5 Ways to Find a Content Translator

Translation
Chidinma Egwuogu
03 May 2024

8 min. read

Contents

Finding the right translator for your localization project can sometimes feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. And it’s even worse when you’ve got a looming launch date to meet.

Fortunately, this article is here to simplify your search. We'll walk you through the best platforms and resources to find translators online. Whether you're looking to translate a website, a technical manual, or promotional materials, the right help is just around the corner.

How to find a translator?

To find a translator, you’ll need to check out several key resources designed to help you connect with the right language experts. Here's a list of five main places to start your search for a translator:

  • Online marketplaces
  • Language service providers (LSPs)
  • Professional translator directories
  • Online translator communities
  • Referrals

Online marketplaces

Freelance marketplaces like Upwork and Fiverr are popular platforms where you can find freelance translators with various language skills and specialties. These sites allow you to post your translation job, receive bids from translators, and choose the best fit for your project—and budget.

Pros

  • Large talent pool: Browse a wide range of translator profiles to find someone with the exact language skills and experience you need.
  • Flexibility: Many marketplaces allow you to negotiate rates and turnaround times directly with the translators.
  • Reviews and ratings: You can evaluate potential translators based on reviews and ratings left by previous clients.

Cons

  • Quality variation: The quality of work can vary significantly since virtually anyone can offer their services on these platforms, regardless of their professional qualifications.
  • Project management: You may need to handle more project management tasks like communication, setting clear expectations, and revisions.
  • Limited protection: Online marketplaces may offer limited dispute resolution options in case of issues with the translator's work.

Language service providers

Language service providers (LSPs) such as Lionbridge, Gengo, and TransPerfect offer translation, localization, transcreation, and other language services. Here, instead of connecting directly with individual freelancers, you partner with an agency that manages a network of vetted translators.

Pros

  • Quality assurance: LSPs typically have rigorous screening processes to ensure their translators are qualified and experienced.
  • Project management: LSPs handle project management tasks like communication, deadline tracking, and quality control, freeing you to focus on other aspects of your business.
  • Greater protection: LSPs often offer client protection guarantees and dispute resolution mechanisms if you encounter any issues with the translation.

Cons

  • Potentially higher costs: LSP services come at a premium compared to hiring freelance translators through online marketplaces.
  • Less direct control: While LSPs manage communication and project flow, you may have less direct interaction with the assigned translator.
  • Limited flexibility: LSPs may have established processes and workflows, which offer less flexibility in pricing models or turnaround times compared to freelance translators.

Pro tip: Explore this list of translation companies to hire from, with ratings and service fees.

Professional translator directories

Professional translator directories like the American Translators Association (ATA), ProZ, or the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) have curated lists of qualified translators. These directories allow you to search for and hire translators based on:

Pros

  • Verified qualifications: Translators listed in these directories typically have undergone a vetting process to confirm their qualifications and experience.
  • Diverse skill sets: Access a wide range of translators with expertise in various industries and document types.
  • Direct communication: You can directly contact translators to discuss project details and negotiate rates.

Cons

  • Limited search filters: Translator directories have basic search filters, complicating the search process.
  • Insufficient verification: While translators’ qualifications are verified, you still need to review their portfolios and test their skills to ensure a good fit for your project.
  • Marketing effort required: You may need to craft a compelling project description to pique the interest of translators who would be a good match for your needs.

To boost your chances of finding a skilled translator via a translation directory, include the following information in your project description:

  1. Source and target languages: Specify the source and target languages.
  2. Job length: Be as specific as possible about the project scope. Mention the word count or estimated number of pages for the translation.
  3. Timeframe: Outline your desired timeline for the translation project.
  4. Content type: Describe the type of content you need translated.
  5. Additional details: Consider including any specific requirements or preferences you have (e.g., tone of voice, target audience).

Project description example

We require the translation of a 5,000-word user manual from English to Japanese. The manual details the operation and maintenance procedures for our new line of industrial robotics. Experience with technical translations and fluency in robotics terminology is a plus. The completed translation is needed within 2 weeks.

Online translator communities

Online translator communities can be a valuable resource for finding skilled professionals. These communities can be found on various social media platforms and specialized forums. Engaging with these communities allows you to connect directly with translators, ask questions, and even post job advertisements.

Pros

  • Direct interaction: Engage directly with translators for hire in these communities.
  • Specialized forums: Many communities have forums dedicated to specific languages, industries, or document types.
  • Immediate feedback: You can get immediate responses to inquiries or job posts, which is helpful for urgent translation needs.

Cons

  • Varied quality: The level of vetting can vary compared to directories. It's crucial to carefully evaluate translator profiles and consider requesting references or samples of their work.
  • Time commitment: Actively engaging with communities and vetting translators takes time.

Some online translator communities include:

  • LinkedIn groups: Look through LinkedIn groups dedicated to professional translators, such as "English Spanish Translator Org" and "Certified Translation Professional Group". Search for “translator group,” or related keywords to discover more groups.

  • Reddit: Subreddits like r/Translator can be useful for connecting with freelance translators and discussing specific translation projects or issues.

  • Facebook groups: Run a keyword search. Look for groups with active contributors to find a good fit.

Referrals

Don't underestimate the power of personal recommendations when searching for a translator. Reaching out to your network for referrals can be a great way to find reliable translators with a proven track record.

Pros

  • Trustworthy source: Referrals from colleagues or industry contacts who have personally worked with a translator offer a level of trust and reliability.
  • Targeted skills: Recommendations can often lead you to translators with experience in your specific industry or document type.
  • Reduced vetting time: Word-of-mouth recommendations can save you time and effort in the initial vetting process.

Cons

  • Limited reach: Your network may not have connections to translators with the specific language skills or expertise you need.
  • Project suitability: Ensure the translator's experience aligns with your project requirements, even if they come recommended.
  • Availability: Referred translators may already be booked or have limited availability for your project timeline.

How much does it cost to get a translator?

The cost of hiring a translator can vary based on several factors including language pair, complexity of the topic, turnaround time, translator's experience, and length of the text. Generally, rates can range from $0.06 to $0.2 per word for common language pairs, but they can be significantly higher for less common languages or specialized content.

Remember, these are just estimates. The best way to get an accurate quote is to contact potential translators and discuss your project specifics.

Evaluating and selecting a translator

Looking for a translator is the easy part. Sifting through all the applications is much harder. Here are the key steps to evaluate and select the most suitable translator:

  1. Review portfolios and references: Assess their experience with similar content and target audiences.
  2. Test language skills: Assign a short translation sample to evaluate their accuracy and style.
  3. Consider costs: Compare rates but prioritize quality over cost.
  4. Assess technical skills: Confirm if they can handle the specific tools or software your project may require.
  5. Establish clear communication: Ensure clear communication and a good understanding of your project needs.

After choosing a suitable translator, the next important step is integrating them into your workflow.

How to onboard new translators

When onboarding new translators, you might encounter issues such as varying levels of familiarity with project-specific jargon, inconsistencies in translation quality, and difficulties in managing collaboration across different time zones and tasks.

These challenges can lead to delays and increased costs if not managed properly. Fortunately, they are easily solved with a translation management system (TMS), like Centus.

Here's how Centus TMS simplifies translator onboarding and collaboration:

  • Progress tracking: Monitor translation progress across multiple projects and languages. progress tracking in Centus

  • Centralized communication: Communicate directly with translators within the TMS, eliminating email back-and-forth. Comment box in Centus

  • Streamlined file sharing: Share project files and screenshots within the platform. Screenshot of Centus’ file sharing tool

  • Machine translation: Help your translators complete projects fasters using integrated machine translation tools like DeepL and Google Translate. translation in Centus editor

  • Seamless integration: Integrate Centus with popular tools to elevate your existing workflows. integrations in Centus

  • Terminology management: Maintain consistent terminology across projects with built-in glossaries or translation memories. terminology management in Centus

Now that you know how to hire a translator, you can also turn them into your company’s superstar using a translation management system, Centus. Try it now!

Get the week's best content!

By subscribing, you are agreeing to have your personal information managed in accordance with the terms of Centus’s Privacy Policy ->