Written on 6 January, 2021

Surrey Translation Bureau has been offering quality translation services to a wide variety of clients, including corporations, public organisations, other translation agencies and individuals, for over 35 years. Even though the basic process remains the same in each of these cases – providing a quote, producing the translation and delivering the translated text – there are some significant differences. These differences mainly relate to the types of conversations, the services offered and the end purpose of the translations.

In this blog, we are going to look at the process of translating for individual clients.

Individual clients have very different reasons for requesting a translation than corporate or agency clients. In most cases, they come to us because someone else has asked them to get a document translated, for example for an application or an official process.

In other cases, they may have personal artefacts or mementos with text in another language that they want to preserve by getting them translated into their own language.

In the field of translation work for individual clients, there are many stories waiting to be told. Some of our experiences that have been particularly inspiring have involved people reconnecting with their roots and others simply trying to improve their lives. There have also been sad stories, that lead you to reflect about what others have to endure.

Types of texts translated for individual clients

The majority of texts we receive from individual clients are legal documents, such as certificates, diplomas, contracts, powers of attorney and wills, but we also receive a considerable number of medical reports to translate.

Other examples of documents we have translated for individual clients include letters, poems and books.

Level of translation service offered

For most legal documents, the level of service usually requested is a ‘certified translation’ (in the case of documents being translated into English). When documents are translated out of English, the level of service selected may vary as the requirements and laws abroad vary from country to country. In this case, some of the most common requests are a ‘certified translation’ or a ‘notarised translation’ or a ‘notarised translation, legalised with apostille’.

As we are not legal advisers, we strongly recommend that our clients find out exactly what level of service they need first by making enquiries at their end. Clients may then have detailed conversations with us, helping us to understand what they need from us.

For non-legal documents, the two service levels we can offer are either core translation or translation with revision.


Individual clients are more likely to build a personal relationship with us and to engage in conversations about what the translation is for. Once the translation is delivered, they may also be more likely to post reviews online and that is why communication with them is so important.

Differences between corporate and individual clients

The main differences between corporate clients* and individual clients are the following:

*Many corporate clients do also deal with individual clients themselves, but they manage their end clients directly.

If you have a document intended for legal use and need the help of a professional translation agency to ensure it is fit for purpose, then get in touch with our team today.

Written by Sonia Rodriguez

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