About Translation & Interpreting
What is translation?
Simply put, translation is taking content in one language and writing that content in another language. Translation always refers to written or otherwise recorded text. For example, you might translate an email, a press release, or a novel. Other types of translation include transcription, which creates a written script or transcript of recorded audio, or subtitling, which provides a set of written sentences or subtitles to be displayed during videos or films. If this sounds like what you need, we will be happy to help. You can contact us at email@example.com or request a quote here.
What is interpreting?
Interpreting involves listening to live speech in one language and conveying that speech in another language, so that people who do not speak the same language are able to communicate. There are many scenarios where this might be useful. For business, this includes meetings, conferences, phone conversations or video conferences, and for public services, this includes hospital appointments or treatment, police interviews, court cases, and immigration.
Different types of interpreting will be suitable for different scenarios. The main types of interpreting are:
What is the difference between translation and interpreting?
Translation converts written or recorded text from one language into another, whereas interpreting converts live speech in one language into live speech in another language. Interpreting is carried out live, whether in person or over the phone, whereas translation can be conducted at any time using written content, video, or audio. So, if you need someone to help two or more speakers to communicate in person or over the phone, then you will want an interpreter. However, if you have a document, website, book, or film in one language and need a copy of this in a different language, then you need a translator. We specialise in translation services, but can sometimes provide interpreting services on request. If you need either of these services, you can contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What qualifications do you need to be a translator?
Translation requires specific skills and experience; you need more than a second language to translate well. There are a number of professional and academic courses designed to teach translators practical skills and translation theory. However, officially, there are no regulations regarding the qualifications you need to be a translator, which can lead to a huge range in the quality of translated texts.
Many agencies and companies will stipulate that a translator must either have a degree in foreign languages or translation, or a certain number of years’ experience in the profession. However, due to misconceptions about translation and cost-cutting measures among some agencies, many more will simply ask translators to pass a ‘language test’. This is especially common for interpreting, and can lead to poor quality standards. At Animus Translations, we believe qualifications and training are vital for ensuring high quality translations, and we only work with translators with the highest level translation qualifications: Masters’ or PhD level.
Why is it important to only translate into your native language?
Translating into your native language is essential to ensure the translation is fluent, natural, and accurate. A translation produced by a native speaker will almost always be of a higher quality than a translation produced by a non-native speaker.
Additionally, it is important to ensure cultural awareness and a thorough understanding of the different connotations for words and phrases to avoid embarrassing and costly mistakes. If you’ve ever come across inaccurate or culturally inappropriate translations, you may already be familiar with the potentially disastrous results that can come from non-native translations.
At Animus Translations, all of our translations are produced by native speakers of the language required and we would strongly advise that you do not purchase translations produced by non-native speakers to ensure the best result for your translation.
Can a translator translate any text?
No. Just as there are texts we may struggle to understand in our native language, such as scientific or legal texts, translators must also be familiar with the subject they are translating and the terminology used. Many translators choose to specialise in particular areas of translation. For example, areas such as literary translation or advertising require a strong command of your native language and a flexible, creative approach to translation. Technical, legal, or medical texts will require a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and a familiarity with the relevant vocabulary. If such texts are translated by non-specialised or general translators, this can lead to costly mistakes, mistranslations, an inappropriate style, or awkward and unnatural sounding translations, among other issues.
How long does translation take?
On average, a professional translator can translate between 2,000 and 3,000 words a day. However, there are many factors that will affect how long a translation will take to complete, including the languages involved, the experience of the translator, and the subject and format being translated. For example, a handwritten or scanned text will need to be typed out, as will audio or video.
Time will also be needed to discuss your project and to find a suitable translator, answer any questions the translator may have, and to proofread, and format your text. Many clients will spend considerable time creating a text in their own language and then rush the translation process. It is our policy to turn down most urgent or last minute projects and we do not split large projects between translators, as this can lead to inconsistent style and terminology.
To ensure your documents have the same quality in all languages and meet your needs appropriately, we encourage all our clients to contact us about translation as early as they can. This will help us to find the best translator for your project and ensure they have sufficient time to provide a text that fully meets your needs and expectations.
Can’t I just use Google Translate, or ask my French colleague to translate for me?
Many people believe that translation is simply a matter of replacing one foreign language word with an equivalent in a different language. In reality, it’s a lot more complicated than that. Different languages have different structures, expressions, and styles. Professional translators are trained to find the best solution to any difficult phrases or cultural differences and will produce a much more accurate and fluent text than someone without such training.
Google Translate does have its uses, for example, if you want to get the gist of a text written in another language, or detect what language a document is written in, then Google Translate can help with that. However, what it can’t do is produce a reliable, accurate, or fluent text. This is especially true if you want to translate between two languages which aren’t English, as to do this Google Translate will translate your text into English first, before translating that into the language you need, which has a similar effect to Chinese whispers. It also relies upon users correcting the translations it produces in order to improve results, which can lead to serious and embarrassing mistakes.
About Our Services
Which services do you provide?
We provide a comprehensive range of services, including: translation, localisation, proofreading, subtitling, and transcription. We also offer bespoke services if you would like a specific combination of services and can often provide or help you with other services, such as interpreting. To find out more, please visit our services page, where you will find descriptions of all the services we provide.
Which languages do you work with?
Our core languages are:
If you require a language not listed here, we may still be able to help you. Contact us to find out more.
Do you use translation software?
Many of our translators use Computer-Aided Translation software (CAT tools) such as SDL Trados. These tools store a translator’s previous work and suggest translations for identical or near identical phrases or sentences, which help can to ensure consistency for single documents or larger projects. These tools often include term bases as well, which help translators to work faster and can be used to store clients’ preferred vocabulary. We can often accommodate requests for translators to use a specific type of CAT tool if you require this for your project.
Do you use machine translation?
No. None of our translations are automated or completed using machine translation as this can lead to inaccurate, poor quality translations. It is often more time consuming and costly to pay for a machine translation to be corrected by a proof-reader than to have the document translated professionally, and the end quality is almost always lower. Many of our translators use software to improve efficiency and consistency, but are strictly prohibited from using machine translation.
How much do your services cost?
Costs for translation services vary depending on the languages involved, the type of document and the subject matter. Rates are almost always calculated on a per word basis; accurate quotes can be provided once we have seen the document to be translated. If you would like a free, no-obligation quote for your project, please contact us at email@example.com or use our request a quote form.
Is proofreading included in your prices?
Proofreading can be added to your project if required, but is not automatically included in our prices. This is because many of our clients prefer to have their own in-house team check the text to ensure consistent terminology and brand style. If you do not have in-house proof-readers or editors, we will be happy to provide proofreading services for you. This can be provided with, or without our other services. However, please be advised that we do not proofread translations completed by other agencies, or texts written by non-native speakers.
Which payment methods do you accept?
We accept payments via bank transfer, Paypal (for international projects), or Transferwise.
What are your payment terms?
For most projects, our payment terms are 30 days after invoice. For large scale projects, we may require a deposit at the start of work.
How can I contact you?
The best way to get in touch with us is by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or using our request a quote form. You can also call us on +44 3333 443139 for international calls or 03333443139 for UK calls, or write to us at:
131 Yewtree Lane,
About Our Translators
What qualifications do your translators have?
All of our translators have at least a Master’s degree in translation and some of our translators have PhD qualifications in this field. Additionally, all of our translators have an undergraduate degree, with a range of different qualifications including foreign languages, translation and interpreting, or subject-specific degrees in other fields which allow them to translate certain subject areas more accurately.
What experience and expertise do your translators have?
Our translators have a range of experience and expertise which allows us to offer translations for many different subjects. Many of our translators come to us later in life, after having spent the beginning of their career in other fields, such as medicine or law, and therefore have considerable experience of these areas. Others have gained their experience through their years of professional translation, whether they have chosen to focus on specific types of translation or maintain a more general approach.
When our translators come to work with us, they provide us with vital information, including the number of years’ experience they have with different fields, which we use to ensure projects are allocated to translators with sufficient experience and training to provide an accurate and fluent translation. We also offer opportunities for newly qualified translators to gain experience by working with us on general or simple projects, which will be overseen by a more qualified translator, provided the client is happy for us to do this.
Are you hiring translators?
At the moment, we do not need additional translators. Freelance opportunities will be posted on our careers page as and when they become available and translators can send in their CVs at any time for us to keep on file for such opportunities.
Do you outsource translation work?
We only send translation projects to our registered freelance translators, who have completed the application process to work with us. We do not send projects to any translators we have not personally vetted and we never outsource to other translation agencies. This is because many agencies have different requirements regarding the translators they work with, and we would not be able to guarantee our quality standards if we were to outsource to other companies. Additionally, we believe that if a client entrusts us with a project, then they are trusting us to complete this as advertised and as agreed. Having their project completed by a different company, without their knowledge or agreement, would be a betrayal of this trust, so if we can’t manage a project ourselves we will inform the client and suggest alternative agencies they could turn to.
Do you work with other translation agencies?
As noted in the previous question, we do not outsource to other agencies, but some agencies do turn to us if they need a project completing and do not have the translators they need. We are happy to help in these instances, although we advise that they ask the client’s permission before doing this.
Do you offer work experience placements or apprenticeships?
As the majority of our translators work from home on a freelance basis, we are not able to offer in-house positions or internships.
However, as we know how difficult it can be to break into the translation field and want to encourage new translators, we are sometimes able to offer newly qualified translators the opportunity to gain further experience with us by working with a more qualified translator on simple projects. We also work with the same system for translators interested in gaining more experience in specialist fields.
We are also happy to offer advice for newly qualified translators or those interested in starting a career in the field and regularly attend events and talks for language students at the University of Manchester.
If we believe your project is suitable for this programme, we will always ask your permission and will ensure that your translation is fully vetted by a qualified translator before delivery.