Showing posts with label legal translation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label legal translation. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fixing Translation Rates and Prices

translation rates
As an independent translator one of the most important things to consider is what translation rates to set. A professional translators dilemma is being caught in one of two undesirable situations: ” Am I pricing myself out of the market or I seem to be working all day yet barely making enough to pay the bills?” The following article discusses some of the issues facing the translator when setting their translation rates:

Background and Experience

An experienced translator with an established client base can afford to set higher translation rates than a graduate with little or no experience. The experienced translator has been tried and tested and has the luxury of relative financial security with other clients. They are not desperate for the work. On the other hand an inexperienced graduate with little or no commercial experience is more desperate for the work and they have little or no financial security. This is why their rates are often cheaper.
The area of specialization often affects pricing. Highly specialized fields with a lot of technical jargon like for instance pharmaceuticals, technical engineering, legal and medical translation often require the translator to have a skilled qualification as well as experience in this field. This often leads to fewer qualified translators in this sector leading to higher prices. For example general business texts are less technical with less terminology and most translators can translate them no problem. This means there is a huge supply of translators to choose from leading to lower translation prices in this area.

Language Combination

The language combination has a huge effect on translation rates. It also often boils down to the old case of supply and demand. The more translators there are for a particular language combination the cheaper the prices will be. Certain combinations are simply more competitive than others for translators thus pushing the prices down.
The cost of living in the target language country where more often than not the translator is located influences translation rates. We notice that when the target language is a language from a developing country for instance Spanish translation services for Peru, the rates tend to be much cheaper as the GDP or standard of living in this particular country is very low. The translator can afford to charge much lower translation prices. A hundred EURO in Peru goes a lot further than in Spain.
We also should note that rare language combinations, for example Icelandic to French tend to be more expensive than more common language combinations such as English to Spanish translation. This is of course because there are fewer translators for the Icelandic to French combination so the translator can in effect name his price.


The culture of a country. For example we notice that German translation rates tend to be much higher than Spanish translation rates. This is down to a number of factors but a major bearing is the simple fact that a German translator will not work for €0, 05 per word whereas it seems to be a standard rate in Spain and Italy. This also ties in with the fact that the cost of living in Germany is much higher. From my experience there seems to be a lot of German translators but they just charge higher rates.
All in all setting realistic translation rates is one of the essentials to a successful translation career as a freelancer. A very low translation quote tends to have potential clients wondering why is this guy so cheap, plus often leaves the translator short of salary whereas too high a translation quote simply prices the translator out of the market. It is indeed a delicate balancing act that must be approached with caution.

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Mark Kieran - CEO - One Stop Shop Translations

Mark Kieran, CEO, One Stop Shop Translations

One Stop Shop Translations is a translation services company based in Madrid, Spain. If you just want to browse over our translation rates, click here or get a great value personalised translation quote here.

Try One Stop Shop Translations for Quality, price and timeliness!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

All you need to Know about Legal Translation?

A legal translation is any translation used within the legal system. This can mean all manner of documents required by the civil and criminal justice systems. It includes documents such as contracts, patent and trademark filings, court and witness transcripts, depositions, registration documents, expert reports, legal disclaimers, affidavits, regulations, laws, confidentiality agreements, legal certifications and statements, government and legal ruling reports, letters of credit, technical documents to support litigation efforts , licenses, litigation and arbitration documents.

The list of legal translation is endless and we must also bear in mind that other documents become “legal” when they cross into the civil and criminal justice systems.
Examples include passports, death certificates, birth certificates, last wills and testaments, immigration documents, marriage certificates, powers of attorney, evidentiary recordings of phone calls, police interviews, court documents, contracts, complaints, judgments, affidavits, judgments, adoption papers, , summons, legal proceedings, trusts, partnership deeds, sales contracts, real estate titles or leases papers, permits, insurance policies, trademarks and copyrights, service agreements, escrow instructions, distribution agreements or arbitration documents.

The main question is when a document needs to be translated legally and the answer is when whenever the document is to be used by the courts or for legal matters. If, for example, you moved to another country with your family and died there, you would need a sworn or notarized translation of the will in the language of that country in order to go through the relevant legal proceedings of that country.

It is always best to have these things done in advance rather at the last minute at times of stress when mistakes are more likely to occur. After all, in a lot of cases these events will definitely occur so why add the extra stress.
This brings us to our next question. Who can do a legal translation and how do we know they have the credentials and qualifications to do the translation. In Spain for example a legal translation needs to be translated by a sworn translator. A sworn translator in Spain takes periodic exams with the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On passing these exams the sworn translations are accompanied by their stamp. In the United States it is less clear cut in that there are no official exams or licenses. There are voluntary certifications given by bodies such as the American Translators Association and the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters & Translators. These bodies work along similar lines to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in that the translators and interpreters have to pass periodic exams to maintain their status. Some translators may have a relevant legal background such as a law degree. When choosing a legal translator it’s really important that the translator or translation Agency has a demonstrable legal qualification or experience.

To make a legal Translation official a professional translation agency should be able to certify or notarize their translations with the relevant stamp from that particular country. At One stop Shop legal translations are notarized or stamped according to the country the translations are intended for. I would now like to define a few essential terms for legal translations that may help you decide in choosing the best qualified translator in the country you wish to use the translation.

A certified translation as one that has a document accompanying it attesting to its accuracy or validity, but is not notarized. With a notarized translation the accompanying certificate is notarized by the relevant legal representative.

A sworn translation has the official stamp of the sworn translator who is regulated by a Government body in that country

Below is a list of the qualifications per country used by One Stop Shop Translations to “legalize” a translation. In the case where a translator is sworn the translation is sworn in that particular country in order to legalize it.

French Legal Translation: Translators sworn and registered with a Regional court of Appeal in France.

Spanish legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Spanish Ministry of Foreign affairs.

German Legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with a regional court in Germany.

Italian Legal translation: Translations are sworn at the local Italian court of Justice on a case by case basis. Some legal translations need to be notarized before a notary and the relevant parties.

Austrian Legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with a regional court in Austria.

Dutch Legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with a regional court in Holland.

Portuguese Legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with a regional court in Portugal.

Czech Legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with a regional court in the Czech republic.

Polish legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Polish Ministry of Justice.

Romanian legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Romanian Ministry of Justice.

Turkish legal translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign affairs.

Venezuelan Legal Translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Venezuelan Ministry of Justice.

U.K. legal translation: no sworn translation system.

Argentinean Legal Translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Argentinean Ministry of Justice

U.S. legal translation: No sworn translation system. Translators are registered with the ATA (American translators association)

Mexican Legal Translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Mexican Superior Court of Justice

Norwegian Legal Translation: Translators sworn and registered with the Association of Government Authorized Translators.

South African Legal Translation: Translators sworn and registered with the South African High Court.

Swedish Legal Translation: Translators sworn and registered with the "Kammarkollegiet".

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Legal Translation Services

Legal translation is extremely complex and should never be done by someone who is not qualified to translate legal documents accurately to the target language. A legal translator not only translates from one language into another but also from one legal system to another. The translator must understand local culture and have detailed knowledge of the legal system in the country for which the translation is intended.

The legal translator should also be a native speaker of the target language and have a fundamental understanding of the source language. Legal Mistranslations can have devastating consequences and even result in legal action against the company or person involved. A slight paraphrase can change the legal meaning of a document
On 13 November 2007, during the long-running media pursuit of the case of the missing English girl in Portugal, reporter Fiona Govan filed a report on ‘Madeleine McCann: Possible translation errors’ in the UK Telegraph.

“Inconsistencies in the statements given by the McCanns and the group of friends who were dining with them at the time of Madeleine’s disappearance may have been caused by errors in translation, it emerged today. Portuguese detectives investigating the case of the missing four-year-old have admitted that they are reassessing the original witness statements to look for inaccuracies in their translation.”

Terminology plays a key role and the legal translator should have a full understanding in this area and be able to adapt the text from the source language to the target language without losing anything in translation. This requires expertise and experience. Legal matters are constantly changing throughout the world and the legal translator must keep abreast with these changes.

When sourcing legal translators it is important that they fulfil the following criteria:
Familiarity with the relevant legal terminology

Knowledge of the legal systems, both of the source and target languages;


Timely delivery of your translated documents.

Accuracy and attention to detail

Accurate legal translations can be delivered only by highly specialised translators who have a comprehensive working knowledge and experience in the legal industry.
A good legal translator should also be a specialist in a particular legal area, such as:
International law
Civil law
Corporate law
Property law
Tax and accounting law
Insurance law
Patent law and etc.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hiring Translation Services and Due Diligence

As a translation services manager on the client side you are probably aware of the many questions you should ask when hiring translation services companies. Your department is centralized with linguists and project managers specialized in the area. But often, especially in many smaller companies, employees are tasked with sub-contracting large translations under the assumption that their task should be simple thus ignoring due diligence and causing mayhem.
Typical problems often ignored include differing file formats requiring different engineering tasks and ensuing costs. On the linguistic side there are many considerations to be taken into account to ensure quality such as the volume and deadline, the translation agency quality procedures and the flavor of the language into which the document is being translated.

The following is a series of questions and answers to consider when outsourcing your translation services needs:

1. What is the source language and target of the document? One must bear in mind that certain language combinations are harder to come by than others which has a bearing on availability and cost. Translating from English to French is a much easier outsourcing process than from Zulu to French.

2. What is the flavor of the target language? For instance a French translator from Paris translating into Algerian French can lead to a lot of quality issues.

3. What is the reason for the translation? For instance in the case of a legal translation, does the translation need to be sworn or certified.

4. What is the standard required for the translation? Will it be published and be the corporate face of the company or is it just for internal purposes only?

5. Is there a particular style of the translation? For instance does it have to adhere to an in-house style guide? Are there particular terms for the translation to adhere to? Perhaps the layout has to adhere to a particular in-house style?

6. What is the field of translation? Is it a legal, business or medical translation? In this case ensure the translator has the relevant experience translating in this particular field, ask the agency for a translator profile.

7. Check and see if you can provide the translation services company reference material such as previous translations, glossaries etc.

8. What format is the document in? Depending on the format there maybe additional engineering costs for the target language. Do you have the capacity to do these tasks in-house or is it more cost beneficial and realistic to outsource these tasks? Ask for a quote and ensure that you understand the additional engineering costs that are involved and decide from there. If you have done your homework in advance you will often get a feel for the level of professionalism and expertise that the client has.

9. Be aware of the translation metrics involved in translation and it’s engineering tasks. If your deadline is too soon you may have to realize that this will have an effect on quality and consistency

10. Will you have to send updates of the files after the agency has started translating? Has there been a system devised to cope with these updates between you and the client. Are you prepared for an elevated translation quote due to the updates and advised your boss?

11. Do you require Translation Memory technology to be used by the vendor? Are their Translation memory rates as competitive as other vendors? Shop around and get other translation quotes.

12. It often helps to proofread the source text before being sent to translation. This avoids updates and poorly written texts which lead to poor translations

13. Is copyright to be retained or transferred?

14. What are the payment terms?

15. Is there a set of business terms and conditions?