Where do you find a good translator?

At some point you may need the services of a translator, interpreter or other language professional. It’s posible you won’t even know where to start when that time comes. Don’t worry; it’s going to be fine. If you’ve never needed these services, it’s normal to be in this situation. Below I’ll try to tackle the problem of finding a good translator in the gigantic labyrinth that is the Internet.

I will analyze some of the most common methods and give you my point of view on them, taking into account the different advantages and disadvantages of each. Who knows? Maybe I’ll help you out of a jam.

Option 1: Google search

Or any other search engine, of course, but let’s not kid ourselves. We all use Google. It’s possible that this was the first option that crossed your mind and that you got overwhelmed navigating through the countless results.

This is precisely the problem with Google. Although it’s true that you can narrow down your search by field, geographical area, etc., the most visible results will always be very similar: translation agencies with good SEO positioning and as well as some ads… from those same translation agencies. I’m not saying those aren’t good options, not at all, but what if they’re not what you’re looking for? In that case, you’ll need to try another alternative.

Option 2: Ad sites

Probably the most well known in Spain is Milanuncios. Although I’ll admit to having had an ad on this platform myself for quite some time (it didn’t work out very well, by the way), I don’t recommend this option.

Let me explain: the brief word limit of the ads makes it difficult to get a clear idea of what each advertiser has to offer. This can lead to an endless round of questions and answers about specialties, rates, etc. Additionally, since any registered user can post ads, you’ll find non-professional translators mixed in with those who are in fact professionals. And believe me, it won’t always be easy to tell them apart.

However, ad sites can be useful if you are looking for a translator or interpreter in or around your área.

Option 3: General professional portals

There are numerous websites and social networks for employment, among which LinkedIn stands out. Nearly everyone has a profile on LinkedIn, and you’re sure to know people who get a lot out of the site.

This option, like the first one, will yield numerous results among which you can get lost. The difference is that you can see the experience, skills, training, etc., of everyone at a glance. If you are also registered, it might be interesting to review the contacts you have in common with the translators you find.

Option 4: Specialized professional portals

I can’t deny that I think this is the best option of all. There are several sites that are well known among translators and interpreters, but the biggest one is ProZ.com. On ProZ, you can browse an extensive directory of freelance professionals and companies, filter your results according to your needs, and visit their profiles…

You can also post your own job announcement for free and have the translators come to you. You will just need to provide a few details, such as the area of expertise sought, the job’s budget and deadline, etc., and you will not be long in receiving bids from professionals in the field. From there, just choose who best suits your needs.

Which method works best for you? Do you know any other options not included in this list? Don’t hesitate to comment and share your experience.