December Newsletter


This month we really got involved with the hashtag #ExportingisGREAT – so great that TranslatorsVillage founder and CEO, Blanca Gonzalez, is now an ambassador for the International Export Network. Blanca has been representing TranslatorsVillage at  this December event and is looking forward to attending Chamber International events in 2016. 
"Being a member of this group will help us to better understand the gaps that companies face, when deciding to export and to share our experience in Exporting with them. We attended our first session in December and learned about new products developed by Chamber International and UKTI: Looking forward to participating in webinars and future events."
Not only that, but we have been working with volunteer translators to contribute aid towards the Syrian refugee crisis. We collaborated with English/Arabic to Farsi translators and produced signs that were to be put up around refugee camps, in particular on the Greek island of Lesbos, trying to make life a little easier for those making the long journey from Syria.
At TranslatorsVillage this month, we have been honing our digital, movie-making skills once again to enter an Elevator Pitch competition run by HSBC. Making short films for our YouTube channel and to share on Twitter and Facebook  is great fun and it is an area that we are going to grow over the next few months. In fact, we are already working on another video, with the help of all our wonderful translators, which will be published in the coming weeks. Keep an eye on our social media accounts for updates!
TranslatorsVillage Elevator Pitch
Finally, we are launching a campaign to find out what your New Year's Resolutions or wishes are. You may have seen a video that we shared on Facebook this week about a woman who read a book from every country in the world in a year. Hearing about other people's goals and ambitions are so inspiring and we want to share these on our website's homepage. From eating more healthily to learning a new skill, whatever your goal or wish is for the New Year, we would love to hear from you!

here to find out more about our New Year's Resolutions campaign and how you can be involved and feature on our homepage.

The TranslatorsVillage Team wishes you happy holidays and all the best for 2016.

New Year's Wishes and Resolutions

Eat healthier, learn something new, get fit - what's yours?

New Year's Resolutions are a great way to start the year, and here at TranslatorsVillage we are already thinking about ours and what we want to achieve in 2016.

We would like to invite all of our fantastic translators to be a part of our New Year's Wishes campaign. We want to hear what your plans are for next year, whether it's learning a new skill (or language?), visiting new cities or eating more green vegetables! Or perhaps instead of a New Year's Resolution you have a Wish, something you would like to see happen in the forthcoming year.

No matter what it is, we would love to hear from you. We will feature a selection of New Year's Wishes/Resolutions on our homepage at the end of the month and into the New Year, alongside the translator's information. 

So if you would like to share your goals and be in the spotlight, get in touch with:

1) Your New Year's Wish/Resolution(s) in your native language
2) Your New Year's Wish/Resolution(s) translated into English
3) Your name and your native language

We're looking forward to hearing your goals and feeling inspired.

The TranslatorsVillage Team

Guide to Buying Translation: Part 2

This is the second part of our information bulletin on how to buy translation. At TranslatorsVillage, we believe that is should be easy and simple so we have put together this guide to help shed some light on the process. Read about the key information you will need including costing and the information you will be required to provide to ensure the best quality translation.

5. What will I pay?

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. The rates of experienced professional translators will be higher than those that are less experienced or do it as a hobby or as a favour. If you get a friend or colleague to translate because they know a bit of the language you risk misunderstandings that may lead to financial disadvantage or even to creating offence. In the unlikely event a professional translator makes a serious error they will have Professional Indemnity Insurance to claim against.

As with all professionals the rates charged by translators vary considerably. Rates also vary between languages. For some more common languages (Italian, Polish, Spanish), there are more translators so there is greater competition and rates may be lower than for more complex or less widely spoken languages (Arabic, Danish, Swedish).

6. Asking for a quote.

When asking for a quote you should provide the following information and don’t forget to ask relevant questions to help you make the most informed decision:


  • Text to be translated: Formal report on important developments in the solar energy industry in United Arab Emirates

  • Source language (from): Arabic

  • Target language (to): English (UK)

  • Volume: 7,375 words

  • Required date: 28th December

  • Required delivery format: MS Word

  • Other information: Translator can liaise with our Technical Manager re industry specific terminology, etc. 

This information will be required by any translation company before any provisional quote can be provided. Even then, if the actual document received for translation is different there may be changes to the cost.

7. How is a text translated?

A qualified and experienced translator will read the entire text initially to understand

  • What it is about?
  • What audience it is meant for?
  • What is its purpose?
  • What are its tone and register?

They need to do this in order to help them ensure their translation contains the same message and meaning as the original. Translators aim to ensure that their translation has the same effect on the foreign reader as the English version would have on a native English speaking reader.

In order to retain in their translated version the same meaning as in the original they clearly need to change the words but they may also need to alter some phrases, word order, verb tenses or structures.

One effect of this is that they may use more or fewer words than the original. This can have consequences especially for websites, marketing materials etc. where the text needs to fit within the overall design and space allocation.If you are designing a website or some webpages that are intended to be translated it is a good idea to allocate a little more space for text than the English version takes – just in case…

Some translators use translation software packages on their computer to help with translations. These packages produce suggested translations for a text, based on actual translations completed and checked previously. 

The translators use what the translation software package provides as a guide but then reviews it in detail and revises or re-writes passages that are not correct or that could be better expressed. No professional translator will just send you a translation done using their software. They use it to get suggestions and save some time as the software often incorporates dictionaries of specialist terminology, allowing them to choose the appropriate term rather than look it up separately. They will then produce their own translation and re-read and review it until they are happy with the final result. 

Even using available software translation can be a slow process and there is a limit to the volume of translation that can be completed to a high level or accuracy in a normal working day. Depending on the subject and complexity of the text and its format and structure professional translators can deliver anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 words per day of high quality translation.

In our next and final instalment of our guide to buying translation, we will be looking at cultural difference and localization – a crucial part to consider when choosing a high-quality translation. 

Until then!

Our Guide to Buying Translation: Part 1

When you need a document, text, communication or article to be translated it can be difficult to know how to get it done. Many non-linguists will consider that anyone with a minimal knowledge of the two languages involved (translations go from the Source to the Target language) should be able to translate anything with the help of a dictionary. Unfortunately that isn't the case. That is the equivalent of saying if someone knows how to drive a car they will be competent to repair the brakes as well.

A competent linguist may well be able to provide the “gist” of a text but how confident would you be that they had not left out any vital detail or been truly faithful to the original? Understanding the general message is a long way from recreating the full meaning, tone, register and intended impact of the original text.

A few things about translating.

1. All linguists are NOT translators

Translation is a very particular skill that excellent linguists can learn and develop. You have to be an excellent linguist to translate well – but not all excellent linguists are translators.

People who are truly bilingual from birth or learn another language through school, college, university must still train specifically to be able to translate. It is never sufficient to just know the languages well, you must know all the pitfalls, techniques and skills of translation.

Even those who teach languages are not necessarily good translators unless they have undertaken appropriate training.

If you need something translated you should ensure the translator has qualifications and experience.

Ideally they will have a qualification such as an MA in Translation or a Diploma in Translation from the CIOL (Chartered Institute of Linguists). They should also be able to demonstrate experience of translating for professional purposes, that is, translating documents, texts, websites etc. that are published or in the public domain or are used by professionals in their particular disciplines.

2. Translators should only translate INTO their native language.

This is true. However good your “second” or other learned languages are you will only ever have sufficient mastery of your own language to deliver the highest quality translation. So, with the possible exception of some bilingual individuals, translations should be done by someone whose native language is the Target language – the language INTO WHICH the translation must be put.

3. Translators should be experts in the subject matter.

Most professional translators will specialise in a particular field or subject area, such as legal, technical, health, engineering, finance, etc. They will have gained experience within a particular field through a previous career or by focusing on that area during their translation studies. A good, professional translator will want to see a text before agreeing to translate it, to ensure they are competent to handle the subject matter. If they feel they are not sufficiently competent to do a job well they should decline it.

This is where using a good Language Service Provider or Translation Agency is valuable. They retain data on the particular subject matter of all their translators plus information on the quality and reliability of their work.

4. Online translation software is good enough.

For getting the “gist” of a text then yes, some free online translation programmes are quite useful. But it will still be many years before they are good enough – especially the free ones – to have sufficient confidence in them to have the translation they provide published or used as the basis for any important decisions or actions.

As no two languages are completely alike in terms of their grammar or lexicon (range of words) translation is never just a case of exchanging one word with another. Word order and syntax are also different for every language.

A “literal” translation is one in which the words of the Source language are put into Target language using the words that seem to be the closest, without considering how the two languages are structured. Quite simply it means that a literal translation of the basic Spanish greeting of “Buenos días” is “good days” whereas a faithful translation is “Hello” or even “Good morning”. “Good days” is a word for word translation and gives some indication of what the “message” is, but it is not a form of greeting anyone would use in English.

If you read a text that sounds peculiar due to word order or strange phrases it may have been translated literally.

Look out for our second part to our Guide to Buying Translation coming soon...