Language Translator:
Take a Closer Look

Who will translate? Translation agencies, freelance language translators, foreign language teachers, student translators, bilinguals, yourself/your staff members…

Most professional translations today are done by professional translators. They work as freelance independent contractors or as in-house translators at translation agencies or other companies.

Freelance translators work independently. Usually, they translate from one or two foreign languages into their mother tongue.

Translation agencies use in-house or freelance translators to provide a translation. Translation agencies can translate from/into many languages. They are able to select appropriate translators and editors for a project.

Translation agencies can offer added value services, for example, project management, revision, desktop publishing, brand name analysis.

Whether you choose a freelance translator or a translation agency, pay attention to the following basic aspects:

  • Language competence: The translator’s knowledge of the source language and native-speaker competence in the target language

  • Subject matter knowledge: The translator should specialize in the subject matter of the translation (e.g. medicine, law, finance)

Translation of an important document must be done by a professional and experienced translator. That is self-evident. Professional translators have a special set of skills to convert written material into the target language smoothly and accurately.

Some translation buyers take risks to use foreign language teachers, student translators or bilinguals as translation service providers. This may work for unofficial, inbound translation (for internal use, for information), but it is risky for error-sensitive documents that have financial or legal consequences or that are related to the image of a company.

In general, bilingualism is not a guarantee of skill in translation.

To give a fairly comprehensive overview of language translators available on the market, one should mention machine translators as well (language translation programs/devices that produce literal translation). However, they are not a serious alternative to human translators described above and should not be taken into consideration if one wants to get a useable translation without myriads of errors.

But the unfortunate truth is that, though many translation buyers know that they should use human language translators, they aren’t sure where to look for and how to select the right translator/translation company. And which choice is better: a freelance translator or a translation company? If you encounter difficulties of this kind, keep on reading to find out about:

  1. Pros and cons of using translation companies

  2. Pros and cons of using freelance translators

  3. Where to shop for professional interpreting and translation services

Translation Service Providers

Tibetan Translation for Tattoos: Get your name translated into Tibetan script - Do you need a good, fast and cheap English or French to Tibetan translation for tattoos? Get names or special words translated into the language of Tibet.

Language translation sites - A list of providers of translation services.

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_____________________________________________________________________ Website owner: Irina Lychak, self-employed freelance linguist, Russian translator, Ukrainian translator, Kiev (Kyiv), Ukraine

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