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Questions to Ask a Thai Translator During the Hiring Process

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Whether you’re contemplating living, visiting, or embarking on a business venture in Thailand, hiring a Tha translator will come in handy. Thai translators cover a broad spectrum of work, from translating legal documents and employment contracts to proofreading product descriptions. Whatever the task, the key is to find a translator that provides quality translations at a reasonable cost. You’ll be amazed at the number of Thai translators offering their services, both online and offline. How then will you pick the right one? Asking the right questions is certainly a good start as this will help you single out the best person for your project. 

So, what are the questions to ask a Thai translator? In this guide, we walk you through questions you must keep in mind when hiring a Thai translator.

What is Your Thai Translation Service Cost?

We’re going to take a wild guess here and assume that you always shop around before buying a product or engaging in a particular service. Hiring a Thai translator should be no different. Just as you may find the same product being offered at various prices at different shops, translators may quote different fees for the same service. Knowing the average cost of Thai translation services helps ensure you get the best possible price and know when you’re being ripped off. 

Translation rates vary based on several factors. The translator’s experience, the complexity of the task, the required delivery speed, and any necessary certifications will all contribute to the cost. A seasoned translator will naturally charge more than one who’s new to the market and looking to gain traction. In the same vein, urgent documents are pricier compared to pieces that have a longer timeline. Regarding the complexity of the task, general translations tend to be much cheaper than technical documents. 

On average, you can expect to pay anywhere between $0.25 per word to $12 per page for a general piece of translated content. Technical content is more complex, so the rate moves up to $0.75 per word. Documents that require notarization or certification are pricier still, and often range between $7.50 and $30 per document. Ideally, the rate should determine translation quality. However, this is not always a given. At the end of the day, the quality will depend on the translator’s expertise.

What is Your Translation Background?

Now that you have an idea concerning related translation costs, it’s imperative to inquire about the translator’s background. Call it due diligence on your part, if you will. Knowing the translator’s background will help you ascertain if they are indeed the right person for the task. 

A good place to start is to ask about the translator’s educational background. Some graduate from international universities, while others majored in other subjects but took translation courses. Granted, the translator’s educational background helps to a large extent. However, experience in the particular field in which you want translation services performed is even more important. Find out if the translator has done similar work to the type you’re looking for. Case in point, if you want a medical document translated, pick someone who’s knowledgeable in medical terms and has translated similar documents before. 

Even so, don’t just take their word for it. Make a request to see some samples of work previously done by the translator. If privacy infringement is a concern, ask the translator to translate a few paragraphs of your document before you offer them your entire project. With the latter approach, it’s possible to find a quality translator with only a small amount of experience at a cheaper rate.

What Procedures and Processes Do You Use?

Thai translators will each follow their own checklist when conducting the job in question. It’s important to find out the processes and procedures the translator uses so that you’re on the same page. For instance, ask the translator if they prefer to put everything in writing, and get a contract formed before commencing the job. 

Rarely will Thai translators insist on signing contracts, as many prefer to work with verbal agreements. That is especially true if all that is involved is a short document that can be completed in just a couple of hours. However, it’s a different ballgame if the project is demanding and requires a substantial time or monetary commitment. Having a contract in place in such cases is beneficial to both parties.

Next, you’ll need to agree on the turnaround time. Ask how long before the translator completes the job. You’ll also want to ask how the translator handles revisions. It’s also wise to discuss the maximum number of revisions the translator permits, before increasing their rate. On average, three is the maximum number. If you’re likely to require more, it’s advisable to clear that up with the translator before any work commences. 

Lastly, enquire about the translator’s service model. Do they charge per page, per word, per minute, or hour? Generally, the pay-per-page service model is popular among most Thai translators. That’s because the word count tool used with the pay-per-word approach isn’t as accurate with Thai words. Media translations usually use the pay-per-minute service model. And assignments that are difficult to calculate by page or word, such as websites use pay-per-hour.


Despite the number of Thai translators available on the market, finding the right one is no easy task. A lot of variables can come into play, which can ultimately affect the quality of your final work. But having a rough idea of the translation rates will give you a benchmark to work with. Just remember that the cost rarely determines the quality of work you’ll receive. Instead, the translator’s experience plays a huge role. That’s why it’s necessary to look for someone familiar with the type of work you need to be translated. At the same time, you must discuss the fine details like expected delivery dates, contracts, revision opportunities, and the service model offered before commencing any work. Whether you hire a freelancer or professional translation agency, asking the questions we’ve discussed in this article will ensure you pick the right person for your needs.

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