How to choose a Vietnamese translator

There are many freelance translators (both amateur and professional) in the market, and agencies. The quality and prices will vary, too. So how would an employer choose a good service, that fit both demands and budget?

What is Required

Professional translators are—first and foremost—writers. They are able to produce texts that read well in their native language. They serve as bridges between languages, rendering the message of the original text into their native language.

Please remember:

Translators are different from bilingual people, who speak two languages fluently, but are not necessarily skilled at interpreting information between the two languages, especially in writing.

Tips for choosing a translation service

Most translation firms have websites that describe their services in detail. Consider the followings:

  • Languages. Do they have the capability to translate the language you need? The ‘gold standard’ is to use a native translator to translate into their mother language—that is, to translate a document from English to Vietnamese, use a native Vietnamese speaker.
  • Cost. Do they charge by the word or the piece? What do they charge for formatting or editing? Do they base their fee on size of the final translated document, or on the source document?
  • Location. Is the firm local, or will interaction occur via phone and email?
  • Other clients or projects. Have they worked on issues or with organizations similar to yours? Can you get references?

Notes when hiring Vietnamese translators:

  • Native. Vietnamese is a difficult language, which means a Vietnamese translators will do E-V translation better than foreign speakers.
  • Price. For agency, if the price is below market average, it’s a sign of low quality or labor abuse service. Like in language pair English – Vietnamese, for a general topic, a price lower than 2-3$/page seems to be unreliable. The service may hire students or amateur English users at a very low prices. They may not have enough experience or understanding of both languages. Hence, your documents can be at risk.
  • Machine translation. Do they use tools that support translation? Can they control the translation quality? Is the final translation looks a lot similar to translation on Google Translate or other machines? Currently, no machine can do better Vietnamese translation than humans. It can translate right for some short and simple sentences, but that doesnot apply to large and complex sentences.
  • Other notes about Vietnamese language characteristics. Did you read it?

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