Most people don’t encounter a need for translation services in their normal daily lives. In fact, the average person will likely require more major surgery, and buy more cars or overseas holidays – possibly even houses or antique clocks – in his or her lifetime than translations. So the experience of what to look for, how to assess it, and where to find it is not really wired into our society (not yet anyway).
For first-time translation buyers, here are some points to consider:
- Find someone who is trained, reputable and experienced; the modern translator profile is someone with a university degree in translation and linguistics, specialised experience and knowledge in certain fields (law, technical, finance, media, localisation etc), and certification (in Australia, the NAATI credential).
- Good places to look are member directories of professional associations in Australia (AUSIT) and around the world (ATA, Chartered Institute of Linguists, IAPTI).
- Be wary about agencies, job clearing houses and classified ads (especially those with just an online presence and no shop front) because some market intermediaries aren’t very fussy about checking the credentials of the people they list – like the famous case of the UK interpreter who successfully registered her pet bunny rabbit to provide interpreting services in the West Midlands court system.
More to come…