4 steps to find a translator you’ll love

Going global with your business is a big step which can be daunting. But it also can be really rewarding, and chances are you are going to experience an impressive boost in sales if localisation is done correctly. In order to achieve this, you need to find a translator. One who will make your message work just as well as the original. One that really gets your audience. One that cares about your business and gives you this great “exactly what I am looking for” feeling.

But if you haven’t worked with a translator in the past, you probably don’t know where to start looking for these experts.

Don’t worry. Here are 4 steps to find an expert translator you’ll love.


To find a translator, databases of translator’s associations are a great place to start. They are basically a large pool of qualified translators. To register, translators must usually have a degree in translation or similar. Members also must stick to certain ethical and professional standards and are provided with regular CPD activities to continually broaden their knowledge.

There are several different associations out there which you can target (often every country has its own). Typing “translators’ association” + your target country in the Google search bar should provide you with relevant results. To make your research a bit easier, here is a quick list of a few of the main ones by country:

  • UK: ITI (Institute of Translation and Interpretation)
  • US: ATA (American Translators Association)
  • Germany: BDÜ (Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators)
  • Spain: ASETRAD (Spanish Association of Translators, Proofreaders and Interpreters)
  • France: SFT (French Association of Translators)
  • Italy: AITI (Italian Association of Translators and Interpreters)
  • MET (Mediterranean Editors and Translators)

Once you are on their website, you will be able to filter their database by language combination and subject field. So, for example, you could choose English as the source language, German as the target language and marketing as a subject field.


After you hit the search button in the database, you will receive a list of professional translators (which can be a long list but don’t worry, we will narrow it down). Now you can click through and look at the information on each translator’s profile.

Be wary of translators with a long list of specialisations. It is very unlikely that a translator has in-depth knowledge of online marketing, finance, agriculture, and civil engineering all at the same time. So, when going through these profiles, make a note of only the ones that have a small number of specialisations (if you are looking for someone to translate your marketing material, marketing should be one of them).

Also, make sure your list only contains translators that are based in the country they are translating for (Italian translator based in Italy, for example). Language is constantly changing, and you want to make sure your dream translator is up-to-date and lives amongst the audience you are targeting.


To narrow your selection down further, check out the translators’ online presence such as their websites and LinkedIn profiles. While many professional translators may have a convincing association profile in terms of education and work experience, there are also quite a few out there who don’t seem to care much about their online presence.

If you are looking for someone to make your marketing material accessible to a new culture, you will want to target people who show they know about these things by using them in their own business. You could ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do they have a website/LinkedIn profile/other profile?
  • Is it up-to-date, appealing, convincing? Or outdated, old-fashioned, boring?
  • Do they use professional photos?
  • Are there any testimonials?
  • Do they give you the information you need?
  • Do they have a clear offer that you understand? Does it match your needs?
  • Are they engaged in conversations with others in the same field?
  • Do they create their own content regularly?


Now you can have a cup of coffee and leave the rest to your instincts.

Even though a convincing CV, professional profiles and testimonials are important, they are not everything. Instead, take your shortlist, follow your instincts and listen to what your inner voice says to the following questions:

  • Does that person seem like someone I would love to meet?
  • Do I have the feeling this could be someone I could have a long-term business relationship with?
  • Do I share their values?
  • Is the language they are using appealing to me?
  • Do I believe they will understand my message and business?
  • Will they be able to cater to my individual business needs?
  • Do I have a good feeling about them in general?

Did you answer all these questions with a big YES? Congratulations. Feels great, doesn’t it?

If you have made up your mind, send your chosen translator an e-mail and ask if they might be available.

And if they are not, don’t despair. Expert translators probably have a network of highly qualified colleagues who might be a good fit for you too. Just ask if they can recommend someone to you and maybe even introduce you.

And there you go. That is how you find the ideal translator online. I hope this was helpful and wish you an exciting global business journey which boosts your business! And if you need help with marketing translations into German, get in touch!

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