How to find a good translator
You know you need a professional translator, but how do you actually go about finding a ‘good’ one? Presumably by ‘good’, you mean qualified and accurate in their work, as well as reliable and professional when dealing with clients and their needs.
Like many other professions, Translating has a number of widely recognised accrediting bodies, who hold lists of qualified translators, in all language combinations. These are available online and are an excellent place for you to search.
In the UK, the Institute of Translators and Interpreters (ITI) and the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIOL) are highly regarded. The professionals listed have met both a minimum qualification standard and a minimum amount of years’ experience, proven by favourable client references. In the case of the ITI, members have also passed a further in-house exam, to satisfy the board of their expertise. In each, translators must submit evidence each year of their continuing professional development, showing that they remain up-to-date with their language and cultural knowledge.
Agency or individual?
If you have multiple languages to deal with or a very large project, you might decide to look for an agency. If so, it’s useful to know that agencies are also able to be accredited by the same professional institutions. Look for their Corporate Member logo, or check if their individual translators are members.
Once you’ve found a translator through google searches, again, look for the MITI or CIOL logos on their websites. They may be either an Associate, Member, Fellow, or Chartered member or linguist.
Additionally, the testimonials section should offer some insight. Professional references from recent clients go a long way to reassuring us that the expert is who they say they are, and can deal with the subject matter you need.