Q. What is the difference between translating and interpreting?

A. Translating refers to working with text or documents while interpreting refers to spoken or signed languages.

Q. What is the difference between simultaneous and consecutive interpreting?

A. Simultaneous is the mode of interpreting with minimal time gap where the interpreter interprets almost at the same time as the speaker. In consecutive interpreting, the time gap is longer and the interpreter will listen to the speaker first and then interpret. In addition, simultaneous interpreting is primarily used in courts and conferences while consecutive is more appropriate for health and medical settings.

Q. How do I select the best interpreters for my event and what questions should I ask?

A. First and foremost, our scheduling staff will ask you several questions about the event. We trust that you, know your event type, focus, background information on the event, target audience and/or attendees. To help us select the best interpreters for your event, it is important to describe in detail the type of event, venue, the number and background of the attendees, specific languages or dialects. For example: Chinese Mandarin versus Chinese Cantonese or Castilian Spanish versus Mexican Spanish, whether you need simultaneous or consecutive interpretation and whether you will require the use of equipment such as headsets and interpreter booth.

Q. What are the rates for translation and why do they vary so much?

A. Translator rates tend to vary by document size, language, whether the subject is technical or legal (as an example) and whether the translation is completed by a freelancer or an agency. Rates may vary between .10 cents to .35 cents per word or even more. Higher rates are not indicative of quality or accuracy. Agencies tend to charge higher rates mainly because they have to account for the quality assurance process and add charges for editing and proofreading the translated work. They also tend to be more mindful about their reputation as a company.

Q. What is the difference between certified and non-certified translators and interpreters?

A. Certification in interpreting and translating is usually given based on a course of study at an accredited college or language translation training program at a university. Students of translation go through extensive training in both languages they work with and practice translating from source to target language in different fields of knowledge, the search and use of specialized glossaries for translators. Interpreters go through training on interpreting in both languages (meaning for meaning) including in different fields and dialects and registers, modes of interpreting, settings, protocols and standards as well as practical training to improve speed.

All interpreters and translators learn and must abide by the standards and code ethics of the translation industry including accuracy and completeness, confidentiality and respect for cultures and communities and a commitment to professionalism.

Non-certified translators or interpreters may not have completed their program and may work out of experience. It is best to always work with both certified and highly qualified linguists whether they are translators or interpreters. Avid Translation recruits and hires certified translators from programs that are accredited and that offer extensive and specialized training for both translators and interpreters.

Q. What are the qualifications of a competent interpreter and/ or translator?

A. A competent translator possesses the required training and certification combined with an in-depth knowledge of both source and target languages including a wide knowledge of terminology in multiple subjects in both languages as well as symbolism and idiomatic uses. This requires an in-depth knowledge of the cultural region for their target language/s. A competent translator has excellent grammatical uses of their language and impeccable writing with the ability to proofread their own work. In addition translators are trained to work with various translation memory tools and programs which help them in becoming more efficient in meeting their deadlines. Training, experience, depth of cultural knowledge related to the target or native language region and a versatile style is what makes both the interpreter and translator succeed at their jobs.

Q. I’m bilingual, can I translate my own document?

A. Bilingual persons are not translators and there is much more to being a professional translators than being bilingual. You may be able to render a good or even excellent translation yourself, however there are important facts you need to know about professional translators. Professional translators are trained to work with text focusing on the purpose of the translation i.e. how this translation will be handled or where it is delivered and work accordingly. They know whether the translation is to be a verbatim translation such as for the purpose of court or whether more focus needs to be on cultural context and localization such as for health related brochures or material or outreach materials or websites that target populations in various regions of the world. Translators know when and how to annotate or write notes on a document and can certify as they are members of professional certifying bodies or organizations. You definitely want certified translators and knowledgeable language service providers to handle your documents.

At Avid Translation, we make sure to advise our client on their documents not only in translation but how and what certain official bodies and government agencies require you to do before you send out a translated document to them.

Q. Is machine or automated translation more accurate than manual translation?

A. Although some people are inclined to think that machine translation is more accurate because the output is more consistent, this is in reality not the case. Human translation produced by an experienced translator / linguist although is more time consuming is far more accurate and consistent. The translator in the latter will focus on context and render a correct meaning while an automated translation often produces text that is distorted and will require revising and editing to render the correct meaning. At Avid Translation, we rely on experienced human translators who are native speakers and have a deep understanding of their own cultures.

Q. What fields and industries of interpretation do you work with?

A. Avid Translation has provided both interpreting and translation services in all major fields and industries. Please check the section on languages or fields on this website and also the various examples of clients we worked with. We can provide references for our work from our extended list of highly satisfied clients. Avid Translation is a leading provider of training services that ensure the best standards in the field of health and mental health services preparing interpreters who work alongside health professionals to ensure the best service provided to the consumer.

Q. How can I send Avid my document for translation?

A. Avid Translation accepts documents by email (as an attachment), fax, mail or for large documents and files, through our FTP service or Dropbox. We work with different file formats such as Word or PDF which are the most common. We subscribe to the highest standards particularly the confidentiality requirement. We therefore assure our translation clients of our careful handling of their documents. If your documents to be translated are highly sensitive, confidential (such as for ‘attorney’s eyes only’) or patented, all Avid Translation personnel who will be working with your documents including translators, case managers and reviewers (editors & proofreaders) will sign the non-disclosure agreements if required.

Q. How do you deliver the document back?

A. We give our clients the choice and let them select how they would like their translated documents back. You may select certified mail (a small fee may be required) or priority mail with signature confirmation. You may also request express insured mail (fees may apply). You may also select the documents to be emailed or faxed back.

Q. How can I order interpreting service?

A. We accept orders for interpreting services by phone, fax, email or through our filling our request form. You may request information or a non-obligation quote at any time through filling the ‘Get a Quote’ form. If at any time you require more information, please do not hesitate to call us at our toll free number: 1-800-858-1146

Q. How do you ensure the quality of the translation and delivery on time?

A. Avid Translation works with clients as partners. We do our best to understand the parameters of the project, deadlines, time constraints. We develop a schedule of work and delivery that works for our clients. If there are anticipated delays, we make sure to communicate that to our client. Our quality is ensured by the multifaceted document translation process which includes the following steps:

Review documents & assess > Develop an SOW > Translate > Edit and proofread > Get feedback > Deliver

Q. Is there a rush service and how soon can I get my documents?

A. Rush service is less than 48 hours. It only applies to short documents of less than 5 pages or 1,000 words, but it depends on our work load. There is a 30% markup on each document for rush service if accepted.

Q. What forms of payment do you accept?

A. We accept credit cards (Visa or MasterCard), Cashier’s or bank check, company check or cash payments. Unfortunately, we do not accept personal checks and will tell you that before accepting any documents. Ongoing or contract clients such as government agencies with contracts have access to our invoicing policy which is agreed upon in our contract.

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