You have been working hard trying to get your company up and running in China. All your merchandise is ready to ship, your marketing is on point. Only one small detail is missing: a good Chinese translator who will help you make a great impression with your target audience.
If you want to find a qualified translator, one of the best places to look for them is the American Translators Association’s website, www.atanet.org
The ATA is a professional association that helps promote the recognition of professional translators and interpreters. With this goal in mind, the ATA offers a certification exam that has become the gold standard for translators who want to work in the field. When you hire a translator who is ATA-certified, you can be sure that they are in possession of one of the industry’s most respected credentials. It also tells you that the translator has professional competence in a specific language pair, since they have to pass a certification exam with less than a 20% pass rate, and file continuing education credits every 3 years.
The process of finding a translator who is a good match for your company is fairly simple, especially if you know exactly what you are looking for. And even if you don’t, the ATA website gives you plenty of information that can make the task seem a little less daunting.
Let’s start by showing you where to go, once you get to the homepage of the ATA website. On the upper right-hand corner of the screen, you will see a text box in green: Find a Language Professional.
Clicking on it will take you to the language services directory, a database where translators post their professional profiles, and potential customers can find them.
There, you will be given the option between searching for individuals or companies.
Click on “Find an Individual” to find a freelance translator, or on “Find a company”, if you wish to work with a larger translation agency. There are benefits and drawbacks to both, but usually, if you have a very large project, an agency might be better equipped to handle it. They usually work with many freelance translators who are on the ready to get onboard for a specific project. We’ll show you how to find a freelance translator today. After clicking on “Find an Individual”, you are given the following options:
Choose a country to find a translator who lives or works in a specific time zone, for example. When searching by Work, you may choose an interpreter, who works with the spoken word, a translator, who works with the written word, or both.
Another popular option, when looking for a translator, is to Search by Language. Choosing your source language in the “From” field and your target language in the “Into” field, will allow you to narrow down your selection even further.
There are many more options to customize the list of translators ATA will provide you, such as the following:
If, on the other hand, you already know the translator you are looking for, you may find them by entering their name in the appropriate box:
The results page gives you three translators with the same last name. It is very clear which translators are ATA-certified and which ones aren’t. This comes in handy if your assignment requires a certified translator, or if you just want to take another degree of caution to ensure the highest possible quality.
Once you’ve found the translator you were looking for, just click on their name, and you will be directed to that person’s professional profile, showing basic contact information, in addition to a directory profile that gives you all the information regarding the type of services that person provides, such as interpreting, translating, dubbing/subtitling, localization, proofreading, etc. It also tells you whether the translator has any additional credentials, ATA-certification, etc.
And that’s it! You’ve found a qualified, Chinese translator, who is ATA-certified and can provide several other services in addition to translating. Now, you may find others to compare and contact for an interview or a very short translation test (no more than a couple paragraphs, in my opinion). Your company is one step closer to commercial success, partly thanks to the work of a bilingual individual who will be able to communicate your ideas fluently and effectively in the target language.