There are many questions you can ask a translator. I’ve listed some of them here. The most important thing is to keep asking 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 need to be sure that your documents and trade secrets will be in safe hands. According to Alison Doyle, translator interview questions may range from work experience to interpersonal skills.
Undoubtedly, when it comes to any project, one of the most frequent questions deals with cost and time. However, when you plan to commission a translation, remember to ask the translator about the following key issues:
Ask about experience
Have you worked on a similar project before?
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 will understand the original text well and, in turn, be able to convey the meaning into the translated document. To become an expert, the translator must have hundreds of similar texts under their belt, use glossaries and stay up to date with new developments. Translators often have professional backgrounds in a particular niche, such as law.
One way of confirming a translator’s expertise is by requesting references from previous clients. This is social proof that the translator did a good job and helped the client according to their expectations. If the translator received similarly positive testimonials from more than one client, you can assume that they 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 for?
These questions are crucial because they directly relate to the work on your project. Sometimes, translators commission their work. This happens if they have too many projects and don’t want their clients to go elsewhere. This could mean your translation being done by a third party.
A reliable translator uses modern technology to work faster and more efficiently. Available software for computer-assisted translations (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 it out at a later date.
Ask about services
Is my personal data safe?
What additional services can you offer?
How do you handle comments or complaints?
The translator must ensure that your data is safe. You can sign an NDA or ask about the details of their safety management system.
Do remember that to err is human. That said, 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 seven days). If no complaints are voiced during that time, the translation has been accepted. To limit the number of errors, you can commission an additional service of proofreading and editing. That will increase the overall cost, but it will ensure the quality of the translation.
Choosing a translator can be a difficult task, whether you have previously worked with one or not. However, don’t think twice about asking the translator anything that you think necessary to ensure quality. No translator should hesitate to answer your questions. This is a perfect opportunity for them to present their value and build a trust-based relationship. For you, it will be a chance to get to know them better. You will know what to expect, even before you commission the project.
IN A NUTSHELL
Most often, clients want to know about the cost and deadline and whether there are volume discounts 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 more questions. If you are still not satisfied with the answers, try to look for another translator with whom you can build a relationship based on mutual trust and professionalism.
Ask anything that will make you sure that the translation will be done professionally. You might start with their experience in translating texts in your niche and enquire about additional services that are included in the price.
Contact me and let me answer these questions for you.
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