Foolproof selection criteria for finding the best English translator for your online shop

Computer keyboard with "Translate"

Translators are ten a penny. And these days, many people can speak quite good English. In theory, this should make it easy to find a translator for your online shop texts. Yet it is precisely this choice which makes the decision even harder.

Can your colleague who spent some time in the USA really translate your online texts?

Or should you go for a professional translator? Who is best able to bring across your message and ensure that your target audience is captivated? The following three simple considerations might help you answer these questions:

 

It’s not about individual words, it’s about the impact of the text

English is taught at school from an early age. But it doesn’t matter how much vocabulary a learner masters or how much time he or she has spent abroad, this person will never reach the level of a native speaker. One reason for this is that it is not just about individual words; a language is also shaped by cultural influences.

 

Translation, in particular, requires much more than the most exact rendition of individual words...

It is also about the impact that these words make in the context. That is to say, a text doesn’t just have to be understood. Advertising texts in particular often convey a message which cannot be rendered into other languages word for word. A native English translator can, however, reproduce the impact of the source text in his or her own language. This not only ensures that the translation of your shop text is coherent, it also makes a very special impact on the target audience.

 

This captivates your customers and increases product sales

Most translation agencies work exclusively with native speakers for translations into that language. In general, freelancers also translate into their mother tongue. So which provider should you choose?

 

Freelance translator or translation agency?

The volume of your orders plays an important role in making this decision. A freelance translator can be just as reliable and deliver the same high quality as a translation agency. If you just require translation into English and not into 10 different languages, a freelancer would be just as suitable for your project as a translation agency.

 

A freelance translator can, however, only translate a limited number of words per day

And what about when your freelancer is booked up right when you need them? This is why a translation agency is to be recommended for larger projects. With in-house staff and a pool of freelance translators, a translation agency can respond to a range of demands relatively flexibly. No matter if you choose to work with a freelance translator or a translation agency:

 

How do you know if a translator is suitable for translating your online shop content?

Which industry do the other customers of the translator belong to? If you have the possibility, research which customers your potential translator has worked for: What field are they in?

If the translator has primarily translated for customers in the automotive industry, he or she might be less suited for your texts from the fashion sector. That doesn’t mean that the translator would be totally unsuitable for your translations or that his or her translations would necessarily be wrong.

 

However, a translator with experience in the field in question can simply guarantee you better quality

  • The translator is less dependant on research because he or she is already familiar with the subject matter and will therefore ask fewer questions. In turn, this can shorten your translation process.
  • A translator with experience in your subject area can also formulate words more easily and already has a feel for how to captivate your customers, which will in turn increase your sales prospects.

Which translator is suitable for your project?

Which translator is suitable depends entirely on your requirements:

  • the number of languages to be translated into,
  • the length of your texts and
  • your sector.

For the translation of your shop texts, you need someone who can effectively translate your sales message for your target audience.

Give some thought to these points in advance

First answer the question of how many target languages you need for your translation. That alone will go a long way in narrowing down your selection. And you can be sure that the right translator for you is on your short list.