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Italian To English Translator - How to Choose an Italian-to-English Translator

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Professional translation is one of the most difficult services to choose. This is because there is no simple and cost-effective way to test them. If you could evaluate a translation, you wouldn’t need to hire a translator. Locating an Italian-to-English translator is a simple task. Any online search or flip through the yellow pages of any sizable city will provide several choices. Once you have a list of options, each service should be called and asked a few questions to determine if they are the right fit for your needs. It is also a good idea to get some outside opinions from reviewers or other sources. Following are some tips on how to hire the best Italian-to-English translator.

Native Speakers?
Native Italian speakers, while seemingly the best choice, are often not. It fully depends on their grasp of the English language. Native Italian uses some Anglicization and English idioms that make sense in Italian but mean something wholly different in actual English. Often, native speakers will try to use these expressions in an English translation and they do not make for the best copy. Instead of using a native speaker of Italian, it is much better to use a native speaker of English. Someone who has lived in the United States or England (depending on which version of English you need) makes for the best translator. Ideally, a person who is fully fluent in both languages and uses them both on a daily basis is the best choice.

Do They Have References?
Any good translator should have a list of references, including past and current clients. Additionally, you can use the references of others in your situation for which translation is required. If you are dealing with Italian/American business, then others dealing with Italian businesses are often the best resources for choosing a translator. Although there is no certification or accreditation necessary to act as a translator in the United States, the American Translator’s Association (ATA) is a valuable resource. They can help you locate translators who belong to their organization. To become a member of the ATA, translators must pass a proficiency test. It is said that only about 20 percent of applicants pass the test.

What is Their Specialization?
Many translators have a specialization. There are medical translators, business translators, government translators, immigration translators, and personal translators. While most Italian-English translators have no specialization and work with general purpose material, it is often best to go with someone familiar in the same subject matter you require. Ask to see some samples of their previous work to make sure their output matches your needs.

Are Business Practices Sound?
An Italian-to-English translator for hire is part of a business. It is a good idea to not only check a translator’s ability but their business practices and methodology. They should provide some form of guarantee and lines of communication should always be left open. If using a larger company, instead of a private individual, ask if there is an internal review process to double check the work of each translator.

Does the Company Outsource?
As a general rule, the larger the company, the less reliable it is to provide a quality and consistent Italian-to-English translation. This is because they do not do the work themselves. They outsource the work to freelance translators that may or may not have the qualifications necessary for your job. In some cases, depending on the size of the translation, it will be broken up into several parts and tasked out to different people. This makes for an extremely shoddy translation. If you have more than one translation, different project managers may be handling each translation. This means you have to deal with several different contacts and explain your requirements and concerns to each one.

To summarize, a good Italian-to-English translator will have the following qualities:

• The team has been fully assessed by scholars, professors, or experts in Italian and English.
• The translators are paid a sufficient wage to ensure quality of work.
• Management is efficient and quality control strategies are in place.
• Time schedules are realistic for adequate translation.
• Service is flexible and contacts are friendly, keeping open communication.
• Final pricing is competitive and reasonable.
• The agency is run by linguists who love their work, and not by cold business professionals.

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