Hiring a translator can be a daunting process.  Skills and qualifications in this field are extremely important.  Below are some tips to use in locating a professional and qualified freelance translator.

  1. The first step you will want to take is to decide the extent of your translation needs.  You will need to determine the difficulty of the subject matter, the volume of work and the turnaround time required.  If your translation job involves a legal document, you will want to find a translator who either has some experience in legal translating or is willing to do the work to ensure that the document is translated correctly.  On the other hand, if you need someone to translate a telephone conversation, you can probably be a little more flexible in who you hire.
  2. Next, establish the qualifications of the translator.  It is critical to check the qualifications of the translator you will be hiring to work on your project.  This is why you will need to determine your needs prior to hiring.  Translator skills will vary considerably, so taking the time to find the right one is important.  It is necessary to understand the difference between bilingual and being a qualified translator.  A bilingual translator is someone who speaks two languages fluently.  A qualified translator is someone who knows the languages you are hiring for and understands the complex semantics and cultural disparities between them.  It is also important to choose a translator who is a native speaker of the target language.  For instance, if they are translating from Italian to English, they should be a native speaker of Italian.  Other areas to check would be the translator’s education level, number of years of experience and area of specialization.  Lastly, you will want to learn what professional certifications they have.  Having said that, if the individual does not have certifications, but you are impressed by them, be sure to look on the freelancer’s profile for reviews.  Reviews can be very helpful in deciding if the freelancer will perform good work.
  3. Prior to hiring, be informed about the going rates for your project.  Some freelancers will charge by the word or the page, while others will quote a fixed price per document or an hourly rate.  The fee will be determined by availability of the translator, the credentials, the level of difficulty of your project and the turnaround time needed.  You can find out the going rate by either doing an internet research or requesting multiple quotes from several different translators.

In essence, you can find a great translator on a freelance site who will probably charge you less than a company and perform the same great work.  Just be sure to do your research.  And, as a side note, always be weary of someone who is charging way under the going rate.  It may be an indication of unprofessionalism and little experience.


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