FAQ

We’ve collected our answers to the most common questions about translation and interpreting services. Here you will find information about schedules, rates, our process, and more.

Translation

Why use Language Connections?

Unlike larger agencies, Language Connections can boast of careful quality control and personal attention on the part of the project manager. We maintain working relationships with a talented and experienced pool of outside vendors and can ensure that the most qualified professional will work on your translation.

How does Language Connections guarantee quality?

Aside from finding the most qualified personnel, both internally and in terms of freelance translators, we also use a thorough project management system (XTRF) for planning and carrying out translation projects. In fact, Language Connections is the first US-based agency to implement this project management tool, which is specifically designed for the translation and localization industry and complies with ISO 9001 to ensure that projects are handled under industry best practices and with strict security and professionalism. To learn more about our quality or management tools, click here.

Do you use computer assisted translation (CAT) technology?

Yes. We use CAT software whenever possible to expedite translation as well as to help maintain consistency in similar documents. Over time, the cost of translation will decrease in inverse proportion to the increased rate of repetition, that is, phrases that we have translated previously and which are repeated in a subsequent document. We are also able to create specific glossaries so as to ensure that our translators will select certain terms or proper names per the clients’ preferences.

How soon will the translation be completed?

Turnaround time can vary based on the size and complexity of the job itself, especially in the case of multilingual projects. When we make an estimate, we specify the turnaround time; should a few days or weeks pass after the date of the estimate, please re-confirm the timeline with us. If your project calls for desktop publishing (DTP), or other additional services, it will take additional time. Each project is unique and has its own complexity; we will strive to ensure that each project is delivered within the stipulated time-frame we reach after the estimate is approved.

Planning ahead can help speed the process along; please let us know about your upcoming translation needs.

Are rush rates available?

Often we are able to find ways to accelerate jobs. Please
send us your files or call to inquire.

What is the danger of using free, online translators?

Example: A pesar de lo que ha logrado la tecnología con respecto a la traducción, ninguna página web consigue pensar – ni, mucho menos, escribir – como si fuera un lector, redactor, o traductor humano.

[Despite what it has achieved the technology to the translation, no website gets thinking - or, much less, write - as if it were a reader, editor or translator humans.]

Online translation services are most useful to a user trying to get a grasp of what type of information is contained in a website, email, document, etc., but for an intelligently written, publishable text that will make you and your organization look good, use a professional.

What differentiates a professional translator from a bilingual individual?

A professional translator is a professional writer; good writing is a skill unto itself.

Beyond that, a professional translator specializes in language switching and assimilating specialized language. For a bilingual speaker, one often categorizes aspects of life by language; some topics are more comfortable in one language than the other. Translators work to bridge that gap and to create texts that read as well in the target language as they did in the original. Many of our translators have advanced degrees from accredited translation programs and in their areas of expertise.

We have native speakers of the target language who would like to review the translation before it is finalized – is that possible?

Yes. A number of Language Connections’ consistent clients ask to have a client review phase incorporated into the project. On large or repeat projects, our translators and editors benefit from learning clients’ preferences in terms of word choice and style.

What is the difference between certified translations and notarized translations?

Certification, a signed certificate of accuracy accompanying a translation, is our signed claim stating that we stand behind the translation.

Notarization, an additional service, adds a notary’s signature as an official witness to the signing of the certificate. Unlike a number of other countries, the US does not have an official, government recognized, certification for translators. Notarization of a certificate is the closest approximation, and is accepted almost all cases. Once we know a bit about your project, we may be able to help you decide which is best.

How much will my translation cost?

We treat translation projects as a service, and not a commodity – we customize our pricing to fit our client’s needs. Translation and editing cost is typically measured on a per word basis. Per word rates can vary greatly depending on the timeframe, volume, language(s), and subject-matter of your content. Furthermore, other factors come in to play, such as formatting, desktop publishing, and project management requirements. We provide clear, concise estimates which correspond to every portion of the project workflow, and are happy to provide in-depth education on our processes to all clients. Please contact us for specific translation needs.

Interpreting

What is the difference between translation and interpreting?

Translation is the act of conveying the exact meaning of a written text into another language. Interpreting (or interpretation) is the act of conveying the meaning of spoken (or signed) communication into another language. While there are translators who are interpreters and vice versa, the two activities require very different skill-sets and training.

What type of interpreter should I ask for?

There are three main interpreting categories: simultaneous, consecutive, and escort. These categories are important indicators in determining the skill-level and budget required for an interpreting service. The most rigorous and demanding category is simultaneous interpretation, where an interpreter works without pause, to convey the meaning of the speakers in another language. This requires an individual who can interpret meaning across language at very high speeds. Simultaneous interpreting is typically used for large conferences, symposia, and other high-profile events. Consecutive interpreting less demanding, as the speakers pause after each phrase, giving time for the interpreter to organize their thoughts before conveying meaning in another language. Consecutive interpreting is useful for small-scale events, classes, business meetings, etc. Escort interpreting is the least demanding style of an interpreting, where an interpreter acts as a guide for foreign-language groups that need help navigating a variety of situations. An escort interpreter may help with airport issues, sightseeing, ordering at restaurants, and other informal events.

How many interpreters do I need for my event?

For large conferences and other events, interpreters typically work in pairs, switching off every twenty or thirty minutes. Simultaneous interpreting is extremely mentally demanding, and quality can decrease if an interpreter is performing for longer than half-hour periods without a break. It is possible for an interpreter to work without a partner if they are engaging in escort or consecutive interpreting – however, we always recommend an interpreting team if more than 10 individuals require interpreting and/or the event duration is longer than half a day. Escort interpreting typically only requires one interpreter (per language pair).

What about interpreting equipment?

We provide interpreting equipment and technical support for both small meetings and large conferences. Without the proper equipment set-up, professional interpreters cannot perform their job – we ensure that our interpreters have the best equipment support available, ranging from spacious interpreting booths to portable “whisper” equipment.

Is it possible to secure interpreting service for dinners, sightseeing, and other situations outside the main event?uestion

Most certainly. The main issue here is preparation; as long as we can prepare and budget for the interpreters to provide services after-hours and outside the main event, we are more than happy to provide additional service. Interpretation always goes more smoothly when all expectations are discussed and outlined beforehand.

Why do interpreters need access to event speeches and presentations before the event?

Access to event material gives interpreters the opportunity to practice and fine tune their interpreting beforehand, ensuring the highest possible accuracy in conveying the event content in the target language. Of course, topics and speeches can change at the last minute, and our interpreters can provide excellent service on-the-fly. However, for the highest level of service for both the audience members and event organizers, we strongly advise that the interpreters have access to as many event materials as possible.