How to choose a right translator/proofreader?
Thread poster: VIALAN

VIALAN  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:59
Russian to English
+ ...
Aug 4, 2015

How to choose the right translator or proofreader for a project if I do not speak the target language?

 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:59
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Check the directory Aug 4, 2015

Hi Vialan,

for one, you could look for the right translator and proofreader here in the ProZ.com translator directory. It would be wise to choose people who live in the taget language's country, and ensure that they are native speakers. You can refine the search process by listing the desired field your translation requirement is dealing with, and see who has experience in this field.

The feedback a translator/proofreader has received from her/his clients is another indicator, although some translators don't display their LWA's on their profiles.

The final decision should be made after a couple of email exchanges.

Best of luck!

Thayenga


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:59
English to German
+ ...
All details about the translator/proofreader's service and experience must be presented convincingly Aug 4, 2015

VIALAN wrote:

How to choose the right translator or proofreader for a project if I do not speak the target language?



A legitimate question indeed (even if you were to speak the target language), especially considering the myriad of translators advertising their services on the internet today.

I believe you are looking for dedicated individuals who provide high quality.

To find the right person here on Proz.com, I recommend searching among all registered translators, paying and non-paying members. Using the advanced directory search option is best.

When you look at individual profiles of those you are interested in, there are a few details that need to be present to help you make the right choice:

Is there a statement that defines the person's commitment to quality and timely delivery?
How does he/she assure clients of reaching that goal?
Is there a quality assurance statement?
Does he/she work with a partner/associate or does he/she strictly work into his/her native language?
Is there client feedback?
Does the translator contribute (or has he/she contributed) to KudoZ - with consistently good answers = points achieved in relatively short succession, not 4 points for every 30th question?
What overall impression do you get based on the profile information? Does it all seem legit?
Are there any verified credentials listed on the standardized display (for example from universities?)
Is the English version of the profile written in flawless English?
Does the translator have his/her own separate website? Is this website convincing?
Are the schools (universities) the language expert attended listed by name and location?
Or is it made clear by past activities that the translator has spent considerable time in source and target language cultures? As far as the target language culture is concerned, the expert should be a native speaker or collaborate with a native speaker.
How long has the person been a translator? I am not trying to exclude new colleagues because anyone who claims to be a professional translator certainly should have some sort of experience that allows him/her to do the job right - such as having lived for quite some years in the source and/or target languages, education, university degrees, practical experience doing jobs related to translating? (not all of these must apply)

Careful reading of profiles will help you decide who you are most comfortable with. And as Thayenga mentions above, excellent command of the communication language used in email exchanges and, in addition, what it is the translator promises and accepts will also shed light on his/her skills and professional attitude.

It helps to have someone in your agency/or an outside associate understand the target language in order to gauge the translator's claims of being a native speaker or being able to produce a native-speaker text (maybe with the help of a partner) that can be expected from a professional translator.


If you're not concerned about quality because someone (possibly the client) tried to convince you it doesn't matter, then it won't make much difference, just pick whoever claims they are a native speaker of the target language and asks for the least amount of money. Or use Google Translate for free and hope for the best for your translation, or even better, you can crowdsource people who love to translate or proofread it all for free "for fun" and also hope for the best and, at the same time, make money off them. As a professional, I don't associate with people like that or these practices and neither do I ever recommend machine translation, post-editing MT or posting a project on translation portals and simply choosing the lowest bidder among those who "seem" (at a glance) to be able to do it right. I don't compete with these people. I don't bid or undercut real professionals with unacceptable low rates because it goes against any professional's ethics and best practices principles. I also lack any respect for outsourcers and "translating folk" playing that ugly game.


[Edited at 2015-08-04 07:37 GMT]


 

Heinrich Pesch  Identity Verified
Finland
Local time: 10:59
Member (2003)
Finnish to German
+ ...
Send a mail to all freelancers in the proz.com directory... Aug 4, 2015

regardless of their working languages and ask them for their best rate.
This is what most agencies seem to do nowadays. I don't quite recommend this method.


 

Bernhard Sulzer  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:59
English to German
+ ...
My reaction Aug 4, 2015

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Send a mail to all freelancers in the proz.com directory...

regardless of their working languages and ask them for their best rate.
This is what most agencies seem to do nowadays. I don't quite recommend this method.


If I get a bulk email sent to me via the list, it goes into the trash!

Bernhard

[Edited at 2015-08-04 07:45 GMT]


 

Soonthon LUPKITARO(Ph.D.)  Identity Verified
Thailand
Local time: 14:59
Member (2004)
English to Thai
+ ...
Translation quality management system standards Aug 4, 2015

I now concentrate on the international translation quality management system e.g. those of ISO (ISO 17100: 2015, ISO/DIS 18587), EU, Canada. These systems give a number of procedure to seek good quality translators e.g. education background, experience, quality control processes.
I spent a long time to read the whole quality system standards and got hints on how to collect reliable translators, proofreaders, reviewers, and even specific translation standards e.g. medical, legal, technical documents.

Soonthon L.icon_biggrin.gif


 

Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:59
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
And mine Aug 4, 2015

Bernhard Sulzer wrote:

Heinrich Pesch wrote:

Send a mail to all freelancers in the proz.com directory...

regardless of their working languages and ask them for their best rate.
This is what most agencies seem to do nowadays. I don't quite recommend this method.


If I get a bulk email sent to me via the list, it goes into the trash!

Bernhard

[Edited at 2015-08-04 07:45 GMT]


Same here.icon_smile.gif


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:59
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
I think you have to choose the "package" that fits Aug 4, 2015

I don't think there is just one criterion, or even several criteria, that would allow you to be reasonably sure of your choice.

- Native speakers are probably going to produce the best written target text. But if it isn't an accurate translation...
- Living in a country where the target text is spoken means the language used will be current; but maybe the source comprehension will suffer from it not being a language the translator hears every day; and vice versa.
- Training means you learnt about it; it doesn't guarantee you can do it. Experience means clients have paid for it; it doesn't mean they received quality. Both give an indication, that's all.
- etc.

That's why I say you should look at the entire package, as Bernhard says. You should then contact a few likely candidates, giving some, but not all, of the details of what you need. You should be able to glean a lot from the subsequent exchanges. Your nose can be the best guide of whether a translator is really serious about the job s/he does. Even that is no guarantee of quality, but you're definitely reducing your risk to a minimum by going that route.


 

PatrickMoreschi
United States
Local time: 01:59
Right translator/proofreader Sep 3, 2015

I agree with the above posts! You cannot simply send a request to multiple people asking them for a quote. You should know who they are and how can they help you. I think there are several criteria to choose right translator/proofreader, which allow you to be reasonably sure of your choice. If you will need for long projects or business, then I would suggest translation service provider Company.  They have been making it easier and faster create multilingual content.These types of platforms usually have a mix of professional translators and preselected native speakers that will work on your document. Many of these platforms have different pricing options based on the service level that you choose. You may be tempted to pick the cheapest, but you should take a look at what each level includes.

 

joana_diter
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:59
English to Bulgarian
Try hiring someone from freelance platforms Oct 26, 2015

You can always opt for proofreading services and see who will bid for your project. Websites such as Elance, Freelancer or Proofable.com have the option where you can post a free project and get quotes from professionals. You can specify what you need, so only the ones that have it will bid for your project. Here at Proz.com you can also find translators and proofreaders so just ask.icon_smile.gif I hope that this answer helps.

 

Sayed Fathy
United Arab Emirates
Local time: 11:59
English to Arabic
+ ...
Native Target Oct 27, 2015

I think it is better to focus on selecting a native target translator with a suitable source background. You may revert to freelance platforms where you would have a wide range of options.

 


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