| GOLDEN TIPS FOR BUYING
PROFESSIONALS VERSUS AMATEURS
Nowadays there are all sorts of people on the market offering translation services. How
can you be certain that you are dealing with a professional translator?
If you find yourself tempted by a cheap offer, you need to
ask yourself the following questions:
||Does the person in question have the right credentials?
Are they a qualified translator? Have they graduated from a school
for translators? (If so, to be absolutely certain, you could call the school and
verify the translators claims.)
Simply being bilingual represents no guarantee in terms of written fluency or
skill in translation.
||Are they translating INTO their mother tongue?
Professional translators normally translate exclusively into their mother
tongue as that is the only way to guarantee top quality. A translator who flouts this
basic rule is likely to be ignorant of other important quality issues as well.
||Do they have the necessary specialist knowledge and
experience to translate your specific text? (Furthermore, a professional
medical translator with no experience with computer texts is probably not the right person
to translate your companys software manual.)
||Will the money you may save initially with
an amateur outweigh the loss you will inevitably suffer later in terms of
image, lost customers and missed opportunities? Entrusting your document to an unqualified
translator is like going to some dark alley to have your appendix taken out,
instead of seeing a real doctor.
Cheap amateur translations will always cost more in the long run: you
will end up spending more money if you have to hire a second person to revise a poor
translation. Getting the job done properly the first time by a professional is
cheaper every time.
Professional translators are aware of cultural differences and country-specific
requirements and will take these into account in their translations.
For example, if you are applying for a job in the United States, you
might decide to hire a professional translator to translate your CV and job references in
order to make the best possible impression and increase your chances of being called for
an interview. Now, the US has very strict laws against discrimination,
and the professional translator will inform you that you should NOT include any
personal information in your CV such as age, religion, origin, health or your
photograph (unless you are applying for an actors job or similar). Prospective
employers will often throw away job applications containing photographs for fear
of being accused of and prosecuted for discrimination.
When translating a CV, a professional translator will always ask you what country
you are applying to and will be able to advise you on this and other aspects.
Qualified professional translators will give you the peace of mind of a competent
service and a job well done.
Furthermore, they are bound by a code of professional ethics, which
requires them, for example, to keep all documents they receive from clients strictly
Bewerben im Ausland, Nils Lahrmann, Stäheli Buchhandlung AG,
Zürich, ISBN 3-923930-13-5
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