FAQs

How do I get something translated?

Broadly speaking, translation services fall into two main groups: human translation and machine translation. Machine translation uses technology and AI to provide translations of practical content such as legal documents, instruction manuals or business plans. Good machine translation will also build terminology banks specific to your content, and deliver high-quality, accurate content that sounds like you. Creative content such as marketing brochures, website copy or literary texts requires human skill and experience to capture nuance and style and convey potentially complex ideas, so human translation should be used in most of these instances. In both cases, cost-effectiveness and timeliness are important things to take into account. The first step, then, is to seek advice from a trusted language specialist. They should be able to advise on what solution works best for you and your specific needs. Guildhawk’s machine translation tool, Guildhawk Aided, is powered by expert technology to translate content to and from over 50 languages, leverages translation memory, and is protected by ISO27001 certification for data security. Our qualified human translators are specialists in the industries of our clients and only ever translate into their native language, ensuring meticulously researched, written and validated multilingual content.

How much does translation cost?

The cost of translation depends on what you need from the end product. For instance, to translate a general document of about a thousand words into a common European language, the cost is likely to be in the region of £100–£150 ($130-$190). A more complex piece of content, calling for specialist subject knowledge and/or niche language expertise, could be more around the £200 ($255) mark. AI-only translation can reduce costs by up to 80%, but it’s important to note that sole use of AI is only appropriate in certain cases and for certain types of document – for example, a draft report which will only be circulated internally. Alternatively, AI can be combined with a human proofreader for quality assurance, while still providing significant savings. Another effective way to reduce costs (by up to 70%) is to use key data extraction, whereby the whole document is processed by an expert linguist who then translates only the essential information – for example, the unique paragraphs on a standard contract. With so many variables, the best way to get an accurate cost for your project is to send a copy of what you need translated, state what it’s for, and request a quote. Guildhawk is always happy to talk you through the different options and advise you on the most strategic, secure and cost-efficient ways to get you to your goal.

Is it better to work with a freelance translator or an agency?

Both options have their plus points – and their supporters. Freelance translators are the backbone of the industry and the vast majority are experienced, qualified and reliable. However, using the services of a translation agency will save you time and effort, and protect you from costly mistakes or poor results. An agency will already have trusted expert translators on their books and will be able handle every aspect of project management: discussing and understanding your needs, sourcing the perfect translator for your subject area, dealing with problems and queries, undertaking quality assurance, keeping in touch throughout the process, and delivering the finished translation on time and on budget. Even if you need multiple translations into different languages, you’ll be dealing with a single contact at the agency, keeping the whole process neat and simple. Guildhawk’s quality assurance gives you peace of mind that in the rare case of any problems or issues with the finished translation, you’re fully covered. We combine innovations in technology with brilliant people to manage the bigger picture and the detail on your behalf.

How can I be sure a translation is accurate if I don’t speak the language?

The reliability and integrity of any translation agency is attested by a range of professional certifications – but it takes more than paperwork to guarantee quality, and trust is only gained through results. Guildhawk’s expertise and ability, for instance, is proven by over 20 years of prestigious awards and industry-leading certifications. All our translations are subject to three layers of checks: first, by the translator, who has been picked for their specific subject expertise; second, by a qualified, independent proof-reader; and third, by our in-house reviewers, who will perform final checks before signing off the finished translation. This robust quality assurance process is designed to offer complete peace of mind to our clients. However – particularly in the case of new clients who have not worked with us before – we are always happy to undertake sample translations of a section of content before beginning a large project, so you can ask someone you trust who does speak the language to review and approve before proceeding with the rest of the work.

I need something translated but the subject matter is really specific. How do I find the right translator?

Most translators have particular specialist subject areas and advertise these on their digital profile. Frequently this is because they have worked in these areas or hold academic or professional qualifications in these subjects. If your subject matter is unusually specific, however, you might need to spend a lot of time researching potential candidates, making contact, sending samples of the content, obtaining quotations, and still possibly end up with no viable options. Another issue to consider is the difficulty of finding a translator with the right combination of subject matter and language. A good translation agency will already have a roster of trusted translators with a vast range of expertise – and will know just where to find the right person for a unique project. Guildhawk’s translators are all native speakers with a minimum of five years’ experience working in the sector and/or relevant academic qualifications to Master’s level or above, so we pride ourselves on being able to cover virtually all specialist subject areas and languages. However, if you have a large volume of especially demanding content and would like to be reassured that we’re up to the job, we’re always happy to complete a sample translation for your approval.

How do I get my website localised?

Website localisation is a vital step in reaching new overseas markets, giving you an easily accessible channel to impress and speak to new client bases. But there are many things to consider and many decisions to be made before starting the process. For instance, will your site require international SEO? Do you want the content to appear local to local markets or would you prefer to convey an international image? Will you need images or links reviewed for cultural appropriateness or relevance and potentially replaced? To help you answer these questions, Guildhawk has compiled a useful checklist, which covers everything you need to decide before commencing website translation. Our team of specialist translators are trained in web and digital marketing to ensure that none of the original site’s structure or functionality is lost in the localisation process. We can also employ the same expertise to give a local voice to your entire digital marketing portfolio. Visit our Websites, Apps & Social Media page for more information.

How do I get a video translated?

Video translation can involve a combination of voiceover, dubbing, and translation of subtitles and on-screen text, and is a specialised service offered by most good translation agencies with a dedicated department. Translating a video involves matching the translated voice and/or subtitles to the original film and usually includes some element of localisation to ensure the right effect on the desired target market. Translating subtitles is a niche skill that requires the ability to convey the nuance, humour, style and rhythm of the original dialogue and restructure it to meet practical constraints such as readability and time on screen. Unless you’ve got your own studio complete with technical backup, and can source your own multilingual voice actors and subtitle specialists, your best option is to engage an agency that can handle the whole project under one roof. Guildhawk’s talented team of industry professionals provides translation and localisation of video content, voiceover, dubbing and transcription in all major languages, and we’re happy to provide quotes for single- or multi-language video translations of any length and complexity. Visit our Audio-visual Translation Services page to learn more about how we can help.

How do I get a book translated?

If you already have a publishing contract, your publisher will often make the final decision on whether or not to translate your book for international markets, and will commission the translations. If you don’t have a publishing contract, there’s nothing to stop you from self-publishing a translation, provided you are prepared to take the financial risk and handle the marketing yourself. Make sure to choose a translation partner you trust, as ultimately, it’s your name on the front cover; the translated words will be read as yours. For example, at Guildhawk, our literary translation department works closely with authors to ensure that translations remain true to the original meaning and style and the final text has the very same impact on its new audience as the original had on its native one. We understand the importance of mutual collaboration and trust between author and translator, which is why we work hard on finding a perfect match before starting any job. We can produce samples so you can choose the linguist and style that best fits your own taste and working methods. We can also research potential new markets for our authors and suggest how to open doors to a wider readership. Visit our Literature, Theatre & Art section for more information.

What is desktop publishing?

Desktop publishing (or DTP) employs specialist software to produce finished publications digitally without using commercial printing presses. It offers a flexible and cost-effective solution for short runs of items, such as price lists or stock manuals, that need frequent updating, as well as benefiting from faster turnaround times over traditional printing. DTP is commonly the choice for self-published books or magazines, as the product can be printed and distributed on demand, circumventing overstocking and storage issues. The software can also be used to create various forms of online content such as website design and infographics for digital marketing. To learn more about the multilingual desktop publishing services offered by Guildhawk, visit our DTP Services page.

How do I choose new markets for my business?

Expansion is the long-term objective of many forward-looking businesses, but mistakes can be costly and time-wasting. Choosing new markets requires a combination of research and experience – and sometimes a little luck: potentially fruitful new openings may arise from a chance meeting at a trade event or an introduction from an existing client. But however your journey begins, lack of the necessary language skills is a potentially major hurdle to overcome for any business looking to expand internationally. It’s also important to do your homework on the local business culture, which might be very different from what you’re used to. An international trade consultancy can guide you through every stage of the process, from researching market opportunities in different countries and industries and offering valuable on-the-ground knowledge, through to producing professional correspondence as the first point of contact, and translating legal documents and marketing materials. For more tips on choosing new markets, Guildhawk’s informative Markets Guide offers an overview of business prospects in 10 of the world’s biggest markets. Our team of industry specialists will also carry out in-depth research to identify the countries and markets that are likely to be the best fit for your company’s specific offering.

How do I ensure my business is compliant with local regulations in other countries?

There’s no substitute for professional advice and expertise when it comes to regulatory compliance – any breach can have a lasting impact on your company’s reputation and ability to trade. Specialist consultancies will employ experts with in-depth, up-to-date knowledge of the unique regulatory framework of individual countries and provide research, advice and language services to corporate clients. If you have a particular country or specific industry in mind, Guildhawk’s in-country specialists can guide you through some of the main issues you could encounter in adapting your domestic business model to differing international standards. This could be something as specific as ensuring your product complies with the fire regulations of your intended market, or a more general overview of local employment law. Our bespoke AMLiss system scans legal or regulatory documents, contracts and other business communications to identify potentially unseen areas of risk or conflict and protect your business from fraud, criminal activity or data breach.

How do I communicate with colleagues or clients in other countries?

It’s never been easier to be in constant contact with clients and colleagues all over the world, but we all know how easy it is to turn a previously good relationship sour with a few ill-judged words, while more serious communication errors can sometimes signal the end of major business deals. So it’s important to stay on top of your comms, in all languages and cultures. Machine translation, such as Guildhawk Aided, offers a quick and cost-effective solution for general correspondence like emails, supported if desired by input from a human linguist to add personality and character to your business exchanges. For communication materials with a larger-scale circulation, we can help you create internal or client-facing brochures in multiple languages. We also work with businesses who are experiencing in-house cultural or linguistic challenges, perhaps after a merger or acquisition, offering interactive language courses for management and staff, or cultural and business etiquette workshops. These can be tailored to your team’s specific needs.

How do I handle foreign language RFPs?

A request for proposal (RFP) is a document inviting a company to bid to provide commodities or services, and is often the first step towards a mutually rewarding partnership. It is most commonly used where the project being proposed calls for specialised expertise or technical capability, or requires research and development input to progress beyond the planning stage. Whether you are creating an RFP for your own company, or responding to an invitation from an existing or possibly new client, it is vital to understand every aspect of the procurement process in order to gauge whether the project is appropriate and beneficial to both parties. Small details count for much in the early stages of RFP negotiations, so it’s worth consulting a translation agency that can handle the nitty gritty as well as the bigger picture. For example, Guildhawk’s AI translation service, Guildhawk Aided, can provide a quick and cost-effective way to scan the overall message of an RFP before deciding whether to pursue it further, while data extraction can help to identify the key content that needs closer inspection. We can finalise your RFP drafts using our Text Perfect authoring tool to produce a clean, standardised version. Alternatively, we can translate your RFP into different languages, using specialist translators who understand the country and industry and can offer first-person insight into cultural and linguistic particularities. All these services are backed up by our ISO27001 certification for information security and comprehensive global indemnity insurance cover. Visit our Bid and Tender Writing Services page for more information.

Whatever you need to grow and maintain your international business, Guildhawk can help. If you have a question not covered by the above, or would like to discuss a specific project further, please do get in touch using the contact form below. We look forward to hearing from you!