What to Look for in a Christian Translator

Hiring a Christian translator online can be easy and beneficial when you have translation needs. Whether you are translating a blog, website, novel, or sermon, online recruiting offers the flexibility to connect with translators around the world. However, before you simply pick the cheapest option or choose based on an online profile, ask the questions that really matter. These will be shared below.

Are They Native Speakers?

When choosing a translation service the most obvious question to ask is whether they are native speakers for the right country and dialect you require. Each project you choose to have translated will have specifics attached. Different areas in different countries have a variety of language options and dialects that need to be addressed.

Ideally, translators should be native speakers or in the least, fluent to the level of a native speaker. Those who are not native speakers need to have spent time, over a year, in the culture or country of origin in order to truly understand the culture.

It is as important to understand the culture as know the language when translating so the message translated is both accurate and culturally appropriate upon completion.

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Are Translators with Specific Knowledge Necessary?

Some projects require specific knowledge. This includes areas like medical, legal, and religion. For example, a translator translating legal documents like court records would need to know not only legal procedure and terminology but proper wording for the specific document.

If not, then the document could be seen as inadmissible and cost your company a case or contract. The same is true for Christian translators. They must be well versed in theology, Scripture, and doctrine to be able to accurately translate Christian materials at all levels.

Knowing whether you need someone with such a specialty is important and can limit your search when finding a translator. Also, be aware of whether your translator has worked with your specific type of content. Book translation services require a different set of skills than film translation or even website translation.

Are Credentials Verifiable?

Whether you can read the translation language or not, a translator should be able to offer concrete examples of past work that was successful. In addition, they should be able to show proof of any degrees or special certifications or awards they claim.

If claims are made to belong to professional organizations, hold certificates, and such, verify the information. Also, take the time to look at reviews for both the translators and the company through which they are employed. If the reviews are all perfect, without detail, and seem a bit skewed, then these may not be accurate reviews.

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Look for sites that offer specific honest reviews that are not all five stars. It is impossible for a company to be perfect at all times, but less than perfect reviews should not be hidden away either.

Are Quotes Available and Reasonable?

Budget is always a concern when it comes to contracting out work. The translation is not an exception when selecting your form of translation and localization. It is important that you understand upfront how each translator prices the project and what that includes. Some may charge per word, though offer a discount for redundant translations.

Some may charge by the hour or page. Some may include second looks and editing, some may not. Some may even be willing to choose new illustrations or photos to make your project more localized for the potential audience. All of this needs to be discussed and hammered out before the translation begins.

However, the person doing the hiring must understand that per word charges may be more expensive than expected because translating from one language to another typically creates more words to properly convey the topic. A book taken from English to Spanish may be several dozen pages longer once a translation is complete just due to language differences.

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These are just a few of the questions and areas that need to be addressed prior to hiring a Christian translator. Language, time, ability, and budget are highly important but are just the start of choosing the person who will take your work and turn it into something that could reach thousands who speak another language. Choose wisely.

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