Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Website Localization: Background and Methodology

Website Localization

To the average person the word Localization, (L10N), means nothing, but when we say it is the adaption of a product to a specific locale and mention the word translation, they can identify with this. However, there is much more to Localization than simple translation and in this article we will explain in detail website localization.

Website Localization is the process of translating a website (menus, help, tool bars, etc.) from one language to another without altering the code and adapting the translated website linguistically and functionally to a specific locale. This is done with the use of specialized software (CAT Tools). For all those companies who wish to publish their website in more than one language, translation companies offer a broad range of website translation services better known in the industry as “Localization services for websites”. Bearing in mind the complexity of localizing a website, some Translation companies take care of the whole process and where necessary coordinate with the designers and engineers of the client company to make the translated website function in the market it is destined for. One must also bear in mind the degree of ownership the client and the translation company have during the process when sourcing the original translation quote. The typical process involves the extraction of the translatable text from the website into a compatible Translation Memory environment format, translation and revision of the text within the Translation Memory environment by the translation company, re-engineering of the target text back into the original website format, linguistic and functional testing and bug fixing which can be done by either the client or translation agency. The project process will have a bearing on the price of the translation project and it is important at the onset of the project to clearly define who is doing each task.


What are the Services included in Localization of websites?

The following is a more detailed breakdown of the different stages of website localization and the ownership of each process. For instance, during the implementation of multilingual websites one must also bear in mind that the target Language is culturally suited to the particular region the site is destined for, for example the idiomatic differences between the Brazilian Portuguese market and the Portuguese Market.

The translation of websites includes:

Extraction of Translatable text

HTML and CSS (Static Text): Most websites are in hyper text mark-up language with the abbreviated extension .html and the cross website style governed by Cascading style sheets (.CSS). Most the translatable text is located in the .html files however, there are exceptions where there is some translatable text in the .css. The translatable text maybe extracted into word format, excel format etc. which are compatible with most translation memory environments or the html files maybe translated directly in tools that have translation memory and localization capability. In this case the translator must have the capability to work with the localization tool chosen by the client and will do a lot of the localization such as string re-sizing as he is translating. In the first case the translated files are re-engineered back into the .html website format by an engineer on the client or translation company side. The process and the owner of each task must be defined at the start of the project as it has an obvious effect on cost.

Graphics:Translatable text within graphics needs to be localized. A lot of graphics such as .png, .gif, .bnp contain text such as slogans that need to be extracted and localized. In most cases the translatable text in these graphics is not comprehensive and they are simply transcribed on a word or excel sheet

Audio: Many websites contain an audio component such as a presentation or Help tutor. If the source script for this is unavailable then the script for the audio needs to be transcribed for translation.

Dynamic Components of the website:Dynamic websites add a great deal of complexity to the localization of websites. A dynamic website allows the user to interact with the website for example performing calculations, compiling reports etc... It allows the input of variables from the user and an operation and output from the server system based on the variables received. The most commonly used coding languages for interactive websites are VBScript, JScript, PerlScript, ASP, PHP and various Database languages. Extracting the translatable text from this code is often a complicated process and is often translated in excel sheets with screen shots for reference.

Multimedia Components of the website: Apart from audio which is dealt with previously in this article there are other multimedia components of the website used to enhance interactivity enabled by plug-ins such as applets and Adobe flash. The text in these multimedia components need to be extracted.

Translation and revision of Website

Once the all the text has been extracted it is converted into its translatable format. Again the types of format of the files, the role of the translation company and client in each task and the use of TMs have a huge bearing on the process and should be decided at the out-set of the project.

HTML and CSS (Static Text): In many TM environments the HTML files can be translated directly, saved in the Translation Memory and many of the localization bugs fixed as the translator translates, however, in a lot of cases the translation company receives the html files in word or another format where the translation is carried out. The translations are then revised using a third party, the client or translation company depending on how the process was already defined.

Graphics: With the graphics a screen shot of the original localizable graphic and a space for the translation is prepared say for instance, in an excel sheet.

Dynamic Components of the website:With regard to the dynamic translatable text, again there are various localization tools with translation Memory capabilities that can handle all the aforementioned code and database files. Again the localization process decided upon and the role of each stakeholder has a huge bearing on how the files are received by the translator.

Audio:In cases where there is an audio component of the website the original script may available for translation, otherwise the original script has to be transcribed into a word or excel file. The target script is then recorded in a recording studio according to certain parameters such as sex, character...etc.

Multimedia Components of the website: The translators can use the original website version of the multimedia component for reference while translating in excel.

Localization Engineering of translated and revised target files

HTML and CSS (Static Text): If the translator delivers the html files directly then this process is a lot simpler as the engineer on the client or translation company merely has to upload the files on the server for the next stage of the website localization process. However, the process becomes a little more tricky if the files are delivered for instance in word. This means that the engineer, be it on the client or translation company side, has to do a lot of re-tweaking to dump the translated text back into the source text for the next localization phase. It complicates the engineering phase with an extra process that involves, depending on the format, text editors, WYSIWYG offline and online editors such as Dreamweaver and iWeb respectively.

Graphics: The translated text for the graphics must be re-engineered into the graphics via a graphics editor such as Adobe photoshop, Corel Draw etc......In most cases we need the original art work of the graphic to manipulate it.

Dynamic Components of the website: Again there are a number of approaches to this step. The engineer may just copy and paste the target texts back into the dynamic code using a simple website editor such as dreamer weaver or a development environment such VB studio.

Audio: Once the audio has been recorded it has to be post edited or tidied up by removing glyphs, static, long silences etc...

Multimedia Components of the website:The translated text is re-engineered back into the multimedia file using various software available on the market.

Localized Website Build

Once all the translated website files are ready they are uploaded into the correct directories on the server for the next phase of localization.

Functional Localization Testing

There are various functional tests that can be run on the files, conducted by the localization engineers: - Link testing: There are various tools that quickly tell us what links are broken and need to be fixed. A lot of editing tools have their own link check feature. e.g. Xenu and Dreamweaver.
- UI Testing: In the case where the translator has done no re-sizing of truncated and cut text or overlapping menus and dialogues, as he has not had the capability to do so with the file format he received, the engineer is responsible for this task.
- Cross Browser Testing: The engineer is responsible for ensuring that the site renders correctly across various browsers and has various tools at his disposal to carry out this task.

Linguistic Localization Testing

Now we have a fully functional website we have to have it tested online and in context by third party reviewer, a client reviewer or the translation company reviewer, whatever was decided upon. The linguistic bugs are documented and fixed by engineering. It is of the utmost importance that the linguistic bugs are updated too in the translation memory, otherwise the same bugs will keep popping up in later updates!

The same cycle of linguistic, functional testing and bug fixing continues until we have a GOLD version of the website that can now go live! As yo can see the process is very complicated and I have only scratched the surface. There are so many other questions to be asked during website localization such as will there be a partial localization or complete localization, is all the website worth localizing? For instance there maybe, out of date news which shouldn't be sent for localization to save time and cost. What SEO considerations have we taken into account for the localization of the website. Are the title, Headings, description, meta tags, alt tags translations effective key words. A literal translation of an English key word may be a very poor key word in another language. Carrying out SEO with translation in mind is opening up a whole new can of worms and there is a good article on this here with more details. Does the client have a style guide to follow on fonts and formatting? Is there a Glossary for particular words? To summarize when deciding on the optimal website localization process for us, other factors that influence our decision include the resources at our disposal, our budget, the tools we have and the deadline we have to meet.!

"Website Localization: Background and Methodology", is an article in the series "Localization: The definitive Guide" from One Stop Shop Translations. Other articles include:

- Software Localization: Background and Methodology
- Online Help Localization: Background and Methodology
- End User License Agreements Localization: Background and Methodology
- Software Documentation Localization(Quick User Guides and User Guides): Background and Methodology

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Mark Kieran - CEO - One Stop Shop Translations

Mark Kieran, CEO, One Stop Shop Translations

For our latest website translation rates click on this link or get an economically unbeatable software translation quote here.

Remember that translation of software is not just simple straight forward translation but a complicated process that involves many stages and specialized expertise!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Best value online translation Quote

online translation quoteIn a lot of cases it’s a hassle to fill out a Translation quote request, send it and wait for the response from the supplier if indeed, he does respond. This is especially the case if the client knows the word count, field and language combination they require.

This is why many most Translation services companies have their own online translation quote facility. In this article we aim to sort out the wheat from the chaff. Which company provides the best online quote?

There are a number of criteria we use when deciding on which translation company offers the best online which we will go through in detail.

Usability of Online Translation Quote

Which online quote has the quickest and is the most usable? The following important questions arise:
• Is the online quote easy to find from the home page?
• Does the quote show in the top search engine rankings? Of course this is of the ultimate importance as the User is very unlikely to go past the first page?
• How many steps does it take to get the online translation quote? The User often has to go through a number of unnecessary steps to get their quote
• Does the User have to provide information to get the online translation quote? In a lot of cases the User has to provide their email address and telephone number to get their online quote. This may lead to many unwanted sales emails and calls which can be annoying

Cost of Online Translation Quote


• Which company offers the cheapest online translation quote? In many cases this can be a difficult query to assess. Many translation prices vary per country, language and service. The simple analysis later in this article takes the four main language combinations (English to German, English to French, English to Spanish and English to Italian) and gets the price per word average for 5 different translation agencies
• Is the cost deceptive? For instance, is the goods tax included? What currency is the total in? While a quote in British pounds of 83 GBP may seem the same as a quote of 83 EUR it is really almost 20% more expensive at 100 EUR, so be aware of the exchange rates. For the sake of the analysis we have chosen EUROS.

Aesthetics of Online Translation Quote

• Is the interface enticing and visually appealing for the user? Does it have the latest graphics and look fresh and modern?
All the above queries are very relevant and we have used a scale for 1-10 across online translation quote facilities from five different translation agencies. Each facility is ranked on:
• Easiness to find, based on a ranking of 5 due to weighting (importance)
• Easiness to find in search engines, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance)
• Amount of steps, based on a ranking of 4 due to weighting (importance)
• User information, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance)
• Cheapest in EUROS per word, based on an average per word of the of the four main European languages, based on a ranking of 10 due to weighting (importance)
• Currency of the quote total, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance)
• Aesthetics, based on a ranking of 5 due to importance
Please note our findings below with a summary on each online quote facility:

Applied Language
Easiness to find, based on a ranking of 5 due to weighting (importance): 5 Easy to find on front page
Search Engine Ranking, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance): 7
Number 1 in most important search engines for key word “Online translation quote”
Amount of steps, based on a ranking of 4 due to weighting (importance): 0
3 steps
User information, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance): 2
Email and telephone requested
Cheapest in EUROS per word, based on an average of the four main European languages, based on a ranking of 10 due to weighting (importance): 2
€0,14 per word
Currency of the quote total, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance): 3
Proofreading not included in price
Aesthetics, based on a ranking of 5 due to importance; 4
TOTAL out of 45: 23

Exigo Translations
Easiness to find, based on a ranking of 5 due to weighting (importance): 5
Easy to find on front page
Search Engine Ranking, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance): 7
Number 3 in most important search engines for key word “Online translation quote”
Amount of steps, based on a ranking of 4 due to weighting (importance): 4
On Screen
User information, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance): 7
Email and telephone not requested
Cheapest in EUROS per word, based on an average of the four main European languages, based on a ranking of 10 due to weighting (importance): 5
€0,11 per word
Currency of the quote total, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance): 3
Proofreading not included in price
Aesthetics, based on a ranking of 5 due to importance: 4
TOTAL out of 45: 35

Translated.net
Easiness to find, based on a ranking of 5 due to weighting (importance): 5
Easy to find on front page
Search Engine Ranking, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance): 6
Number 5 in most important search engines for key word “Online translation quote”
Amount of steps, based on a ranking of 4 due to weighting (importance): 4
On Screen
User information, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance): 7
Email and telephone not requested
Cheapest in EUROS per word, based on an average of the four main European languages, based on a ranking of 10 due to weighting (importance): 6
€0,10 per word
Currency of the quote total, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance): 5
Proofreading included in price
Aesthetics, based on a ranking of 5 due to importance: 4
TOTAL out of 45: 37

Click2translate
Easiness to find, based on a ranking of 5 due to weighting (importance): 1
Easy to find on front page
Search Engine Ranking, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance): 2
Number 9-10 in most important search engines for key word “Online translation quote”
Amount of steps, based on a ranking of 4 due to weighting (importance): 1
5 to 6 steps
User information, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance): 7
Email and telephone not requested
Cheapest in EUROS per word, based on an average of the four main European languages, based on a ranking of 10 due to weighting (importance): 2
€0,16 per word
Currency of the quote total, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance): 5
Proofreading included in price
Aesthetics, based on a ranking of 5 due to importance: 4
TOTAL out of 45: 22

One Stop Shop Translations
Easiness to find, based on a ranking of 5 due to weighting (importance): 5
Easy to find on front page
Search Engine Ranking, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance): 5
Number 5-7 in most important search engines for key word “Online translation quote”
Amount of steps, based on a ranking of 4 due to weighting (importance): 4
On Screen
User information, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance): 7
Email and telephone not requested
Cheapest in EUROS per word, based on an average of the four main European languages, based on a ranking of 10 due to weighting (importance): 10
€0,09 per word
Currency of the quote total, based on a ranking of 7 due to weighting (importance): 7
Proofreading included in price
Aesthetics, based on a ranking of 5 due to importance: 3
TOTAL out of 45: 41

*Four main European Languages are French, German, Italian and Spanish

Summary

- Applied language (Total 23 – Position 4) scored 23 out of 45 and has the lowest score of the five agencies surveyed due mainly to the expensive price per word (€0,14 per word), the amount of steps for the quote and the user details being requested
- Exigo Translations (Total 35 - Position 3) scored well at 35 out of 45 but was the third most expensive agency at €0,11 per word.
- Translated.net (Total 37 - Position 2) scored well at 37 out of 45 and was the second cheapest agency at €0,10 per word.
- Click2translate Total (Total 22 – Position 5) scored poorly due to it being by far the most expensive agency at €0,16 per word and having too many steps.
- One Stop Shop Translations (Total 41 – Position 1) scored well being the cheapest translation agency at €0,09 per word

So there you have it. The report weightings and results are subjective but we think give a fair reflection of the available online translation quotes, so shop around when buying translation services.

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Mark Kieran - CEO - One Stop Shop Translations

Mark Kieran, CEO, One Stop Shop Translations

One Stop Shop Translations is a translation services company based in Madrid, Spain. If you want an online translation quote described in this article, click here, or get a more complicated great value personalised translation quote here.

Try One Stop Shop Translations for Quality, price and timeliness!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Translation Memories, Blessing or Curse?

translation memories
A translation memory is a modern technology tool designed to help translators. It is essentially a database that saves previously translated segments of text. The main benefits of a translation memory are saved time and cost, more efficiency and consistency throughout translations.

Moreover, clients and translators must also analyze not only what are the benefits of the Translation memory are but also the the ethical questions posed by this tool. Firstly, it is important to note that the usual practice during the delivery of a translation to the client is for the translator to also deliver the translation memory database so it can be used in future translations, even if the client opts to use a different translator. It is clear to see how this process guarantees consistency. However, here is where a lot of problems can arise. It is true to say that in the majority of cases the the new text to be translated corresponds to the saved translation but there are cases where the corresponding saved translation does not make sense with the new source translation in its current context, especially in the case of literary translations or Marketing translations.

To navigate this problem it is important to understand the analytical nature of the Translation memory. A lot of Translation Memories match a previously translated segment to a new source segment on a percentage basis. For instance, if a translated target segment in the TM and its corresponding source segment match a new source segment to be translated word for word, this segment will be translated automatically and the analysis will return a statistic of 100% matching. But as outlined above, the contextual problem may occur. This is why the 100% segment needs to be checked by the translator. The whole process is not fool proof and we always need some degree of human intervention. This is why most translation services companies and translators will charge a fee even for segments that are 100% matching. The bottom line is that the 100% matching segments have to be checked.

Many clients are often surprised when they get their translation quote to find they are being charged for segments that have been previously translated word for word. Hopefully, the above explanation gives the client an insight into this dilemma. For information the 100% matches are usually charged at a lesser rate, for instance a revision translation rate per word so there is still a very evident cost saving. It is here that the client has to find the best translation rate per word to pay for 100% matching segments and repeated segments. This can lead to huge translation cost savings especially in the case of updates such as software or manuals.

Hopefully this article gives the reader an insight into the workings of the translation memory environment and with this technology, unlike most concepts in the technology world, the fundamental process will stay the same, we will always need some degree of human intervention!

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Mark Kieran - CEO - One Stop Shop Translations

Mark Kieran, CEO, One Stop Shop Translations

For more information on our translation memory pricing matrix click on this link.

Remember that translation memory rates may cost more in the short term due to the extra processes and management involved but are worth it in the long term especially in the case where the translation is an update or there is a lot of repeated text!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Preparing for the Hispanic Market

Spanish and Hispanic markets
More and more companies are translating their web content and commercial collateral into Spanish. Is this a coincidence?
Of course not, the importance of the Hispanic and Spanish markets should not be underestimated partly due to the fact that the vast majority of this active and expanding market is Spanish speaking only. Below we will discuss some of the more detailed facts of the Spanish market.
Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, in fact, after English it is the second most widely spoken language in the world with regard to commercial communication and the third most used on the Internet.
It is estimated that in three generations 10% of the world population will be Spanish speaking and that by the year 2040 the largest Spanish speaking population in the world will be in the united States of America with Mexico next.
Spanish is the second most studied language in the world with 20 million students mainly due to its growing importance in the commercial sector.
All the above points give us some idea as to why so many companies are translating all their commercial collateral into Spanish to take advantage of this huge growing market.
Here are some astonishing facts about the US Hispanic market alone.
• The Hispanic population is expected to account for 44% of the total US population growth before the year 2020 and 62% from 2020 to 2050. By 2050 the current Hispanic population of 44 million is expected to double.
• The average age of the Spanish population is 29 years old.
• Hispanic owned businesses increased 78% between 1985 and 2000.
• The Hispanic market accounted for over 600 billion USD in consumer spending last year.
In these uncertain times where the developed markets are saturated its important to open doors to other opportunities such as the Spanish speaking market. Moreover, translating into Spanish not only opens the door to the Hispanic US market but to another 21 countries in the world that have Spanish as their official language.

Its also important to note that the translation of websites and commercial material is not a straight cut deal where one simply asks the first Translation services company they find to translate everything into Spanish because they are cheap. While the Hispanic market may not be as developed as more established markets, corporate image is still a huge factor in breaking into these markets. Intertwined with Corporate image is the need for quality translation as in most cases a poor quality translation is worse than no translation at all and can destroy the public image of the entity in question. This is why it is so important to hire a translation services company that has experience in providing high quality work in the particular area of expertise in question while also fitting into the companies budget criteria. When requesting a translation quote there is usually a wide range of translation price differences one has to ask why some translation services are so much cheaper than others.
Most of the larger multinationals are already taking this expansion into the Spanish speaking market very seriously but for a lot of the medium and smaller sized companies it is a shame to lose such an opportunity especially in such challenging times?

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Mark Kieran - CEO - One Stop Shop Translations

Mark Kieran, CEO, One Stop Shop Translations

For more information on our Spanish translation services click on this link or get an economically unbeatable Spanish translation quote here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Automated Translation services Management

automated translation management

Is Online Translation Services Project Management the future?

Its ok to say that the majority of small and medium sized companies specialized in internationalization, localization and Translation services have their own modern and informative websites but they are now following the big players in the industry and providing online translation facilities.

I am not talking about automatic translation but automatic management of translation services where the Users submit directly the criteria of the Project, the files, personal information, Project details, expectations etc…. When all has been uploaded the translation quote and delivery dates will appear on the screen. Also, when the user replies with invoice information and the payment he receives an automatic mail confirming the transaction. At the same time the Project Manager receives all the Project details via the internal server.

From here the Project manager allocates all the resources according to the Schedule and all the relevant logistics – its all so simple.


Many companies are now perfecting a fully automated process thus cutting out the project managers. Based on the criteria chosen by the User the system automatically selects the appropriate resource. Following this a mail is sent to the translator giving him a certain amount of time to respond before the Project is offered to another translator. Although this automated system is a considerable outlay initially there is the obvious saving on administration costs.

Apart from giving the user a greater sense of security the system also gives the user the option of following the progress of the Translation via an Access key.

It seems very possible to automate the whole process, by-pass the middle man and get a reasonable profit. If this is the case, why don´t more translation companies do it? Maybe it´s only a matter of time, but the initial investment and the fact that most clients still want some form of human interaction means that the job of the Translation Project manager is still safe for now, at least. Also, some localization projects are very complicated and involve multiple stages and languages making it nearly impossible to automate.

Today, there are few companies that offer these type of services. Of course, the big players in the industry have offered this service for many years but now some of the medium and smaller translation agencies are offering it.

With all this taken into account I believe that that automated Project management will be an industry standard but for more complicated projects involving many words, stages and languages the Translation Project manager´s job is a long way from being automated.

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Mark Kieran - CEO - One Stop Shop Translations

Mark Kieran, CEO, One Stop Shop Translations

For a greater insight into our translation project management click on this link.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

One Stop Shop cuts translation rates

One Stop Shop Translations has just cut its translation rates by up to 20% for some language combinations. The cuts are in line with the current economic climate but in no way reduce the quality of the translation services produced by One Stop Shop.

One Stop Shop Translation’s CEO, Mark Kieran says, “With these cuts on top of the cuts last November we see ourselves extremely competitive in the current market place. In fact I would go as far as to say that we are probably one of the most competitive in the world considering the quality of the translations we offer. We can afford to offer such great rates to our clients due to our low over head cost model and translator loyalty that we have built up over the years.”

One can request a translation quote here at or alternatively do an online translation quote here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Translation rates and Prices

One of the main difficulties when choosing a Translation services company is understanding why the translation prices vary so much from vendor to vendor.

There are many factors that contribute to the price of translation apart from straight forward translation. Many translation companies include the revision cost within their translation rates whereas other translation company’s prices simply cover just translation within their translation rate.

With regard to the language combination it tends to be reliant on different factors:
• The supply of the language combination. The rarer the combination the more expensive it tends to be.
• The cost of living in that particular target language country. For instance the cost of Scandinavian languages tends to be a lot higher than other languages as the living costs and average wage costs in countries such as Sweden, Norway and Denmark tend to be much higher. Translation into Spanish is one of the cheapest rates per word as there is a high supply of Spanish translators and the cost of living in these countries tends to be much lower.

The level of expertise required for the subject matter. In addition to be being a qualified translator the translator may also need to be qualified in the subject matter being translated. For instance a general business text will cost a lot less to translate than a medical text that requires a medical qualification in addition to a translation qualification.

The type of translation requested has a bearing on the translation rate. For instance in the case of software localization the rate may be higher as the translation rate includes resizing of the translated strings. In other cases the translation rate is charged separately to the additional services. For instance, in the case of desk top publishing the typesetting of the translated pages is charged separately to the translation itself.

Finally, does the company use translation memories? This may increase the rate. Translation memories involve a complicated workflow where the files to be translated need to be converted into a compatible for the TM environment. However, this extra work and cost is beneficial in the long run as previously translated texts can be re-used thus saving time, ensuring consistency and quality and cost in the long run.

As one can see there are many factors that have a bearing on the translation rate. The best thing to do is to shop around when requesting a translation quote. Request an itemized translation quote per word, language combination and additional translation service required. If you have requested three to four different translation quotes and you receive an itemized quote in this format it should be easy to compare which agency is the cheapest. Alternatively, it may give us an idea of where to outsource different translation services. For instance we may outsource French, German and Italian to company A, Spanish to Firm B and Publishing to Firm C as they are the cheapest in these respective services.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

All you need to Know about Legal Translation?

A legal translation is any translation used within the legal system. This can mean all manner of documents required by the civil and criminal justice systems. It includes documents such as contracts, patent and trademark filings, court and witness transcripts, depositions, registration documents, expert reports, legal disclaimers, affidavits, regulations, laws, confidentiality agreements, legal certifications and statements, government and legal ruling reports, letters of credit, technical documents to support litigation efforts , licenses, litigation and arbitration documents.

The list of legal translation is endless and we must also bear in mind that other documents become “legal” when they cross into the civil and criminal justice systems.
Examples include passports, death certificates, birth certificates, last wills and testaments, immigration documents, marriage certificates, powers of attorney, evidentiary recordings of phone calls, police interviews, court documents, contracts, complaints, judgments, affidavits, judgments, adoption papers, , summons, legal proceedings, trusts, partnership deeds, sales contracts, real estate titles or leases papers, permits, insurance policies, trademarks and copyrights, service agreements, escrow instructions, distribution agreements or arbitration documents.

The main question is when a document needs to be translated legally and the answer is when whenever the document is to be used by the courts or for legal matters. If, for example, you moved to another country with your family and died there, you would need a sworn or notarized translation of the will in the language of that country in order to go through the relevant legal proceedings of that country.

It is always best to have these things done in advance rather at the last minute at times of stress when mistakes are more likely to occur. After all, in a lot of cases these events will definitely occur so why add the extra stress.
This brings us to our next question. Who can do a legal translation and how do we know they have the credentials and qualifications to do the translation. In Spain for example a legal translation needs to be translated by a sworn translator. A sworn translator in Spain takes periodic exams with the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On passing these exams the sworn translations are accompanied by their stamp. In the United States it is less clear cut in that there are no official exams or licenses. There are voluntary certifications given by bodies such as the American Translators Association and the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters & Translators. These bodies work along similar lines to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in that the translators and interpreters have to pass periodic exams to maintain their status. Some translators may have a relevant legal background such as a law degree. When choosing a legal translator it’s really important that the translator or translation Agency has a demonstrable legal qualification or experience.

To make a legal Translation official a professional translation agency should be able to certify or notarize their translations with the relevant stamp from that particular country. At One stop Shop legal translations are notarized or stamped according to the country the translations are intended for. I would now like to define a few essential terms for legal translations that may help you decide in choosing the best qualified translator in the country you wish to use the translation.

A certified translation as one that has a document accompanying it attesting to its accuracy or validity, but is not notarized. With a notarized translation the accompanying certificate is notarized by the relevant legal representative.

A sworn translation has the official stamp of the sworn translator who is regulated by a Government body in that country

Below is a list of the qualifications per country used by One Stop Shop Translations to “legalize” a translation. In the case where a translator is sworn the translation is sworn in that particular country in order to legalize it.

French Legal Translation: Translators sworn and registered with a Regional court of Appeal in France.

Spanish legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Spanish Ministry of Foreign affairs.

German Legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with a regional court in Germany.

Italian Legal translation: Translations are sworn at the local Italian court of Justice on a case by case basis. Some legal translations need to be notarized before a notary and the relevant parties.

Austrian Legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with a regional court in Austria.

Dutch Legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with a regional court in Holland.

Portuguese Legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with a regional court in Portugal.

Czech Legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with a regional court in the Czech republic.

Polish legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Polish Ministry of Justice.

Romanian legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Romanian Ministry of Justice.

Turkish legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign affairs.

Venezuelan Legal Translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Venezuelan Ministry of Justice.

U.K. legal translation: no sworn translation system.

Argentinean Legal Translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Argentinean Ministry of Justice

U.S. legal translation: No sworn translation system. Translators are registered with the ATA (American translators association)

Mexican Legal Translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Mexican Superior Court of Justice

Norwegian Legal Translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Association of Government Authorized Translators.

South African Legal Translation: Translators sworn and registered with the South African High Court.

Swedish Legal Translation: Translators sworn and registered with the "Kammarkollegiet".

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Your Spanish Translation Quote – Tips and Advice

Choosing the correct translation services is often a very difficult and time consuming. These days there are thousands of freelancers, agencies, directories, software and methodologies. To add to this, the difference in the Spanish translation quotes from agency to agency can vary greatly. This mish-mash of decisions make it very difficult for a person to be happy with the choice they have made and may make them always wonder what they may be missing.
The aim of this article is to aid the reader to make informed decisions when purchasing translation services. The article touches many translation issues and hopefully some will be applicable to you the reader when making a safe decision.

The core resource of translation is course the translator. Let’s take a scenario where we have a friend who is bi-lingual in Spanish and English and a medical patent to translate from English to Spanish. Easy, he’s a friend and he’s cheap although he has no translation experience. Wrong, the consequences of choosing this resource, although cheap, could be disastrous. Every particular field of translation requires particular skills. In this case where we have a medical patent translation the translator needs to have grounding in medical science and be up to date with the latest medical terminology. In addition, they must also be experienced in writing in the particular style of medical patents, something which is learned over years of practice. At One Stop Shop we have medical patent translators with PHDs in fields such as chemistry, biology and biotechnology and years of experience translating in these particular fields. Even within the Medical or life Sciences field a translator with education and experience in chemistry would be a much better choice, than for instance a translator with a background in Biology, for the translation of a drug patent. It must also be emphasized that your translations should be handled by professionals. A good translator is a linguist, they have studied the art of translation, specialized in the language combination and fields they are most suited to and built up years of knowledge and experience. A linguist also has to mold the Spanish translation for an international audience meaning that the language must be neutral and not have any slang or regionalisms.

Some people may query the importance of being so selective when choosing a translator, after all, it’s only translation but take the example of the drug patent which is written by a chemist. To the average lay person the patent is double Dutch. The patent will only be understood by peers in the industry. This is why peers in the Spanish speaking drug patent field deserve to receive a high quality translation from a translator with grounding and experience translating drug patents regardless of the translation price.
The image of the company depends on it. A poor quality translation will cause untold damage within your industry and affect your standing within this industry.

Some clients may say that they have this great software that translates automatically. One thing to bear in mind that machine translation is only approximately 60-70% accurate, the rest of the fine tuning needs human intervention. While machine translation is good for informal translations and getting the general gist of something, professional translation that represents the image of the company requires a human. Then a client may say to edit the machine translation thus saving up to 70% of the costs. The reality is that a professional translation agency or translator will probably refuse to do this as editing a machine translation involves re-writing the whole translation and may involve more work than starting the translation from scratch.

The next question is whether to use a freelancer or a translation agency? The main question is what the difference is. With an agency the text is revised which is why the translation quote tends to be more expensive. The main advantage to having the text revised is that it is better to have a “second eye”. No matter how good the translator they are bound to make errors from time to time and in this respect, the revision cycle is like an extra safety net to eradicate these simple errors providing a higher quality translation.

To summarize, here are a few questions to ask oneself, before deciding on the translation service to use:
• Is the translator experienced and qualified in this particular field. Ask for a profile of the translator or better still ask for a sample of profiles and decide on the best fit
• Why is the translation so cheap from this agency? In some cases the translation rate may not include revision, hence the reduced fee. The translator may not be fully qualified either and cheaper to sub-contract.
• Does the Translation Agency use the latest Translation memory technology? This is very useful in the case of updates. The previous translation is re-used and hence reduces costs and ensures consistency.