Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tip of the Day: Finding a Certified Interpreter or Translator...Anywhere

Anyone traveling abroad on business needs to think carefully about the need for a certified interpreter or translator, as someone that speaks your native tongue and the language of the country you're visiting is not going to cut it! Precision is a "must."

Over my various public and private sector careers I've probably used the services of interpreters or translators or both perhaps upwards of 150 times. So, I have a rough idea of what to look for, what information must be obtained from candidates you might utilize, what technical terms or acronyms you might be using and the duration and intensity of the services you're seeking.

If you're dealing from half way around the world getting critical information is essential. A resume or cv in your language would be a first, along with contact information, rates, etc. Most interpreters and translators also have their own consulting agreements that spell out the context of their services and costs.

Unquestionably, one of the best resources I can think of is the American Translators Association (ATA) which includes both certified interpreters as well as certified translators, the latter of whom certify that translated documents are accurate in every detail.

If you go to the following link and provide the necessary information requested you should be in very competent, able hands: 

Unless you are contracting for very comprehensive, diverse and voluminous services, I would suggest that you talk to at least three INDIVIDUAL interpreters or translators to specify the nature of the services needed. 

Understandably, if you select a language services company you may well be paying for overhead and profit that you may not necessarily need, although let me caution you that interpreters and translators are not inexpensive. Thus, you want to specify your needs and peculiarities in detailed terms.

Planning to use an interpreter and/or translator requires planning and logistics, particularly if international travel or logistics (interpreting equipment is to be utilized) is concerned, so don't think that you're going to sort out the details in a couple of days.

Give yourself at least a month to coordinate with those you may need, as certified translators and interpreters often plan their schedules months in advance. Because they're good, they're also busy. Beware of a provider who is sitting on his or her hands. Not a good sign.

If you have any questions regarding how to use translators or interpreters, please drop me an email at: