How to find a translator

Where to find a translator? Well, hello? What am I doing here? 

To be fair, I translate only into Brazilian Portuguese, which is my mother tongue.  In fact, this is your first tip of the day. Professional translators just translate into their mother tongue. This is because only a native speaker can understand subtle nuances of their own language. Even if some translators have a near native speaker level, there is always a little bit missing.

The exception to this are those lucky enough to have been raised in a bilingual environment.

I have compiled a list of websites where you can find professional translators. 

Let’s start:

  • Proz.com

Proz.com is where almost all translators in the world are. I dare to say is almost Facebook for translators.

This is a platform where translators have profiles, describing their specialisms, rate per word, CVs, availability and experience.

On the home page of the website you can describe the language your document is written and in which language you want it translated.

Once you have found a translator that you think meets your criteria. You can contact them directly via email.

Alternatively, you can also post a job and wait for translators to contact you with a quote. There is no need for you to upload the document into the platform at this stage. However, give as much information as possible, so the translator can be more precise with the quotation.

As great as Proz.com sounds, for the first time buyer it can be a bit overwhelming. There are a lot of freelancers and translation agencies. Some more serious than others, so do a little searching on the freelancer’s profile. Pay attention if it is completed and if it looks professional.

A good way to check for credibility is the feedback area and WWA (Willingness to Work Again). 

  • Translation Associations

Translation Industry is not regulated. You don’t need to pass a board to claim you are a translator.

That is why these associations were created. To give credibility to an unregulated profession. 

There are hundreds of translation associations around the world. You can just type Translation Associations in + add country to see all the one’s available to you.

In the United States, the largest one would be the American Translators Association,  ATA, in the UK the CIOL and ITI are great options.

To become a member of these associations the translators have to pass written exams that will evaluate their language skills, understanding of the source language and writing of the target language.

Translators that pass these exams can use the certification seal and formal designation CT, DipTrans, MITI and so on.

You can use these associations databases of translators to find a translator who will be perfect for your needs.

Not all translators  use these associations as official members. Some decide to go into further studies and graduate from a BA, MA or PhD level in a language related field. It’s just another route for getting qualified. In fact getting a MA in Translation was my career choice. Although the cost is quite high, I felt better prepared to face the world with an advanced degree. Besides,  saying that you have a Masters degree is instantly recognizable in any field. It made sense to me to be my career path.

I do think these associations are incredible for empowering and assisting its members and their work is much valuable for all of us in the Translation Industry, associated with them or not.

  • Instagram

Can you believe it? It was just when I decided to open my Business Account on Instagram (@madeinbraziltranslations BTW) that I’ve noticed that there are so many translators on Instagram!

Some are networking professionally and expressing their thoughts about the Language Industry, others are taking pictures of cats and every single meal they had in the last 30 days.

Go to search and type “translator” and the language in which you want your document translated. You will most likely find many to choose from. Start a conversation with them, let them know what you need. I am sure they will be happy to assist you. If they can’t either because the document you want translated is not on their specialism or they are busy, they might have another colleague who will be able to translate it for you.

  • Facebook 

You can either use Facebook groups to ask for quotes, look for translator’s business pages or simply write on the search the Language you want your document translated.

For example, write Portuguese Translator in the search and guess what? I am also there.

  • LinkedIn

The same idea goes for LinkedIn, type the language you need and a plethora of translators and agencies will appear.

You can narrow your search down  by looking for people, location, groups and companies.  

Just between us, I am there too!

The good thing about LinkedIn is that you can check your translator’s experience by looking at their profile. Take a few minutes to check if the translator’s experience matches with the document you need translated.

If you see in a profile saying “ travel translator with 10 years of experience”, perhaps it would be a good idea to look for another one if you have a contract to translate.

You can contact your preferred translator either by connecting with them or send them a message requesting a quote.

As you can see, I have tried to add a couple of sites that are industry specific and others that you might already be using but never thought about using to find a translator.

I hope this was helpful to you and if I haven’t said this enough. Made in Brazil Translations is here to help you every step of the way in all things Brazilian. If you have any questions about how to find a suitable translator, let me know. I’ll be happy to assist you.

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