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Why is It Hard to Work With Freelance Translators and How to Manage It?

We’re all familiar with the term “translation.” It’s delivering the same message that exists in one language into another or others.

Each day, thousands of people look for ways to get their documents translated. If you’ve ever got anything translated by someone, you probably have some knowledge about the industry and means of acquiring translation. If you don’t, while looking for translation services you usually come across two options; professionals and freelancers.

Should you submit your work to an authorized agency that has trained and certified professionals to take care of your work, you usually have fewer concerns and higher expectations since you’re working with professionals. However, working with freelancers is a bit complex, since finding the right and good one may take an effort.

In this post, we’ll be speaking about the difficulty of working with freelancers and how to find the best ones to work with.

Why Is It Hard to Work With Freelancers?

As a revenue source, more and more individuals are turning to freelance jobs. As a result, for companies looking to boost their ROI, the recruitment of remote employees is a huge opportunity. In the translation industry, where the number of freelance translators is exploding, this is especially true.

However, it doesn’t mean that it is always easy to find a good translator. This is a time-consuming process and you may get lost in the details. First, you need to understand your needs. Then you should go and start looking for a translator. At this stage, you need to know where to find a translator. You need to check your options’ qualifications, specialties, and portfolio. There are several different platforms that help you to find freelancers. Not every option will suit your business, and the issue of finding the right individual does not necessarily have a catch-all solution.

Finding a Translator is Tricky

Before starting to look for a translator, bear in mind that the ideal translator for you depends on the kind of text that you need to be translated. If you have specialized content containing pharmaceuticals, or legal documents to be translated, a “general translator” is not quite likely to be suitable.

There are a bunch of platforms that allow you to specify the text you have to be translated and filter out the best translator options.

Even if you found a good translator (certified, has dedicated experience in the specified subject), it is not possible to be sure about the quality of the translation you will be receiving. Therefore you need to set a proper process for the quality check.

Checking the Translation Quality is Necessary and Time-Consuming:

Translation quality assurance (QA) eliminates errors or defects and avoids issues when providing localized and translated material to customers. For localization, there are two main forms of QA: LQA and FQA. LQA is the linguistic assurance of quality and FQA is the quality assurance of format. After the text has been translated, LQA tests the linguistics to ensure that the target language is relayed correctly. Some linguistic improvements are made and then both the linguistics and format are reviewed by the FQA. To ensure that your translated content is correct, provide space in your translation budget for QA.

Before jumping into the individual pieces, the people in charge of QA can take a step back to look at the whole project holistically. Then there is a page-by-page review. Since you have to check the whole document, it’s a very time-consuming process. You need to ask yourselves if you have enough time to be a part of this process. Because in most cases it’s a better option to find a dedicated translation company to handle your translation management processes. In this way, you can save lots of time for you and your team to focus on other targets and it’s also a cost-effective way. Otherwise, you need to spend lots of time finding freelance translators online in the language pairs that you want.

How to Manage It When You Work With a Freelance Translator

Make Sure You Ask The Right Questions To Your Translator To Avoid Mistakes:

Is the Translator Used to Working Directly With the Client?
When it comes to translation management and working with freelance translators, it’s very important to work with the translators that you worked with before. Because your translators should have an idea of your styles and tone of voice to provide you with the text that reflects your vision.

Is the Translator Expert on the Subject? Do They Have Experience?
What happens if you work with a translator expert on software localization, but the text is marketing-related? Most probably the outcome will not be accurate for you. This means you will be spending more time on money to receive a quality translation. The best scenario is that the translated term will not match with the one in the glossary. In this case, the translated version will not carry your tone of voice.

Does the Translator Have Competence Over the Source Language?
This is the most important part while choosing the right translator according to your needs. Because the expression of a sentence differs in other languages. This may create problems such as reducing your sales numbers, or even worse… Let’s see an example to illustrate the importance of this matter.

During the translation process of the game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” from English to Japanese, translators have made a major mistake which has led to voice-over confusion in certain audio lines in the game.

In the Japanese version of the game, we can find a character saying “Kill them, they are Russians!”. However, in the English/original version of the game, it is written as “Remember, no Russian.”, which means you shouldn’t kill them. As a result, the gamers got confused and started shooting the wrong targets. In Japan, sales numbers were not like expected for the game.

So, you should check the certificates that your translators have and be sure about the quality standards they can provide you.

Does the Translator Write Well in the Target Language?
Is it really necessary to explain why this question is important? If yes, first think about how you feel when you come across a text that contains lots of typos. Typos make a text look very dabbler and cause readers to lose interest. You should avoid the following mistakes in your texts:

  • Different ending punctuation marks, upper/lower case characters, or formatting tags have the source and target document.
  • There are double spaces, spaces before punctuation marks, trailing spaces, etc. in the target text.
  • Incorrect decimal separators, units of scale, etc.
  • There are abbreviations in the source text, while the target text does not (or vice versa).
  • The same source segments are interpreted differently, or vice versa; different source segments use the same translation.
  • The goal text is much shorter than the source text or longer.
  • Untranslated segments or non-segmented text exist.
  • There are opening brackets without the necessary closing brackets, in the target text, incorrect quotation marks, etc.
  • Mistakes in spelling.

Why Should You Choose a Professional Translation Agency?

Working with a professional translation agency will save you time and money, as well as the pain of finding another freelance translator if the translation does not have the best quality.

At MotaWord, we provide translation globally in more than 95 languages. With MotaWord you can get a quote in seconds and receive the translation in minutes/hours depending on the language. Plus, our AI-based project manager PAM displays the quality of our trained and certified translators based on the feedback they get from our proofreaders. We break down their MotaWord Portfolio into; speed, quality, correction by the proofreader, and specialty(of technical field.) Therefore you don’t have to worry about the quality since it’s all constantly tracked and managed in the background.

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