Translation Services FAQs

Here you will find answers to common questions about our language translation services.

Working with Dynamic Language

Which languages do you work with?

Our agency offers ISO 9001-certified translation services in more than 150 languages and dialects, from Arabic and German to Spanish and Zulu. See a list of our languages.

Do you certify translations of documents for legal purposes?

Absolutely! We have multiple full-time staff that have gone through the Notary Public certification process. Since many official documents require notarization (birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc.), we are able to provide notarized copies of our legal translations for use in court and other purposes, and usually on an expedited basis, which is often next day or sometimes even same day.

Can I do the translation and have your company notarize it?

Due to stringent guidelines by some government organizations and the importance of quality to our company, we do not notarize documents that have been translated elsewhere. We must perform the translation ourselves in order for our Notaries to certify your document as a true translation of the original.

If I have multiple documents to translate, is there a way to keep the terminology and style consistent?

Certainly! We employ CAT (Computer-Assisted Translation) tools to keep terminology consistent between documents and projects for our clients. This translation software allows easy reference to content we’ve previously translated for you, and can alert our translators and reviewers of specific terms, showing definitions of each one and how those terms have been handled in the past. Speak with your Project Manager early about this option to begin assembling a thorough translation memory database. You can also work with your PM to assemble a term base (aka a glossary) that’s unique to you and can be used for all of your future projects.

Additionally, we will use any style guides you provide to us to further ensure consistency across documents, and even across projects. If you don’t have a style guide, we can follow our standards or develop a custom one for you based on your needs.

How can I trust your translations are accurate and culturally relevant?

For 30 years, we’ve made it our business to provide only the highest-quality translation by working with experienced, native-speaking professional translators. We only work with translators who have a mastery of both the source and target language, who are able to translate to the level of the target audience in terms of grammar, terminology, culture and style.

Additionally, we match each project with its the perfect translator. We do this by selecting a professional linguist who has expertise in the related field to ensure all content and terminology is contextually accurate.

Our customers can count on Dynamic Language for reliable and accurate translations of documents, websites and other products.  Learn more about our commitment to quality.

How do you choose your translators?

Dynamic works mainly with independent contractors and other companies who offer services specifically for language service agencies. As part of our EN 15038 compliance, the translators that we work with are required to have recognized formal qualifications and/or at least several years of documented professional experience in translation. Many of our translators have certifications from the American Translator Association (ATA). Additionally, we work with DSHS-certified translators (Dept. of Social & Health Services).

So before your project even starts, steps have already been taken to ensure that only the best people will work on your materials. Once we get to know your needs, we then carefully match a translator who is the right fit to meet the specific needs of your project: whether it’s business, technical, medical and healthcare, legal, education, advertising or more.

Do you translate the graphics in documents, websites, and products?

Absolutely! Dynamic Language offers a full suite of in-house graphic design services to provide accurate text translations within graphics. We can also redesign graphics, layouts and typography to ensure the look and feel of localized projects are culturally relevant and appropriate. Further, because our staff are performing your design work, there’s no overnight delay in assigning the work out to someone on another continent.

In what format do you deliver translations?

For most translation projects, we provide designed digital files in their native format (e.g., Microsoft® Word®, Adobe® InDesign®, Adobe® Illustrator®, Adobe® Photoshop®, etc.) as well as a final PDF file. (Note that some fonts cannot be embedded due to copyright.) For our notary clients, we provide hard-copy translated documents.

What kind of quality control do you perform on localized projects?

We rely on a series of quality control reviews for both content and layout, to ensure accurate translation and a professional look designed to perfectly match your original document (or enhanced to increase cultural relevance). For website localization, we test and verify all layouts and links to ensure accurate performance across multiple browsers and platforms.

Working With Your Project Manager

What should I talk to my Project Manager about to ensure a successful translation experience?

Our Project Managers have expert knowledge of the translation industry, and are always happy to discuss your specific needs and determine the best approach to your project. However, knowing a little about the process and what information to have ready upfront can be a great help in making your project run as smoothly as possible.

To ensure a successful translation or localization project, some important things to consider prior to your project starting include:

  • Timeframe for the project
  • Target audience
  • Field of expertise needed
  • Reference material, including glossaries and any previous translation that will give context to the translator
  • Terminology you would like to keep in English or for which you already have a preferred translation
  • Software the design department may need to access if graphic design work is required
  • If client review is to be part of the process
  • How you prefer to communicate throughout the project – for updates, changes and project delivery

I need an estimate – how can I send you files?

Click here to provide initial information needed to create estimate.  Our sales team will be in touch within 24 hours to provide you with a free quote.  If you are an existing client you may initiate a quote request through our Access Dynamic client portal.

How is the cost of a translation determined?

Initially, our quotes are based on the word count of a project. However, each project is unique, with specific needs and levels of complexity, and often a project involves more than just new translation (e.g., translation of repetitive content, independent review and graphic design), so different service charges may apply.

My project manager mentioned an expansion rate. What is an expansion rate?

When translating from English, the word count expands up to 25% for many languages. To account for this expansion of text, 15% is added to the total English word count and this source English word count + the added 15% accounts for the actual billed word count.

Can you provide RUSH services?

If you need your translation sooner than we estimated, we provide RUSH rates for turnaround as quick as same-day for some documents and languages (dependent on word count). In these cases, our aim is to help you by reducing the time frame as much as possible without ever sacrificing quality. For specific pricing, please contact your Dynamic Project Manager.

Basics of Translation

I have been hearing a lot about machine translation. How does it differ from traditional translation methods?

Machine Translation (MT) has evolved into an extremely useful tool. Not to be confused with computer assisted translation (like Translation Memory), MT is the translation of text by a computer, with no human involvement. Put simply, it involves a computer performing the substitution of words in one language for words in another. It can be used to understand the gist of a document, but the varying accuracy and lower quality of the translation means it’s not appropriate for public facing materials, or other content that’s meant to be presented or published “as is”.

However, it is a comparatively cheap option that requires minimal effort, and its speed can allow you to quickly understand the general idea of a foreign language text. MT can be a viable and effective solution for certain types of projects, including:

  • Certain types of Product Support Documentation (high volume of rapidly changing content)
  • Internal communication (when you need very rapid deployment)
  • eDiscovery research (when a large volume of content needs to be scanned for specific keywords and items)

Computer assisted translation (CAT) is when a human translator uses technology to support and facilitate the translation process. In short, CAT makes the most of both human and machine strengths, allowing for the speed, consistency and memory benefits gained from using technology, without sacrificing the high quality of professional human translation.

What is the difference between a source and a target document?

Every translation begins with a document in a source language and ends with a final translated document in one or more target languages. Therefore, when we refer to a source document, we are talking about the original document.

How long does it take to translate a document? To do a website localization?

For every project, we strive for quick turnaround with a streamlined process that keeps our customers and the translators well informed throughout.

Business cards and official documents can typically be done in 2-3 days. Larger projects may take our standard 3-5 days or up to a few weeks or months, depending on size. We determine turnaround time based on word count, as well as the other services necessary to complete your project. If you need a translation sooner than our estimated time, we can always accommodate you. Rush charges may apply.

For website localization, completion time depends on the size and complexity of the project. Our Project Managers carefully plan a schedule and track progress to ensure results that are on time and on budget.

How important is it to have a professional translator? Isn’t it enough to have someone who is fluent in both languages?

A truly accurate translation requires more than simply substituting words from one language to another. Professional translators are trained to convey the exact meaning and context implied in the original text, while using correct grammar and natural phrasing in their translation. Professional translators have the special skills and experience to create these clear and culturally accurate translations.

Understanding a language is one thing, but recreating the expertise of the original message is best left to translators who are experts in that subject. Professional translators specialize in various fields (e.g., legal, finance, business, medicine, marketing, etc.) and have expert knowledge of the related terminology. These experts also have access to many language industry resources such as glossaries, specialized dictionaries, industry term bases and translation tools (such as Translation Memory and glossary programs), all of which enhance the speed, accuracy and consistency of their work.

Does it make a difference if the translator is translating into a language that is not their native language?

Ideally, a translator should always translate into their native language, reside in the same region as the target audience, and possess a high degree of fluency in the source language of the original text. Being a native speaker allows for a intuitive understanding of the nuances of expression, grammar and phrasing in the target language, meaning that they are able to convey meaning accurately and avoid unclear or misleading translations. This is why at Dynamic we work with translators who are a native speakers, with long-term experience with both the language and the culture.

What is the difference between Traditional and Simplified Chinese?

There is a common misconception that Mandarin Chinese should be requested for Chinese translation projects. Mandarin Chinese is a spoken dialect, so for written translations, one must choose between either Traditional Chinese or Simplified Chinese.

Traditional Chinese was the main form of written Chinese until 1948. After the establishment of the PRC (People’s Republic of China), the government simplified the characters to make learning, reading and writing the Chinese language easier. The basic difference between them is that the simplified form uses characters with fewer strokes. Mainland China went on to use the simplified characters while other Chinese populations outside mainland China rejected the simplified format for political reasons and kept the traditional writing system.

When requesting a Chinese translation, you’ll need to specify which type of Chinese you need. Depending on your target locale (Taiwan, Mainland China, U.S.) the preferred or most widely used version may differ. While our Project Managers can help lead you in the right direction, you should let your intended audience and market research guide you with this decision.