Finding a translator in the year 2020 is easier than it has ever been. All you need is a quick internet search and your query will return hundreds of thousands of results. Many of these will be links to large translation companies, while a growing number may be information about freelance translators.
The latter is generally considered better for partnering with if you want reliable, top-quality translations, but the sheer number of available professionals can be overwhelming.
Not sure how to choose? Here’s what you need to know about finding and hiring the best freelance Russian translator- or any language professional online!
Not an Interpreter
Okay, this rule is perhaps the most important and also the most lenient. After all, many people who work as interpreters are translators and do a great job at translating. However, the fact that people assume that being one automatically makes you the other is the first hurdle to jump when searching for a qualified translation professional.
Interpretation and translation are two separate skills. A person who is proficient in one may not be in the other. They also may not offer the other as a service to clients, an important thing to check with them about before committing to their services.
If you think your company or project will require both of these services, look for someone who offers both. Do not expect both from either a listed interpreter or a dedicated translator – it’s just not the same job!
A professional translator obviously must possess a deep understanding of both languages they are working with, but perhaps the most important factor in success is that they are a native speaker of one of the two languages.
That isn’t to say that a translator who grew up speaking Spanish can’t also work with both English and Russian after extensive study, but their best performance would be translating between one of these two languages and their native Spanish.
The same is true for any language. If you are searching for Russian translators, you will be best served by working with someone who grew up speaking the language. This way, they can spot even the smallest mistakes and misunderstandings in the conversion of English to Russian and back again.
Fluency of a second language is something that takes time. No matter how many hours a person puts into the study, the combination of that study with regular practice – in seeing, reading, hearing, speaking, and writing in that language – is the formula for true fluency.
It is a formula your potential translator not only should understand but one that they should be capable of proving their possession of.
It is not enough to be fluent in the language you need a text translated into, though. Your translator should understand your language and theirs, each with a proficiency that allows easy conversion of text between the two. If you have a specialty text, such as a medical or legal document, they will also need to possess knowledge of terminology in those industries in both languages – and that’s no small feat!
Evaluate the fluency of your translator in-text shared on their website or listings. Look for the way they use language in their emails and communications with you. Professionalism and a polished presentation is the best way to check for their ability to deliver results that only a fluent writer and speaker can.
Obviously, education is an important factor in being a great translator. Most translators – both freelance and who work with traditional agencies – hold a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent. They may also hold formal certifications in translation, granted either by their job or by a national association for translation.
It is important to note that while education plays a major role in the success of most translators, some very accomplished translators actually have no formal education – at least not in the area of language or translation.
Some people who grew up in another country become fluent in the language of their new home and begin offering translation services after much experience. In their case, that real-world experience takes the place of formal learning and is a type of education, itself.
As with any professional you partner with, you will want to assess the experience level of a translator before working with them. Many people jump into the industry right after college or even without education.
This isn’t necessarily a disqualifier, as we noted previously – but a total lack of experience should be. If your prospective translator is not extensively educated, they absolutely must be extensively experienced.
Both formal and informal experience add up to great qualifiers for this factor in success – and both are necessary for a person to truly understand the languages they are working with.
If the only place a person has ever used a language is the academic and professional setting, they will have a weaker grasp of colloquial and casual language use – and therefore, less ability to accurately translate words and phrases that fall under these umbrellas and read more Ideas
Talk to your translator about all of their experience, both formal and informal. Both contribute to the proficiency of their services – and both can benefit your business by bringing the translator on board!