best translators online

Best Translators Online Learn Second Language

How I went from novice to professional translator and interpreter in just 5 years…
(by Jack Brian Robinson)

About me

I had always wanted to learn a second language but (not for lack of trying) I could never seem to get there. Spanish, German, French, even Latin. I had convinced myself that I was just “one of those people” who would never be able to learn a second language. That was until I made the decision to move to Italy around 5 years ago. From that moment on, knowing that I’d have some serious hurdles ahead if I wasn’t prepared, I finally began putting everything I had into it. I sacrificed my time, I invested my money and I slowly whittled away at the part of myself that was terrified of making “mistakes” until eventually, once I landed here in late 2018, I already had enough of a solid foundation to begin conversing even within the first month.

In this article I’ll share with you what I consider to be the 5 most important steps towards truly mastering your second language.


It seems a little obvious, but mastering the fundamentals of grammar often gets overlooked, especially by English-speaking language learners. I’m not suggesting that you learn every grammar tense, conjugation and combination before attempting to speak, but foreign languages are notorious for having a strong emphasis on grammar and the basics are essential.


For technical grammar topics I would opt for a traditional textbook over language-learning Apps. Having all the explanations laid out plainly and concisely with several examples will help you digest them quicker. Remember: memorizing is useful but nothing trumps true comprehension.

Start by understanding and memorizing the simple present, past and future of the 5-10 most common verbs to begin with. Then in combination with the next step, you’ll have enough to start having basic conversations. Which brings us to:


This is where your language-learning Apps come in. Those such as Duolingo and Memrise should be used, not for learning your target language per-se, but for introducing you to and boosting your vocabulary. These apps are really good at giving you the most commonly used words and having you repeat them enough times to make them stick.

All big fan of Duolingo in my family. I completed the Czech course, and am half way with German. It’s so handy, unlike the dozens of dictionaries I used to collect when I was younger 🙂

(Emanuele, Italian)

Regardless of your method, try to focus on the 500-1000 most used words in your target language. The word “chicken” will be more useful to you in your everyday life than “pipe”. But then again, it all depends on why you’re learning the language. If it’s just for work-related reasons and you’re a plumber, then the inverse will of course be true!

I’m a fan of the Pareto Principle and we can apply it to languages as well: roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes (the “vital few”). It illustrates that studying “hard” might not yield the same results if you’re not studying “smart”.

(David, Brazilian)


What is the one thing almost all human beings have in common? A love for music! I say almost all because I actually met a person once who didn’t like music and I still can’t accept that… Alas! The majority of us are all alike in our love for music. Sure, we have our own particular tastes but a true music lover will find something good in anything (so long as it’s actually good, of course). 

Music can be so helpful in language learning as we’re taking something we love already and combining it with something we must learn to love. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to go on a YouTube spree until you find an artist or style of music in your target language that you love. Trust me, it will make learning your desired language so much more of a pleasure than a chore!


Once you’ve found a song or an artist that you like, try to memorize the lyrics to some songs. After which you could compare the lyrics to your native language to learn from. Depending on your level you could even attempt to translate them for yourself first!

When I was very young and I first started learning English I would write down what the words in a song sounded like, so I could learn how to sing them, and then later I would look up the actual lyrics and connect those two things to figure out what words sounded like what. That helped me learn a lot of new words and a lot of pronunciation, and they would stick in my brain because these were songs I really loved.

(Kerol, Brazilian)


In the same vein as music, finding a TV show or film that you love in your target language is so helpful for language learning. Language teachers call this “passive learning” and, though it might not feel like you’re learning much, you’re actually developing one of the most important aspects: the sound and cadence of the language itself. This is in addition to being presented with new and existing vocabulary in a native setting which is truly priceless.

I am a huge movie fan, and I have watched movies since I was a kid. I think that helped me to learn English from an early stage.

(Sérgio, Portuguese)

If you can’t find a show in your desired language that interests you, pick an existing show you know really well and start watching the “dubbed” version. We’ve all seen numerous repeats of shows such as “Friends” and “How I Met Your Mother” by now that we can almost recite entire episodes back-to-back. Hearing how these dialogues sound in your desired language will help you in multiple, unimaginable ways.


This is the aspect of language learning which I would consider most important. Nothing can substitute the immersive setting of having a conversation in your desired language, especially with a native speaker. Not all of us have the benefits of living in the country of our target language, but we are lucky enough to live in an age in which we can converse with strangers over thousands of miles. If you can’t find a language partner locally, free Apps such as HelloTalk and Tandem will help you to find native speakers who are interested in learning your language and are interested in an exchange.

Few years back, I joined an international guild in a mobile game where they communicate real time with everyone online in English language; which is my second language; and it does improve my skill in conversing and writing. So having conversation is really an important aspect if you want to improve your second language.

(Yuni, Malay)

Use whatever means you have at your disposal to find a dedicated language partner and try to have short conversations on a regular basis. Suggest to your language partner talking for 15-30 minutes in your native language, then do the same in theirs.

If you have the means available, try to find a teacher to meet once a week who can track your progress and point you in the right direction.


Language learning is hard, I won’t pretend otherwise, but I believe with enough hard work and dedication that anybody, any age can learn a second language. Now, get to it! In bocca al lupo!

To find Jack in our list of professional translators, just click on our Languages and then on English.

Have you ever wondered about the translations you’ve received? How can translators ensure accuracy? How do you know, as a client, that it is a good or better yet the best translation? We summarised some key points to provide some insight into that question. If you are looking to have something translated but are not sure how to choose a translator, here are some things you want to consider.

What makes a translation a good translation?

The outcome of a good translation is a document that doesn’t sound like a translation. We deliver an original document, written in the target language. We don’t believe in word-by-word translation.

That’s why we require our translators to be fluent in the source language and highly skilled in their native tongue. Good professionals can understand, feel and recreate the same meaning, style, tone and nuances in the target language within a reasonable time.

How do you achieve that?

What we suggest to all translators is to read a sentence or a full paragraph, feel it and rewrite it in the target language. We all speak the source language fluently and we are all native speakers of the target language, so this process flows very naturally.

We need to understand the source language rules, such as structures, punctuation, use of pronouns. Then we need to forget the rules of the source language, once we recreate our text in the second language. It needs to be correct in the target language.

Do you use any software or machine translation?

No, no, no! We all use dictionaries, websites, and all kinds of references to help us understand and check our work. We don’t use machine, AI or any software can compare to a well prepared, experienced and focussed professional.

We have zero tolerance for the use of machine translation and we thoroughly test our candidates to make sure they work manually.

How do you approach a new project?

What makes BTO different is how we work as a team, not just in managing the group, but also in the translation process itself. When you have a large document, such as a novel, you find two different approaches.

There are those who try to find the best individual to assign the task to. The best professionals often ask for higher fees and take all the necessary time to deliver. Then you have teams, where each professional handles a portion of the project , making the process smoother and quicker.

Both approaches have pros and cons. Finding the (one) best individual translator is not always easy and you end up having two eyes and one brain (only) on the job, at a high rate. The risk is very high. On the other hand, splitting a job into smaller tasks puts translators in the position of not having the whole project in mind, other than their part.

That’s why we at BTO chose a solution which has the best of both worlds. Finding the best professionals, and creating a project process which involves more than just one, but with very specific tasks. Each of our colleagues still considers the whole project, from a specific point of view.

A Good Translation – The Best Translators Online

What does the project flow in BestTranslators look like?

We assign each project to a main translator. The translator delivers the project in parts for a first Quality Check. This is a quick evaluation that we often entrust to external professionals. No individual is perfect, that’s why it’s risky assigning a project to one single person.

The document then goes to the proofreader, who processes what could have been left out by the translator. At this stage, we fix typos, if any, implement better wording and all the improvements that are necessary to make the document ready to publish. The proofreader sends us back a second rating for the translation. This means that our translators are assessed twice for each project.

Finally, the work of the proofreader is assessed in a second, independent Quality Check. This way, the project has been processed and checked by a minimum of four professionals, with three different evaluations on translation and proofreading.

It seems like a lengthy process, how do you manage deadlines?

Good quality takes time, but having different layers and levels of editing and checking actually helps make the process quicker. This is because of how our brain works. If you had to write ten pages, read back and find mistakes, knowing that no one else is going to help you, you would take a lot of time, since you’d need to be 100% sure of the outcome.

This is another negative consequence of pretending a single individual can process a translation with a perfect outcome. On the other hand, knowing you have at least another editor (the proofreader) and a network of Quality Checks and Feedbacks allows you to work more smoothly and in much less time.

We know the translation is not going to be perfect after the first step – even though we still expect a quality rating of at least 80% – but it is going to get there, and in less time.

Why choose Best Translators Online over another Translation Agency?

We prefer to consider ourselves a network of professionals, not an agency. That’s why we show our faces, as a sign of honest, human and clear commitment to achieve the best quality at a fair price.

Quality + humanity, clear processes + fair rates, independent assessments + Code of Conduct + professional commitment = Best Translators Online

The best translation of a game is a very specific challenge. Game localisation involves much more than just language. You need intuition in understanding the game mood and environment, accuracy in spotting the places where to perform the translation. You also deal with code strings, cells which require a short text, expressions which reflect a specific wording.

Translation or localisation?

For most games, finding the best translation would be enough to help the player enjoy the gaming experience. More and more games, however, aim to create a special story, e.g. a Medieval setting, with names and characters taken from mythology, history or fantasy. This is where the Best Translators Online make the extra effort in localisation, adapting names and stories to the audience of specific countries or languages.

Let’s see some of the specific challenges of game localisation with an example, Runefall, by Tamalaki Games. This game is full of text, dialogues, instructions, rewards and gameplay tricks, adding up to over 15,000 words and with constant updates.

What is different with Runefall?

Runefall is an innovative Medieval match-3 adventure game that pairs the classic matching with exploration and discovery, item collection, quests, town building, and more!

Traverse HUGE environments, collect resources, overcome obstacles, and upgrade the town of Rivermoor. It is localised in more than 15 languages so far, with a mix of old English, puns, flexible user interface, variables, and coded text made this game localisation more intriguing.

What are the challenges of game localisation?

A very common feature of game localisation is having to deal with variables: “{0} and {1} are not in the same row”. In this case, {0} and {1} are tiles, objects, but they could be numbers, names, etc. Note that the position of the variables will also change based on the grammar of the target language.

Colour markers and code markers are another challenge to be aware of. Cells like the following are quite common: “We’ll each need a &lt;color=#FF8000&gt;lantern&lt;/color&gt;“. The & markers are characters such as “<” or “>” and they enclose markers, such as “color” which are not to be translated. In the whole line above, the only word to consider is “lantern”.

Our comments on game localisation

Here are some of the translators who worked on this wonderful project. You can find all our professional translators in the Languages page.

Sérgio (Portuguese): “Being a fan of all kinds of games from the Medieval period, for me, it was quite easy and interesting to translate some parts of Runefall into Portuguese, which will certainly help all Portuguese-speaking players to get the most out of this game.”

Javad (Danish): “Runefall has its own story which might give a good sense in English. However, when the story has to be translated to Danish a great understanding of the game and storylines were needed in order to live up to the creativity of the game.”

Diana (German): “Runefall required a special type of finesse: rendering medieval flair with contemporary language.”

Nuala (Dutch): “Runefall is a one-of-a-kind game, it’s very fun and the translations are very interesting because of the context.”

Zuzanna (Polish): “Working on Runefall was an interesting experience, enriched by the uncommon vocabulary and the game’s originality.”

Where can I play Runefall?

Runefall is available on Apple Store or on Google Play.