Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need translation services?
There are many reasons why your company may need translation services. Large international companies will have overseas sales strategies and marketing campaigns as well as regulatory requirements and technical documentation, all of which will need to be in the language in which they are operating. Smaller companies may need documents translated for export/import of their products or may need their websites translating to attract new business.
For individuals, the most common reasons for using translation services are to do with meeting legal requirements (for example for certificates for visas, etc.).
What services does Surrey Translation Bureau offer?
Our core translation services have three service levels – checking, editing or revision – depending on the intended purpose and budget. The more we know about you and your needs, the better we can advise which would be most suitable.
We also offer other linguistic services including localisation and added value services such as DTP. More information can be found here.
How long will a translation take?
Time frame is dependent on document type, translator availability and whether any other processes are involved in the project (such as preparing files for translation). However, as a rough guide our linguists work to around 1500–2000 words per working day.
What format should I provide the documents I want translating in?
Preferably anything other than a scanned PDF please! If you have an editable copy of the file (e.g. the Word file that matches a PDF) then that is ideal and if the file has been generated from an InDesign file or HTML doc, please send us that original file. This will keep the costs down for you and save some time at all stages of the translation process.
Costs and payment
What is STB’s pricing policy?
Our standard policy is based on price per word or per thousand words, usually of the source text (original document(s)/file(s) to be translated) so we can give a firm quote right from the start. Some services may be priced per hour. In all cases our pricing is based on what we expect a qualified and competent professional translator to charge for their time.
Do you have a minimum fee?
Yes, we need to charge a minimum fee to cover our administrative costs and overheads. However, as a small family-owned business we are flexible and are often willing to come up with a tailored solution to meet our clients’ specific requirements.
How can I pay for a translation? Do you accept different currencies?
We sometimes ask first-time clients for prepayment. This can be made over the phone, online via a secure link or bank transfer, or by cash/cheque. We can accept payment in GBP (£), EUR (€) and USD ($), and will charge based on the exchange rate at the time of quotation. An official invoice will be sent at this time, and then payment terms will be agreed for future projects.
Unfortunately, we can only accept payments in GBP (£) via our secure online-payment link and we cannot accept American Express card payments.
I’ve had this document translated previously, but have now made some updates to it. Do I need to pay to have the whole text translated again?
That is dependent on how many updates there are, the quality of the original translation if we did not do it and the size and nature of the project. Our aim is always to provide our clients with the highest quality possible and this may mean checking the current translation first for accuracy and then translating the new parts, or redoing the whole project should this be necessary. Please contact our sales team on email@example.com for a personalised quote.
I only have a draft version of my document at the moment. Can you still provide a quote?
We can certainly provide an indication of cost and turnaround time based on the draft copy you have, however we cannot provide a formal quote until the final version of your document is ready. Sending through a draft copy will however give us time to check our translator availability and discuss your translation requirements with you, therefore getting the ball rolling in the meantime.
Staffing and resource management
Who will I deal with?
Initially you will be in touch with a member of our sales team, who will discuss your requirements with you and provide you with a quote. When you decide to start working with us, you will be assigned a dedicated project manager who will get to know your business and who will see your translation projects through right from the start. They are your main point of contact for any queries during the project and they will personally select and liaise with the linguist assigned to your projects.
Who translates my documents?
Most of our translators and proofreaders are carefully selected freelancers working in the UK or overseas, or we use specialist agencies in the target language country for specific requirements. Unlike most other British agencies we also have a team of in-house translators and all of our production team are qualified linguists who are best-placed to help you with your translation needs.
Will my documents be translated by in-house staff?
The majority of the time, no; we have a large team of highly-qualified and tested linguists with whom we work closely. As we cover most world languages, this means that we can offer our clients a wider language service. Our dedicated Resource Manager ensures the quality of our freelancer database remains high and conducts regular spot checks for this purpose.
Are the translations revised by a second translator as standard?
No, we have three service levels and only one of them, Translation and Revision, is revised by a second translator of the source and target languages. For more information on our service levels, please click here.
Technology and software
What role does software play?
The short answer is a large one! Like other industries, the translation industry has kept up to date with software developments and, to a certain degree, we now use translation software for all our projects. On a basic level, translation software helps us keep our translations consistent and helps us create a file formatted in the same way as you have sent it, helping us to avoid charging additional fees for file preparation. We would be happy to discuss translation software more in depth with all clients; just get in touch and we can go through things in more detail.
There is lots of repeated text, is there a discount for this?
Yes, our translation software will analyse the text and from this we can offer you discounts on repeated and very similar text. Languages vary in how they deal with repeated text (for example, in English a heading will not be translated the same way as an instruction, but in German these are identical translations), therefore it is our policy to always check text in context.
How can I be sure that I will receive a high-quality translation?
Surrey Translation Bureau is proudly accredited to ISO 9001:2008 and BS EN 15038:2006, the European standard setting out the requirements for the provision of quality services by translation service providers. You can read more about our ISO-certified status on our Blog, TransLatest, here.
We are also a corporate member of the Institute of Translation & Interpreting, the UK’s independent professional association committed to promoting the highest standards in the translation profession.
Moreover, we only work with qualified and experienced professional translators who hold at least a BA degree or equivalent in a relevant language, and ideally a Master’s in Translation or similar; or have a minimum of 5 years professional experience in the industry.
How do you ensure confidentiality?
All freelancers and suppliers working with us are required to sign a translator agreement which includes non-disclosure provisions and ensures that all confidential information received in the course of their working relationship with Surrey Translation Bureau is treated in a safe and secure manner.
We are also happy to sign any confidentiality agreement for one-off projects, even before seeing the text, if necessary. Should you have any confidentiality concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us so that we can discuss your specific requirements.
What happens if anything goes wrong?
We are all only human and sometimes things do not go to plan, however our project managers have been trained to take care of just about everything, so should there be a delay in the translation process (for example because a translator is unwell) or if you need us to stop work on one file and prioritise another, our team will swing into action.
In the unlikely event that something does go wrong post-delivery, please let us know as soon as possible. We have strict quality control measures and we will investigate the situation and if we have let you down, we will rectify it as soon as possible.
Do you offer interpreting services?
No, we only provide services related to the written word.
Can you provide certification?
Yes, certainly. Information on the legal services we can provide in association with linguistic services is available here.
Can you also offer DTP/typesetting services?
Yes, we pride ourselves on being a one-stop translation service provider. Please get in touch for more information.
I have been asked to identify some specific content in a document. Can you provide this service?
We can certainly try! It’s always possible that what you are looking for is not in the document, but we can read it on an hourly basis, make notes and either summarise the text or just skim it to try and find what you are looking for. We could then translate just these sections if you need it.
I want to make sure that the terminology used is consistent with our existing company material. Can you help?
Yes, absolutely. Our terminology management services are in place to make sure your documents remain consistent; please get in touch to discuss your requirements further.