There are many questions you can ask the translator. I listed some of them here. The most important thing is to keep asking questions until you are fully satisfied with the answers. Especially when it comes to a specialised translation. It is your project and your company at stake. Just as the translator needs to know your needs and expectations, you must be sure that your documents and trade secrets will be in safe hands. According to Alison Doyle, translator job interview questions may range from work experience to interpersonal skills.
Undoubtedly, when it comes to any project, one of the most frequent questions deal with the cost and time. However, when you plan to commission translation, remember to ask the translator about the following key issues:
Ask about experience
Have you worked before on a similar project?
What is your expertise in my niche?
Can you provide references from your previous clients?
Expertise within a particular niche is very important. It gives you the confidence that the translator understands the original text well. In turn, this means he will be able to convey the meaning into the translated document. To become an expert, the translator must have hundreds of similar texts under his belt, use glossaries and stay up to date with new developments. Many times, translators have professional backgrounds in a particular niche, such as lawyer-translators.
One of the methods to confirm the expertise is to provide references from previous clients. This is social proof that the translator did a good job and helped the client according to his expectations. If the translator received similarly positive testimonials from more than one client, you can assume that he will be able to handle your project, too.
Ask about translation
Will you personally translate my text?
Will you use any tools in the process?
How long will you store the translation?
These questions are crucial because they directly relate to the work on your project. Sometimes, the translators commission their work. This happens if they have too many projects and don’t want their clients to go somewhere else. For you, this could mean that the translation will be done by a third party.
A reliable translator uses modern technology to work faster and more efficiently. Available software for computer-assisted translations (the so-called CATs) also helps to ensure consistency. Based on previously translated texts, the algorithm ‘suggests’ the best translation. The system stores the translation, so it’s always possible to pull them out later on.
Ask about service
Are my personal data safe?
What additional services can you offer?
How do you handle any comments or complaints?
The translator must ensure that your data are safe. You can sign an NDA or ask about the details of the safety management system.
Do remember that to err is human. Still, it is important to check what the translator’s complaint procedure is. Depending on the volume of the project, you can set a complaint deadline (such as 7 days). If no complaints are voiced during that time, it means that the translation has been accepted. To limit the number of errors, you can commission an additional service of proofreading and editing. It will increase the overall costs but it will ensure the translation quality.
Choosing a translator may be a difficult task, whether or not you have already worked with a translator. However, don’t hesitate to ask the translator any questions that you think are necessary to ensure the quality. No translator should hesitate to answer the above questions. This is a perfect opportunity for him to present his value and build a trust-based relationship. For you, in turn, it will be a chance to get to know him better. You will know what to expect, even before you commission the project.
IN A NUTSHELL
Most often, clients ask about the cost and deadline of translation. They also want to know if any volume discounts are available.
When commissioning your translation project you must be absolutely sure that the translator will do the job well. If you have any doubts, ask additional questions. If you still not satisfied with the answers, try to look for another translator with who you can build relationship based on mutual trust and professionalism.
Ask any questions that make you sure that the translation will be done professionally. You may start by asking about the translator’s experience in translating texts in your niche. Also, ask about additional services that are included in the price.
Contact me and let me answer these questions for you.
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