FAQs


On this page you can find the following contents:


Translation FAQs

What is the difference between translation and interpreting?

A translator deals with the written word, translating a text from a foreign language into their mother tongue. An interpreter deals with the spoken word, relaying messages between speakers of different languages face to face or over the telephone.

Who will work on my translation?

We carefully consider the right translator for each individual project. All of our translation work is done by qualified, mother tongue translators who have a strong understanding of the cultures behind the languages they work with. Many of our translators are specialised in specific industries, so we will find a translator who understands the demands of your market.

How do you work out the cost of my translation?

We agree a fixed fee, so we will quote quickly at the beginning of the project. We take language combination, type of text, formatting, deadlines and other factors into consideration when providing a quote. Extra formatting may cost more and require a longer delivery deadline, while discounts are available for high volume work involving multiple languages.

How long will the translation take?

We recommend that you allow roughly one working day per 1500-2000 words for translation. However, we are willing to work around tight deadlines, so we can discuss getting your translation completed more quickly if necessary.

How do you handle highly confidential work?

At Express Language Solutions we treat every piece of work as confidential, but we are happy to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement if necessary. Please bear in mind, we will retain copies of your source documents and translations for one year unless you specify otherwise, after which time the translations and the originals will be securely destroyed.

How will you send the translation back to me?

We usually email our clients directly in MS Word, Excel or PowerPoint format, or in other formats if necessary. However, you might not be able to read electronic files if you do not have the appropriate fonts for languages such as Japanese, Chinese or Arabic. We will usually send you a PDF to resolve this. Translations that need certification will be returned by post, fax or email. We can also return your original source documents by post, at an additional charge for Royal Mail special delivery or courier.

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Interpreting FAQs

Who will work on my assignment?

We only work with qualified, professional interpreters, who have total fluency in more than one language and an in-depth understanding of both cultures. Based on your particular assignment and location, we will choose the best interpreter for you – someone who specialises in your industry, and who is located near you.

How do you work out the cost?

Our conference interpreters tend to charge a daily fee. Preparation time, travelling time, travelling costs, accommodation and food are often factored into the cost. Other forms of interpreting are charged on a half-day or hourly basis, where a minimum charge applies. If an assignment is cancelled at short notice, a fee of up to 100% will be charged, as interpreters are unlikely to find an alternative job at short notice. Please contact us for a copy of our Cancellation Policy.

How long is an interpreter’s working day?

A maximum of eight hours (including breaks) is the standard working day. This helps avoid fatigue, which can affect the efficiency of proceedings and lead to misunderstandings.

How far in advance should I book an interpreter?

It’s never too early to book an interpreter – finding someone at short notice can be difficult, especially when multiple languages are involved, so it’s best to book as early as possible.

Do I need to provide any background information?

It is very helpful, if not vital, to supply background materials relating to the meeting well in advance. References, specialist terminology and acronyms familiar to those in your field are not always clear to an outsider. Interpreters need to familiarise themselves with every new subject, so drafts and presentation slides are invaluable.

How many interpreters will I require for a conference?

Interpreters work in a sound-proofed booth or with a portable interpreting system. With conference interpreting the interpreter translates the message into the target language while "simultaneously" listening to and comprehending the next sentence. As this involves intense concentration levels, interpreters work in teams of two, alternating every 20 or 30 minutes. You would therefore require a pair of interpreters for each language required.

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