Frequently Asked Questions

Translation

General
Quotes
Software-related
Glossaries, style guides, etc.

Scheduling translation

Scheduling language instruction

Scheduling an interpreter

Payment methods


Translation

General

Q: My friend speaks Spanish. Would she be able to do translation for us?
A: Accurate, audience-specific translations focus on the message, not just the words. You want a translation that reads like it was originally written in that language for that audience.  If your translator doesn’t know the industry as well as the language, you may be opening yourself (and your friend) to an awkward situation. If it reads like a less-than-professional translation, you’ve already lost credibility … and wasted your money.
Q: How do I communicate with the translator?
A: We do all the work for you. Many of our translators are in different countries and different time zones. Whenever you have something for the translator, we’ll get it to him/her immediately. It’s all part of the service.
Q: Should we have the translator look at the photos and graphics in our document, as well as the copy?
A: Absolutely. When translating from American English to another language, the translator should see anything you want your audience to see. He or she may be able to point out something culturally sensitive or controversial that would be better left out.
Q: We’ve already had one translation done, but we’re not happy with it. Should we send you the translated version or the original?
A: Always send the original in its final draft. And be sure to make any corrections to it before you send it to us. It will save you time and money.
Quotes
Q: Why do you charge by the word for written translations?
A: This is the quickest way to establish a fair and "countable" means for determining price (rather than charging by the hour, as interpreter services are). It’s the industry standard method for quoting translation.
Software-related
Q: Why do you use people to translate when there are software programs that do it for you?
A:

Many people have experienced the results of “machine” translation. Assembly instructions that leave you baffled. Product names that make you wonder, “What were they thinking?” And product launches that became train wrecks because no one checked with a native speaker before the promotion began.

Specialized software speeds translation, and we do, in fact, use it at times. But software cannot perform complete translation: it is, at best, a tool to support the translator.

Language is a “living” thing. There’s always more to it than letters and characters. And a professional translation is as much the art of interpretation as the technical accuracy of exchanging one word for its counterpart in another language. Those skills are irreplaceable.

Q: How does today’s sophisticated desktop publishing (DTP) software affect translation?
A: With the help of "story collectors," translators and DTP specialists can quickly translate and reproduce the original layout of a document faster than ever. (A “story collector” is a specialized portion of our software that identifies every bit of text in a DTP file (e.g., Quark, InDesign, etc.), collects it and provides it in a separate file for translation. When the translation is complete, it then re-imports the translated text back into its place within your layout.) So you can rest assured your documentation – and your brand image – will remain consistent across all language versions.
Q: Technologically speaking, what is the best way to provide source material for translation? What file extensions are best to use?
A: Providing text for translation in an electronic/digital file saves time and can save money. Tell us what file format you’re working in. We can handle the DTP for just about any program. Separate DTP quotes can be provided once we have reviewed the native files. By far the easiest format to work in is a basic Microsoft® Word file.
Q: Can you translate AutoCAD drawings and similar computer-generated files?
A: Absolutely. We have very sophisticated software that allows us to translate everything in an AutoCAD file and send it back to you with everything in place, ready to use on the engineering or production floor. As always, we provide you with a hard copy and the file on disk.
Q: What happens if we have to edit the document after you’ve started the translation?
A: Of course, we’ll roll with the changes and adjust things accordingly. (For example, if you add or subtract quite a bit of text, the quote can be refigured.) This may affect our estimated turnaround time as well. In an ideal situation, waiting until the original text is finalized is the best option. Multiple versions of the "same" file can lead to errors.
Q: In what forms will I get my translated documents?
A:

Print documents are always emailed as pdf,s to eliminate the problem of symbols and other special characters being lost in software “translation.”

Audio and video scripts are provided in Microsoft® Word in a dual language version. Typically the English is on the left and the foreign language on the right.

Glossaries, style guides, etc.
Q: Our organization has a style manual. Should we provide that along with the source material?
A: Yes. It will be a great help to the translator and it will reduce the time needed for the job.
Scheduling translation
Q: How do I schedule a translation project?
A:

Click here for a quote. You can send us the entire source document attached to an email with information on what you need. Or, for confidential/sensitive materials, send it to us securely via our FTP page. Just call us and we’ll set up an easy, secure, password-protected account for you.

We’ll contact you with questions and send you a quote, usually within 24 hours. We’ll work with you to establish a realistic timetable. Once approved, we can begin.

Q: How long until my translation is finished?
A:

It depends on multiple factors. What is the condition of the source text? Was it provided electronically or as a handwritten third-generation facsimile (very hard to read)? Was the file created in some obscure software? Do you have a glossary of approved terms we can check against for preferred spellings, product names, trademarks and other specifics?

We can’t guarantee anything within 24 hours (remember, we work with career professionals in multiple time zones). But we always give you a detailed time estimate, and our turnaround times are very speedy with reliably accurate results.

Scheduling language instruction
Q: How do we set up a language instruction schedule?
A: Contact us. We’ll meet with you to define your goals and what you need. We’ll provide you with a quote and, once approved, set up a class schedule that works for the student(s) at your site. For more information, see Language Instruction or call us at 1.800.457.4220 (locally 419.865.4374).
Scheduling an interpreter
Q: How do I schedule an interpreter?
A: Contact us with information on what you need, when and where. We’ll provide you with a quote. Once approved, we’ll arrange for a professional interpreter. For more information, see Interpreter Services or call us at 1.800.457.4220 (locally 419.865.4374).
Payment methods
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: We accept payment via check, cash and PayPal.


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