When looking for a language service provider, it is useful to know some terminology in order to state your requirements and expectations clearly. This will save you time and money.
So here are some terms you might want to get familiar with before contacting a language service provider.
If you have written texts in your language and would like to have them in another language this is, simply put, translation. Instructions for use, catalogs, brochures, reports, etc. are some types of documents you may need to have translated.
If you have a meeting with a client that doesn’t speak your language, you may think about hiring an interpreter to do consecutive interpreting. This professional will accompany you and repeat what you say (small fragments at a time) in the listener’s language. Then, they also do the same for you, i.e., repeat whatever the other participant says in your language.
On the other hand, if you’re hosting an event for a larger number of people in a venue with the required conditions, you may want to get simultaneous interpretation. This type of service is usually provided by two different professionals that stand in a booth in the venue and take turns repeating the speaker’s speech in the listener’s language. Depending on the number of languages spoken by the attendees, you may need several teams of interpreters.
- Certified translation:
This type of service is used when you have an official document that needs to be translated and the entity or institution who will receive it requires it to be certified. This will vary from country to country. Depending on each country’s regulations, you may need to hire a sworn translator, i.e., someone that has been deemed fit to certify the translated document. Or you may need to have it notarized or certified in court or by a lawyer.
You have made a video in your own language and would like to add subtitles in another language. You may need to provide a script of the original text to a professional, who will translate it and then create the subtitles by using the appropriate software.
- Software localization:
This is the service you will need if you have created software or an app that needs to be presented in the user’s language, by adding locale-specific components and making technical adaptations.
If you have a text that has already been translated and you would like to make sure it fully matches the original, you should look for an editing service. You can also ask for this service as an additional step when ordering a translation service. Most linguistic service providers will include an editing step after translation as a way to guarantee that the translated version is 100% correct. Ideally, this step will be performed by a second professional, to have the text read by a fresh set of eyes and, if need be, a specialist in the subject field.
Usually used for documents that will be printed, proofreading is a verification of the final text. This usually does not include a comparison to the source text (if it has been translated) but it is essentially focused on the correctness of the final version, in terms of typos, formatting issues, layout, etc.
Also known as creative translation, this is the type of service you will require if you need to have your slogan or an advertising campaign translated into another language. The transcreated text may end up being significantly different from the original, but still conveying the meaning and impact you intended to have on your readers.
If you’d like to have someone create content from scratch in a different language, this is called copywriting. Website copy, newsletters, blog articles, social media posts, e-books, white papers are some types of text a copywriter can help you with.
- Language pair:
The language pair is the set of languages involved in your request. For example, English into Portuguese. If you’d like to have a document translated from English into Portuguese, Spanish, French, and German, this would involve 4 language pairs: English into Portuguese, English into Spanish, English into French and English into German.
- Source language:
The language in which your original text is written.
- Target language:
The language you want your text to be translated into. It is important to consider the several variants of each language, as there may be significant differences. For example, European and Brazilian Portuguese, British and American English, Simplified and Traditional Chinese.
As stated above, there are some languages which have different variants. Adaptation is the process of making them adequate for the target country. For example, if you like to market your product both in Spain and Latin America, you may request the translation of your content into European Spanish and then the adaptation into the Latin America variant.
Transliteration is the process of changing letters or words into corresponding characters of another alphabet or language. For example, Cyrillic, Arabic, Hebrew into Latin alphabet
- Desktop publishing:
This is the process of working on a document with graphic design tools in order to prepare it for printing or publishing. It concerns the format instead of the content.
There you have it. Did you know all these terms already?
Now that you have an idea of what you need let’s search for the best professional for you. Read this article to find out where to find them.