Questions About Document Translation Services
How are Legal Document Translation Services billed?
Legal Document translations are commonly billed on a per word basis with a minimum fee that covers up to ~350 words. For most languages, it is the word count of the target language (i.e. the word count of the completed translation) that applies. However, if the target language(s) are character-based (Japanese or Chinese, for example), the word count is based on the number of English words regardless of the direction of the translation. This is also the case if the target language is particularly compound-rich, such as German or Hungarian.
At Legal Translation Solutions and our parent company, ASTA-USA Translation Services, Inc., we include the editing/proofreading and certification fees in the per word rate quoted to the client, since our thorough document translation process consists of three stages (translation, editing/proofing, final review/certification). If you have an already translated document and would like it reviewed, please see the answer to “Do you provide editing and proofreading services?” below.
What factors determine the pricing of Legal Document Translation Services?
Pricing for legal document translations is mainly determined by three factors: Language pair(s), area(s) of expertise, and requested turnaround.
The rule of thumb is: The higher the level of complexity, both in language and area of expertise, the higher the price category. Asian languages are among the more expensive, as are highly specialized fields of expertise such as legal and medical. Rates may also vary depending on the direction of the translation; legal document translations into English are often priced slightly lower than legal translations into other languages. Last but not least, professional legal document translation companies distinguish between regular and rush turnaround. Projects completed on a rush basis incur additional fees, usually around 20%.
Of course, there are other aspects that may impact the individual pricing of an assignment, such as volume, formatting, and legibility. Your project manager will discuss the applicable details before providing a quote for your project(s).
What do you need in order to provide a quote for Legal Document Translation Services?
The most accurate quote will be based on a thorough review of the legal documents you wish to have translated. This helps us determine word count, type of material, field of expertise, and (if the legal document is in a language other than English) regional dialect/language variant, if applicable.
For legal document translations from English, our project manager will clarify what your exact target market is—for English to Chinese legal translations, for example, we will need to know if the text is intended for mainland China or Taiwan, because there are two different writing systems for Chinese. One uses simplified characters (mainland and Singapore); the other uses traditional characters (Hong Kong, Taiwan, and overseas Chinese communities). The Spanish language also varies greatly between the different Spanish-speaking nations, and it is crucial to specify if your legal document is intended for Europe or one or several of the Latin American countries.
Last but not least, please let us know whether you need the legal document translation on a rush basis and if you have specific formatting requests or other special requirements our legal document translators need to be aware of.
Do you provide editing and proofreading services?
Editing and proofreading services are an integral part of all legal document translation projects that Legal Translation Solutions and ASTA-USA Translation Services, Inc., our parent company, handle. However, we are also glad to assist you if you have a previously translated legal document in any language that you would like to have reviewed and edited. Be sure to provide us with both complete source and target documents and specify whether you would like the target document red-lined to show the changes made, and if you would like to receive a comment regarding the quality of the document translation you provided for the review. Since the work involved can vary greatly for these types of assignments, they are billed on an hourly basis rather than based on word count.
What is a Certified Legal Translation?
A certified legal translation, as it may be requested from a court of law or other official authorities, is a legal document translation whose accuracy has been certified by a professional legal document translation company or a professional legal translator. It bears a corresponding note in the footer along with stamp and signature of the legal translation services company or translator. The legal document translation services company will attest that the translation has been performed by a professional legal translator certified by a US court or accredited by one of the world’s leading organizations such as the American Translators Association, the United Nations, or the Institute of Linguists.
How long does a Legal Document Translation typically take?
The time required to complete a legal document translation varies depending on language pair and area of expertise, length and difficulty of the text and availability of particular legal document translators. Since different levels of review need to be included as well, about 3 day should be budgeted for documents of up to 3,000 words into or from any of the major languages. Specific formatting and other special requirements may take extra time. If you need the materials urgently, be sure to request a rush delivery. At Legal Translation Solutions and our parent company ASTA-USA Translation Services, Inc., we work with a global network of professional legal document translators across different geographic time zones and are able to complete highly time-sensitive requests without sacrificing accuracy or quality.
What is the difference between Interpretation and Translation Services?
Interpretation refers the translation of the spoken word, while translation services refer to the translation of (written) documents. If you are holding a conference, have a meeting with foreign business partners or similar, you require the services of an interpreter who will be onsite with you and interpret what is spoken from and into the requested languages. If you or your organization have legal documents of any kind that you need translated from or into other languages, professional legal document translations services such as Legal Translation Solutions and our parent company, ASTA-USA Inc., will assist you with accurate and high quality translations performed by certified legal document translators.