How do you tell a good translator from a bad one? It’s actually pretty simple when you know what to look for! To help you out, here are a list of things that a bad translator might say, compared to what a good translator might say: 

Native Languages

Bad: “Although my native language is English, I got an A* in A-Level Spanish, so I’m capable of translating this document into Spanish” 

Good: “Although I have spoken Spanish for a huge part of my life and have a University degree in Spanish, my native language is English. Therefore, I will translate Spanish into English, and leave English into Spanish translation for native Spanish speakers, who have a unique understanding of the language” 

Subject matter

Bad: “I know the languages well enough that I can translate any document, the subject matter isn’t really important” 

Good: “I am not an expert in medical translation, I’m not familiar with all the terminology and I wouldn’t feel comfortable translating documents of this subject matter”


Bad: “I’ve been translating for over 5 years, so my translations are always accurate. I’m careful not to make any mistakes whilst I’m translating, so that means I don’t have to waste time at the end checking my work” 

Good: I have been translating for over 20 years but I always check my work, even for the most straightforward projects. I know mistakes happen all the time, even to the most conscientious translator.

Literal translations

Bad: “I always keep my translations completely faithful to the original, everything gets translated exactly as it is written in the source language”

Good: ” I recognise that remaining totally faithful to the source text is often impossible, and overly literal translations can be nonsensical translations. I will use my experience in translation to skillfully rewrite the source text in the target language where necessary, to create the intended meaning.


If you need translations done by reliable translators, we can help out! All of our translators are highly qualified with a minimum of 5 years of experience and only translate into their native languages to ensure maximum accuracy for our clients!

For more information about our language services