How do I submit a text for translation?
The easiest way is to send us the text you need translating via email. We will then look over the document to assess its level of difficulty and length so that we can give you a price estimate and an idea of the time we will need to translate it.
What languages do you translate?
Almost every language. We have the resources to take on projects in the most common language combinations used in Europe. However, whatever the language you need to translate into, do not hesitate to consult us, as we will try to put you in contact with other high quality professionals who can assist you if we are unable to cover your needs.
How do you work out the price; will you tell me the price before I decide to order a job?
Of course. Although there are various systems for working out the price of a translation, the most commonly used, which we also use, is to apply a rate by word. If you are familiar with our rates and you know the number of words to be translated, you can roughly work out how much the translation will cost. However, this is not always a reliable estimate because some factors may push up the price of a project (original document that is not in a modifiable digital format, complex graphics that have to be reproduced, highly complex text, urgent jobs, etc.) and others that may make a job cheaper (a document that forms part of a larger project for which work on terminology has been done previously, the client provides us with parallel texts that may make our job easier, a long deadline that enables us to better organise our resources).
In what format should I send the text to be translated?
Ideally, in a modifiable digital format. We sometimes receive PDF files that we then have to convert, with the subsequent loss of part of the format, even if the client already has or could obtain the same document in a Word or PowerPoint format, for example, which would have made our task much easier.
However, we understand that it is not always possible to have the document in a modifiable digital format, in which case we work from paper or from any other medium the client may have available.
How long do you need to do a translation?
This is probably one of the most frequent questions we are asked, but the reply is different in every case. It will depend on the language combination required, the complexity of the text, its length, whether the client is able to provide relevant information or reference documents, etc. The best thing to do is for you to tell us when you need the translation at the time you order a job. We will do everything in our power to meet your deadline or, if we really cannot meet your deadline, we will let you know when you order the job.
Who will translate my text; will it be a native translator?
This is another of the questions that new clients almost always ask us, and that never fails to surprise us. Of course your text will be translated by a native, not only that but by a qualified professional with experience and, if the subject matter so requires, by a specialist in the field.
In the world of professional translation, translators only translate into their mother tongue, because no matter how familiar they are with another language, they will very rarely have a sufficient command of it to be able to express subtle shades of meaning, understand cultural references, etc. in the same way as a native speaker would. But being a native is not a sure-fire guarantee to success, because translation is a profession that requires training in specific techniques, vast general knowledge and the skill to interpret and write texts. That is why all of our translators, besides being natives, are highly qualified, experienced professionals who have been with us for many years and who merit our full trust and that of our clients.
What is a sworn translation?
A sworn translation is certified as faithful to the original by a sworn translator. To become a sworn translator in Spain, one has to take an examination organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid or fulfil the requirements established in each autonomous community.
Documents that have to be submitted to an official organisation, court or solicitor usually have to be translated by a sworn translator.
At Interglossa we have in-house sworn translators from and into Catalan, English, French, German and Spanish. We have been doing sworn translations since we set up in 1993.
Do you use machine translation programs?
Most definitely not. Language is a human skill and as yet machines are unable to grasp nuances, double entendres, plays on words, etc., and the texts we translate are full of such phenomena.
However, it would be foolhardy of us not to keep up with the latest technology, and we are exploring ways of being more efficient. We are therefore introducing computer-assisted translation tools, which help us to take advantage of the work we have done over the past few years so that we are able to offer translations of increasingly better quality.
If I have to translate a report that is slightly different every year, but that is basically the same text, will I have to pay the same as the first time?.
No. At Interglossa we always keep a record of our translations, unless a client has specifically asked us to destroy them. We use these translations to build up a translation memory for each client or each large project. This enables us to take advantage of work already done and, if a client gives us feedback and has provided us with the terminology used, the second time around the job will be done more quickly and better, which will be reflected in our prices.
Our company publishes a lot of catalogues and brochures with very specific terminology, and it is important that it is always translated in the same way; do you have the means to ensure this?
Yes. As mentioned in the answers above, when we start to work with a new client we begin to create a specific translation memory for that client or for a particular project. That means that if a different translator works on the next project for that client, at least the same terminology will be used. The collaboration of our clients is key to the success of this task.
As the price depends on the number of words, are repeated words also counted? If so, if I delete the parts of the text that are repeated, won’t it be cheaper?
You could do it, but this may affect quality. When we prepare a quote, we take into account whether a text is very repetitive. And the translator will need the full text in order to have an overview of the job. Even if parts of a text are repeated, removing them may hinder their understanding.
Is there anything I can do to make the translator’s work easier and that gives more satisfactory results?
Yes, of course. There are a number of things you can do that will help us a great deal and that contribute to better quality translations.
- When you write a document, remember that the task of translating will also take time. Translation is not just a matter of writing words in another language; it also requires the translator to understand the meaning, intention and nuances of a text. Just think how long it took you to write your text, choose the right words, etc., and you will soon realise that a translator also needs time to think and choose the words that best reflect your intentions. Do not give us tight deadlines and make us work against the clock, because that will be reflected in the quality of the final text.
- Give us information about your text: who is it for, what is your intention, what should be highlighted, which concepts are fundamental, are there any concepts that you wish to be translated in a specific way?
- If you have parallel texts or texts on a similar subject matter in the target language, do not hesitate to make them available to us. We do any research into terminology that is necessary, but if you are able to provide us with this information we can work faster and more accurately.
- Be open to our queries. During the translation process, we are sometimes not exactly sure about the meaning of a sentence or a specific term, and whenever possible there is nothing better than asking the author of the text to clear up such difficulties. Good communication channels between the client and the translator are key to the quality of a translation.
- And, finally, please give us your feedback. This is essential to improving the next job we do for you. If you make changes to the texts we hand in, modify concepts because you are used to expressing them in another way, etc., let us know so that we can take this into account in other texts. If at all possible, do not correct texts without letting us know. We do not wish to question your abilities, however, we have often seen internal corrections made by clients at the last minute in which errors have been introduced that create a bad impression, and this undoes all our hard work. And, last but not least… if you are happy with our work, please also tell us! We know that the translator is very much in the background, but we really do appreciate being told that our work has helped you achieve what you set out to do.