Questions to Ask your Language Translator
Posted on July 25, 2012 by Chris
How will you choose a language translator? Will you base your decision on the language translation price? Or on the expertise of the languages translator? Or on their record? Or will you take a leap of faith, in hopes that the results won’t damage your product or service’s reputation?
Choosing a language translator – particularly for the first time – can feel unnerving. But if you know which questions to ask (and which answers you should get), selecting the right translations partner for you doesn’t have to be a harrowing ordeal.
Excluding any free, robotic, or mechanical language translation tools, here are questions that Network Languages recommend you ask any prospective translator or interpreter (and the answers you should get):
- Are you a native speaker of the target language? (Yes.)
- Are you an expert in the dialect of my target language? (Yes.)
- Do you understand the culture of the end-readers’ language, to ensure that no faux-pas or vernacular offenses are committed? (Yes.)
- Do you hold expertise in my industry niche? (Yes.)
- Will a project manager who is an expert in both the source and target languages, as well as in my industry, oversee the entire undertaking? (Yes.)
- Will the finished product be proofread and edited by a separate language translator? (Yes.)
- If I hire you for a webpage content translating job now, for instance, will your staff also be able to meet my future translation needs? If I need translation of financial, legal, marketing, etc. materials? (Yes.)
- If my language translation needs include a voice-over, are you able to provide a voice-over artist who is a native speaker of the target language? (Yes.)
- Are you able to manipulate words to ensure that copywriting in the new language is just as effective as it is in the original? (Yes.)
- Can you assure me that any language translations on packaging, instructions, etc. will be self-explanatory to the target audience, and that my brand will not be damaged by vagueness or offensiveness? (Yes.)
- Do you offer a guarantee that all language translation will be accurate, influential, and credible? (Yes.)
- Do you offer interpretation services with live interpreters? (Yes.)
- Are you able to dispatch language interpreters to my place of business? (Yes.)
- Will an interpreter sit in on my Skype or conference call with international clients? (Yes.)
- I may need to communicate with different international clients and associates in the future. Are there any languages that you cannot translate? (No.)
- Do you offer free time and cost quotations? (Yes.)
- Are you able to provide testimonials and references from clients who have had translation projects completed by you that are similar to my own? (Yes.)
- Are your translators students of language, language teachers, or professional translators? (They are all trained, professional translators.)
Making an educated language translator choice requires asking some serious, probing, and specific questions – like the ones listed here. Network Languages would be happy to answer any of these questions, or others that you may have. Simply call (+44) 1344 870700 or find us here.