How to recognise a good translator?

By / 12 August 2016 / Professional translation

How to recognise a good translator?

How can you tell if you’ve found a good translator? This is a question that a lot of our clients ask since if you don’t speak the target language, it is difficult to assess the quality of your translation. However, there are a few tell-tale signs you can look for. Therefore, Mytranslation would like to give you a few tips. Whether you want to translate your website, your CV, a blog… Mytranslation has experience with the translation of all these types of documents and can therefore give you some sound advice.

Good translators suggest higher prices

In the translation industry, the price of a translation proposal often represents the quality you can expect. A professional translator will translate for a living and therefore pay tax on the amount they earn. Therefore, low prices like 0.01 €/word are unrealistic for a professional translator who can only physically translate about 1500 words a day. However, very high prices (above 0.15€/word) should only be requested by Translation Agencies who offer additional services (e.g. Proofreading, DTP, sworn translation etc…).

Mytranslation only uses professional translators. Therefore, when using the Auction service, you won’t see any proposals below 0.06€/word. Please note that a good translator pays taxes on their earnings, has spent years studying translation and will often refuse poorly paid work.

A good translator will never use automatic translation machines

Some people try to sell themselves as translators but haven’t actually studied translation. What they do is use automatic translation machines (e.g. Google translate) to provide you with a translation. However, automatic translation machines do not guarantee grammatically correct sentences, only a native translator can guarantee a correct translation. Mytranslation guarantees the use of good translators who translate the texts themselves without the use of automatic translation machines.

A good translator will double-check their work

Even if you do not speak the target language, a way of a checking if your translation was conducted by a good translator, is by verifying that all the paragraphs and titles are in the translation. Humans make mistakes and therefore a translator may accidently miss a paragraph, however, a good translator will double check their work to make sure all the text is there.

A good translator will know how to translate difficult words or sentences

A good translator will only accept a project if he/she feels able to do it well. Good translators are specialised in subjects and therefore, a financial translator typically wouldn’t accept a medical translation. Since translators are specialised in certain subjects, if your document has technical terms specific to a subject, the translator should be able to translate the terms as they should be specialised enough in the subject to know the technical words used or at least to know what resources to use to find out the meaning and translation of the word.

A good translator will also know which word to use when several words are possible. E.g. Sales manager, Salesman and Sales representative all have the same meaning. However, a translator will assess the style of your text (formal or informal) and context to decide which word is best suited.

A lot of people believe that the best translator can only be found through an agency and will therefore be very expensive. It is not entirely wrong, but not completely true either. Agencies guarantee the use of professional translators who have undergone several tests before working with them. However, agencies will also offer additional services (dedicated project managers, proofreading by a second translator, sworn-translation, DTP, localisation etc…) meaning that it can soon become expensive. Mytranslation uses professional translators who have undergone tests to use the platform, but since we do not offer all the additional services that agencies do, our prices are cheaper but the quality still remains professional. The use of agencies is recommended for large businesses needing to translate complex documents, but if you’re not a business, we recommend the use of Mytranslation.


Therefore, good translators can simply be freelance translators who use translation platforms like Mytranslation to find work; they don’t necessarily have to be translators who work for agencies.

Thanks to two types of services offered, the Mytranslation platform will allow you to have the best translator, at a reasonable price. Mytranslation offers two services, Auction and Express. The Auction service allows you to receive several price and deadline proposals from various translators. By comparing the proposals and the translator profiles, at the end of the auction period, you choose the translator you wish to work with. For urgent needs, we recommend the Express service – the first translator to accept your project starts working on it right away for a fixed rate of 0.08€/word.

Mytranslation therefore helps you to find the best translator for the right price!

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