Industry Standards and Beyond: Essentials of Translator Vetting

Apr 9, 2019

Translator Vetting-1

We've previously covered the qualifications that most reputable translation providers hold. Now that we know what to look for when it comes to the provider, how can we be sure that the translators themselves are qualified?

What Translator Vetting Looks Like

Reputable translation and localization providers need an in-depth vetting process to ensure they hire the best translators, which will include:


Did they go to school for translation or receive a translation-related degree?


Were they certified by an independent organization like the American Translators Association? It is important to note that the American Translators Association has a limited list of languages for these certification tests (for example, only 14 options for an English to another language test), so it is not possible for all translators of all languages to possess this.


Did they pass a language assessment test from a legitimate source, such as the Defense Language Proficiency Test?

Work History: 

How much experience do they have translating? What specific industries do they have experience translating for, such as medical, financial, government, or business?

Reputable providers should conduct background checks on prospective translators and ask for references as an additional safeguard for protecting clients’ documents. The interview process often includes a test project to vet translation skills. Current, verified translators then review test projects to confirm that the candidates’ skills are up to the company’s standards.

Potential Red Flags:

- The translation agency does not have a standard procedure for vetting translators or are vague about translators’ qualifications.

- The translation agency does not require a test translation project and does not run background checks on translators.

Learn More with Our Translation Industry Whitepaper

Would you like to hear more about the translation industry and any red flags you should watch out for? Check out our Voiance RFP Guide to learn what questions to ask when choosing a multilingual support provider.

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Topics: multilingual support, Translation Methods and Tools, Translator qualifications, Translator vetting

Written by Regina Wetzel

An experienced researcher, writer, and editor on language services-related topics, specializing in how language works and translation services.