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Translation FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about Today Translations' services

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FAQ Contents

“Isn’t human translation expensive?”

“Why do I need a separate proof-reading service?”

“Can I do anything to help the translation process?”

“How can I be sure of the quality and confidentiality of my translation”

“How can I get a quote?”

“If quotes are issued per word, why is there a minimum charge?”

“What is Machine Translation? Why is it cheaper?”

“Can I get my website translated?”

“What kind of certification does my translation need?”

“How quickly can I get my translation?”

“How can I pay?”


“Isn’t human translation expensive?”

The costs are as they are because translation is not a simple one-stage process. The polished end product you receive is the result of a many layered collaboration between highly-trained experts. However, you only need to consider the alternatives. You could not get a translation at all, or you could resort to free online translation for your documents, which is invariably of a very poor standard. The benefits of coming to our professional agency will always outweigh the costs.

“Why do I need a separate proof-reading service?”

Proofreading is a separate service in the language industry for the same reason that auditing is a separate service in the financial industry.

The process is a vital part of our quality assurance process. While the initial service provided by the translator will be of outstanding quality, the task of the proofreader is distinct. The process of review by a second, independent native-tongue linguist will eliminate the small errors that can slip through the net when just one person works on the same job for a long time.

The service is recommended in every instance, but when the text is particularly complex, technical, or creative, the collaboration and scrutiny of a second opinion will make the product as sharply focused as can be. In particular, when your text is to be published or otherwise disseminated to a wide readership, a proofread translation is invaluable to you.

“Can I do anything to help the translation process?”

In the initial consultation, you should provide as much information as possible for a project brief. A translation is a bespoke product. The more information you can provide about the tone, style, purpose, and context in which the translation is to appear, the easier it will be for our translators to tailor the end product to your needs. This additional information can be as important to your project as precise body measurements are to your tailor.

“How can I be sure of the quality and confidentiality of my translation?”

We apply the most stringent standards in developing and maintaining our network of linguists. There are some common misconceptions about what being a translator entails. It is not enough to simply be bilingual. Someone could be natively trilingual and still be an inept translator. To work for Today Translations, they must hold an academic degree in translation and/or a field of expertise relevant to the project at hand, and must also have at least 5 years of industry experience. There is no substitute for these high standards. You can rest assured that the confidentiality of your files will be preserved.

“How can I get a quote?”

The process is not uniform. The quote will vary as we must take into consideration factors such as the source and target language, the area of expertise required, the experience of the linguist, and labour costs in different countries. Nonetheless, we will always do our best to provide the most competitive quote possible. There is an online quote form on our homepage and all of our service pages.

“If quotes are issued per word, why is there a minimum charge?”

The per-word charge is industry standard. However, all our quotes start from £65. We operate with this policy in order to make assignments economically viable for our network of linguists, whom we value greatly.

“What is Machine Translation? Why is it cheaper?”

In a nutshell, MT is translation carried out by software alone. It is not to be confused with Translation Memory, a type of software that allows human translators to look back on and reuse existing translations. Automating translation is a tempting idea. It would cut costs and time for everybody. In reality, however, the output of tools such as Google Translate is very rough-and-ready. The first attempts at MT date from the 1950s, and even today the technological advances do not come close to providing a service in the same league as a professional translation. When a translation task demands quality, security and credibility, there really is no alternative to a human touch.

“Can I get my website translated?”

Certainly. However, for your website to resonate properly with your international audience, it is not enough just to translate the words from source to target language. You must also attune other aesthetic features of your website, such as layout, date format, currencies, image, humour, and cultural references that will likely miss the mark if left alone. This process is known as localization, and we have a trusted network of highly-skilled specialists who understand what is required.

In the interests of avoiding technical issues, please be aware that by far the easiest way to conduct a website translation is for you to provide us with the original XML files. These contain the coding of your webpage. Once we have these, the translated text can be directly ‘flowed’ onto your webpage, avoiding the need for laborious re-coding.

“What kind of certification does my translation need?”

While we offer a wide range of certified and notarised translation services, we cannot take responsibility for determining the exact certification each individual client needs.

For instance, if a foreign embassy has requested that you provide a translated document, we strongly recommend that you check with them which type of certification is necessary. Today Translations can provide the service, but is not the relevant authority on which types of certifications are appropriate in each case.

“How quickly can I get my translation?”

As a rule of thumb, a professional linguist can translate 2,000-2,500 words per day. However, this figure varies depending on the type of project and material in question. For instance, a German translation of an English text will always tend to be around 30% longer than the original, while for character-based languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, the length of the process may be different.

“How can I pay?”

We accept payment by bank transfer, debit card, and credit card, although please note there will be a surcharge of 3-4% in the case of the latter. We do accept American Express.

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Reviews

Fareeha Hasani

Payments Programme Manager

Dynamic, established and creative organisation. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for a translation service to add value to your business or project.


Roy West

Director - Global Security American Express

I thoroughly recommend Today Translations for a First Class professional service. The use of the finest linguists and exceptional management make them the leaders in their field.


Tom Kendon

Deputy Head of International Programmes

We were overall delighted with the standard of service and Today Translations delivered, in terms of translation quality, time and attentive customer care. They were highly responsive, creative and were central to the success of the translation and quality assurance process. The project managers we dealt with were collaborative and operated very much as part of the team. I would commend our experience of working with Today Translations to other organisations requiring professional translation services.


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