FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Which language combinations can be translated ?
Which subjects can be translated ?
Here are some examples of subject areas that our translators work with. Feel free to inquire about your particular subject.
- General Texts
- Aviation and Space
What does the actual translation process look like ?
01. Your inquiry is received.
02. Your documents are reviewed for subject matter, complexity, length, etc.
03. Our costs are calculated and a quote is submitted to you.
04. Any outstanding questions are answered.
05. Your purchase order is received.
06. Translators are carefully selected for your project.
07. A first draft is produced and reviewed.
08. The translation is proofread by a second translator (optional – see remark on proofreading).
09. The edited version is corrected.
10. The finished product is delivered as per your specifications.
Are there special procedures for certified and notarized translations ?
Your source text should be sent to us by registered mail. If you don’t want to send your original by mail, inquire if you can send us a copy of the document. However, please do keep in mind that you will always have to submit our certified translation together with the original to the relevant office that requires the certification.
In order to notarize a copy of our translation, the notary public has to see the original of the document, as well as the photocopy. The notary public will declare that the document is a true photocopy of the original. Usually an affidavit will go hand in hand with the notarization, in which the translator of the document declares that he/she translated the source document to the best of his/her knowledge. We recommend that you collect all the necessary details on the preferred method from the relevant office before getting your document certified or notarized by us. Hand-written parts in the text may very well be illegible. As our translators can’t give their own interpretation to the text, we have to note the illegibility in your document (i.e. [illegible signature] or [illegible hand-written text]).
What is the best file transfer method for large documents ?
What kind of precautions do you take against computer viruses ?
Will my information remain confidential ?
What is the difference between small and large translation agencies ?
When looking carefully at the translation industry, you will find that most translation agencies are being managed by single individuals. An agency with 20 employees is already considered to be “large”. Most agencies are owned and managed by translators, who can give each assignment the needed attention. In larger agencies several administrative layers slow down the translation process considerably. In spite of our size, we are still flexible and able to give the needed attention to your job while producing high-quality work at a reasonable cost.
How can I ensure that I work with a qualified translation agency ?
Good translation agencies ask questions. We know when to consult you about terminology or text concepts that only you can explain. Good translation agencies don’t hesitate to provide you with professional references that will put your mind at ease. Feel free to ask us for previously completed assignments or sample translations. Some translators are affiliated with certain organizations that provided them with a certification. Others may have taken relevant courses that pertain to translating. If you are looking for a specialist in a certain field, don’t hesitate to ask us for the credentials of the translator that is assigned to your translation. A good translation agency will be able to supply you with an exact time and cost estimate for your assignment, as long as you are able to provide the necessary details. In our quote for your translation we will supply you with an exact delivery date. If a translation agency does not specialize in your field, they will refer you to another service provider, who will be able to accommodate your needs best. We will ensure that we do our utmost to accommodate your needs, but do not hesitate to recommend another agency to you if needs be.
Why does your agency only work with native translators ?
People are usually more comfortable in their native tongue when it comes to reading and writing. Translators will instinctively always express themselves much better in their native tongue. We feel that no matter how experienced translators are in a foreign language, it will still always remain a foreign language to them. That’s why we have decided to assign native translators to your assignments, in order to ensure the best quality for your translation.
What do I look for in a good translation ?
A good translation will convey the message from the source document fully and accurately across the linguistic and cultural barrier that lies between the writer and the reader. Good translations are also the result of carefully coordinated teamwork between translators and proofreaders to ensure accuracy and completeness. Our translations are produced by highly skilled individuals, deeply rooted in both the source and the target cultures, who are experts in the subject matter and familiar with the specific lingo at hand.
How can I ensure that the translation is completed to my expectations ?
To a large degree, you as the customer can greatly influence the quality of the translation you will receive. You can contribute in the following ways to the quality of your final product:
While Writing And Preparing Your Text:
Avoid or explain in-house abbreviations and jargon.
Avoid puns. They may be translatable, but could be offending in the target culture.
Determine the intended target group for the translation, the required language (i.e. French or Canadian French) and writing style (i.e. specialist or layman).
Allow for expansion of the text in the translated version. Your text may expand up to 50% or even more in the translation. This depends on the languages involved and the subject matter.
Ensure to hand over an error-free, final version of your original. A well-written original text is the most important single factor in ensuring a good translation. Your message and objective should be clear and understandable.
Provide us with the best possible copy of your source document. This becomes especially important when we are dealing with numbers and names that cannot be guessed from the context.
Provide your text electronically if you can. Less work is involved for us in translating an electronic document and e-mail makes file transfer faster and more efficient, rather than us using mail or courier delivery.
Schedule sufficient time as far in advance as possible to avoid tight deadlines and added expenses and therefore ensure a high-quality translation. Be considerate and don’t expect us to translate a text that took you one week to write, to be translated into Vietnamese in one day.
Deliver your original documents on time. As we have more than one customer, a lot of careful scheduling and planning is involved for us. If it turns out, that you can’t deliver your document on the agreed date, a delay can sometimes be expected. If our translator for your project has scheduled other large translations, even several days of delay are not unusual.
Be available for pick-up of the original documents and ensure that we have the correct contact and address information. Be prepared for questions we may ask you at that time.
Provide as much information as possible about your project (i.e.: previously completed translations, relevant brochures, correspondence, illustrations, glossaries, etc.) In most cases our translators are able to deliver better quality work if extensive background information is available for their review. Any information that you provide, has to be clearly marked “For Reference Only”. Illustrations can help our translator resolve questions you may not be aware of.
If you have special concerns about your translation, please point them out to us before we start the translating process (i.e. you want the translated text to rhyme or be completed in a certain language dialect, etc.). We will be happy to assign a suitable translator to your assignment and will accommodate you as best as we can.
Advise us why you need the document translated. It will help us to meet your particular needs if we know what the final document will be used for. During The Translation Process
Appoint a contact person in your organization to answer specific questions the translator or the proofreader may have during their work. Don’t be surprised or disappointed if terminology questions come back to you. Good translation work requires a lot of research in some cases, and good translators ask questions! The more you are able to help us with your knowledge and feedback, the better your translation will be.
Have the contact person approve glossaries of terms that relate to your industry and project. Keep in mind that different terms may be used for the same concept in different industries and even by different companies within the same industry.
Try to prevent additions and changes. Every addition means updating the text, the word count, invoice and administration of your project.
After The Translation Process
If you feel that your document requires special attention, consider having a second translator proofread your document. We will be glad to offer this to you at a small additional charge (usually about 30% of the translating rate).
Give us your feedback on the work completed. It will help us to keep your specific requirements in mind next time around.
Be available for the delivery of the translation.
And Most Important Of All Build a long-term relationship with us as your translation agency, based on mutual trust, respect, and cooperation.
Is a literal translation the best way to ensure accuracy ?
Clients often mistakenly assume that the most accurate way to convey the meaning of the original text is to produce a word-for-word (“literal”) translation. Literal translations are awkward and inaccurate. You can easily test this by having any of the major search engines on the World Wide Web translate a text and then have the software translate it back into English. Our translators cannot change every word of the source document into an exact equivalent in the target language, as cultures and languages have profound differences. Take for instance the three English verbs “watch”, “see”, and “look”, which are united into a single verb in some languages. Our translators are native speakers who have extensive knowledge about cultural and linguistic differences and will ensure to convey the meaning of your original text accurately.
How good is the quality of fully automatic translation programs ?
Translators believe in the superior quality of human translation. Computer programs lack any understanding or judgement of your text. Programs or search engines that promise good quality translations by the click of a button translate literally and require extensive post-editing by a qualified translator. Most industry experts agree that this situation is unlikely to change substantially in the near future. Pass your translations on to our agency and be assured that you will receive the quality that you require.
If I use a dictionary, couldn’t I translate my own documents ?
Unfortunately translating is not as simple as many people assume. Different rules for grammar, word order, informal speech, etc. make a thorough understanding of the two languages involved an absolute necessity. Translation is much more difficult than one may expect; many foreign words don’t have an equivalent word and if phrases get translated literally, they can easily turn out to be incorrect or even offensive. We utilize native translators in their field of expertise to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.
How can I proceed if I am not completely satisfied with a translation ?
Feel free to hand it back to us indicating the changes to be made. Comments from specialists at your company and additional reference materials would assist us in the correction process. We will have a second translator review and correct the document, if necessary, and will return it to you at no charge.
Why is translating so cheap with Northspeech?
Translations are very time consuming for the translator. Sometimes it can take longer to translate a document than to actually create it. Translators must be fluent in the two languages that they work with and must be an expert in their field. The price for a translation will reflect the expertise of our translators and the time needed to complete your assignment.
How is the cost of a translation calculated ?
In USA translations are normally charged for by the source word. This may vary somewhat from one agency to another, whereas final charges are usually based on the computer word count of the translation. The per-word rate normally depends on the language combination, the degree of technical difficulty, formatting requirements, and deadlines. Documents that are translated for publication usually involve extra proofreading, which results in additional costs. In United States, expect to pay USD $15.00 to USD $45.00 or more per one hundred words of translation, depending on the above factors and the price structure of the individual translation companies. A “minimum charge” applies to small jobs to cover administrative expenses. Our company falls in line with the above price range, whereas we apply substantial discounts to larger translations.
Can I confirm the price that you quoted me for my translation ?
Our agency charges for each translated word. If you have a word processor, you can look at the word count of your translated document and multiply the number of words by our per-word rate. If you don’t have a digital file, count the words manually (including numbers and names).
How can I save money on my translation ?
The following steps will ensure that you only get charged for what actually needed to be translated: Highlight portions of your source text that do not have to be translated (letterhead, inapplicable items in forms,etc.) Remove numerical tables that do not need to be translated. Mark repetitions in your text. Set a reasonable deadline to avoid rush charges. Send us the best available copy. If poorly legible copies have to be deciphered, an additional surcharge will be applied for the extra time spent. Let us know if formatting of the translation is not necessary (i.e. tables, type style, page numbers). You may not want to pay for formatting, which can later be done in-house. Hand larger documents to us in one bundle, rather than splitting the document up into individual translations. The larger the document, the larger the discount we can offer to you.
Do you also charge for translating names and numbers ?
Do you charge for work on evenings and weekends ?
Rush jobs that require us to work evenings or weekends in order to complete your work, may not be subject to an additional percent fee. We respect your needs, so that we accommodate you as efficiently and cost effective as we can.
How long will it take to complete my translation ?
Why does my large translation project take so long to complete ?
When do you consider a translating assignment to be a rush job ?
Five standard pages of 1000 characters each per day per translator are a normal output. Everything beyond that is considered a rush job. Rush charges can be as high as 50 percent of the normal price and beyond and depend on your project and time constraints. Discuss your needs with us beforehand, so that we may accommodate you as efficiently and cost effective as we can.