Translation terminology

A certified translation is one that has been carried out by a translator appointed by either a government or a professional translators' association, depending on the country's legislation. Translations of official documentation usually need to be certified when required for official use - birth, marriage and divorce certificates supplied for passport applications, academic transcripts from overseas universities submitted for university applications, translated documents used in court and Articles of Association that have to be filed in official registries are just some examples of occasions where the translations would need to be certified.

The requirements for certification vary by country and by organisation, so please check with whoever will be receiving the documentation to verify what they require, and we'll be happy to provide the service you need.

The 'source text' is simply the original document that you need to have translated, and the 'target text' is the final translated document. 'Source words' refers to the word count in the original document and 'target words' mean the number of words in the translated document.

Specialisation in translation is very important because every translation will require an approach specific to that industry. Just like in any profession, a translator should be an expert in the subject areas in which they work. Experience, knowledge of jargon and terminology, appropriate writing style and an in-depth understanding of the industry is the best way to ensure high quality, accurate translations that read like originals.

A translator deals with written language, an interpreter with spoken language. Translators work with written documents that will be printed or published online such as websites, press releases, manuals and contracts, while interpreters attend meetings, conferences, court hearings and other events. We only offer translation services, but if you are in need of interpreting services then we will be happy to advise you on where to find these.

Language Service Providers

Professional translators have many skills, including:

  • an excellent knowledge of their own language;
  • exceptional writing skills in their native language;
  • mastering one or more foreign languages to an exceptionally high level;
  • expertise in their chosen subject areas;
  • strong research skills; and
  • an understanding of the cultures surrounding the languages they translate to and from.

Additionally, professional translators adhere to strict professional guidelines to ensure their work is of the highest quality. These include best practices such as only translating into their mother tongue (which they have mastered to perfection) and engaging in regular continuous professional development in their languages, subject area and the profession.

I’m sure your colleague is very good at their job, but unless they also have all these skills, we’d recommend using a professional translator.

You choose an accountant to deal with financial affairs, a designer to design your materials, so why not a translator to translate your documents?

An agency deals with the whole project for you, leaving you to get on with your day job. You benefit from our expertise in the translation industry; we find the best translators for your project and you have one point of contact who manages the whole process for you - saving you time, money and hassle.

There are clear benefits to working with the same translation agency through time.

Firstly, when you build a relationship you get to know each other and learn how each party works. The more the agency knows about you, the more it will be able to help you. Likewise, the more you know about your agency, the more you know about what to expect and how to design your projects.

Secondly, the quality of the work you receive will remain consistently high if you work with the same provider as getting feedback project after project will allow the agency to build up terminological resources, to record your preferences, to book the translator you like the best for your projects or adapt its procedures to make yours simple and easy to manage.

Thirdly, as you work with the same providers you start building a relationship based on trust, which translates into many benefits for both parties.

Machine Translation and Computer-Assisted Translation

We would strongly advise against using machine translations. Only a human translator can capture the nuances of language, express creative prose like metaphors, idioms or slang and achieve accuracy in technical language. That's not something a machine can do (yet).

CAT, or Computer-Assisted Translation, Tools are software programmes used by some translators. They are not to be confused with Machine Translation - CAT Tools do not translate, they are merely programmes used to improve efficiency and consistency.

The programmes work by matching each sentence in the original document to its translation to build up a database. If words or phrases that have already been translated before are repeated, the CAT Tool will bring this to the translator’s attention and show how it was translated previously.

They can also highlight if the translator uses a different translation for the same term in the text. That is why it is beneficial to provide any glossaries or vocabulary that you may have and want the translator to use. The more informed the translator, the better the translation will be.

Angelia Translations Services

Our translation services cover most combinations of Western European languages such as English, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Dutch and Italian for any subject area. We have also worked with Eastern European languages such as Bulgarian, Romanian and Polish. All your documents will be translated by a native speaker of the language it is being translated into, and a specialist in the subject of the document so we can enforce strict quality control and ensure everything meets our exacting standards.

For us, every translation should be Gold Standard and receive the same level of care and attention as any other. We don't do less than perfect.

We love hearing from you and about your experience. We can only improve the things we could do better if you tell us, and by letting us know what we do well we can make sure we keep doing it.

You can give feedback through our feedback survey (we usually send this to you after your project has been delivered, but it is available at all times) or by sending an email to us at tellmemore@angeliatranslations.com.

The Translation Process

If you’ve never had translations done before and are unsure of what happens, then don’t worry, it’s really very straightforward.

  1. Contact us by email, phone or via the website to request a quote. If we need more information, we will come back to you and ask for it, otherwise we will prepare your quote.
  2. We will send you your quotation explaining all the costs, project stages, timings, payment methods, and everything else you need to know in order to have your documents translated.
  3. To give us your approval, simply sign the quotation, scan it and send it back to us.
  4. We will then send you a short briefing document to complete and return to us. This is so that we can ensure your translator has all the necessary background information to deliver the highest quality translation for you.
  5. We will keep you updated on progress regularly throughout the process.
  6. We deliver the completed translation project to you, on time or early.
  7. Upon confirmation that everything is fine, we will issue an invoice and explain methods and timings of payment.
  8. We will confirm to you when payment has reached us.
  9. We will send you a link to our feedback survey so that you can tell us about your experience.
  10. Repeat process!

And remember, we’re here to help you so if you have any queries at any stage, just ask and we’ll put your mind at ease.

As a rough guide, you should estimate around 1,000 - 1,500 words per working day for translation plus extra time for proofreading. The time it takes to translate a document depends on many factors including the subject matter, complexity, how technical the language is and formatting. It's best to start planning your translation projects as early as possible to avoid any unnecessary delays.

As early as possible. To get a high quality translation that does justice to your reputation, a translator needs to put as much effort into translating your document as you did writing it in the first place.

Don't leave it to the last minute; as soon as you know that you need your materials translated, contact us so that we can work with you to plan the process and ensure you get your documents within the timescales that suit you.

If you are having a website translated it is particularly important to start planning translations early, as there are many technical and design considerations that must be taken into account. We recommend that you discuss translation with your web developer as early as possible to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

It couldn't be easier! Simply:

We'll then send you a quotation, or get back to you if we need more information.

Please give us as much detail as you can about your project and send us the document(s) you would like translated. This will allow us give you an accurate fixed quotation, otherwise we may only be able to give an estimate.

We also need to know the original language(s) of the document(s), the language(s) into which you need the document(s) translated, when you need your translations delivered, if you need hard copies posted or just electronic copies and what the translation's intended use is (for example in-house distribution, publishing on your website or printing in brochures).

If you already have a budget for your translation project, just let us know and we’ll provide you with as much as possible for your money.

We need to see the document so that we can give you an accurate quote. The cost of translation depends on a combination of factors including what the subject matter is, how technical the language is, the type of document and the deadline. If we can read over the document it will allow us determine these and give you an accurate quote. It also means we can find you the translator most suited to your job.

Any background information that you have on your product, service or industry would be very helpful. Any specific terminology or vocabulary that you use (especially acronyms or abbreviations) would also be good to know.

Knowing where the translation will be used (for example printed in a newspaper, sent to shareholders or published online) and who will be reading it (experts in the field, potential customers or colleagues) means we can ensure it is tailored to the specific audience and purpose.

Additionally, it is useful to know the countries or regions in which your translations will be read, as the language used there may vary. For example, the French used in Canada is different to that in France or Belgium, while Spain and South American countries all use differing Spanish.

Be careful of false economies. A cheap translation that does damage to your reputation will prove costly in the long run. You should select the translation provider that is right for you and your needs. Think of the value that translations will add to your business and your brand. As the saying goes, price is what you pay, value is what you get.

We will normally send your translation back to you electronically in the same file format in which you supplied us: MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint or the particular file type that you specify. If you don’t specify any format, it will most commonly be delivered as an MS Word file.

Certified translations are delivered in printed form as they need to be authorised, stamped and signed by the translator. These will be sent to you by Royal Mail's First Class service if you are in the UK by Fedex if you are based out with the UK. We can also arrange collection using your usual courier service if you prefer; just let us know when asking for your quote.