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Frequently Asked Questions

How can I send my documents to Art of Translation?

We make it very easy for you to send us your documents: 

How much will it cost?

Our translations are calculated either by word, page or hour, depending on the document format and what is involved in the project.  If you have a document you need translated, please send it over and we will provide you with a free quote.

What are my payment options?

We accept Credit card payments (+4% service charge), PayPal, bank transfers and check. 

What is a usual project workflow?

Each project differs depending on complexity, but here is how our workflow looks on paper:

  1. Client generates a quote request and provides files to AOT via email, Dropbox or other preferred source methods.
  2. AOT reviews the files and drafts a quote.  We always strive to quote in 24 hours but larger or more complicated projects may require a number of days.
  3. Client reviews the quote and sends over approval via email.
  4. Project goes into production.  The Project Manager will advise the client on the delivery date.
  5. The project is delivered to the client.
  6. Client reviews the project and lets the Project Manager know that it is accepted and completed to their satisfaction.
  7. AOT invoices the client.
  8. Payment is made per the client guidelines and requirements

What is the difference between Translation and Interpreting?

Translation is written and Interpreting is spoken

What are some of different types of translation services?

Document translations, notarized translations, transcriptions, image translations, software localization, desktop publishing.

What types of files can you translate?

We can translate most file formats; Word, Excel, InDesign, FrameMaker, .jpg/.png etc., PDF, hard copy, scanned, html etc.  Unsure if your file can be translated?  Contact us and we will help you find the best solution.

What does source and target language mean?

Source language = the original language that we are translating from.

Target language = the language that we are translating into.

How long will it take for my documents to be translated?

The completion time will depend on the amount of text to be translated, the document format, location of the translator (time difference), as well as the complexity of the text. We strive to exceed your expectations and deliver within your deadline.  Want more information?  Call or email us.

What is the difference between a notarized and certified translation?

A notarized translation requires an embossed stamp, seal and signature by a notary. We can provide this additional service (charges apply).

A certified translation is accompanied by a signed Certificate of Accuracy by the professional translator. Unsure of what kind of translation you need, call us – we can help!

What is a sworn translator?

A sworn translator has been certified by the government of his or her residence.  Once the translations are complete, they add a stamp to show their translations as accurate and faithful to the original document.  Unsure if what you have will suffice, please call us!  We can help you find a solution.

Do I need to submit original documents to you?

If all you have is an original hard copy of your document, you do not need to provide that to us. You can take a picture of it on your phone or scan it and send it via email.

Human translations versus machine translation

Although we can facilitate clients who require Machine Translation for various reasons, we strongly believe that there is no replacement for the human element to translation.  Very often Machine Translation requires such a high level of post editing, that it would have been easier to translate by a human in the first place. We highly recommend human translations! 

Machines cannot understand the subtleties of language or cultural nuances (slang, dialects etc.), context, style, and tone, resulting in lack of accuracy and the original message is lost.

Pros and Cons of Google Translate

Speed. If you need 1,000 pages of for. Example emails translated and you just need the gist of what it says, then a machine translation would be an option.  However, with the limited time for post editing, the quality will NOT be reliable.

Quality of output. GT is NOT free, because you will spend a lot of time and money correcting the text. Also note that anything you add to GT is public, so there is a data security risk.
Bottom line - Always work with a pro!

Also, be careful if using Google Translate to translate text that contains personal, sensitive or confidential data as it becomes the property of Google…

What are literal translations?

A literal translation is what you will get if you use machine translation.  The machine will literally translate the words as they are, without any regard for the different meanings a word can have, or context.

What are idiomatic translations?

If a text contains an idiom, the translator, native in the target language, will either replace the idiom with an equivalent in the target language, or re-create a similar idiom in the target language.  The goal is for the reader to not even realize that the content they are reading is translated.

What is the difference between machine translation and translation software?

Machine translation, is a public online tool.  In recent years we have started seeing Neural Machine Translation, where anyone using it contributes to the language database.  For example; a sentence is translated from English into French and added to the relevant database.  The next day another translator types in the same English sentence and that French translation is given as a translation option. The translator reviews and either accepts it, or edits it according to his taste. Pros of this is that the database is constantly updated and “trained” according to the corrections that people add.  Cons would be data security and not knowing who has contributed and whether they were experts in the target language.  Thorough post editing is still required.

Translation software or Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) is a paid-for program built around the core concept of a translation memory, a method of capturing, storing and reusing translations. This helps maintain language quality and keeps terminology consistent. A translation memory contains segments (sentences) in a source and target language created by an individual translator (it can be shared with others, but it is not public). It also can dramatically reduce the time needed to translate a text, and the need for repetitive typing.

What is a translation memory?

A Translation Memory (TM) is a database that contains paired segments (sentences) of the source and target languages. A segment is text that is a single translation unit for the purposes of finding a match in a translation memory.  A translator creates a bi‐lingual TM for each client and each language pair so that the information is specific to each client. If a client has an existing list of preferred or industry‐specific terminology, this can be imported into the CAT tool, so that the preferred terms are saved in the TM. Each time a segment of text is translated, the corresponding translation unit is added to the translation memory and stored for future use and reference. This way, the translation memory grows dynamically during the translation process.

A CAT tool is beneficial in four main ways:

  1. It will save the client money because discounted rates are given to the client for repetitions and 100% matches.
  2. It increases a translator’s productivity which will enable you to deliver the project back to the client quicker.
  3. It reduces the translator cost. Translators themselves offer discounted rates for repetitions and 100% matches (some also for fuzzy matches).
  4. It will make the translations better, more accurate and consistent.

What is Desktop Publishing and Document Formatting Services?

Desktop Publishing (DTP) means creating documents using a page layout software. These programs allow for easy formatting of documents to include images and visual displays. Documents that require DTP include brochures, manuals, marketing pieces etc.

Document Formatting Services means all other services that involves documents in different formats. We can convert your document from one format into another. For example if you only have a scanned version of your document, we can convert it into a Word document, nicely formatted for you. If you have a document created in Word or FrameMaker format and would prefer it in InDesign, we can change that over for you.  Your document will look exactly the same, but in a different format.  We can also convert PDFs into Word or other formats for you.  Unsure of what solution is best for your document? Call or email us for information.