It is always tempting, especially for a translator in private practice, to accept work outside of his field of expertise; what businessman would pass up lucrative work! I am sure that many other professionals have to deal with the same dilemma.
Some years ago, an apprentice translator (who had just started translating) after a career in another technical field, boasted to me that he was doing translation about atomic reactors (he was in aeronautics previously). I was astounded to say the least and did express my concern that he may not always understand what he translates and he said “Yes”!
The Code of Ethics of ATIO, organization that I belong to since 1971, specifically states that:
“Members shall not accept work for which they lack the necessary qualifications. In accepting work, the member provides a moral guarantee that the service provided will meet the highest standards of quality”.
For various reasons, he never became a member of the ATIO, which was a relief to me.
Do you quiz your translator about his expertise, his experience, and his track record BEFORE hiring him to do work for you?