When the time comes to bring your survey to additional countries (which is increasingly common in our ever expanding global economy) finding a great partner for your market research translations becomes of paramount importance. That said, hiring an expensive translation agency is not always the smartest way to go. Before you go big agency, consider the benefits of hiring a freelance translator. With one of the many online contractor platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr and Guru, finding an experienced and easy to work with translator is now easier that ever. Use one of these platforms to form a direct one-to-one relationship with a translator who can be a quick, nimble and cost-effective partner for your market research translations.

Here are our top 5 tips for ensuring the best translation experience for your market research translation project on a contractor platform, as compiled by Stela Grigorova, Research For Good’s Team Enforcer of Awesomeness and resident translation expert.

  1. Present your needs in detail – When you post your job on a platform for freelancers it is important to detail exactly what kind of translation would suit your needs and what language style you are looking for. This way you get the best chance of having many of the right people apply for the job and come to you.  This saves you time as you will not have to search for and invite candidates to apply to your job. Here are a few examples of things to include when requesting market research translations:
    1. Industry & topic of content
    2. Scope of work (i.e. how many words)
    3. Timing requirements/deadlines
    4. Tone of the language (Casual/formal) and explain the intended audience (consumers vs. business professionals)
  1. Read the translator’s profile carefully – Check how many jobs they have done and what references they have. After reading a few profiles it will be easy to identify people with good language skills. Their profiles will be completed in detail and the right candidates will have a track-record of managing their jobs successfully and on-time. A key indicator is the positive references they have on their profile.
  2. Choose translators specialized in the local language and language thematic you need – For example, even localization for British English versus American English needs to be done by someone local, well-educated and preferably with experience and knowledge about the industry in which you will be using the translation. If you are translating a healthcare study from English to German someone with some medical knowledge would be a preferable choice!
  3. Higher pricing does not necessarily mean better quality – People who do well with translations in different languages and do a lot of work quickly and efficiently will charge a fair price. The people who require the highest pricing are not always always the best translators. In the platform you are able to see how much they have actually done so far and how happy their customers were.
  4. Always do a test translation piece – Before giving a translator a large job it is always a good idea to give them a little test piece. Use something small, but representative of the type of work you will be looking for, and choose text you have already translated. That way you will see at least a few components which will be important for building an ongoing partnership:
    1. How quickly does the translator respond?
    2. Are they be willing to do the test and take small jobs?
    3. Does their translation match what you know is a well-translated text?

Willingness to perform a small translation shows a willingness to build a long-term relationship. In addition, it’s great to have an existing relationship with someone who you know will be quick to respond when the inevitable small questionnaire changes come in at the last minute.

In conclusion, by laying out your expectations explicitly and taking the time to vet for quality, an online independent-contractor platform can be an excellent option for your market research translations Take the time to find translators who you trust, are easy to work with and fit your budget and you’ll be set to launch your next multi-country survey with confidence and ease!

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