Translation FAQs

At Lingua Translations we are asked many questions so we thought we would share some of the common ones with you. Obviously this is a small list and as you can see on our Tailored Translation page, every project and every customer is different so this list is by far exhaustive.

Your personal Project Manager will learn about your company and what you are trying to achieve, then we make it happen. It is as simple as that!

What languages do you offer?

Lingua Translations is proud to offer over 2,000 language combinations – even Zulu!

How long will it take to get my document translated?

Each project is individual and must be treated differently, so it is impossible for us to be able to give an exact timescale. A translator may be able to translate up to 2,500 words per working day, depending on the technicality of the document. A proofreader may be able to proofread up to 5,000 words per working day, again depending on technicality.

If your document is urgent, however, our highly experienced Project Managers can source and build teams of linguists who work closely together to get your document to you when you need it. This means we can speed up the translation process without compromising on quality. Your deadline is our deadline – guaranteed.

Do you offer specific locales and dialects of a language?

Of course! It is very important that your translator translates into the dialect understood by your target audience. For example, mainland and Canadian French differ greatly, as do mainland and Latin American Spanish.
This is also the case with character languages. If your document is intended for mainland China, for example, you will need it translated into Simplified Chinese. If it is intended for Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan or Singapore, you will need it translated into Traditional Chinese.

If you get in touch with one of our Project Managers, they will be only too happy to guide you on this matter.

What should I have prepared before coming to you for a quote?

It makes the translation process much quicker if you already have certain things to hand before coming to us with your translation, meaning that you can get hold of a professional, accurate translation much quicker.

It greatly helps our translators if you can ensure that your document is clearly written, legible and the final version. This ensures that your document can be accurately translated and means that there are no extra costs for you due to extensive changes having to be made after translation.

If the translation is technical, it is very helpful if you have a glossary of terms available for your translator to ensure that your translation uses approved terminology and remains consistent throughout

What file formats do you work with?

We can work with practically any electronic file format, and can maintain the exact layout and format of your document. If you would like a full list, or are unsure about file formatting, do contact us and we would be happy to discuss file format requirements with you.

What is included in your translation service?

Our standard translation rates include your own personal Project Manager who will oversee your project from start to finish, a glossary of terms if required and post-design check of your files (which is especially important for character languages, for example Hindi or Japanese).

We are never happy until our customers are, and as each project is different – we will help you in every way we can.

What is proofreading and why do I need it? Don’t all your translators re-read their work?

Our standard translation rates include your own personal Project Manager who will oversee your project from start to finish, a glossary of terms if required and post-design check of your files (which is especially important for character languages, for example Hindi or Japanese).
We are never happy until our customers are, and as each project is different – we will help you in every way we can.

I’ve been told I need my document certified. What level of certification do I need?

We always recommend that our customers find out the exact requirements from their solicitors or the body requiring the translation. We would hate to give out the wrong advice and for you to end up paying for a service that you did not need, or having documentation delayed due to insufficient certification provided by us.

Do you have technical translators because our industry is complicated?

We have linguists who specialise in a wide range of industries and sectors. We have linguists available in nearly every conceivable sector and we only allow them to work in their chosen field after they have passed our stringent vetting procedure. All of our translators have to prove that they have the requisite experience in their specialist field by carrying out a sector-specific translation test.
Many of our customers also have glossaries of terms which we will develop free of charge. They often have people in-country who are willing to talk to us and our linguists. We prepare a glossary before undertaking a project so that we are aware of the customer’s preferences regarding terminology, ensuring consistency and satisfaction.

I need a translation of a document involving artwork – can you work with this?

Absolutely! What is more, we’re confident to work with any format that you require. We have vast multilingual Desktop Publishing (DTP) experience, meaning that we can work with your design files, inputting the translated material directly into your artwork. We work regularly with languages that are not read in the same direction of English or that use a different alphabet, for example Chinese and Arabic. These languages require the original documents to be significantly re-formatted by a skilled native speaker to avoid any corruption of the characters or loss of text.

We understand that improper Desktop Publishing can have negative implications for your project. Entrusting your artwork to professionals at Lingua Translations ensures that your project will continue to have the impact it deserves in translation.

I just want to get it translated…

Unfortunately, translation isn’t as simple as that! There are a number of essential considerations to make when having a document translated that will have implications on how it is received. It is extremely important to consider your target audience (TA). Who will be reading your text? What impression do you wish your document to have on its reader? This is where a professional translation agency like Lingua Translations can help you. We will ensure that your translation is a perfect rendition of the original source text (ST) and has the desired effect. ‘Just getting it translated’ does not work. After all, would you give your original English text to just anyone?
We even liaise with your people in-country and offer different styles of writing. We also ensure that your text is properly localised as well. For example, if you refer to a popular television programme in your text, it would probably mean nothing to your target audience and this could have potential ramifications for how your text is received. The original reader and the target audience must feel the same way when they read the text, and the text should not look foreign or sound translated.

Mark in our office speaks some French. Do I really need a translator?

When you are deciding whether or not to use a professional language services provider like Lingua Translations, think about the document itself. How important is it? Who will it be read by? Are you confident in your colleague’s ability to carry out an accurate translation?

Our professional translators train for years to be able to produce the accurate and high quality translations that we are so experienced in providing. Even after they have finished their university studies, it takes years of experience to develop their skills to the level at which they will be employed by us.

Further to the linguistic skills needed to translate your document, each of our translators has their own area of expertise (legal, pharmaceutical or financial, for example), within which they will have extensive practical or academic experience. For instance, our legal translators often have been, or indeed still are, practising lawyers. We have medical translators who have spent years working in the pharmaceutical sector before beginning careers as translators. The ability to speak another language does not automatically grant the ability to translate. Language is constantly evolving and terminology, especially in technical and research-intensive domains, is in perpetual development.

What exactly are these ‘service levels’ that I have seen advertised when looking for a translation?

Many UK translation agencies will vary the amount that they charge for a translation based on your requirements. These means that you are able to pay more or less depending on how you intend to use the text, potentially saving you money. From ‘gist’ translation up to full-scale copywriting for a foreign market, service levels are an excellent way of deciding what best suits your requirements.
Get in touch today and one of our Project Managers will be on hand to have a chat about your document and recommend what service level might be most appropriate for your needs.

Why is my translation longer or shorter than the original document?

Ways of expressing certain ideas vary from language to language. Some languages can express in one word what another has to express in an entire phrase.
Take the French word dépaysement, which has no word-for-word equivalent in English. A translator might choose to translate this by ‘the feeling of disorientation or confusion one feels when in a totally foreign environment’, which is a lot longer than the original! How ‘wordy’ a language is in general can also affect the length of a translation with respect to the original. A translated French text can be on average 20% – 30% longer than the English original, while a Chinese text might be up to 70% shorter! This is something to bear in mind if you are looking to translate documents like leaflets or marketing brochures, as the eventual length of the translated text could affect the layout. You might need to make use of our professional Desktop Publishing services to adapt the layout to the new length of the target text.

I’ve noticed a few changes I’d like to make to my text after it has been translated – can you do this?

If you find that you’d like to make small changes to a text after translation, we are happy to accommodate any tweaks. They can normally be easily incorporated into the translation.

You talk a lot about quality. What do you do to make sure that translations are high quality?

Our linguists must have at least five years’ experience in the translation industry and are fully vetted. Our dedicated proofreading service helps to detect and iron out any final issues regarding language and style before your translation reaches you. We take every bit of feedback into account, from both our customers and our translators, and strive to constantly improve the quality of the translations and service we provide. Read more about our quality assurance measures here.

TUI TRAVEL GROUP

Ian Chapman – Director of Holiday Experience –

“Lingua Translations provides instant multi-lingual options for TUI’s 24/7 Holidayline, so 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year TUI’s customers are connected to an interpreter instantaneously. This service is designed to help holidaymakers who find themselves in difficulty and require non-English language assistance.

The service offered by Lingua Translations provides us with instant translation for every destination we travel to, and has proved invaluable.”

Chinese Whisper with Google Translate

Chinese whisper anyone?   A little while ago we wanted to see how reliable google translate was, especially when it came to back translation. Our resident Spaniard wanted to test Google on two Spanish phrases and see what happens when you put it through their back translation.   Take a look! Example 1: To prefer …

Read More

New Zealand and the Autumn Internationals

New Zealand The last of our Autumn International anthems is the Kiwis, the all blacks and the triple world champions. When you think of Rugby, you think of New Zealand. Go anywhere in the world… whether rugby is played there or not, and they will know about the All Blacks. They will also know a …

Read More
Get a quote today