In translation, what, in concrete terms, is quality? more
When will I receive my translation? more
You wish to have a document translated, but it is confidential... more
Translation, interpretation: what difference?
When a client wishes to have a translator, for example in Paris or in Rennes, it is most likely that the person they need is actually what is known as an “interpreter”. Translation and interpretation actually imply different sets of skills and, usually, these activities are performed by different professionals.
Translation is about translating ideas expressed in writing from one language into another, and interpretation is an oral task, which entails that the interpreter is present on the location. Choosing the interpreter therefore involves a geographical constraint, as the professional will have to go to the location of the mission.
Source language, target language?
In translation, the source language is the original language, and the target language is the language the text is translated into. The “source” text is the text that needs translating, and the “target” text the one in which the translation shall be delivered. It is a common understanding that the target language should be the translator’s native language.
Why have my document translated?
To be effective in setting up in a foreign market, it is essential to have at your disposal a translation of all relevant documents in the language of the target audience. Moreover, besides the accuracy of the information from a technical standpoint, it is important to make sure that the documents published by your organisation are adapted to the culture of the target audience.
Can you translate into every language?
LinguaForce is able to translate any type of text into all languages, even the rarest. To this day, we have carried out translation jobs in over 80 different languages.
We call on highly-qualified translators and reviewers, who translate exclusively towards their native language. They are selected with great care, according to the project and depending on their knowledge of the subject. This approach allows us to achieve optimal quality for all your types of translation projects and in all languages.
What is the translation process?
Several steps are necessary to translate a document.
Our process and quality control guarantee that our clients have high-quality, accurate translations.
- First of all, we assess the clarity of the document we have received. It is possible that we get back to you to clarify certain terms that are ambiguous or specific to your organisation.
- Then, we turn to a professional translator who will translate into his/her native language.
- Once the translation is complete, we ask a reviewer to check and correct the document, so as to make sure that the translation is relevant and that the terminology used is consistent. The reviewer can also improve the style for the resulting document to look as little as possible like a translation and appear rather as a document written directly in the target language.
- Once reviewed, the document is submitted to the first translator for approval, to validate the changes. If necessary, the translator and the reviewer discuss the translation for a longer period of time until the final version is established.
- We then present the client with the translation in the format of the original document for possible modifications and changes.
- If the client deems that reviews are necessary, we include them in the text, following their new instructions.
How much does a translation cost?
The pricing principle is usually the number of source words (i.e. in the original text) or, for some languages, the number of characters. Other parameters can also be taken into account: the level of urgency, the technical nature of the subject at hand, the small number of translators for some less common languages, the number of images and the number of files, if there are many of them.
How do you assess the volume of a text?
It is possible to assess the volume of a text thanks to the counting tool in Microsoft®Word (Tools/Statistics). It can evaluate the exact number of words in a document. Unfortunately, Word forgets certain types of text (dynamic blocks, footnotes, etc.).
For formats other than Microsoft®Word, simply copy-paste the text in a Word document. There are also other counting systems that we use for more complex cases, such as websites for instance. In the case of documents in a non-editable format, we use OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software, which allows us to extract the text.
How and when do I pay for my translation?
After you have received the invoice, you can make the payment by:
Unless otherwise stated and with the exception of some cases, you will receive the invoice by post or e-mail after delivery of the translated documents. The due date is specified on the invoice and is the same as the one on our purchase order.
- bank transfer (bank details available on simple request);
- cheque in euros made out to LinguaForce;
- online payment via secure services such as PayPal or Skrill (MoneyBookers) if you have an account.
Is there a minimum invoicing amount?
For a one-time order, the minimum invoicing amount is €60 for a translation project into only one language, and €40 per language for a translation project into several languages. However, this minimum amount can be adjusted if your order is part of a project in several steps or if your translation requirements from a same source language into a same target language are spread out over the year. That is namely the case for a website, the translation of which often requires several successive phases, or for recurring translation projects.
Moreover, as a new client of LinguaForce, you will enjoy a discount on your first order.
Will the translation be clear for a foreigner?
We make sure that your text does not lose its meaning when translated, and ensure that the resulting translation is as accessible as possible to the target audience. To this end, we always require the services of two translators for each project, the first being the one translating, the second checking its conformity with the original and improving the text to make it more accessible to the audience of the target language. Furthermore, we only call on highly-qualified translators who work exclusively towards their native language. We make sure that they have the necessary qualifications and experience. All of them are full-time professional translators. They know how to take advantage of the many translation tools and specialised reference manuals, all the while taking into account linguistic details and cultural preferences.
Can I make the translation work easier?
Your documents will be clearer if you make sure the terminology you use is consistent and the sentences simple. It is difficult to express idioms, slang or wordplays in another language. Feel free to provide us with definitions and/or explanations for terms and concepts that are specific to your organisation, service or product, and that can be difficult to understand without a certain context. It is helpful to specify the terms and abbreviations that are to be left unchanged in the target language (brands, proper names, acronyms, Anglicisms, etc.). A bilingual or multilingual glossary is also a useful tool and helps with the consistency of the terms used in passed and future translations. The glossary enables the translators to understand the terms specific to your project, which makes the translation process more efficient.
I usually translate on my own.
Using the services of experts in translation is actually less expensive! Translation is a profession. In order to eliminate any risk of mistake in your translations, the golden rule is only to require the services of true professionals. More importantly, giving the translation to one of your co‑workers, when it is not their main profession (and when they are maybe much better paid than a translator!), has the drawback that, while they are translating, they will not be doing their usual work. This is a shortfall for the company that can in the end be more significant than the apparent saving made from not giving the work to professional translators. For a result of equal quality, professional translators work faster and as a result are less expensive than the occasional translators who therefore have little experience.
When will I receive my translation?
The “usual” period of time to deliver a translation is the necessary time for your project to be given to a translator and then a reviewer, keeping in mind that a translator can translate 2,000 to 3,000 words a day and that a reviewer reaches approximately 6,000 words a day.
If your project has some particular deadlines, we can accelerate the process to adjust to your needs. For instance, it is possible to find a team of translators who work weekends. If you have an urgent translation given to us in the evening for the next morning, the time difference allows us to require the services of translators living on other continents, who will therefore translate while it is night-time in Europe. Finally, in the case of an urgent translation for large volumes, we can divide the project between several translators and reviewers who will work simultaneously, with a dialogue between the translators to ensure terminology and style consistency in the final result.
My document is confidential.
Respecting professional secrecy is an absolute priority for LinguaForce and for all our collaborators, both internal and external. The information in the translated documents is strictly confidential and under no circumstances can it be divulged to third parties. By definition, the profession of translator is bound to confidentiality. When you specify that your information is particularly sensitive, we can sign a non-disclosure agreement or even implement additional security procedures, for example by dividing your texts up and giving them to several translators so that none of them will have all of the information, or “hiding” any identifying information so as to make your text completely anonymous. These operations are performed only at managing levels and exclusively by authorised personnel appointed to the project.
Difference between proofreading and review?
Proofreading by a second native professional translator is above all a way to eliminate any typographical or spelling mistake that may remain in a translation even when executed by excellent professional translators. The proofreader has a new look on a text’s translation, which allows them to improve the style in order for it to look like a text written directly in the target language.
Review involves checking the accuracy of the translation, to make sure it has all the elements of the source text. In this case, the reviewer works with the source text and compares it with the translation.
The standard translation services we offer include both steps: translation and review, both of them crucial to guarantee accuracy with the original.
Why choose LinguaForce?
- A translation performed by native translators. We are convinced that only a translator working towards their native language can communicate the character, subtle differences and idiomatic turns of phrases specific to their language and cultural setting.
- A quality translation. Not only do we always entrust your document to professional, native translators, but our translation process also combines proof-reading and review options, to considerably improve the quality of your final translation.
- A translation completed by the deadline. We know that time is an important factor in a company’s life. This is why we are careful to meet the deadlines we committed to, particularly, of course, if your translation is urgent.
- A translation under warranty. We always take our client’s opinion into account. That is the reason LinguaForce offers you a guarantee of accuracy and a guarantee of free corrections if you deem them necessary.
- A translation to fit your image. You choose our services but we are at your service. We promise to give you the highest quality at the best price. You will always receive your translation in the same format and in an identical layout as that of the original version.
- A translation at the best price. Our margins are limited because we negotiate directly with our service providers who grant us preferred prices. If you dealt directly with these same professionals, the rate they would offer you would be virtually the same as the one we offer you. However, we do not pretend to be the cheapest on the market, because the services of our cheapest competitors do not offer any of the quality or deadline features, nor any of the guarantees, that we do.
- A follow-up of your various translation projects. By entrusting all of your translations to LinguaForce, you will have the guarantee of regular quality for your translations. For a same client and a same type of project, we endeavour to call on the services of the same teams of translators, and keep them apprised of the documents previously translated. In such, we can make sure the terminology and style are consistent in all of the translated documents.
I have an urgent translation…
Do not waste a moment and send us the document to translate, even if it is not complete, and give us your deadline. It is absolutely necessary that we look at your text to be able to confirm whether we can meet your deadline. Short documents can generally be translated quickly. For your larger documents, and for a slightly higher price, your urgent documents can be processed outside of working hours (night shifts) and even weekends. To make the necessary time shorter, we can also choose to divide the documents up between several translators, with a terminological follow-up to make sure of the consistency on all of the produced translations.
We can also translate a first version of a document, then a modified version of the same document, without charging you full price a second time.
What guarantee on the quality of my translation?
The quality of your translated text is a determining asset in your business strategy. Whatever project we are entrusted with, we always aim for the top performance. That is why we promise to correct your translation for free if you are not completely satisfied.
Quality is an important and demanding requirement that every organisation or company tries to pass on to their prospects or clients. Your website, your brochures or your catalogues are most of the time the first source of information read by a new prospect or client who wishes to find out more about your company and its products and services.
A quality business-style, well translated, well written, without any spelling or punctuation mistakes, will enable you to be more convincing with your clients. With LinguaForce, your communication will always be of excellent quality and will therefore each day transmit the best image of your company and its products and services.
How do I get a free quotation?
Our quotations are always free: visit our Quotation page. Please remember to specify the languages you need and to attach the document for translation, as well as a telephone number for us to contact you. You can also contact us at +33 (0)2 99 59 73 10. And to make things easier yet, simply fill in our online form. We will answer you as soon as possible.
I have large files to translate.
If the documents you wish to send us are too heavy, we will suggest different ways for you to send them to us (Skype, FTP, P2P…). You will therefore be able to send them to us easily through the Internet without cluttering your inbox. Conversely, we will be able to put the finished translated documents at your disposal via FTP, to make their download faster for you. Furthermore, for less urgent works, you can of course send us CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs or paper brochures through the post.
What tools do your translators have at their disposal?
Our translators, all of them specialised in one or more specific technical fields, use their own translation tools: terminology databases built and expanded over the years through their experience, specialised glossaries, technical dictionaries. Internet also gives them access to invaluable resources.
A large number of our translators have computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, also called Translation Memories. These tools are particularly useful to translate texts with many similarities or term repetitions: they help us make sure that the same word is always translated consistently in all the communication.
Finally, we also have a server with a large capacity and, like most of our translators, broadband connection that allows us to receive easily all of your files, whatever their size. We also use instant messaging such as Skype for network exchanges between translators. These tools can be particularly useful when several translators work simultaneously on the same project.
What about machine translation software?
Human language is made up of ambiguities, exceptions, wordplays, subtle phrases, mistakes and logical associations that a computer cannot yet comprehend. The best machine translation software or websites (like Google Translate) are rarely capable of constructing whole sentences without making any mistakes in meaning, syntax or vocabulary. A simple test: ask a machine translation software to translate a page in French into English, then ask it to translate into French the text in English it created. The results can be disastrous.
Also, one should know that Google Translate uses English as a bridge language, even between two Romance languages for instance. Imagine the mistakes that that can lead to…
In such, these tools can help to understand a text in a foreign language but to this day, they are not a reliable alternative to human translation.
What difference is there between consecutive translation and simultaneous translation?
Simultaneous translation (conference interpretation) and consecutive translation are two types of oral translation, used in case of accompanying, business negotiations, conferences, etc.
- Simultaneous interpretation: the interpreter works in a booth; he/she hears via a headset what the orator is saying, and simultaneously renders the translation in a microphone. It is a particularly difficult and tiring exercise, during which interpreters usually work in pairs and take turns.
- Consecutive interpretation: the interpreter takes notes while the orator speaks, and then translates what was said once the orator has finished.
Do you offer any other services?
From corporate movies to full-length feature films as well as documentaries, TV series, adverts or corporate videos, LinguaForce carries out the adaptation for subtitles of all your programmes, from and into all languages. And it costs much less than what people usually think. LinguaForce also offers a professional transcription service, from the most common physical and digital formats, in any language.
We also offer a service for telephone interpretation and a service to analyse brands abroad (to make sure that a brand’s name will not be a problem in another country).
I have a website to translate…
We are specialised in the translation of websites and software. And to prove it… the full version of this website is available to you in 7 languages!
We also subtitle your online videos (YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion…) whatever the format (AVI, WMV, MKV, Flash, QuickTime…).
Adapting and translating one’s website is neither very complicated nor very expensive. However, it requires skills that are both language-related and technical: the command of various Internet technologies and of the specific issue of multilingualism on the web (encoding, writing direction, etc.). Thanks to our expertise, we can help you avoid many of the typical pitfalls of internationalising a web project.
Do you translate regional languages?
At LinguaForce, we encourage translation in regional languages, to promote cultural diversity. Each language implies a unique way of thinking. To lose a language is to lose a particular way of seeing the world. Reminder: Basque is not an Indo-European language, Breton and Alsatian are not romance languages.
The European Union has approximately 150 regional or minority languages, spoken by nearly 50 million citizens. They can be divided in three categories:
Languages are a means of communication, but they do not just have a useful dimension: each one is the expression of a particular culture, history, mindset, poetry, relation to others and knowledge of the word. In such, each language is unique, irreplaceable and is a human and cultural treasure, the disappearance of which is harmful for our human community.
- the languages specific to one region: for instance, Occitan, Breton, Corsican or Welsh;
- the languages spoken by a minority in a Member State, but that have the status of an official language in another: for instance, French in the Aosta Valley in northern Italy or German in the south of Denmark;
- languages that are not associated with any specific territory, like Romani or Armenian.
Why require an agency’s services rather than those of a freelance translator?
A freelance translator does not have a command of all fields and is not always available immediately. By contacting an agency, you are neither limited by the choice of language nor by the field of specialisation. LinguaForce is in relation with an extensive network of freelance translators who work exclusively towards their native language. For each new project, we take great care in choosing a translator according to their experience in the field at hand. In the case of multilingual or multi-field projects, it is particularly reassuring to know that the same partner is meeting your various translation needs.
To require our agency’s services is the guarantee of the best choice, in our network of over 3,000 translators.
If parts of my document are already translated, will I have to pay for them again?
Not necessarily. The cost of a new translation can take into account the repetition of some passages from the previous version. The new task will however, when needed, take into account the time necessary to type or identify the paragraphs concerned by the modifications.
Do you charge for repeated elements?
That is often the case, for example, when translating catalogues. If you need to translate documents with many repetitions, we can apply a discount on the total amount of the translation. This discount varies according to the number and importance of the repetitions. Sometimes, it can be useful to consider rethinking the structure of the information, to see whether it can be optimised so as to manage this repetition issue cleverly.
Translation for information vs. for publication?
It is important to distinguish between the notion of translation “for information”, which designates a fast and economical work (to understand a text in a language one doesn’t know) and a translation “for publication”, which entails a work of higher quality. It can be useful to mention the destination of the translation (for information, for publication, for advertising, etc.). In the case of a translation for publication, your demands will of course be higher, and the translators will have to provide a work that is more thorough.
Do you carry out proofreadings or reviews?
LinguaForce offers review services for your documents that are already translated. We will require a reviewer to check word after word the accuracy of your document that is already translated: correct the grammar and the spelling, make the style uniform, review the structure, clarify the contents, write or review the caption and titles, etc.
Some professionals (doctors, researchers, engineers, scientists…) sometimes write directly in a language (often in English) that is not their native language. We offer a proofreading and if necessary a correction of your texts by a native proof-reader in order to guarantee perfect quality for your work. Nevertheless, as the workload depends on the quality of the first translation, it is not possible for us to provide fixed prices (by the word) for reviews. We need to see the translation so as to establish a precise quotation.
Can you put an interpreter at my disposal anywhere in France (or somewhere else)?
LinguaForce puts interpreters at your disposal everywhere in France, but also abroad. Another solution, flexible and economical, adapted to some situations, is putting at your disposal an interpreter through the telephone.
Our interpreters assist you, and therefore free you from language barriers. Most of them come from the country whose language(s) they speak. An extended stay in France has made them familiar with French society and institutions. They are capable of both translating words and deciphering behaviours… At LinguaForce, the interpreters are chosen for their knowledge in languages and culture, and their sense of communication: listening, understanding, wording…
And what if I don’t receive my translations on time?
Thankfully, this case is extremely rare. This kind of problem sometimes arises when a translator or proof-reader has problems with their Internet connection or their e-mail, beyond their control, or even more serious extraordinary circumstances. We take these problems upon ourselves so as to limit their impact on our clients’ activities as much as possible, and apply in this case a discount on the total amount of the belated translations.
Is English enough for international clients?
Having a version in English is of course an inescapable step, but is it enough? Did you know that an electronic business website gets three times as many visitors if available in the user’s language, than if it is only available in English*?
If you develop your activity abroad, you will most certainly have to take another step towards your potential client and identify your potential language communities.
Beyond English, the choice of languages in which to translate your website depends:
- on your current range of action and what you know of the languages used by your prospects;
- on your projects for development, taking into account the official languages but also the language communities or gateways.