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How to Hire a Human Translator for Your Company


If your organization doesn’t have internal bilingual employees that can help with your translation needs, you might need to hire a translation agency or a freelance translator. This is why we put together these 5 tips for how to find and hire a human translator for your company.

5 Tips for Hiring a Human Translator

1. Know Where To Hire a Translator From

When you hire a human translator, you can either hire a translation agency or a freelance translator. So, when do you know which is best? 

Agency vs. Individual

Translation agencies (also known as Language Service Providers or LSP) are typically ideal for large translation projects, multiple languages fast turnaround requirements. They often have a pre-established pool of translators to draw from and the agency can manage your translation projects for you. You get project management–and if your needs are big enough–account management, too. You pay more. 

To find translation agencies for hire, you can search “translation agencies,” “translation services” or “language service providers” on Google.

For smaller translation projects, you can hire an individual freelance translator yourself. Typically, the price won’t be as lofty as hiring an agency. Freelance translators are ideal for organizations with sporadic needs, smaller projects and single-language needs.

You can find a linguist via websites such as ProZ, TranslatorsCafe and Upwork. 

2. Find a Translator or Agency Who is Specialized in Your Field

One of the most important tips for hiring a translator or agency is to ensure you’re hiring someone who has the right experience for the project. 

If the materials in need of translation require specialized knowledge, you should hire someone who has it. For instance, if your company manufactures scientific instruments, you need to hire someone who understands the terminology and related concepts otherwise you’ll likely get an inferior literal word-for-word translation with the wrong terminology.

3. Use Good Communication

Whether you hire an agency or individual, you want to give as much project detail and context as possible up front. For example: saying you need a document translated into “Spanish” is too broad. You’ll want to be more specific and say I need a document translated into Spanish for Mexico. You’ll want to set clear expectations, timelines, and maintain good communication with your translator. 

Read 5 Translation Management Tips for Better Efficiency to get more detail on effective translation project management.

4. Know Their Credentials

Whether sourcing a human translator or an agency for your company, you want to check their credentials. If you need someone who is HIPAA compliant, accepted by USCIS or an expert in legal, it’s important to look into these during the hiring process. Ideally, you will find a translator or agency with the right credentials.

5. Hire a Translator Who Uses CAT Tools

If you have invested in a CAT tool (translation software), make sure your translator or agency knows what a CAT tool is and is familiar with the benefits of CAT tools. More importantly, make sure they understand the importance of using them consistently and properly and are using the same CAT tool that your organization uses. One reason CAT tool investments sometimes go to waste is inconsistent or underutilization.

Before Hiring a Translator, Invest in Translation Software

Pairaphrase is the best solution for companies who hire or collaborate with translators. It’s designed to give the easiest, yet most powerful experience possible. And with analytical features such as file time audits and word count analysis, it incentivizes your human translators to be more productive. 

So whether this is your organization’s first time using a CAT tool or you’ve been using CAT tools for years, try Pairaphrase.

Schedule a live demo or request a free trial.

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