How to Search for a Translator on ProZ.com

Some time ago, I published an entry on this blog in which I proposed different options for how to find a good translator on the Internet. Among them was one of the best known among translators, interpreters, and agencies, but with which many potential direct clients are not familiar: the website ProZ.com.

Unlike many other blogs on translation, which are oriented more towards other professionals in the sector, this one aims to bring certain aspects of our little world closer to consumers or curious people who are not yet familiar with it. So, some questions that had to do with ProZ.com and other specialized professional websites from folks who had never heard of them talked about got my attention, and I decided to write this post. If you are looking for a translator or interpreter and you’re confused about these services because you have never used them before, the following may be useful. I should mention, however, that this is just a basic guide. Along the way, you’ll see that ProZ.com has many other useful features and options.

Let’s get to it. The two main ways to search for a translator on ProZ.com are through its translator directory and by posting your own job. When you get to the website, you’ll see something like the following image. It will most likely appear in English, but you can select your preferred language (although not everything gets translated).

For more details on how to utilize each of these options, read on.

Search for Translators in the ProZ.com Directory

This alternative is quite simple and allows you to explore the profiles of the different professionals you find. First, go to “Search for Professional Translators and Intepreters”.

As you will see, you’ll have to select the source and target languages, the type of service you require, the field of expertise, etc. You can choose to specify something for each item, or only for certain ones, as you prefer. This time we’ve run a search for translators from Zulu to Spanish who specialize in esoteric practices (by the way, this search sadly yields no results). You can also narrow your search even further with additional criteria. And that’s it! It’s that easy. If you’re looking for something a little more mainstream than my example, a list of professionals who offer the services you seek will appear. Just visit their profiles and contact those who interest you.

Post Your Own Job

This second option requires a little more time and more details on your part, plus you’ll need to register (don’t worry, it’s free). However, it ensures that only the translators interested in your post will contact you. Start by selecting “Post a Job”.

You will have to fill in a series of boxes with mandatory information (marked with an asterisk) and you will see many other optional fields that will help you to specify what you are looking for even further. Here, as I mentioned, I have filled out only the most basic information.

The first thing to do is to choose the type of work you’re offering. Easy, right? You will also need to provide your real contact information. Only the information you choose will be displayed publicly. And, of course, the details about the job. You should be as descriptive as possible, but it’s not necessary to tell the whole story of your organization and all its merits. Keep it short and sweet.

First choose the service or services you want. Then provide a title that summarizes the job in broad strokes. Keep in mind that this will be the first thing that interested translators and interpreters see, so don’t just write something like “English to Spanish translation”. In our particular case, I have chosen to call the offer “Zulu>Spanish translation of a book on esoteric practices”. In the details section of the project you can go a little further. Include the specific topic related to the job, the deadline, etc. Any information you consider relevant. Naturally, you will also have to indicate the language combinations and the field of expertise relevant to the project. This basic guide to finding a translator on ProZ.com only takes us this far, but you can (and will) want to give some more details about your offer: budget, deadline to bid on the job, etc. Once you do, you can post your ad and start receiving messages from potential candidates.

I hope that my advice has helped you familiarize yourself a little more with professional translator portals like this one, and that it has answered the questions that folks have asked me. If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to comment.

Note about the images in this article:  Both the ProZ.com logo and the screenshots included in this article are from the ProZ.com website.