Which languages do you work with? Afrikaans, Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Danish,
Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese,
Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Romanian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish,
How do I go about using your services? You can send us your documents by email or
fax. We will send you a quotation or a cost estimate based on the documents received
from you. At this point you can call or email us with any further queries you may
have. If you had not already advised us, please mention any specific deadlines you
may have at this time. If you decide to approve our quotation or cost estimate, simply
sign it and send it back to us by email or fax, accompanied by any other documents
that might be required in view of the payment terms or ordering instructions appearing
on the quotation. On receipt of the signed quotation or cost estimate, your project
will be scheduled in and you will be advised of the delivery date (unless a deadline
had already been discussed).
How do I get my documents to you? Wherever possible, please send us your documents
by email, as editable attachments, preferably in Microsoft Word. This way, in most
cases, the translation will be an exact copy of your original document in the language
you requested, including font size, layout, etc. Obviously, we can also work with
documents in other popular formats, including Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, etc. On the
other hand, if your documents are not available as soft copy, we can work from hard
copy sent to us by fax or courier, or from a scanned copy of your document, in which
case we will attempt to stick as closely as possible to the original layout. No additional
fees will be charged for working from hard copy, unless the layout is very complex
(very involved or multiple tables, forms, flowcharts, etc.).
How will I receive the translation? The default delivery method is by email, however,
you are more than welcome to request delivery by fax, post or courier. Please note
that all courier charges will be for your account.
The whole document is too large to fax/email. I just need an estimate for now. Can
you help me? Yes. Just send us a few sample pages and let us know what the total number
of pages is. This will allow us to provide you with a cost estimate. If you like
what you see and would like to get the exact figure, we will gladly provide you with
a firm, all-inclusive quotation, once we have seen the entire document. Alternatively,
you might want to place your order based on our cost estimate, in which case you
will be invoiced based on the target word count (number of words in the translated
How do you calculate the word count? When presented with editable soft copy, we obtain
a computer word count (most word-processing packages come with this feature). When
working with PDF files, faxes and hard copy, we normally use OCR software to establish
the number of words in the source document. Sometimes, due to the poor quality or
complex layout of the original, the word count has to be estimated. Of course, if
you wish to be invoiced based on the target word count, once again, the word count
feature in MS Word is used - on the target text.
Will my documents be treated as confidential? We take confidentiality and security
issues very seriously. Every single document we receive from our clients is treated
as confidential. However, if you feel that you have special requirements in this
area, we will be more than happy to sign a legally binding non-disclosure agreement
(available from our offices).
How long will it take to translate my documents? Each translator on our team can handle
approximately 2000 words per working day. However, this figure is greatly affected
by the nature and layout of the source document as well as by the amount of research
that needs to be done.
I have a very important deadline to meet. Can I count on you? Of course! We understand
the importance of meeting deadlines and are proud to say that our reliability is
nothing short of legendary. On the other hand, we know that every job requires a
certain amount of time to be done professionally. We always try to accommodate any
requests, however, if we know that there are simply not enough hours to complete
the job before the deadline proposed by you, we will propose an alternative deadline,
as close to yours as possible. We do not believe in accepting projects on the off
chance of maybe, somehow meeting the deadline, just to get your order. Our clients
know that if we commit to a deadline, it will be met.
We have a 40 000-word document and five days to have it translated. Can you help
us? Some documents can be split among several translators to reduce turnaround time.
However, no two people’s writing styles are the same and the terminology used by
one translator may differ from the terminology used by another. The final document
will always have to be edited by a single person to address such inconsistencies,
which also takes time. We generally advise our clients against this practice, as
the fact that the job was rushed will inevitably shine through. If you need a document
translated strictly for information purposes but are pressed for time, this could
be the answer. Otherwise, it always makes more sense to take another look at the
nature of the time constraints instead.
What if I divide a large document into smaller ones and dish them out to several
translation companies/independent translators to complete the project faster? Not
a good idea at all. Your final product will be a complete mess that will make you
or, worse still, your target audience, want to scream trying to make some sense of
those fragmented parts with constantly changing terminology and writing styles, not
to mention the fonts and layout. More often than not, this will not help you to complete
your project on time. Rather, on the day of your deadline, you will find yourself
back at the drawing board, only this time with a few invoices on your desk from the
translation companies/translators whose individual performance cannot be faulted.
I had a document translated on the Internet or using translation software. Could
you just quickly check the translation for me and fix it, if necessary?
Although only recently becoming available to anyone with access to the Internet,
believe it or not, machine translation has been around for decades. The quality
and trustworthiness of a translation generated by a computer, regardless of whether
you get it done online or on your own computer, for free or otherwise, will vary
from one system to the next but, as a general rule, it will still take a professional
translator longer to “check” and “fix” a machine translation than to do a new one
from scratch. There is just no going around this. Therefore, producing or purchasing
a machine translation will not save you money or help you complete your project faster.
Of course, a machine translation may be all you need, if all you want is to get
the gist of a text written in a foreign language, but it is certainly not a good
idea to go this route when it comes to translating documents for someone else’s consumption
or for any worthwhile purpose, and a definite no-no when translating your text into
a language other than your own. With this in mind, we do not accept computer-generated
translations of any type or description for checking, fixing, editing, proofreading,
etc., as a matter of company policy.
Should you decide to have your document professionally translated, please send us
the original document for a quotation. Please do not include any computer-generated
translations; these will not be used.
I had a document translated by my neighbour/colleague/secretary/boss/etc., who is/speaks/knows/has
studied French/Portuguese/Dutch/Chinese/etc. Could you just check the translation
Speaking from experience, more often than not, any translation that you feel might
need checking, for whatever reason, will prove to be an atrociously bad one, once
the actual checking begins, and a bad human translation can be considerably worse
and take longer to “fix” than a computer-generated one (also see previous answer).
In addition, in this case, all and any changes that we’ll have to make to the translation
will then have to be explained in great detail to the invariably offended author
of your original translation, which is something that our regular translation fee
just does not cover, not to mention the potential for serious acrimony for everyone
involved. For this reason, I’m afraid we do not check/fix/proofread/edit/evaluate/certify/etc.
any translations done by anyone outside this company, as a matter of company policy.
Should you decide to have your document professionally translated, please send us
the original document for a quotation. Please do not include any translations done
elsewhere; these will not be used.
How do you charge for your services? All our fees are based on a rate per 100 words,
which differs from one language combination to the next. Please call or email us
for our current rate applicable to a specific language combination. Our complete
tariff sheet is also available on request, by email or fax. Alternatively, you could
simply send us your document(s) by email or fax for a firm, all-inclusive, no-obligation
quotation for the entire project. Our rates are not affected by the nature of the
Do you do technical/medical/legal/financial translations? Are these more expensive? We
have proven expertise in a variety of fields. In fact, we are proud to say that in
most languages that we offer we can handle virtually any subject. Please click here
for details. We do not charge more for specialised translations. As far as we are
concerned, it would be completely pointless, considering that most texts that we
deal with on a daily basis are far from what could be referred to as “general”.
Is there a minimum number of words that you will translate? No. Any order placed with
European Language Services, big or small, entitles you to the same customer service
and attention to detail. Please note, however, that we do have a minimum charge.
Do you charge more for rush jobs? No. We do not charge more for rush jobs, provided
that such projects can be completed during business hours. A 50% surcharge will,
however, apply to all jobs that will clearly have to be done after hours, on weekends
or public holidays. For example, such a surcharge will apply to a 1000-word document
received at 16h30 on a Tuesday, to be ready at 08h00 the next day, or to a 4000-word
document received at 14h30 on a Friday, to be ready at 09h30 on Monday.
Could you send one of your translators to our offices for a couple of hours/days?
No. Although we do provide in-house translators for very large and on-going projects,
this is done only by special arrangement and only under long-term contracts for a
minimum period of six months. In all other cases, you will need to get the material
to us by email, fax or courier.
Do you translate personal documents? Yes, we do. We will provide you with an official
certified translation, which is accepted by the Department of Home Affairs as well
as by most foreign embassies and consulates in South Africa. You will not be charged
any additional certification fees, provided the translation is done by us. Please
keep in mind that only original translations are accepted for any official purposes.
What’s the difference between a certified translation and a sworn translation?
For all intents and purposes, a sworn translation is required for anything to do
with appearing in or presenting something to a court of law. In all other cases (personal
documents, degrees, certificates, customs declarations, contracts, patents, etc.),
a certified translation is usually preferred.
I find translation services quite expensive in general. Why is that? A surprisingly
large number of people seem to believe that producing a translation involves little
more than simply retyping the document in another language. Unfortunately, this is
not the case. In reality, translating is a very time-consuming operation. As a rule,
translating a document takes quite a bit longer than writing it. In addition, most
good translators are highly qualified professionals with years of university-level
training in their field of expertise.
Do you have an office in my city/town?
We do not specialise in or give preference to any particular geographical area. We
have clients all over South Africa and abroad. Modern technology and services available
today enable us to provide our clients with excellent service wherever they are -
be it halfway around the world or just down the street. Simply dial 0861 691 698
or send us an email at email@example.com and we’ll help you wherever you
What is the difference between translators and interpreters?
In a nutshell, translators work with the written word, while interpreters deal with
the spoken word.
Do you offer interpreting services?
No. We specialise in translation services only, i.e., we deal exclusively with the
Do you offer telephone interpreting services?
Do you offer voice-over or dubbing services?
Unfortunately, we no longer offer this service.
Can you still translate my script for me? I’ll find a voice-over artist elsewhere.
We do not accept scripts for translation, as our experience dictates that both the
translation of your script and the respective voice-over must be done by the same
supplier to avoid unnecessary logistical and organisational difficulties.
Do you offer language courses/tuition?
Do you sell dictionaries/CDs/software/language courses?
Do you offer translations into/from African languages?
Unfortunately, we no longer offer this service. Please follow this link to the list
of available languages.