Native Translators vs Non-native Translators - Translation workzone
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Native Translators vs Non-native Translators

native translators

Native Translators vs Non-native Translators

Native Translators vs Non-native Translators


Translation – Stay Home or Go Abroad?

The need for translation services is much higher today when the entire world has access to your articles, information, products and services. So how do you translate all these items into the many other languages?  With the world becoming more & more of a global village with the passage of time, there are more & more people the world over learning foreign languages and a lot of them choose to make a career in those languages.

There are certainly enough services one can use to translate a content, but where do you begin? Should businesses strictly rely on native translators or do non-native translators offer a much cheaper alternative? When considering out-sourcing for translation services there are a few things to keep in mind before making a final decision:


Translation Vs. Fluency

Language Experience – Does the Translators, Translation Service provider use have as much fluency with the non-native language that they have with their own language? Does the aforementioned experience with the non-native language includes living or working within that region?


What is the background of the translator?

It’s important the Translator be as fluent in the non-native language as they are in their native language. When you hire a Translator, you are hiring a marketing professional too. That’s not true, you might say. But it is. The Translator will need to convey your message to the target audience in a way you have done with the current content. Every time the current content is translated, it must be done in a tone and message that is reflective of who you are and what you are offering your target audience. Now deciding on the right translator just got more serious.


Keep in mind, there are nuances within each language that only people speaking the language as their native tongue would understand. And while strict translation may work for some content it most likely will not work for most content. Think about the difference between these two sentences:

“You are one in a million.” Vs. “You have selected me among several other people.” Big difference in translation. It’s a simple sentence, only six words, what could possibly go wrong? It’s the subtle nuances that make the difference and why it’s important the Translator know and understand them when they translate the content.



Make sure the Translator has the skill-set within the content you need to have translated. Certain industries have their own nuances and “industry-speak” that will be necessary to translate your content in the best light and outshine the competition.


Get references before hiring a Translator or Translation Service. There are translators and translation services that are topic/industry specific and then there are generalists. Each will have a list of references, make sure you get ones that are related to your need.


Managing the Process

Once a translator is hired, another new process begins. You don’t want the Translator to take 50+ hours to translate only to find the tone is not appropriate for the target audience. Create milestones for the project, this will allow you to correct any issues well ahead of the deadline. Speaking of deadline, make sure to factor in extra time,  especially if you are new to this process or the Translator is new or new to you.


One Point of Contact

It’s important to keep everyone on target and moving in the right direction. Have one point of contact and make sure it’s a decision maker.


Background Information

You’ll want to provide the translator with as much overall and background on your company and target audience. Give the Translator links to your information and to your competitors’ information. Again, the translator is now your marketer and they are translating more than words, but meanings and quite possible feelings, depending on the service, product or article.


Words Vs Content

Don’t forget the Translator will also need to make sure to use the appropriate SEO and keywords. You will need to give them a list of these words along with your content. It’s important for the Translator to help get your information found when your audience does a keyword search (or you wouldn’t need the Translator).Provide the Translator with a glossary. Review the list of terms with the Translator to make sure you both have the same understanding of the terms.



Create small milestones to ensure the project is headed in the right direction and the tone and messaging are appropriate. Typically, more than one person needs to sign-off on the overall project when it’s completed so get their input during each milestone completion. Adhering to each milestone help to eliminate the need for extensive rewrite which could be costly. Create checklists with deadlines and necessary approvals. This list will go a long way during the final project review.


Project Review

Reviewing the overall project should go rather smoothly if you created and adhered to each milestone. Review the overall project. If there are concerns, review the milestone reports. It’s inevitable for some rewriting to take place, but the amount that is necessary can be controlled with proper planning and milestone review.


Write a Review

If you could determine if the translation was accurate or not, you wouldn’t need a Translator. Once you have posted the content, ask for feedback. Upon this feedback, write a review. Remember, most Translators and Translation Services get work based upon referrals and reviews.


Here is a quick check list:


  • Stay home or go abroad.
  • Get background information on the translator or translation services.
  • Review their references.
  • Determine if they are experts in their field on the topic.
  • Did you give them all necessary information?
  • Appoint one contact person.
  • Create milestones and get approvals.
  • Have translation review done by target audience.
  • Write a review.


Invest time into researching the best Translator or Translator Services before you hire. Make sure your Translators are fluent, not only in the non-native language but within the topic. The more involved in the project you are and by making the Translator a part of your team, will ensure better end-results.





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