If your company needs to hire a freelance English to Russian translator online but is not sure where to start, keep in mind that you can either go through a translation agency or hire a freelance Russian translator. No matter which route you go, make sure that the translator you hire has the following qualifications:
- Native speaker of the target language. Ideally, the translator you hire should be a native speaker of the target language, Russian in this case. The best translators out there have spoken the target language their entire lives, since this ensures the highest quality translation work. Translation is not just about translating each word from one language to another. The best translators should also thoroughly understand the culture and traditions of the language that they are translating into. And it is nearly impossible to have a full deep understanding of the target language unless you are a native speaker. Therefore, we recommend asking translators during the hiring process what their native language is to ensure that you receive the highest quality translation work.
- Received an education in translation or language studies. Beyond just being a native speaker of the language, any translator you hire should also have received an education in translation or language studies, since an educational degree in translation, linguistics or any other related subject will improve their understanding of the translation process and the syntax of the two languages. An official education in translation introduces translators to the mechanics of the translation process itself. They will more fully understand how to translate within multiple different fields, including economics, politics, journalism, tourism, healthcare and more. They will also know how to translate nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions and more. It’s not necessary for your translator to have a master’s degree. A college education is sufficient.
- Solid writing skills. Your translator should also have fairly solid writing skills, since translation work is a form of writing. It is not a word for word process. Rather, most professional translators translate documents as if they were originally written in the target language, Russian in this case. Therefore, it is essential that any translator you hire is also a great writer in order to properly translate text from one language to another. Your translator should also be familiar with multiple different writing styles, sentence structures, synonyms and any other aspects of the writing process needed for translation work. Most professional translators learn multiple writing styles by reading and translating more, so the translators with the best writing skills also tend to be the translators with the maximum translation experience.
- Practice translation regularly. Any translator you hire should practice translation regularly. Ideally, translation work should be their primary job, rather than a side job. Translation is a skill best honed by practicing again and again over the years, since that is the best way to truly improve. The best professional translators receive regular feedback on their translation work, having someone review their work and provide them with comments in order to better understand their mistakes and how to avoid them in the future. We recommend asking translators during the hiring process about how often they practice translation as well as how often they receive feedback on their translation.
- Specialized in a specific field. We also recommend hiring a translator who specializes in specific subject matters and fields, ideally at least one to two different industries, including the field of your company. Someone who has specific knowledge of your company’s industry and subject matter will be able to provide you with a better translation than someone who is simply educated in translation and linguistics.
Beyond just looking for these qualifications, we also recommend learning more about the pricing of translation services. There tends to be a wide range of pricing from translator to translator, and translators base their pricing models on a diverse range of factors, including business expenses, the language pair, the specialization and the client type. Pricing models include:
- Per word rate. This is the most common pricing mode. Translators tend to calculate the word count of the source document and use the word count to determine the total price of the translation.
- Per page rate. The per page pricing model is used when there is no editable format of the documents to be translated, including images and PDFs. The translator will count the number of pages and calculate the price based on their rate.
- Per hour rate. Other translators use a per hour rate, especially for quality assurance and proofreading jobs. These translators usually have an estimate of their productivity per hour. For example, some translators can proofread up to 2,000 words per hour, so if a client asks them to proofread 16,000 words and the hourly rate is $30, then the price is $240 for 16,000 words.