Best Translator Definition
Finding the right person or company to handle your translation needs might seem like quite the challenge. While most professional language translation companies will not allow you to personally hand-pick your translator, there are questions you need to ask and answers you need to receive in order to make the proper choice. In our constantly evolving global economy, finding a reputable and reliable translator or professional translation services company should be almost as important of a decision as locating a good doctor, mechanic or lawyer.
First and foremost, it is important that the translator be a native speaker of the language that he is translating into. For example, an article in the New York Times about the best wines of Tuscany written in English should preferably be translated into Italian by a native speaking Italian. Regardless of how many years your brother-in-law spent studying Italian in Florence (and even if he claims to know every nuance about harvesting grapes in the region), he is not as qualified to produce as good a translation as his longtime best friend, Giuseppe who has a university degree in translation and who comes from seven generations of vintners in Italy.
"No matter how well someone speaks his second language, he is always more fluent in his first, or maternal, language," says Sandra Alboum, President of Alboum & Associates Language Services. "Interesting proof of this is a concept that is learned early on: numbers. Studies show that a fully bilingual person will more often than not revert to his maternal language to count or do math in his head."
For this reason, top professional language translation firms always employ native speakers on all translations. While this is a solid start to getting your documents professionally and competently translated, it is only the beginning.
In addition to being a native speaker, it is also highly beneficial if the translator has specific knowledge of the subject matter. While this might seem like a lofty challenge, you might be pleasantly surprised. Why would you want to use someone who knows nothing about open heart surgery to translate training materials for doctors who are learning how to carry out this intricate procedure? Or someone with no legal training to translate an asylum petition for someone who is sure to be killed if they return to their home country? Ask the language translation company you are considering about the background of the translator working on your document.
If the translator is not an expert relating to the given subject matter, than he should at least possess excellent research skills in order to locate or determine the meaning or gist of industry specific words or phrases. Furthermore, they should be extremely diligent when it comes to self-proofing.
Additionally, take the time to query your salesperson or project manager regarding whether or not their translator has specific academic training and/or is a member of any professional societies such as the American Translators Association or NAJIT (National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators) that display activity in the field.
Last but not least, never hesitate to ask for references or sample translations that have been previously done by the company, if possible even relating to the specific content of your document or materials.
If you follow this advice, you will benefit greatly by receiving a language translation that is accurate in every detail.
Brian Pinelli is Director of Sales for Alboum & Associates, a provider of professional language translation services based in Arlington, Virginia. A truly outstanding professional language translation services company knows that capturing the underlying meaning and unspoken intent is the key to a successful translation. To learn more, visit Alboum & Associates. | Article Source