How to Find Translators Online to Staff Your International Expansion
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Let’s talk dating apps and profiles. (Bear with me.)

When you swipe right on Jack because he “likes piña coladas and getting caught in the rain” →

Or you match with Jill because she’s “not into yoga and she has half a brain” →

How do you know there’s any truth or commitment behind what they’re claiming about themselves? It does matter, whether you’re just looking for a good time or you’re seeking your soul mate. Even if all you have to lose is one date, you’re still investing your time, your money, your hopes—all of which could have been better placed if you had a more reliable way of vetting your options and perhaps a more worthwhile pool of options to begin with.

You’re wondering how to find translators online. Searching for a readily available translator online can feel like swiping through dating profiles and shaky-ground matches. A really, really great translator isn’t defined by proficiency in a jaw-dropping number of languages or even great communication and response time—and certainly not by the creative way they introduce themselves in a profile. The best translators are defined by the quality of translations that they adapt to very specific local audiences and by their commitment to your goals.

But those indicators are particularly hard to measure—impossible, even, based on a brief first impression—and, especially, if you don’t speak the language you’re intending to target in order to evaluate their aptitude. The reality is that you’re putting yourself in a really risky situation by considering these ungrounded options. Not only is your translation quality at risk, but you’re also signing on for a really high-overhead kind of engagement. How are you going to bring these strangers in (remotely) and hold them accountable? It wasn’t your intention to take on a new micromanagement position.

So, what is the other way? The better way of vetting your options and the more worthwhile pool of options to begin with?

Breaking Down How to Find Translators Online

Just as you’d rather lean on a trusted friend who knows you well to steer you toward rewarding first dates, imagine being able to do the same with your translator search.

The Best Way to Secure the Best Translators for Your Localization Projects

When you partner with an experienced localizer that knows how to expertly vet linguists for your unique brand and content, you avoid the usual headaches and regrets. When it’s time to initiate a new local project or just to translate an updated string, you log into your localization platform and request the translation. Then, you walk away. Behind you, AI is thoroughly assessing a pool of killer translators whose previous work has all been tracked and analyzed against quality markers. When the system narrows in on the ideal linguist for your product, your market, your price, and your timeframe, that individual is automatically assigned.

You don’t have to take responsibility for their work because there are already editors and reviewers in place who are also tuned in to your particular needs for localization success. They are accountable to the workflow and the translation quality. They are all part of a transparent ecosystem that is accessible in one place online. When you log into that ecosystem, you’re taking brilliant advantage of some of the experts’ most important experiences.

How Not to Find Translators Online

We’ve already shone a blinding light on the potential evils of swiping left and right on the line up of independent translators out there. What about a more middle-of-the-road option? You could give a vendor your fixed price for a translator and trust them to supply you with the linguist who is going to expertly usher your product into a waiting foreign market. Chances are, that vendor is going to opt for whoever comes up next in the queue in a given pay category. And remember that you’re not paying the translator; you’re paying the vendor, so you have no idea how much they will actually hand over to the translator as an incentive to give you their all, or not.

Apart from the questionable caliber of your translators, you’re also facing piles of potential logistical pain points. Are the vendors and translators ready to operate with your software? Are they going to insist on using their own CAT tools? Are these translators committed to making the most of your translation memories and glossaries? Do you even have translation memories set up? (If not, you might as well go no further.)

Not to Mention, How to Manage Translators for Localization

The individual translators absolutely matter. They do. But it’s pretty safe to say that the system matters more. When you’ve been around the localization block, you know that the best translator around can’t save a sinking ship; an engine that has been reinforced for any catastrophe just might.

You need to be thinking about strong workflow management and a system that will bring together all the collaborators and resources that make expert localization possible. Good money isn’t the only incentive for translators. If you want top translators handling your content, you’re also going to need to provide them with the latest spread of linguistic assets they’ve come to expect. The good news is that the same ecosystem that makes translation assignments and workflow easy also makes it easy to centralize these assets to ensure consistent style and terminology and to avoid translating the same words and phrases over and over unnecessarily.

These systemic benefits, along with seamless API or CLI integration, do help to reinforce your localization engine so that it can weather challenges and so it can scale to fit a yet-unknown number of markets and languages in the future.

You’re wondering how to find good translators online. The good ones are working with the language service providers that pay them competitive rates and support them with smart resources. When you’re working with those LSPs too, you don’t have to go looking for translators online. In fact, you don’t have to find them at all because the LSP knows best how to choose the right translators for your projects anyway.

Bureau Works is made up of those proud pioneers who have developed a platform where honest, top-quality localization takes place. BWX translators are partners on your localization journey. They know your brand and your product, and they share your goals to bring that product to international consumers. Contact our team for proof that this fantasy ecosystem actually exists.