Look for someone with experience translating the type of document you want to have translated.
If you have a contract to be translated, hire someone who specialises in legal translation. Even better, hire someone who previously worked as a lawyer drafting contracts. They have the in-depth knowledge of the subject that really makes a difference when it comes down to choosing just the right word.
For example, I specialise in LEGAL | BUSINESS | REAL ESTATE translations because I have the skills and experience in those areas to really be able to help you in those areas.
Also check for qualifications. A translator with a masters degree or postgraduate diploma in translation will be well trained. Qualifications in the subject area are a plus.
I have a Postgraduate Diploma in Translation from the Chartered Institute of Linguists. I am also qualified as a lawyer in England & Wales and Scotland.
Finally, a really well-polished translation will usually only be possible where the translator is a native speaker of the target language.
I am a native speaker of English (UK).
Should the translator be a native speaker?
Who to hire
Hiring someone who is a native speaker of the target language will give you a better change of ultimately receiving a text that sounds like it was originally written by a native speaker. It comes down to nuance.
However, there will be times when a translator is actually better working out of their native language because they have lived someone where the target language is spoken for so long that it has become their language of habitual use. If in doubt, ask for a short test translation so you can check the quality of the output.
I am a native speaker of English and I only translate from German into English.
How much do you charge?
The cost will generally depend on the length and complexity of the text, as well as the file format that you can provide. For example, a Word document is easier to work with than a converted PDF document, which may require more formatting to get it into shape.
How long will it take?
Again, this will depend on the length, complexity and format of the text.
I can generally translate around 2,000 words of German per day but this might vary depending on whether there are repeated sections within the text, whether you are able to provide any reference materials (such as translation memories or termbases), or whether any research is required.
What information do you need to be able to provide a quote?
When asking for a quote, I will need to see a copy of the text you wish to have translated. Don't worry, confidentiality applies, even if you decide not to proceed.
It is also useful if you can let me know what the text will be used for (i.e. who will read and and for what purpose). If the text is to be published, you might also like to have the translation proofread by another person. If so, let me know and I can arrange this for a supplemental charge.
Should I pay more to have the translation proofread?
Review by a second translator is advisable if the text is going to be published, especially if it is going to be printed in hard-copy. If you want to have this carried out, let me know and I can arrange this for a supplemental charge.
Or, if you already have a translation and want to have this checked by a second translator, you can hire me to do the checking. Peace of mind.