Polish English Translation Guide: Choosing a Freelance Polish English Translator
Hiring a freelance Polish English translator? The Polish English Translation Guide has advice on what to look for. At the bottom of the page, you'll also find information about typical translator prices.
How to Choose a Freelance Polish Translator
What should you look for in a freelance Polish language translator?
- Language skills: a translator should normally be a native of the translation's target language, the final language of the translated document. In other words, if your translation is from English to Polish, your translator should be a native Polish speaker, not a native English speaker. Your translator also must have a deep understanding of the language of the original document.
Some translators claim to be able to translate into languages other than their native one -- be very suspicious of such claims. Even someone who has studied a foreign language for many years normally cannot really write it like a native -- a native speaker could tell the difference.
- Experience: Your Polish English translator should have sufficient translation experience to do a professional job. A translation degree or training is a plus, but also look for someone who has been translating professionally for several years. If the translator has extensive experience with translations similar to yours, that's even better.
- Subject matter expertise: If you are translating a technical document, you may need a translator with a specific background in the subject matter of your Polish English translation. In fields such as law and medicine, a specialist translator is probably a must. The translator should have the necessary subject matter knowledge to understand the original document completely and express the information using the proper terminology in his or her native language.
"I think that's the most important thing, to choose a translator who's specialized in the field. I've become an expert in law because I've read so many legal texts just to get background information for translations. For example, I had a translation about commercial laws related to competition. I didn't know about this area of law, so, prior to translating the text, I read quite a lot to become fluent in the legal language in that particular field. You need to know what you're writing about."
- Karolina Taflaj, Polish Translator
Is the translator easy to reach and to communicate with? Will he or she follow instructions carefully and respect project deadlines? Ask the translator for client references, then contact them to ask about their experience. You can get also clues about the translator's professionalism by observing the person's behavior throughout the application process. How quickly does the translator respond to your e-mails? Does he /she provide the information you request in the format you've specified?
- Talent: A translator may have a highly impressive CV and the perfect background for your Polish English translation project, but that does not mean he or she translates well. Unfortunately, we have seen many instances of translators with fantastic credentials who submit poor sample translations or perform badly on a translation test.
The only way to know how well someone translates is to look at his or her actual translation work. Many translators are willing to complete a short test translation for free -- about 300 words is an appropriate length. Alternatively, you could pay the translator a small amount for taking a test, or you could simply ask for samples of the person's previous translations (always request the source text along with the translation in this case).
Then, you will have to find a native speaker of the target language to evaluate the translation. This might be another Polish English translator whom you would hire specifically to evaluate translation tests. We recommend sending batches of 6-8 tests to your evaluator at once to provide a basis for comparison.
Polish English Translation Guide - More Resources
Compare Polish English translator prices
Get advice on choosing a translation agency
Compare translation options: agency versus freelance translator
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