Delving into translation services for your business the first time can be a little daunting – there is a whole new process to understand, budgets to form, deadlines to deliberate, languages and linguistics to ponder, and cultures to consider, in fact, you probably have a whole list of questions regarding the process but aren’t sure who or what to ask.
Thankfully, we are experts in the translation industry and have years of experience dealing with clients’ questions, so we have compiled our top 3 most frequently asked questions for you here.
However, if there is anything we haven’t covered and you are still burning to ask, please contact us here, or call us on +971 4313 2832 in Dubai or +44(0) 20 8408 2268 in the UK, and we will be happy to help.
1. What do Translation Services Actually Involve?
This is the most fundamental question that our clients ask, but it can also be phrased as:
• What do you actually do?
• Do you translate or localize?
• Can you translate… (enter any word linked to websites, marketing, written texts, and so on)?
• Do you provide interpreters?
• How do you localize for a specific culture and language?
You can see where we are going with this…questions linked to what our language services cover in relation to our clients’ particular requirements, all basically come down to, what do translation services actually involve?
The answer to this question is far more involved than the simplicity of the question implies (and you would be reading this blog for the next week if we outlined all our services and skills) so we have compiled a short list, and brief explanation, of our main services below, but you can also check out our website for more information on any of the topics.
• Translation Services – this is a ‘catch all’ phrase that covers translation of content (be it digital or paper), and involves adapting content from one language to another for a specific purpose and audience. It can include website translation, legal translations, technical translations, religious translations, marketing translations, and so on.
• Localization Services – clients considering translation services have likely come across the term ‘Localization services’ but are unsure what it means. Localization is a more sophisticated service than translation as it considers all aspects of a particular language. For instance, when translating a website from English to Arabic factors such as, culture, local dialects, societal norms and expectations, religion, humour, colloquial language, and more should all be considered if you want your translation to be accurate and appropriate for a particular audience or market.
• Interpreting Services – sometimes clients require a spoken translation and this involves the use of highly skilled linguists known as interpreters. Interpretation services are used for multilingual conferences, virtual meetings, business interpreting, telephone interpreting and legal interpreting. There are different types of interpreting which can be used depending upon your requirements. For instance, consecutive interpreting (when someone speaks for a short period of time and an interpreter then speaks after in their pause) is often used for press conferences, interviews or some business meetings. Simultaneous interpreting is best used in situations where a delay in translation is not possible, for example at a large conference where many linguists are translating into multiple languages.
Professional Language Services providers (LSP) offer a range of services linked to language and culture and should offer quality assurances linked to their service and procedures.
At Creative Word, we also offer language services linked to translation such as, copywriting, design, video transcription, App translation and multilingual desktop publishing, so you can be sure of a comprehensive service no matter which language or service you use for your project.
If you operate within a specialist industry (such as law, medicine, or engineering) it is worth partnering with an LSP who offers linguists trained in these fields but who is also a native-speaker of your target language. This will give you the best results in terms of accuracy and ease for your translation project.
2. How Much do Translation Services Cost?
This is a bit like asking ‘how long is a piece of string’ as it depends upon many variable factors which are different for each translation project.
However, the factors below will give you an idea of what affects the cost of translation services, but if you would like a more in-depth explanation of our pricing structures, please contact us here and our project managers can discuss your requirements.
• Language Pairs – there are some language pairs which are frequently used, meaning that there are lots of linguists available for every translation project involving these languages and plenty of prior translation experience and knowledge. However, some language pairs are less common so tend to be more expensive.
• Technical difficulty – translating legal documents for foreign administrations, or transcribing and translating the minutes from a meeting of an engineering firm, require technical knowledge in the specific industry that desires the translation. This means using a translator who has an additional sector-specific training and will lead to higher translation costs. If accuracy is a factor, don’t try to cut costs by using an unskilled translator.
• Translation Memory and Machine Translation – these are specialist tools used within the translation industry to speed up the translation process and allow for reproduction without the need for re-translation. Depending upon your requirements and your chosen LSP, it is possible to save time and money by using these tools within your translation project.
• Deadline – if you need your translation completed yesterday, then it is going to cost you more money than if your deadline is a realistic date in the near-future. Good planning and sourcing your chosen LSP well in advance of any deadlines is essential if you want to keep down the cost of your translation project.
• Minimum charges and charge per word – most translation projects are charged per word and many LSPs have a minimum charge for translations. Check prices with your chosen provider and remember to ask about minimum charges if your translation project is on the small side.
• Additional services – many LSPs offer additional services linked to their translation services such as, proofreading and editing but these aren’t always included in the basic cost of translation. If you are likely to need these additional services, check what your chosen LSP offers, and ask if it is included in the price they’ve given you.
3. How Long will my Translation Project Take?
Again, this is difficult to answer as it all depends upon the specific requirements for your translation project, but as we have vast experience with thousands of translations, we can give you an accurate timescale once we know all the details.
It is worth bearing in mind that an experienced translator can only translate around 2000 to 3000 words (at most) per day so this should be used as a rough guide, but check with your LSP for a more definite timescale.
At Creative Word, we have hundreds of highly experienced linguists at our disposal and can translate over 80 languages so whatever your project, we’ll be able deliver it with accuracy and within schedule.
If you require a fast turnaround time, make sure you let us know from the outset and we will do everything possible to facilitate this.
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