Ask A Translator: How long have you been in the translation industry?

ask a translator

Language translators are considered to be experienced if they have been in the industry for more than 7 years. If the project field is narrow, it is advisable to check the background.

What are your translation rates?

The best translators don’t all charge for their work in the same way. Some charge per page and others per word. Translators, as a rule, charge per “source word”. If you are charged per “source word”, you will know exactly what you will be charged. Some languages are considered to be lengthy. For example, if the Ukrainian language translator charges you per target word, then you are going to pay more.

Do you offer proofreading services?

This is the next question to ask a translator. It’s important to remember that even the most skilled and experienced translator is still just a human being. Human beings make errors and even though the translator will proofread his or her own work, it’s important to ensure that a second translator, as equally skilled and qualified for the job, will be in charge of reviewing the translation before the document is handed back to you.

What tools do you use to provide accurate and professional translation?

If the document that must be translated, has got a lot of repetitions, you can save extra money. Nowadays there are special translation tools which remember the repetitions and automatically generate them in the text. In this way, a translator doesn’t have to translate them. Thus, the experienced translators who use translation tools charge repetitions much less.

What is the turnaround time?

An average turnaround time of a translator is 2500 words per 8 hours. But it can vary depending on the text complexity.

Can you handle big projects with a tight deadline?

Freelance translators can work in teams. If you have found a translator who meets your requirements, you can ask her/him about the possibility to complete the project with the team, because you are pressed for time.

What formats can you handle?

A professional translator makes it possible to translate a wide range of format types, from standard documents to website and App formats. If you have some specific requirements, make sure to ask the translator before placing a translation order.

Can I see a sample of your work?

If the language provider you’re considering is unable to immediately direct you to samples of completed projects, then move on.

Can you meet the deadline?

If your project is time sensitive this should be one of the first questions to ask. Remember you’re trying to weed out every candidate who isn’t a good fit. If you know you need a website translated by next month then be clear about that.
And if the translator answers this with, “Maybe” ask them to please tell you, “Yes” or “No.” Maybe doesn’t cut it. And you don’t want to maybe count on this guy to screw up your project. It’s pretty simple… “Yes I can meet the deadline” or “No, I can’t.”

Also, remember to be clear about the time of the day you expect it delivered and which time zone you’re in. If your translator is in Portland, and you live in London that’s an eight-hour difference. So the end of the business day Thursday in London would be 5:00 am in Portland.

Wrapping it up

Before hiring a translator, make sure that you know what you’re getting. Don’t be afraid, always ask a translator. Setting expectations will keep both parties in a business relationship happy. Translators are business owners trying to make living, so treat them like you would any other business relationship by asking questions so you can make an informed decision and get what you need.