FAQ’s regarding translation

For clients who are non-linguists it can be a worrisome task to go about getting foreign language documents translated into English or company documents translated into a foreign language for an overseas client.

Translation and interpretation – what‘s the difference?

Translation is a written translation in the target language of a written document in the source language
Interpretation is a spoken translation as provided by an interpreter at a meeting between two parties who speak different languages.
If you mix up these terms in talking to us, it does not matter because we can tell from the context and details of your request whether you need translation or interpretation.

What documentation needs to be translated ?

Especially when translating from a foreign language into their own language, clients faced with extensive foreign language documentation may be at a loss to know how much of the document they actually need to have translated.

We can assist in this by summarizing the entire document, or providing a summary of each section of the document or translating all section headings in the document

In some cases, such as for document examination during legal discovery by law firms, we can provide translators on site at the client’s office to review and briefly summarize the documents for  the client in order to identify which documents are required to be fully translated.

How much will it cost ?

Translation prices charged by language services companies vary widely.  High prices do not necessarily guarantee high quality but very low prices are an indicator that there can be no guarantee of high quality.

We prefer to examine the documents that you need to have translated in order for us to be able to provide you with an ESTIMATE of cost of translation.  This will give you an idea of what level of cost is at issue to translate your documents.  Clients may ask “I have 3 pages of French – how much will it cost to translate ?”  The answer is that it depends.  Some pages may contain 50 words and some may contain 500, depending on layout, font size, line spacing, etc.  Therefore we really need to evaluate the document closely to be able to give an estimated price.

The cost also includes for the time to select and assign the work to the best qualified translator, project management, quality control, presentation formatting, standardized, presentation of multilingual projects, etc., as applicable.

For clients that prefer to have a firm fixed price quote for the project before start of work, we can provide this in most circumstances.  It may not be possible to do so in cases such as the editing / adaptation / updating of a previous translation, where a substantial amount of prior translation is being reused the amount of time the work will take cannot be assessed in advance.

How long will it take ?

In general terms you should consider that the time required by the translator to translate the materials will be at least as long as your team spent by the writer to produce the original source language document.


However we are accustomed to meeting the needs of clients who need translations with very short turnaround times.


We will give you an estimated turnaround time at the same time as we give you a cost estimate.


If you have a specific timeline or deadline for your translation, please let us know when you contact us about having it translated.  We will let you know in advance of starting the project if we cannot meet your timeline or deadline without compromising translation quality.