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Translation - What you need to know to get a professional translation


Translation - What you need to know to get a professional translation

Translation by which I am referring to the translation of the written word, as opposed to Interpretation which is the translation of the spoken word, has many pitfalls for those who have never or are not used to ordering a translation.

Finding a translator is the hardest step and should be taken with care. Many people say they are translators without any training or experience. The basic requirements for any translator is that they are: Bilingual, good writing skills, experience/degree in translation and specialize in a certain area (eg: Law, Finance, Engineering, etc..) and that they always translate into their mother tongue.

Translation agencies can be found on Google (try: Translation Rates or Translation Quote) that manage any language combination for any type of text. The vast majority of large translation agencies are good. You should always ask: what qualifications the translator has?

The highest Professional qualification in UK is the Diploma in Translation exam from the Chartered Institute of Linguists, with translators then becoming Associates and Members of the CIoL. This body is seen as the unofficial regulatory body for UK translators. Other organisations are: Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the US: American Translators Association.

Cost of a translation is calculated per source word with rates from 5p to 12p. French translators normally charge around 7p per source with a surcharge (around 30%) for rush and weekend jobs. They normally have a minimum charge of around £30. They translate from around 1500 to 2500 words per day. Agencies will charge about 30% more than this for their service.

Legal documents in UK (translated into English) have to be translated and presented as a ‘Certified translation’. Documents include: Birth/Marriage/Death/Divorce certificates/papers, passports, etc… Academic qualifications also have to be translated as a ‘Certified translation’. This is translated by a Member of the CIoL and is accompanied with a letter/statement that the translation is a faithful translation with his/her CIoL member number and signature. This is what the Home Office and various Government departments/agencies and Academic/Professional institutions require.

Legal documents to be translated into French have to be a ‘Sworn translation’ done by a Sworn translator who is regulated by a Government department and the translation is a ‘legal document’ as it will bear his/her stamp and signature.

Richard Welchman
Senior Account Manager (English & Spanish spoken)
Exigo translations
0845 300 9880

(Published January/February 2009)




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