Top 5 Qualities of Professional Afghan Translator

Top 5 Qualities of Professional Afghan Translator
on March 22, 2016 No Comments

Top 5 Qualities of a Professional Afghan Translator

With the increase in demand for translation of Dari and Pashto languages, it is appropriate to discuss some of the qualities of a professional Afghan translator. Culturally speaking, Afghans have adapted very well with the ethics and professional dynamics of western organizations but there are still instances where misunderstanding and miscommunication occurs due to very preventable circumstances. In this blog post we will explore some of the qualities that an Afghan translator must exhibit at all times in order maintain a collaborative relationship with all parties involved in a project.

Afghans have evolved quickly to adapt to the changing political and social landscape both inside and outside Afghanistan. However, there are still times when customers complain due to a number of problems when dealing with Afghan translators. Some of these complaints are unwarranted and can be directed at just about any translator for any language. There are, however, some complaints that trace their roots to cultural and social norms that have become commonly acceptable due to war, poverty and corruption in Afghanistan. Let’s take a look at the top five complaints we hear from some of our clients about Afghan translators and find out what the quality that a professional Afghan translator must exhibit here:

5. Translation will be delivered when finished

A common misunderstanding among our clients is that they believe their Afghan translator is on the same page as they are when it comes to deadlines. Some of our Afghan colleagues treat the deadline for translation projects like their attendance in weddings, always fashionably late. While they may not realize the impact or minimize it in their mind, a client could be loosing precious time in a legal dispute, commercial transaction or worse it could be a matter of life or death in medical cases. It is important that Afghan translators assigned to a project must stick to the deadline and do every effort to deliver ahead of the scheduled delivery time.

4. No news is good news

That may be true for every other aspect of life, but during a translation project news and reporting is critical to help the client manage their deadline, issues and reporting. Some Afghan translators have a tendency to start work on a project and disappear. What is worse is that they not only ignore all emails from the client, but when they deliver their project – usually late, they blame the customer for assigning them an extra complex project that they had to spend a lot of time untangling and delivering. One can only imagine what the client will be thinking when they deal with such a situation. A professional Afghan translator will provide frequent reports during the course of the project and keep the client in the loop with every issue and challenge.

3. The pay is too low

With today’s changing economics every sector and every industry is going through some sort of transformation. The outpouring of international support over the past decade and half has created a corrupt mindset in Afghanistan. Most freelance Afghan translators have been employed by international non-profits and the United Nations and they have been accustomed to high remuneration in exchange for no or limited work. Actually, the government sector in Afghanistan is even worse and very little is deliverable is expected in exchange for the compensations paid to employees. Some Afghan translators with such backgrounds tend to expect high compensation and less work which is not only counter-productive to their entrepreneurial efforts but can adversely affect their relationship with their clients. A professional Afghan translator must work with, not against, their client’s budget and deliver a project with mutual understanding and collaboration.

2. Need to be paid now

Another prevalent issue among the Afghan translator community is that they expect their fees to be paid in advance or right after the project is completed, leaving little room for the client to review the deliverable. In theory they are entitled their full payment. This must only happen after the client has confirmed that their specifications are met, the project has been delivered on time and they have addressed all open issue items. The translator must always respect the client’s payment terms and follow the agreed-upon invoicing processes.

1. Complain against customer in their embassy

A very common issue with Afghan linguists or translators is that they sensationalize small issues. We have had several clients from Canada, US and Europe who have had complaints lodged against them in their embassies in Afghanistan when the clients demanded to fix issues with translation to avoid pay reduction. What such Afghan translators don’t realize is that the embassies do not get involved in resolving issues related to their performance and have very limited resources to work as collection agencies. From experience most embassies don’t even respond to such allegations. Dispute resolution of any sort should be carried out by the means established within the client’s agreement. Afghan translators choosing this course of action are almost certainly wasting their time and that of their client, and instead must focus more on improving their performance quality and relationship with clients. Nonetheless, there are times when some less than scrupulous clients deny payments, but the embassies are little help.

Hire a Certified Professional Translation Company

If you are looking for a reliable way to get your document, website, software or manuals translated into Dari, Pashto, Farsi, Arabic or Kurdish, contact a professional and certified agency such as Afghan Translation Service. Such companies comply with the requirements of international standards such as ISO 17100 and deliver translation work that is professionally quality checked and maintained. Contact us if you need help with any translation requirements.

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