Choosing the right translator: how hard can it be?

In our line of work, a faultless process ensures timely delivery and quality. The deadlines are strict. Projects often involve dozens of languages. But a successful translation project starts with something else: choosing the right translator for you. And finding a fit involves more than just looking for the right language pair.

When choosing the right translator, we look at your business vertical…

Translation and localization experts tend to specialize in a few areas over time. Partly, it’s a matter of personal preference. But the real reason is that specialization allows the translator to tap quickly into the industry-specific terminology. The narrower the niche, the more necessary it is to find the right translator with the right background.

This is a general rule. And rules are meant to be broken—if you have the right reasons. Keep on reading.

… but the type of content might warrant looking beyond industry expertise.

Even if your business is aviation engineering, it doesn’t mean you produce only industry-specific technical content. Think about marketing collateral or your annual report. If the content’s nature steers towards creativity rather than technicalities, we’ll select a translator skilled in copywriting and copyediting. Even if it means stretching out of our industry-specific pool of experts.

Have no fear: your terminology will be respected. After all, that’s why we build glossaries and translation memories with you. But while terms can be learned, assembling them creatively requires a personal flair.

Choosing the right translator is a start. Here’s how you can be an active contributor, too.

Choosing the right translators is essential, but grooming them is even more important. The fact that a translator “gets your business and your audience” is not a coincidence. It’s a matter of careful selection and building a relationship with your linguists. If you want to boost the chemistry even further, here are a few tips for you:

  • Give feedback. It’s the most potent element in speeding up the learning curve.
  • Optimize your source content for translation. Not sure how? Here are a few tips.
  • Share your editorial style guide. If you need help with localizing it, you know who to turn to.