1. How many languages do you offer and what about less common language combinations?

We offer translation services in every conceivable language, from Spanish to Swahili, and English does not need to be the source or target language. We work regularly with other languages combinations, from common pairs such as French into German, to more obscure combinations such as Arabic into Ukrainian.

2. Do you use human or machine translation?

At VSI London, we only provide human translation, however our dedicated linguists are supported by computer-aided-translation (CAT) software, where it is appropriate.

This tends to be for technical translations involving a high level of industry-specific terminology, such as financial, medical or legal translation. It is rare for CAT tools to be used for creative translation projects, such as marketing copy, script translation or transcreation.

The software of choice at VSI is SDL Trados, a widely renowned tool that offers many useful features to improve efficiency and translation quality. This includes translation memory to ensure the consistency of terminology and increase translation speed, workflow management to support project efficiency, and document analysis to predict the translation’s level of difficulty and its estimated completion time.

For further information, refer to our CAT tools guide.

3.What is a proofreader, and why do I need a separate proofreading service?

A proofreader is a second linguist who compares the translation against the source material and ensures that it is accurate and free of errors. They check that all terms have been used consistently, the grammar and syntax of the sentences are correct, and guarantee that the message is clearly understood and rendered in the target language.

Proofreading is a separate process in our services, as it is a vital factor of our quality assurance programme. At VSI, we pride ourselves on the outstanding service provided by all of our translators. In order to deliver the highest quality for large-volume material and texts for publication, we will always recommend a proofreading service.

4. How do you calculate translation costs?

Translation costs are based on the word count of the source material, the designated language(s) for the translation, and whether the material requires the services of an industry specialist translator.

At VSI, we also offer specialist translation services including back-translation, overnight turnarounds and legal certified translations. These services do of course incur additional costs.

5. How can I be sure of the quality and confidentiality of my translation?

All of VSI London’s highly-experienced translators, whether our in-house Translation team or freelance linguists, have proven their knowledge and expertise by providing their credentials and undergoing tests before offering their services to us. In order to ensure the highest quality translations, we are rigorous about choosing the right linguist for each project – we do this by matching the subject of the material with the expertise of our trusted translators. 

All translators hired by VSI sign NDAs to ensure that they treat the material they receive from us as confidential. If required, we can also sign separate NDAs supplied by the client, for example, in order to work on a specific, high-security project.

6. Do you offer technical translations?

Yes, our translator database contains over 2,500 accredited linguists who are categorised based on their various specialisations. For technical translations, we choose linguists who have the required knowledge and experience to meet the client’s expectations - legal, scientific, medical, etc.

7. What is the difference between translation and interpretation?

Translation is written and interpretation is oral. Translation is used for texts, whilst interpretation is used in face-to-face situations, for example, business meetings, court cases and conferences. Learn more about VSI’s interpreting services here.

8. What is the difference between translation and transcreation?

Transcreation is a term most commonly associated with advertising and marketing campaigns. However, its usage also extends to other categories of language adaptation, including script translation, market research and training material localisation.

The manner in which transcreation deviates furthest from traditional translation is when it goes beyond merely paraphrasing and restructuring the source text, but instead abandons it entirely. What is singularly important is that the intended message and delivery tone are maintained to ensure the same emotional response from the adaptation’s target audience, as the original’s.

Taglines, jokes and brand messages are all common examples of content that requires transcreation.

A particularly common sub-service for transcreation is back-translation.  This involves a separate linguist, other than the appointed translator, translating the text back to its source language in a literal manner, providing the client with an impression of how the text is being conveyed in the foreign language.

For further information, refer to our blog article “Transcreation – What’s the real message?

9. What is audio transcription?

Audio transcription is the act of transferring audio speech to written text. A popular example would be the translation of interviews, which involves listening to the audio and transcribing it into the client’s chosen language. It is more commonly requested by media and production companies than other sectors, and often involves time-coding the text to aid the editing process during post-production.

10. I need a translation of a document involving artwork. Can you supply this?

Yes. We supply Desktop Publishing (DTP) services in all languages. Our team has a wealth of experience dealing with all kinds of requirements, ranging from pharmaceutical leaflets to advertising campaigns. Be it DTP for corporate or media services, we are the experts. 

11. Do you offer quick turnarounds? 

Yes! We are able to deliver projects of all sizes and complexity to meet our clients’ deadlines. At VSI, we are accustomed to working to tight turnarounds and our translators will often meet multiple deadlines in a single day. However, the time it takes to complete a translation and carry out a final proofread will depend on the length of the project and the subject matter. For example, if the source text is highly technical, the linguist will need to carry out extensive research to ensure their translation is accurate and of the highest standard. On the other hand, a short promo would be relatively straight-forward to translate.

Regardless of the length or complexity of the project, you can be assured that your translation will be delivered on time and to budget.