Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of some of the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) we receive at Latitude Prime (LP) and our responses

What is the difference between “translation” and “interpretation”?
Generally speaking, “translation” refers to written language and “interpretation” deals with spoken language.

What is “localization”?
According to the Globalization & Localization Association (GALA), “localization” (also known as “L10N”) is “the process of adapting a product or content to a specific locale or market. Translation is only one of several elements of the localization process … The aim of localization is to give a product the look and feel of having been created specifically for a target market, no matter their language, culture, or location.”

In other words, rather than selling an American product or service to a foreign market and expecting the target audience to adapt their tastes and preferences to the foreign product or service, localization strives to market and sell products based on the specific sensibilities of each locale.

In addition to translation, localization often includes the following elements:

  • Adapting graphics and images to specific target markets;
  • Adapting of symbols, icons, and other extra-linguistic semiotic content;
  • Modifying content to suit the tastes and consumption habits of the target audience;
  • Adapting design and layout to properly display translated text (e.g. fonts, right-to-left languages or languages with different character sets, etc.);
  • Conversion of units to local requirements (such as currencies, measurements, numerals);
  • Using the proper local formats for dates, addresses, and phone numbers;
  • Addressing and complying with local regulations and legal requirements;

Localization services are typically needed for conversion of websites or software into foreign languages, as well as marketing collateral, product information, disclosure documents, branding & slogans, and much more.

How do I choose the right language services provider?
If you type “translation company” into Google, you will receive approximately 530 million results, including numerous different options in your particular locale. With all of these options to choose from, how do clients pick the right one for their needs?

While some companies focus on a specific service, such as document translation or interpretation services, other companies work with only a single language or group of languages. There are also many companies that offer a full suite of language services, from written translation to localization and interpretation, and provide services in dozens (or hundreds!) of languages and dialects.

The key to finding the right language services provider (LSP) is to ask some of the following questions:

  • Do they meet your language combination and direction requirements? (e.g. Spanish to English or English to Arabic)
  • Do they offer all of the services you need, or may need on future projects so as to avoid having to look for a different company in the future?
  • Do they have experience and subject matter experts (SMEs) in your specific industry?
  • Do they have a fully documented Quality Control program, rigorous requirements for their linguists, and can they provide you with this information in detail?
  • Can they meet your timeline and budget constraints?
  • Are they willing to work closely with you throughout the project, including revisions or changes, utilizing any specific style guides or glossaries you may have, and thoroughly address all of your questions or concerns?

These are just some of the key questions that you should be asking. And, of course, while cost is always one of the top requirements for any business or organization when evaluating a product or service provider, the cheapest option is not always the best choice in the language services industry, especially when a business negotiation or international marketing plan could be scuttled based on just one mistranslated or misunderstood word.

Why should I choose Latitude Prime to handle my translation, interpretation, or localization needs?
At Latitude Prime (LP), we offer a full range of language solutions, specialize in multiple technical (and general) subject areas, and can provide services in more than 200 languages. If you need a Spanish translation of a rental agreement today, we can handle that, as well as a Chinese brochure translation or a Vietnamese interpreter for an employment dispute or even localizing your website into Urdu in the future.

Additionally, when you choose LP as your language services partner, you will be working with some of the best professional and certified linguists in the industry, all of whom have gone through our rigorous recruitment and vetting process and specialize in a variety of subject areas. Your projects will also go through our comprehensive, multi-step Quality Control Process that is fully compliant with ISO 17100 standards, as well as the ASTM F2575-14 Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation and the ASTM F2089-15 Standard Practice for Language Interpreting.

As an industry leader, LP is also an active corporate member of the American Translators Association (ATA), Association of Language Companies (ALC), National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare (NCIHC), and ASTM International.

Finally, as LP is a small business, you will receive a highly personalized, customized, and responsive service approach with our team of expert project managers, who will work closely and directly with you throughout every step of the process. You will also receive access to the latest technology tools and solutions in the industry to provide you with an efficient, high quality, reliable, and cost-effective solution for your language needs.

Do you offer “certified” translations?
Yes, we offer “certified” and sworn translations for all manner of legal document translation needs. Certified translations are typically required by educational institutes, government offices and for certain legal matters and proceedings, such as immigration.

A “certified translation” includes a sworn declaration or affidavit from the translator or translation provider affirming that they are competent in both the source and target languages, and the translation has been completed to the best of their knowledge and ability.

Translators (and/or the language service provider) include their name, signature and contact information to support the certification, which will be provided on official LP letterhead. This certification allows the reviewing party to be sure that the information provided in the translated document is accurate.

How much do your services cost?
The cost for language services can vary greatly, depending on the type of service (translation, interpretation, or localization), language pair and direction, turnaround time, and the type of content.

Costs for written translation are typically charged on a per word basis. For documents that are provided in their original source format (e.g. MS Word, Adobe InDesign, PowerPoint, etc.) and that contain a significant amount of repetitive text, leveraged or tiered pricing may be available through the use of Computer-Assisted Translation/Translation Memory (CAT/TM) tools.

Costs for on-site/in-person interpretation are usually assessed on an hourly or daily basis, while costs for Over-the-Phone Interpretation (OPI) are generally charged per minute.

And finally, costs for services such as multilingual desktop publishing (DTP) or formatting, localization engineering, document review, and on-site linguist staffing are normally charged on an hourly basis.

If you want to know how much your project will cost, you can send your project description and/or files to be translated to us and we will be happy to provide you with a free quote and consultation.

How do you ensure the quality of the language services you provide?
At Latitude Prime (LP), providing our clients with the highest possible quality services is our #1 objective.

To that end, all of our professional, certified linguists go through our rigorous recruitment and vetting process. Our linguists are required to have several years of professional translation and/or interpreting experience, an advanced degree, specific subject matter expertise, and language certification/accreditation. And, all language projects that you entrust to LP go through our comprehensive, multi-step Quality Control Process.

Furthermore, LP is fully compliant with ISO 17100 standards, as well as the ASTM F2575-14 Standard Guide for Quality Assurance in Translation and the ASTM F2089-15 Standard Practice for Language Interpreting.

Do you use human translators or machine translation?
All of our translations are completed by human translators.

In certain circumstances, and only when specifically requested by clients and after consultation with one of our expert project managers, machine translation (MT) can be used, along with human-assisted machine translation (HAMT).

Why can’t I just use Google Translate for my translation?
While Google Translate, guided by its innovative neural machine translation engine, has made strides in improving its translated output, it is still not a reliable tool, particularly for professional-level translation services where linguistic nuance and context is so critical, and MT solutions are still a long way from being able to solve this conundrum.

What is Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT)? Will it be used on my project?
A CAT tool is a software program/linguistic database that stores source content and captures a human translator’s corresponding translated content as they work. The software saves these “segments” of text to be re-used in the future, improving the efficiency and consistency of human translators.

The CAT tool displays each segment of text and a corresponding previous translation for re-use, if there is at least a partial match. The translator has the option to re-use the previously translated segment, revise the translation, or enter an entirely new translation.

These text segments — comprised of sentences, phrases, or sentence-like units — are broken down by the CAT tool into “No Match” (or “new” text), “Fuzzy Match” (a partial match between the source text and a previous translated segment), and “Repetitions” or “100% Match,” wherein the translation of an entire segment can be re-used completely, without modification.

This type of technology benefits both translators, by making them more efficient and consistent throughout a translated document, as well as offering significant benefits to the client, since they will usually not pay the full cost for repetitious segments of text.

However, CAT tools do not produce “machine translations”; they simply aid the translator in their work by making them more efficient, automatically checking for errors and untranslated text, suggesting terms and previous similar translations, and more. Therefore, a translation performed using a CAT tool is still entirely a human translation.

In addition to their core functionality, CAT tools have evolved to include a variety of other tools and add-ones, including spell checkers, grammar checkers, terminology managers and databases, and content management systems. They are also able to integrate with a variety of translation management platforms and allow teams of translators to work on a single project together.

At Latitude Prime, we currently work with a variety of CAT tools, including SDL Trados, WordFast, Déjà Vu, and MemoQ, depending on the project specifications, client requirements, and translation resources.

For projects that involved “editable” content (i.e., files provided in their original format which the CAT tools are able to penetrate) and are repetitive in nature or are expected to be updated regularly in the future, CAT tools may be applied. It is important to note, however, that CAT tools cannot usually be applied to documents provided in hard copy or scanned formats. While Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology is able to penetrate some types of these texts and provide an editable output, the time required to re-format and correct any OCR errors can far outweigh the benefits of applying a CAT tool for the translation.

For more information on CAT tool technology and to discuss if this technology may be right for you, please contact us.

How long will it take to complete my translation project?
The time needed to complete a translation depends on a number of factors, including the length of the document (i.e., number of words), subject matter, and any formatting requirements. Generally speaking, the daily capacity for a translator is approximately 2,000 words per day, with additional time needed for editing/proofreading and review.

If you are under a tight deadline, however, we also offer expedited (“rush”) translation processing, which can often be completed within 24 hours, depending on the size and nature of the material to be translated. However, the more time you are able to allow for a translation to be completed and thoroughly reviewed, the better.

What languages do you translate?
We currently translate more than 200 languages and dialects. If you do not see your language listed in the list of languages [Link to Languages Page] on our website, just ask us and we can likely locate a resource to work on your project.

We want to expand our presence into international markets, but don’t know where to start. Can you help?
Yes, we can help!

According to a report by the Common Sense Advisory, 75% of respondents stated that they are more likely to buy a product or service if the product information is provided in their native language. This means that for companies or organizations looking to expand into an international market, they must have their content localized in order to be successful.

The first step is to contact us [Link to Contact Us/Request a Quote Page], along with your project description, and one of our localization project managers will be in touch with you to provide a consultation on the process, answer any questions you may have, and provide recommendations for the next steps.

If you are able to provide source files for the content you want to localize (preferably the source HTML or XML files themselves instead of a link to your website), we can also start to assemble a detailed cost analysis for you.

Our localization solutions are full-service, meaning that we will work with you on every step of the process, from the pre-project analysis through the translation, engineering, QA testing, and more. We can also provide extensive cultural, linguistic, and marketing consultation to help guide your broader localization and globalization strategy.

What is the difference between “Simplified” and “Traditional” Chinese?
When referring to written/document translation, the options are either “Simplified” or “Traditional” script. Generally speaking, “Simplified” script is appropriate for a target audience in China or Singapore, while “Traditional” script would be used for Taiwan or Hong Kong.

“Mandarin” and “Cantonese” refer to two of the main spoken dialects of Chinese, and not to the written forms of the language. The written form of the language is fairly standard, irrespective of “dialect,” and therefore is only classified only as “Simplified” or “Traditional.”

For translations intended for Chinese speakers in the United States, you would need to first determine where the largest proportion of Chinese speakers in the area originated from. For many years, “Traditional” script was the standard for written Chinese in the diaspora, but with the significant increase in immigration over the last two decades from Mainland China, that is no longer necessarily the case, and many Chinese translations are now offered in both “Simplified” and “Traditional” script.

Can you translate into different dialects of Spanish?
Yes, we can. The two main “dialects” of Spanish are Peninsular (Castilian) Spanish for Spain and Latin American Spanish. However, within each of those exist numerous sub-dialects specific to different countries and regions.

While we can translate into “Mexican Spanish” or “Colombian Spanish,” for example, the written language does not diverge as much as the spoken form of the language. Therefore, unless a translation is targeted for a specific country or region, we generally recommend a universal form of “Latin American Spanish” for translations to be used in Latin America, or Castilian Spanish for translations to be used in Spain.

If you have a question that has not been answered above, please contact us and we will be happy to help.