Need Business Translation Services?

October 6, 2023 | Blog, Education, Home & Relocation

International translation expert Aída Ramos is the founder of Thinking Side Language Services. She is passionate about languages and specialises in Transcreation for brands. She speaks Spanish, English, French and Portuguese, has some knowledge of Basque, German and Swedish (which she learned during her exchange year in Scandinavia) and is currently studying Italian.

Here, Aída shares her top tips on how to hire a translator, to ensure you get the very best from the services you use. 

How do I get cheap, fast, good translations?

I bet you’d like to know, right? Well…

I’m sorry to break it to you, but I’m afraid that’s not really possible!

In my experience (15+ years), there is no way you can get all three:

  • If a translation for your business is cheap AND fast, chances are it won’t be good.
  • If it’s cheap AND good, it most probably won’t be fast.
  • If it’s good AND fast, it definitely won’t be cheap!

However, I can give you some helpful tips on how to hire a translator to ensure all your language goals are met seamlessly – listen up!


Need Business Translation Services

Think of the value a good translation will provide

The business translation market is a big one, and the price range is huge. As is often the case with any other market, high prices don’t necessarily guarantee high quality. But if you go below a certain level, you’ll need to wonder whether the text you receive will do credit to your brand/service/product. 

In Spain, for example, prices can vary greatly, but it’s probably safe to say the standard range for non-specialised, non-sworn texts is €0.08 to €0.15 per word.  

Make sure you find the right person for the job

To begin with, you should be looking at qualified native speakers of the target language, that is, the language you need to translate your documents into. For example, if you are a British business owner looking to launch your products in the Spanish market, you will need a native Spanish speaker. You’ll also want to make sure they work with ES-ES (Spanish from Spain) as opposed to other varieties of the language spoken in Latin America. 

Notice I also mentioned the word ‘qualified’. By this, I mean people who have the training, skills and relevant experience for the job at hand. Social proof is always handy (maybe check their LinkedIn profile?), but the old ‘word of mouth’ is also a winner!

Also, what I mean by ‘relevant experience’ is that they should be experts in the field. Maybe your sister who works in a big pharma company can give you the details of a great translator she used for their latest clinical trial. However, if you work in advertising and you need someone who can make a really witty and catchy slogan work in a different market, they might not be the right fit for you!

Provide all the relevant information straightaway

You’ve found someone you are happy with? Great!

Here’s the basic information they’ll need to start working:

  • The texts you need translated: make sure you specify what needs to be translated and what doesn’t, and also make sure those texts are final!
  • When you expect them back: try to plan ahead as much as possible and give your translator some lead time. Also, be aware you are dealing with humans, not machines! Believe me, this IS a good thing.
  • Who your audience is: who are the texts meant for? Who do you wish to target with the material?
  • What your brand’s desired tone of voice is: think of how you would like the character of your business to come through and the impression you want to make on your audience.
  • Reference documents: do you have any texts that might be useful for the translator to familiarise themselves with your brand? If that’s the case, do not hesitate to share them!
  • Visuals: sometimes, providing the translators with images of your products can prove really helpful – images are indeed worth a thousand words! 


Professional Business Translation Services

Don’t be afraid of questions

Some people might panic slightly if their chosen translator starts asking questions, but that’s actually a great sign! You probably knew full well what you meant when you wrote the text, but a good translator doesn’t make any assumptions. Also, translators are very close readers and might be able to point out potential errors you might have missed entirely or parts of the text that might not be all that clear to the reader. Always welcome questions, they are a sign of professionalism! 

Proofread time and time again

Always. You might have a sound procedure in place, but last-minute additions by non-linguists can sabotage an otherwise effective document. Be sure to have a language-sensitive native speaker on hand to vet any final fiddling. Also, don’t finalise changes to foreign texts by telephone as it can be really risky!

Did you find this useful? I really hope so! If you need more information, you can always download Getting it Right, a great guide put together by the American Translators’ Association which aims to reduce stress and help you get the most out of your translation budget.

Read more about Aída’s services as a translation and transcreation expert.

Contact Details:

+34 652 74 01 06

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