After all the hard work it took to design and develop your project, you’re ready to share it with the world, but you quickly realize that not everyone speaks the same language as you do! For most of us, who have grown up in native-English speaking countries, this can be a difficult concept to grasp at first. Context for translators we take being able to communicate through our own language for granted and tend to forget how many millions of people around the world may not understand what we’re saying.
1) get in touch with professional translators
When it comes to having your content translated, there are two kinds of translation companies you can use: In-house and outsourced. An in-house translator is someone who works for your company (i.e., they’re on staff). Outsourced translators work for a third party—they’re not employees, but freelancers or contractors. The difference between these two types of translators is that an in-house translator will be more familiar with your business’ specific terminology and style guidelines, but an outsourced translator may have a broader range of language skills than one who works exclusively for one company. You’ll also want to consider how much experience each type has with translating similar materials into different languages; if yours is a complex subject matter or includes technical terms or jargon, you’ll want someone who’s done it before—and knows what challenges may arise when trying to translate certain words from English into another language.
2) understand which languages you will be translating into
First, decide which languages you will be translating into. Will you be offering your product or service in multiple languages, or just one? It’s important to think about how many translations your project will require before setting out on any new translation initiative. If possible, get clear on which countries and regions you plan to translate into – some popular language pairs are Chinese / English, Arabic / English and Spanish / English.
3) check what kind of texts and websites you need translated
It is extremely important to make sure you know what kind of texts and websites you need translated. If you only need a few articles translated, it might be easier and cheaper for you just to ask a friend for help. If, however, you have many documents that need translating, it may be better if you find a professional translator. It all depends on your needs and budget.
4) figure out how to deliver the texts once they are translated
Before you write a single line of code or spend a cent on translation services, start by making sure that you’re legally allowed to deliver texts in foreign languages. The easiest way to do so is by adding a small link at the bottom of your site.
5) work with both time zones when you start accepting translation job offers
If you’re creating a job ad for a translation, it’s important to have a minimum number of words per document so that you can get an idea of quality and provide context for prospective translators. If, for example, your goal is 100% accuracy on every translation, then your minimum should be 500 words (otherwise, there’s really no way for you to know whether or not translations are correct). If, however, your goal is just 80% accuracy but with a faster turnaround time and/or lower price point, then your minimum should be much lower. Either way though—like with everything else in life—you may still end up having bad experiences when hiring freelancers.
6) make sure you get references from the translator before starting a long term collaboration
Ask for references, and then take a look at other work they’ve done in English. While there are many talented translators out there, you want to make sure that your translator has experience with projects similar to yours.