Let me give you some tips for your first steps:
- Do not use machine translation. As you probably know, the result of a machine translation could have errors that make the native reader laugh (or cry).
- If you do not have references, ask your translator for credentials or samples of former jobs. You don’t have to trust appearances. If you’re talking to a professional, he will be able to send them to you quickly.
- Make sure your translator is a native speaker of the target language and dialect. If you have a marketing text for Spain, a native Spanish translator will adapt the text to the target audience better than an Argentinian translator.
- Look at the translator’s areas of expertise. If you have a tourism-related text, make sure he has experience in this particular field. Work with experienced and qualified professionals who can guarantee confidentiality, efficiency and accuracy towards the original text or speech.
- Before choosing the translator for your project, ask him any doubt you may have and be clear about deadline and rates. Be sure you can work together with him, because you will have to collaborate during the project.
If the translator you are about to choose does not answer your e-mails in a reasonable time, or does not answer all of your questions, just choose another one. For me, this is a clear sign that he doesn’t care about your project, so you better choose someone who does.