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Sep 29

Translator Qualification Requirements – 8 Essential Criteria

The expertise of the translator selected to work on any given translation project is by far the best gauge of insuring a high quality output.

We use 8 core criteria to help guide our translator recruitment process.

While there are so many different factors that figure into each individual translator’s expertise, we believe that the following 8 criteria represent the core elements for successful translator recruitment:

  • Native speaker of the target language.
  • Degree or equivalent certification in translation and/or degree in source language.
  • Degree or concentration in specific subject matter in combination with above translation requirement. (This requirement can also be met by work experience. See below.)
  • Subject Matter Expertise: 3+ years of working experience in field of expertise and/or translating in field of expertise as an in-house or full-time freelance translator preferred.
  • Excellent English writing and communication skills.
  • Accreditation and/or active membership in a relevant translation association preferred. For an example of a certification program refer to: American Translators Association Certification Program.
  • Proof of credentials. May include one or more of the following: CV, test scores, transcripts, certifications, and references from related work experience.
  • Sample Translation: Supplied to translator by Language Intelligence and evaluated by a vetted Language Intelligence translator working in the same language pair and subject matter expertise as prospective translator.

Translators who meet these criteria and receive excellent evaluations are considered approved and added to our database of translators. Each approved translator signs a Consultant Agreement and any other required confidentiality documentation as required by Language Intelligence’s clients.

Additionally, following approval, we continue to measure the quality of what the translator delivers in this way:

  • Evaluations for first 3 projects which are administered by Language Intelligence’s Localization Project Managers.
  • Inclusion on translation teams with vetted Language Intelligence translators.
  • Ongoing evaluations occur for all translators regardless of their history with Language Intelligence.

The above criteria are all factored in to Language Intelligence’s translator qualification process. However, each bear varied significance in the process depending on the individual’s credentials, certification, education or experience. Meaning, if a translator does not carry a certification in the target language but has many years of experience translating which is reflected in an excellent sample translation, the weight of the selection is naturally placed on the experience and evaluation.

We would be very interested in hearing your perspectives on translator evaluation. Please provide feedback and comments!

Rick White

Rick’s fourteen year tenure with Language Intelligence has allowed him to participate in many different aspects of the localization process. Rick’s time spent in the DTP team, as a Localization Project Manager, and as a Key Account Manager, have created an excellent base of experience for his current role directing the Client Services function. By combining this experience with his creative ability and strong communication skills, along with the insight he has gained into our clients industries, Rick is able to produce solutions that are a perfect fit for each of our client’s specific needs. Rick has a BA from SUNY Fredonia and has studied German.


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