6 Tips for Hiring a Professional Translator | TranslateSwift

6 Tips for Hiring a Professional Translator

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6 Tips for Hiring a Professional Translator

Technology has bridged the gap in foreign trade. Now, businesses can reach millions of people from different countries globally. With the help of a professional translator, businesses can effectively localize their content and reach more people.

However, the language barrier is still a limiting factor today. Translation tools such as Google Translate and DeepL Translate can’t recognize the context, nuances, and cultural connotations necessary for the localization of business documents.

Hiring a professional translator is your best option if you want high-quality translation and localization. However, knowing how to choose the right person for the job takes a keen eye. 

Today, we will walk you through the key factors to consider before hiring a professional translator or translation agency for your legal or medical documents.

Know Your Translation Goals

The first step to choosing the right translator for your business is knowing what you want to achieve with this translation. What type of document will you be translating? How sensitive, technical, or difficult is it going to be? How soon do you want it done? Who’s your target audience? Is it an uncommon language?

Questions like these should be asked and answered to understand what you aim to achieve clearly. They will help you know whether you need a freelance translator, an in-house translator, or a translation agency. 

For instance, if you plan on translating a document from English to a well-spoken language like French, you might not need the expertise of a translation agency for that; a professional freelance translator will do. However, if you need it done immediately or it is a less common language like Bahasa Malaysia, you will need the services of a translation agency because they usually have a diverse number of native and bilingual translators.

Verify the Credentials of the Translator

Getting a translator is one piece of the puzzle, but confirming if they are qualified for the project is crucial to success. 

Find out their experience; if they’re native/bilingual speakers, you can have them take a language proficiency test to verify their fluency. Ask them if they have any professional translation certification. 

You can look them up on the American Translators Association database to find a translator with professional certification. The ATA is the only reputable and highly recognized body that offers professional certification to translators in the US.

Suppose you will be using a translation agency. In that case, it is also important to verify their credibility by reading customer reviews and checking for company certification and the translator assigned to you.

Ensure your translator understands the Brand’s Identity

Before you seal the deal with a translator, getting them accustomed to your brand identity is important. Getting translators familiar with your brand voice is crucial to helping them communicate your message appropriately with your target audience. 

The translator must know your brand’s writing style. Do you use a casual, friendly, or more formal and professional tone? These are key factors to consider discussing with the translator to keep the translation in tune with your brand identity.

Know the Cost of Translation Services

Translation prices vary depending on the type of document, availability of translators in the target language, difficulty, turnaround time, and experience. 

While most translation services charge between $20-$40 per page, not all translators charge per page. Some translators charge per word, document, and per hour. 

Research and compare the prices of multiple translators to get an average project cost. Most translators charge per word, so it is key to note that some languages use more words to describe certain English words than others. 

Technical documents such as guides and user manuals with numerous repetitive words should be negotiated with your translator because they are easier and faster.

Avoid going for cheap translation services because they can be inexperienced, uncertified, and worse, use translation tools for you, which can cost you time and money. It isn’t advisable to pay per hour for translation services because jobs that you think are basic can take a lot of hours to complete, leading to you overpaying.

Ensure the Confidentiality of your Documents.

Data security should be considered when hiring a translator. A data breach can jeopardize your company, especially when translating legal and medical documents. 

Do your due diligence by determining if the translator or translation agency has confidentiality agreements signed and bound by law. Ask them where your documents will be kept during the translation process and after its completion. Ensure that the translation service is fully aware of the risk involved and can guarantee the safety and protection of your documents.

Prioritise Localization

Translating a word from one language to another doesn’t cut it; if it did, then everyone would be fine with Google Translate. 

However, businesses today know the importance of localization if they want their message to resonate with their target audience. A word can be a pleasant commentary in one language and a taboo in another language or dialect. A fanny in American English refers to a type of bag, while it is a derogatory slang in British English.

A common mistake most people make is choosing a translator who isn’t a native speaker of the target language. It is important to confirm if the translator is a native speaker before hiring to avoid localization issues.


We hope our guide has equipped you with everything you need to find the best translator for your business documents. 

However, we can save you time by translating your business documents today, starting when you upload your document on our site. Our 500 dedicated professional translators, versed in over 40 languages, are ready to help you translate and localize your documents.