How to Measure Passion in Translators

I recently read an article on CNN that lists finding one’s passion as a requirement to realize a great career. According to the author it’s not the only thing, but its importance is high. To read the entire CNN article click here.

The article started me thinking about the translators that work for our agency. If the best translators are passionate about their work, how do we tell if passion is present? It’s one of those intangibles that are difficult to measure. Here’s an attempt to list some of the things we might look for in our interaction with translators to evaluate their level of passion:

1) Asks questions on assigned projects: Project schedules are important but if necessary questions come up during the course of performing a translation project we want the assigned translator(s) to make the questions known. Customers usually appreciate questions too because it communicates concern for their projects.

2) Declines some projects: A single translator can’t “specialize” in every subject domain. If a translator occasionally declines to accept a project due to unfamiliar subject matter it might suggest that the translator has high standards and adheres to them even if it means passing up business.

3) Timely communication and response to emails: The translators that work for our agency understand that our ability to provide responsive customer service to clients is made possible in part by timely exchanges between our agency and the translator. A response to email within an hour or two (at most) during the business day is generally the standard we look for. Even if a complete response to a question might take  longer it helps to receive a brief message from the translator confirming receipt of our question(s) and indicating when they’ll have a more complete answer.