Overseas translation agency

FAQ

Translation entails much more than simply converting words from one language to another. In order to translate, one must know not only the target language, but also have an immersive experience of the culture, traditions and customs of the target language country. Certain linguistic sensitivity and creativity are necessary, as well as an excellent command of the spelling and grammar rules of the language, all to ensure that the translation doesn’t sound like a translation work. A translator seeks to produce perfectly understandable, fluent and adapted content that any native speaker of that language can easily read and understand.

At Overseas Translations, all translations are done by native speakers of the target language specialised in the corresponding field. We seek to always work with the same team of translators for the same client. We follow strict selection criteria for translators based on ISO 17100, which indicate the qualifications and years of experience required to join our translation team.

A professional mother-tongue translator has a perfect command of the language, as well as the relevant qualifications and years of translation experience, and is specialised in various fields. While a native speaker can translate the content of an e-mail or a simple letter, for instance, it is essential to delve deeper and be proficient in the vocabulary of other fields, such as medicine and pharmaceuticals, engineering and construction, biotechnology and even marketing, since the way the message is expressed to the target audience is key to attracting potential customers and it doesn’t suffice to simply convert words into the target language.

An average translator can produce around 2,500 words per day. The speed depends on the content; for instance, it may be lower for very technical texts and higher for simpler content.

A professional translator only translates into his or her mother tongue, i.e. the language of which he or she is a native speaker, from other languages he or she has learned and whose level he or she can attest to with corresponding certifications. Some translators can be native speakers of two languages (mother tongue and the language of the country of residence, if different from their mother tongue). In such cases, documentation is required to confirm that the translator is actually bilingual and can produce translations into both languages.

A translation memory is a database containing all the translated content for each client. It is managed by a CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tool. A memory specific to each client is created, which allows for consistency with previous translations, the use of same terminology and reduced costs for the client, as well as shorter delivery times. It should be noted that all translations are carried out by human translators and it is their content that we use with this tool which we save for use in future translations.

At Overseas Translations we treat every quotation request with equal enthusiasm. We will quote you for free and in no time. Just send us the documents, tell us into which language(s) you need them translated, whether you have a desired delivery date and any other relevant information that we should take into account when preparing the quotation.

In theory, yes. Some formats we normally work with include Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, idml (InDesign) and PDF. Besides translating, we offer desktop publishing services using the following programs: Adobe InDesign, Adobe FrameMaker, Adobe PageMaker, QuarkXPress, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Illustrator, CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop, etc.

A sworn translation is an official translation that can only be carried out by translators or interpreters approved by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MAEC) or other bodies of Autonomous Communities with co-official languages. All sworn translations are fully valid for presentation to official bodies, and must be printed on paper, stamped and signed by the sworn translator. Sworn translations with a digital signature issued by a body authorised to submit documents electronically have full legal validity as well. Sworn translators add a text at the end of the translation, which is a standard formula in which they swear that the content of the translation is faithful to the original document. A copy of the original document is included with the sworn translation. At the discretion of the sworn translator, translations are printed on state-stamped paper, although it is not mandatory under the Ministry’s regulations. Sworn translations can be presented in other countries, although we always advise our clients to familiarise themselves in advance with all the procedures, stamps and legalisations that the original documents must contain prior to the sworn translation and ensure that it will be accepted in the country of destination.

To carry out a sworn translation, the original document must be scanned or in paper format so that the translator can use it as a reference, it must be legible and contain all the signatures and notes to be included in the translation. A copy of the original document will be attached to the sworn translation.

The Hague Apostille is a method of document legalisation to confirm their authenticity. It is mainly used within the framework of private international law andconsists of adding a page with an additional note to the document that is a copy of a public document so as to confirm its authenticity. In some countries, for instance Spain, an electronic apostille with a code to confirm authenticity is used, which can be verified in the electronic register of apostilles. Documents issued by a signatory country to the Convention which have been certified by an Apostille will be recognised and admitted in any other signatory country to the Convention without the need for further authentication.
The documents must be apostilled prior to the sworn translation as, though the format is usually trilingual, it contains information that only appears in Spanish and must be translated by the sworn translator.

A translation is done in written form by a specialised translator who is a native speaker of the target language. Interpreting is also translation, but done orally and there are different types of interpreting: simultaneous, consecutive, liaison, whispered, sworn and online, depending on the client’s needs.

Back translation confirms that our translation reflects the original document and is perfectly understood in the target language, conveying the ideas of the original document. It involves a translation from one language to another by a mother-tongue translator, for example, from Spanish to English by a native English speaker, and then a reverse translation from English to Spanish by another native English (not Spanish) speaker who has not seen the original text (in Spanish), normally an expert in this type of translation as he or she must translate from his or her mother tongue into another language. Once ready, the two versions (in Spanish, in this hypothetical case) are revised and any deviations, misunderstandings or possible errors are modified in the English translation so that it perfectly reflects the intended meaning. It is most commonly used in fields such as pharma, science, clinical trials, some areas of psychology, but may also be of use in other more general sectors.

Document revision is carried out by a proofreader, who is usually a mother-tongue translator in the language of the document and specialised in the corresponding subject. He or she corrects the document in terms of spelling, grammar, sentence structures and may also adapt the vocabulary so that, in the end, the document reads more naturally, fluently and without any errors.
Another type of revision entails proofreading a translation carried out by, for example, the client himself. In addition to applying the same method as outlined above, the proofreader checks sentence by sentence that the translation corresponds to the original document.
Revisions are usually delivered in Word format as this allows us to deliver two versions, one with Track Changes enabled and all edits visible to the client and one final version with all changes accepted and the text ready for use.

A professional translator usually specialises in one or more fields in order to add more value to the translation, especially by using vocabulary that shows his or her expertise in the subject and following the strict protocols that may exist in the case of translating patents, clinical trials, patient information leaflets, safety data sheets, etc. Highly technical vocabulary is also used in engineering, construction and machinery to describe in detail the different parts or mechanisms of a machine. Therefore, translators specialised in each subject area are always required in order to provide the highest quality and the desired understanding by the target audience.

A CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tool is a programme that facilitates the translation process by generating a bilingual file to work on. It also allows to apply translation memory and glossary, if available, as well as other functions to check the consistency of the translation within one or more documents. It also allows for a word count – which includes the total number of new words, repetitions and content already in the memory – to prepare a quotation for the client. This tool is very helpful in ensuring the utmost quality of translations and facilitating the work of both the translator and the Project Manager.

We appreciate all kinds of supplementary information, such as reference documents and websites, terminology preferences, special instructions on what to translate and what not to. We also highly value that you communicate any doubts and provide your feedback, thanks to which we can continuously improve our internal processes.

A style guide is a document that is usually created for clients with specific instructions regarding translation projects, in order to keep them all detailed within one document. It may contain information on what should and should not be translated (names of brands, models, colours and collections), the translation of people’s positions, instructions on the preferred terminology to be applied, the use of capital letters, etc.

A glossary lists all the important terms with their corresponding translation so that they can always be translated in the same way. It is usually created when dealing with technical translations for the engineering or construction fields, as well as pharma and medical, food and legal texts to ensure that certain terms are always translated in the same way. This terminology is often approved by the client. If the client has certain preferences, these are also added to the glossary. When working with the CAT tool, the Project Manager runs an automatic check to confirm that the glossary has been applied correctly.

The most common method of payment is by bank transfer, under the commercial terms and conditions agreed with each client.

Overseas Translations and all its translators, interpreters and other external collaborators undertake to strictly respect the confidentiality of all content entrusted to them. To prove this, they all sign a confidentiality agreement prior to beginning the collaboration, as does Overseas Translations, if requested by our clients.

Overseas Translations and all our collaborators are committed to taking all necessary measures to respect the confidentiality of all the documents we handle to carry out translations, as well as the use of trusted software with its respective active licences. The information is stored in our own servers with security systems and the content is protected from any possible information theft, which does not include possible cyber- attacks that may occur in any environment and which are not under our strict control. An external company audits and advises us each year to ensure that we comply with the appropriate processing of personal data. If the client so prefers, both the original document and the translation can be deleted from our servers once the project has been delivered.

All translations are carried out by expert translators specialised in the field and mother-tongue speakers of the target language who carry out a self-check before delivery. Subsequently, the translations go through an exhaustive internal quality control, which is a non-linguistic revision of all the content with respect to the original language, although we always try to assign Project Managers who know both languages, or at least one of them, so as to add value to the revision. If there are any doubts or questions, these are sent back to the translator to be addressed and to create the final version of the translation. Some clients add a second linguistic step after translation, which involves a second translator – a mother-tongue speaker of the target language, specialist in the field – who revises the translation, pursuant to ISO 17100 standard. After this step, we carry out our usual internal review.

All client incidents are recorded in our internal incident log and the translation is checked and revised by another translator, if applicable, based on the results of the initial check. After the check and further review are completed and the feedback gathered from all parties involved, an incident report is produced, describing in detail what happened, the resolution and future actions to be taken to prevent recurrence. It is important to note that content can be translated in different ways and that is where each translator’s style comes into play, especially in creative translations, which may or may not be to one’s taste. In any case translations should reflect the message of the original text.

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*Supported formats: PDF, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, ODT, ODS, CSV, ZIP
*Maximum size: 20M
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