Translation expert witnesses may opine on document translation and medical interpreting. Here, the American Translators Association explains that translation is not a commodity and offers standards for buying a non-commodity.
Translation not a commodity. If it were, it would be enough to say: “You need a translation? Go out and ask several translation service providers how much they charge per word and choose the lowest figure.” End of story. But it’s not like that. For example, you’ll obviously need to specify which language you want your text translated into (e.g. French or German or Japanese). And just as color and price are not the only factors in buying a car, you’ll want to consider other criteria here, too.
#1 The type of document being translated. Is your text a contract, a user manual, instructions for taking medicine, a sales brochure, a set of Web pages or a financial report?
#2 The subject-matter expertise needed by the person doing the translation. Someone who knows all about medical technology may not be up on accounting, sustainable development or plasma fusion.