Translation Services

Aug 9th, 2014

Types of Translation Services


Translation is present in all the aspects of our lives. We are able to read a good book written by our favourite foreign author due to the work of a translator. Businesses and companies need translation more than ever due to the process of globalization. The medical and pharmaceutical industries also rely heavily on translation. Institutions such as the European Union need translation services more than ever to function properly. And the list goes on.

For each of these categories of translation, experts are required. Only people who have extensive knowledge or degrees in these fields can offer customers the best services. Compared to previous years, translation companies tend to hire only native speakers to make sure that their translation is going to be as accurate as possible. The competition between different translation services providers is harsh, so each company is trying to offer customers the best experience.

In order to survive on the market, translation companies try to focus more and more on the customers’ needs. They try to vary the fields in which their translators specialize; they make promotion and special packages and they also offer extra services like localization and SEO. In terms of translation rates, we can find services suitable for all types of budgets. Probably the lowest price usually applies to freelancers, whereas the big translation companies tend to have higher rates. In order to understand more about the translation services available nowadays, we must analyse all the fields of translation.


Literary translation

Literary translation is the translation of books, novels, poems and all the subcategories of literature that you can imagine. Considered by the majority of people the hardest field of translation, it owes its reputation to the metaphorical, idiomatic language. Translators have to understand the writer’s thoughts and ideas and translate them in a way that does not affect the tone and the meaning of the original text. It is often said that the translator must be as creative as the writer in order to deliver an excellent translation of a literary work.

The revenues of literary translators vary according to a multitude of factors. There are no fixed literary translation rates; they depend on the complexity of the text, on its length, on the language combination or on the extra services that the customer might ask. As a general quoe, European languages translation rates will normally be between € 0.12 and € 0.20, while Asian languages translation rates will generally stand between € 0.15 and € 0.25. However, these rates vary, so the customer must search for the translation company that suits his budget and his need. This can be done through extensive research and comparison between different translation services, or even better, asking someone you trust to recommend translation agencies they’ve already worked with.


Business and Marketing Translation

In business, translation has a crucial role nowadays. Companies are trying to go global and to conquer as many markets as possible. This would be impossible without translation and localization. First of all, the bureaucratic side of a business needs translation very often, especially if we are talking about an international company. Secondly, their marketing campaigns will need translation, localization and SEO in order to make them accessible to the people in the new markets they plan to enter.

Business translation rates depend on many factors. Firstly of all, the difficulty of the language and the complexity of the text determine the price of the translation. The deadline is also very important, so if customers want something urgently, they’ll have to pay more. In business, the company that needs translation also matters in terms of rates. A big name like Apple for instance will hire the best translation company, which is often the most expensive one. For SEO, localization and other services, customers will pay extra money as well. Thus, it is obvious that translation plays an important role in business and marketing.


Financial translation

Translation is also required in the financial field, especially when it comes to banking. Banks have become internationalized as well, thus they have a lot of documentation that needs to be translated. The translators must be experts in the financial field in order to deliver the most precise translation to the customers.  Usually, financial translators have degrees in banking and finance.

It’s hard to establish the exact financial translation rates, as they depend on various factors such as the language pair combination or the nature of the document that needs translation. Some translation companies include extra services such as proofreading and editing in the price, but customers should check that from the beginning in order to avoid unplanned costs.


Medical and pharmaceutical translation

Globalization had a strong impact on the pharmaceutical and medical industry as well. Linguists who have training in branches of medicine, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, pharmacology and toxicology must translate documents accurately, avoiding mistakes that can harm patients. Medical and pharmaceutical documents are difficult to translate due to their specific terminology that sometimes poses problems for translators. For instance, the Latin terms are complicated and translators must have at least a basic knowledge of Latin to understand everything.

Estimating medical and pharmaceutical translation rates is not easy. Depending on the difficulty of the language, prices may vary. For complex documents like manuals or books, the prices are going to be higher. The deadline and extra services that you might need could also increase the price.


Engineering translation

In the field of engineering, translation is required for documents such as technical drawings, operating manuals, plans, technical patents, technical reports, engineering specifications, safety manuals and responses to RFPs. As you can imagine, we are talking about an extremely technical language that can be understood only by experts in engineering, which have degrees in this field and understand all the concepts involved.  An accurate and precise translation is required because even a small mistake can compromise an important project.

Engineering translation rates tend to be higher than in other fields of technical translation. The reason is that terminology can be ambiguous and extremely complex. The price increases when you want to translate your document from or into Asian or Middle Eastern languages. Also, unrealistic deadlines will cost clients some extra money.


Scientific translation

As cultures connect, the translation of scientific content is required in order to make the new discoveries available to a wider audience. Scientific journals or books dedicated to those passionate about physics, chemistry, astrology, astronomy and others need translation in order to become widespread. In this case, translators must have degrees in science and they must understand new concepts and discoveries in this field. For example, without translation, it will be difficult for people in Europe to discover the new invention in foreign countries like Japan or China, and the other way around.

Scientific translation rates are usually similar to those for engineering translation, but they will vary according to the language pair combination, the field, the deadline and the extra services required by the customer.


Technical translation

Technical translation is a type of specialized translation involving the translation of documents produced by technical writers or more specifically, texts which relate to technological subject areas or texts which deal with the practical application of scientific and technological information. Technical translation covers the translation of many kinds of specialized texts and requires a high level of knowledge of the subject and mastery of the relevant terminology and writing conventions.

The role of the technical translator is to not only be a transmitter of information, but also to build procedural discourse and knowledge through meaning. Often, the technical translator may also take on the role of the technical writer. The translator plays an important in making meaning, whether they are doing technical translation in one language or in multiple languages. It is preferable for translators to have degrees in relevant technical fields in order to understand all the terminology while translating.

As we are talking about a language with no nuances or double-meanings, technical translation is considered the easiest and it usually has the lowest rates. Of course, they vary according to the language and the particularities of the text, but usually the rates stand between € 0.12 and € 0.15 for European languages and € 0.15 and € 0.20 for Asian languages.


SEO Translation and website localization

Website localization is the process of adapting an existing website to the local language and culture in the target market. It involves much more than simply translating the text: it is the process of adapting a website into a different cultural context.  This modification process must reflect specific language and cultural preferences in the content, images and overall design and requirements of the site – all while maintaining the integrity of the website.

Culturally adapted web sites reduce the amount of required cognitive efforts from visitors of the site to process information, making navigation easier and attitude toward the website more favourable. Website localization aims to customize a website so that it seems “natural”, to its viewers despite cultural differences between the creators and the audience. Besides linguistic knowledge, cultural awareness is really important in this case. Thus, the translator should be a person that was exposed to the target culture. Creators take into account the language, education level, value systems, traditions and habits of the target culture in order to optimize results.

SEO Translation is vital to ensuring your company website is on the first page of search engines in the market you are targeting, but this cannot be entrusted to any old translation agency. Many people live under the impression that translating your site’s content and keywords will be enough to ensure it gets ranked, but they are terribly wrong.  SEO doesn’t work like that. Proper SEO translation by a professional translation agency is the only way to ensure that your website will rank in the target country when someone searches for one of your products or services in a foreign language. The text in its entirety must be translated, including keywords and expressions, as well as aspects like title tags, meta tags, script messages and anchor texts, to ensure that the page is as attractive for search engines in the target language as it’s possible to be.

Many people seem think that localization and SEO translation are one and the same thing. But they are completely wrong. The main difference between the two is that localization is translating your web pages for a different culture, meaning human beings that live in a different society, whereas the main target of SEO are not human readers, but rather search engines. Most translation companies offer services such as localization and SEO.  Depending on the things you need, translation rates will vary. But these two services have the potential of significantly improving the international presence of businesses, thus they are not cheap at all.

In conclusion, translation is required in numerous fields and it plays an important role in today’s society and economy. Translation services are varied and specialized on different fields. There are many translation companies nowadays, so it is difficult for customers to decide which one is suitable for them. This is why people should create a set of criteria that helps them pick the right translation service. This can be done through research on this topic. Reading reviews, comparing prices and asking people that had experience with translation companies could be useful.

In terms of translation rates, customers should understand why prices vary and why. Some languages have higher rates, some fields are more difficult, in some cases deadlines have an impact on the price and extra services will increase the price. When asking for translation rates, clients should make sure they outline all their translation needs. For example, they must specify if they need the final text to be formatted, if they need SEO optimized translation, keyword research, proofreading, localization or other services. A good dialogue with the translation company will ease up their job and it will help customers obtain the best services.


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