In one of the previous articles in the series, the discussion was on the benefits of getting professional documents translated. That was only part of the story. Whatever your purpose, it all depends on the quality of the translation. Before you rush to get your documents translated, you may wish to know how to ensure the desired quality.
The key to assure a high standard of quality is to find a quality document translation services provider. You may ask: “I have little knowledge of the target language. How do I know if a translator is good or not?” Nevertheless, there are certain ways to tell and to find out.
The following paragraphs are provided some tips for selecting a translator and/or linguist.
- The translation is more about skills and art. It takes years of training and hands-on practice. Simply because someone is bilingual does not make him/her an expert translator. Do not settle on any academic translation services provider for the wrong reason, such as convenience, low cost or no charge etc. The translation piece should make the best possible impression on those reading your academic work in another language. This means, if not done right, it may cost you dearly later on (time, money and, worst of all, your reputation).
- A linguist should have good command over both the source and target languages. One of these languages will have to be his/her mother tongue. If a translator comes without a solid foundation in his/her own native language, they are limited in mastering translation both as a skill and an art.
- Conduct research, obtain references, and very importantly, interview the linguist provided for by your professional document translation services provider. Talk to him or her, and get an idea of how well they speak your language. Moreover, as translation is different from interpreting in that it is written, determines how well he or she writes in your language. Go through any published work the person has, if any. Flick through his or her translation, from another language into your language. Is the translation flowing like an original piece of work or is sounding awkward? In case the linguist is unable to meet these very initial criteria, look elsewhere.
Once you are confident the person hired, through an academic translation services provider, meets the above minimum requirements, you can move further. Give him or her something short to translate from your language to the target language. To that end, you want to reach one or two objectives:
- You wish that the same question asked above is answered.
- If the translation sounds like an original piece, you need to determine, whether the translation accurately reflects the meaning and the tone of the original.
The Sum Up
To sum up, in, order to achieve the above purposes, you must obtain the help of a proofreader. In this way, if the translation is unsatisfactory, you can look for someone else. You will be paying the translator for translating your test piece. But at least, you know at the start of your project that if he or she is not the right one, you are not stuck with them for the rest of the project.