Do you want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Skřivánek? Just what exactly does employing a translator entail? What qualifications does a prospective collaborator need to have? Let’s take a look.
What you can learn about translators in this article:
- How many translators is it good to keep on hand?
- Is the translator’s education important?
- Specialisation as an advantage
- Evaluating translations and providing feedback to translators
- Going the extra mile
1. How many translators is it good to keep on hand?
Large language agencies can rarely get by with just a few translators. In order to cover the widest possible range of translation services and the increasingly specific requirements of customers regarding the expertise and specialisation of the translated material, it is necessary to have an extensive network of translators and proofreaders at hand.
The Skrivanek translation agency works with more than 3,000 language experts. It is all the more important to focus on the quality selection of new translators and the ongoing evaluation of existing translators to ensure and maintain the quality of the services we offer.
2. Is education important?
Well, of course, yet it doesn’t always have to mean a degree in translating is a prerequisite as such. Our requirements for translators are primarily based on the international ISO 17100 standard, which defines and specifies the processes for translation services.
When selecting a new translator, we naturally place great emphasis on language qualifications – we require excellent knowledge of both languages that the translator has chosen as their working combination. They either prove their competence with attained higher education in translation or other higher linguistic education, or with language certification at a minimum general state examination level, such as CAE and CPE in the case of English, ZOP or GDS in the case of German, or with several years of documented translation experience. The translator must not only be proficient in translating, but also in the cultural environment of the working languages.
Of equal importance is their professional qualification, which particularly ensures quality in specialised and specialist translations. If the translator does not have a degree in the specific field, we require in-field experience or several years of experience translating in that field.
In the case of the so-called court translators, the requirements are set out by law – to be appointed as such they need to have completed a master’s degree at a university and a subsequent two-semester course of study for interpreters and translators at a law faculty, or to have passed the state language examination for the translation field if the subject of the university study was not language study. Another requirement is active translation experience for at least the past 5 years and passing an entrance exam focused on knowledge of legal regulations.
In addition to translation competences for working with text, we must not forget computer literacy, which includes knowledge of special translation software – CAT tools, the ability to search terminology databases, etc., and in the case of external cooperation, a trade licence is also important.
We have the same requirements for our proofreaders.
3. Specialisation as an advantage
As you may have already learned in the April article on the importance of a translator’s specialisation, a true professional at most focuses on a few selected areas that they perfectly understand in both languages, i.e., in their mother tongue and in the working language. Therefore, when selecting a new translator, their specialisation is one of the key criteria for possible cooperation.
4. Evaluating translations and providing feedback to translators
After meeting the above-described conditions for cooperation on the basis of the qualification prerequisites, the applicant will have to pass an entrance test – the translator must produce a test translation in the chosen field. The translation will be evaluated by an experienced expert and, based on the result, we will decide on possible cooperation.
However, our evaluation of the translator does not end here. We continue to check and evaluate the translations they produce and provide regular feedback to our suppliers. This is the only way to maintain a high quality of the translations we process.
5. Going the extra mile
At Skřivánek, we do not just want to passively observe the work of others – we provide support to all our colleagues and external collaborators. In order to ensure the highest quality translations possible, we support translators in their further education and training. We prepare professional methodological manuals and organise various professional training courses and webinars focusing on specifics of translations for EU institutions and bodies, legal translations, popular courses on the intricacies of the Czech language and creative work with translation, and many others.
So now you know why our customers are so satisfied with Skřivánek’s translations and keep coming back to us. One of the fundamental pillars on which we build is quality translators. And we thank them for their diligence and efforts.
Do you want to join us and become part of our team of experts? The current list of positions, including an application form, can be found in careers.