the translation industry in 2017? It seems unlikely at this stage. 2016 saw a big spurt in the need for translators and there seems no signs of this slowing down in 2017. So what are the trends on the horizon, especially for marketing translation in 2017?
More demand for video translators Marketing is using the power of video more than ever. As consumers demand ever increasing amounts of data access and are using their mobile devices to make choices over buying preferences, video marketing has an ability to sell products in a more lifelike way than still imag…