Our Translators

Are your translators located on-site in Atlanta?
Our translators don’t operate out of our Atlanta office – there wouldn’t be room for all of them! TrueLanguage works with a global network of professional linguists, some local to Atlanta, and many who live and work all over the world. This expert team handles all phases of every project, from translation and proofreading to editing, testing, and adaptation for cultural sensitivity. We’ve been working with some of our translators, typesetters, and graphic designers for many years, so we’ve come to know their strengths and unique skills. We cultivate these relationships with our whole network, and take great care to ensure that your project goes to just the right translation team.
Do your translators check for cultural sensitivity?
Yes. Since we use only professional linguists translating into their native language, we are able to identify quickly any material which may not be suited for your target audience. Should we have any concerns, we will bring them to your attention immediately.

Our Interpreters

What’s the difference between consecutive interpretation and simultaneous interpretation?

The difference between consecutive and simultaneous interpretation lies in who speaks when.

In consecutive interpretation, the speaker speaks a line or two in one language, and then pauses while the interpreter communicates their words in the other language. Speaker and interpreter will take turns in this way until the speech is finished. When the other party responds to the speaker, or if anyone in the audience has questions in the other language, the interpreter may work in both directions. Consecutive interpretation is best suited to one-on-one situations, or those involving small gatherings. Legal meetings, courtroom sessions, and medical examinations are good examples of consecutive interpretation scenarios.

Simultaneous interpretation means that as the speaker speaks in one language, the interpreter speaks in the other language at the same time, so that the audience may understand the speech as it happens. Simultaneous interpretation requires more specialized technology than the consecutive kind, such as sound booths, headsets and microphones, so that the interpreter can focus on the speech without being distracted by superfluous noise, and foreign language listeners can follow the speaker’s words without delay. Simultaneous interpretation is necessary for conferences, public speeches, broadcasts, and meetings, and classes with high attendance.

In case of simultaneous sign language interpretation, video equipment and monitors will also be necessary. An example of a simultaneous interpreter is the sign language interpreter who sometimes appears off to the side during a TV news broadcast.

My interpretation quote calls for two interpreters. Why do I need two?

Just like any kind of public speaking, interpretation can be exhausting, and working for too long at a stretch will pose a risk to an interpreter’s accuracy and cognitive ability. If your interpretation session will go on for an extended period, you need an interpretation team of two. This way, when one interpreter starts feeling fatigued, the other can step in and take over.

Another point is that an interpreter may need to make on-the-spot decisions about how to interpret terms specific to your situation. The resting member of the interpretation team is free to take notes, recording such terms as they come up, and aiding the speaking interpreter to recall them, as needed.

Do I need special technology for interpretation events?
Possibly. This depends on the nature of your event, the venue, and the size/language of your audience. On-site interpretation involving individuals or small groups probably won’t require any special technology. Larger-scale events, or events involving multiple languages being interpreted at once, may necessitate specialized interpreting booths for your pair(s) of interpreters, and headsets for your LEP listeners. For large-scale sign language interpretation events, video display technology is advised. When preparing an interpretation event, be sure to communicate with your venue – they may have some or all of the needed technology available.

Our Translation Process

What can I do at the start of a project to ensure it goes smoothly?
We will evaluate each project, suggest an efficient project approach, help you to streamline efforts, and provide you with solutions. If the project is still in its planning stages, we will be happy to lend our expertise and advise you on any potential pitfalls, thus helping you avoid costly mistakes.
What’s the correct document format for a translation?

This depends largely on your needs. Our goal is to deliver your translations in the same format as we received them, with your fonts, graphics and design choices preserved. For this reason, we recommend that you provide us with documents in the format that best meets your needs. If your documents require specialized software to open, it’s always best to also include a .pdf of the source file, as this is a useful format that will allow all parties to see what the final document should look like.

For projects that don’t involve physical documents, like the text for a website, you can provide the text for translation in whatever fomat you prefer. However, please be careful to clearly indicate any text that should not be translated, and to make your translation team aware of any constraints on word count or timing. If you’re not sure of the best way to do this, we’d be pleased to consult with you.

What is the work flow for a typical project?

Keeping in mind that no project is ever typical, below is an example of a very basic project flow:

  • Client sends original files (text, graphics, html) in English;
  • Text is prepped and sent out for translation;
  • Translation is proofed and edited by an editor;
  • Translation is provided to the client for review or sign-off (if desired);
  • Approved translation is then formatted or typeset;
  • Document undergoes a final proof and is submitted to the client;
  • Depending on the scope of the project, other stages may be introduced along the way.

For a more detailed look at our project workflow, we invite you to read two entries in our blog, here and here.

What if we have a division in the target country? Can our native language employees review the file?
Yes, we encourage you to plan an in-country review of your translation, so we can build your company-specific terminology and style guide for future projects. Even if you don’t have reviewers on the ground in your target country, this review is a wise idea – we can help you to arrange it.
What is SME review?
Subject matter expert (SME) review, also known as internal review, is a highly advisable post-delivery step in the translation process. During this stage, foreign language resources with expertise relevant to your business will examine your translations, and ensure that they conform to any guidelines you have established in terms of style, tone of voice, etc., and that any and all essential norms specific to your field have been adhered to. Not all business clients include SME review in their translation pipeline, but we strongly recommend it. We would also like to stress that any changes made in SME review should be sent back to us – in this way, your stored translation memory will maintain its accuracy.
Do you provide SME review?
No, we don’t provide this service directly, but if your business has SME reviewers, we are eager to work with them. If you are interested in putting a SME team together, we can also consult with you on how to go about this, and help you to evaluate your resources.
What is the typical turnaround time for a project?
The turn-around time varies with each project and is based upon multiple factors, which include document complexity, the nature of the text (for instance, legal or highly technical translations may take longer than simpler business communications), availability of resources in the target language, and number of project phases. We believe that a translation company is actually doing you a disservice if it promises a quick turn-around time up front, before a careful and thorough analysis of the project. However, we can offer rush service for projects that “had to be done yesterday.” If you have documents for translation, please contact us for a quote – all of our quotes include estimates of cost and turn-around time.
How do you ensure our information remains confidential and secure?
Confidentiality is part of any professional translator’s ethical conduct. If your company requires a confidentiality or nondisclosure agreement, we will have our translators sign and return the agreement prior to receiving any materials.


How many languages do you serve?
Our regular translation roster includes more than 120 global languages, and all applicable variants of these languages. And our network of professional translators and interpreters gives us access to an even wider range of languages.
What’s a language variant?
Languages change from region to region, and population to population. Each of these different versions is a language variant, and it’s essential to localize your documents into the appropriate one. Speakers of different variants of a common language can usually understand each other, but a document translated into the wrong variant will not seem created with your audience in mind. For instance, British English, Canadian English, American English and Australian English are all variants. A reader in the United States would understand a text localized for the United Kingdom, in which green and blue are “colours” rather than “colors”, but the text wouldn’t have that local, customized feel we strive for. All languages have variants, and it’s important to be aware of them.
Do I need a glossary?
Unless your translated documents are strictly for personal application, the answer is probably yes. Businesses of any size can benefit from glossaries, as a way to maintain consistency in terminology across all languages. Optimally, your document authors will compile an official terminology for your documentation before you start the localization process; this way, the terminology can be used to create glossaries in your target languages at the very beginning. If you’ve started the move into different languages without glossaries, they can always be created at any point through terminology mining, and applied to your translated documents retroactively, as needed.
How much do the different languages cost?
There’s more to determining the cost of a translation project than the languages involved, so we’re not able to quote language prices here. However, we can give a rough idea. Our least expensive language is Spanish, due to our location in the United States, where excellent Spanish-speaking resources are readily available. Priced slightly higher than Spanish are the other major languages of western Europe and the Americas: French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Dutch. As you go further north and east in Europe, the cost continues to mount, bit by bit. Once you leave the Latin writing system and move into languages using Arabic, Cyrillic, Hebrew or other scripts, the price will climb further. Asian languages are the most expensive of our regular languages, with Japanese at the top. For projects in very rare languages, availability of qualified translators is a major factor in determining the per-word cost of translation.
Do you translate documents into Mandarin?
Mandarin is the standardized, widespread variant of Chinese, and we provide Chinese translations in all areas. However, the term “Mandarin” is most applicable to spoken language, rather than written. Your Chinese translation will be executed in either Simplified Chinese or Traditional Chinese.
What are the differences between Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese? Which one is appropriate for my translation?
Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese are two different writing systems for the same language. The differences between them are based on geography – to know which one we should use for your translations, you should indicate where your Chinese readers will be. Simplified Chinese is used in translations destined for mainland China. Traditional Chinese is used in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Chinese-speaking regions outside the PRC, including among much of the Chinese community in the United States.


What about graphics?
Text in graphics will be translated and placed into the graphic in its original application.
What type of graphics files do you support?
We support files from most of the top graphics applications. This includes, but is not limited to: Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Pagemaker, Adobe Acrobat, CorelDRAW and more.
Can we still proceed if I don’t have the original electronic file?
Yes. Original electronic files are preferred, but not required.
How exactly is the graphics side handled?
TrueLanguage’s network of indispensable professionals includes graphics specialists who are fluent in the latest graphics applications and who are familiar with foreign character requirements. If translated text is involved in the graphics, native speaking linguists will proof the work to ensure accuracy.
What type of graphics files will you return to me?
It depends upon your preference. We can create an electronic file in the same file format as the original or in another format. Size does need to be considered. We can also create outlined files for your printer, which is usually done for languages like Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Thai, Greek and others.


If my project includes typesetting, can I handle that part myself?
We strongly advise against this, unless you are certain of your typesetting skills, and have enough knowledge of the project’s target language to be aware of how special textual elements should be handled (like accents and diacritical marks), and of any particularities regarding punctuation, line breaks, spacing, etc. If you do move ahead with your own typesetting, we do request that you send the typeset file back to us for review, before you proceed to release the document.
What is “Double-Byte” Encoding?
Double-Byte Encoding is used to display languages like Japanese, Chinese and Korean which use two bytes of data to represent a single character. By contrast, European characters use one byte. Roughly 32,000 different characters need to be accessible for these Asian languages. Some layout applications like QuarkXPress can handle this only in native language versions.
What is an Outlined EPS File?
“EPS” stands for Encapsulated PostScript. An Outlined EPS file is essentially a graphics file that can be used like a “picture.” When working in languages with font or operating system limitations (e.g. Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Russian, etc.) the text can be converted into a “picture.” This Outlined EPS file, or “picture,” can then be placed back into the original layout to produce a document that can be displayed on any system without the need for special fonts.
Can edits be made to an Outlined EPS file just like text?
No, once a file has been converted into an outlined EPS format, it is considered a graphic. Any edits would have to be made to the original document and the page re-outlined to create a new graphic.

Audio and Video

What is transcription?

Transcription is the creation of a written document from a spoken source, either on-site or from an audio recording. Court reporting and medical transcription are two of the most common types. Transcription becomes relevant to translation when the source document is some kind of audio file. Before the content can be translated, it must be transcribed into writing for the translator to work on. Different industries have different standards in transcript format; common elements across formats include the identities of all speakers, case/context information, and timestamps at regular intervals in the text.

Is transcription really necessary for translating audio? Can’t I do it myself?
Yes, it’s necessary for the translation of audio materials, and it’s not worth the risk of doing it yourself. Transcribers can’t miss a word (they have special training and equipment to ensure that they capture everything), and they must have an astute ear for accents, dialects, inflection, and subtleties in speech.
What are subtitling and dubbing?
Subtitling and dubbing are the two ways of handling the translation of spoken text in a video project. Subtitling involves the on-screen presentation in the target language of the video’s spoken content. In dubbing, a new audio track is recorded and laid over the video’s original spoken dialogue. Both of these options require access to a written version of the video’s content, either in the form of an original source script or one extracted via transcription.
Should I choose subtitling or dubbing for my video?
This is largely a matter of your preference, and that of your target audience. However, be advised that any project including the creation of new audio material will entail the involvement of professional voice talent, as well as recording and editing time in a studio. Dubbing by a native speaker in your target language comes at a higher cost, yet can afford a great sense of authenticity. Subtitling may be the less expensive option, but most languages expand in translation, and the constrained size of viewing devices means your content will probably have to be trimmed to fit the video’s running time and the screen’s real estate. Research and budget will help you make the right choice.


What kind of information is included in your quotes?

A TrueLanguage quote includes a breakdown of the project’s total cost, itemized by service (translation, typesetting, formatting, file preparation, etc.), and an estimate of the project’s turn-around time. If our estimated turn-around time conflicts with your delivery needs, we urge you to let us know – we are open to working within your timeline.

If the quote in question is your first with us, or just your first after an extended time, we will send you a long-form quote containing detailed information about us and our processes. In a long-form quote, the portion directly relevant to your project begins on page 2. At the end of the long-form quote, you will find a TrueLanguage process flow chart for you to keep and refer to in the future.

What kind of information do I have to provide to get a quote?

At a minimum, we need to know your project’s source language and target language(s), and the scope of the project. For translation projects, this means we need access to a copy of the document for analysis (for word count, repetitions and matches). In the case of interpretation projects (other than telephone interpretation), you’ll need to tell us the location where the interpreter will be needed, how long the interpreter will be needed, and as much information about the audience and venue as you can provide. And no matter what kind of project it is, if you have any clear budgeting or deadline requirements, you should let us know about those, too.

If we ask you questions for the quote that you aren’t able to answer, that’s not a problem – some questions (about language variants, for instance) can wait until you decide to go ahead with the order. Yet, in general, the more information you can give us at the outset, the better.


How do I get my text ready for translation?

The most important thing for you to remember is this: get the text into optimum shape before it comes to us. Verify that the language conforms to your standards, the grammar and spelling are correct, and the document does everything you need it to do. The translation period is not the best time to make changes to the source content. Before you finalize your text, make sure it’s really final!

Beyond that, anything you have to do depends on the format of your project. If it’s a word processing file, all you need to do is make sure to mark or remove any text that will not need to be translated (like placeholders for forthcoming links). If you don’t need it translated, it’s best to remove it from consideration at the earliest possible moment. You should also indicate where translation is not needed in files with text that you can’t access directly, like .pdf or .jpg files. If you’re not able to extract the text from these files for translation, we can do that for you, but be advised that this is billable.

Some programs, like Adobe Captivate, have a built-in function that exports a project’s text for translation. Explore your software, and you may find it has this ability, too.

Why is a PDF file important?
The advantage of PDF files is that they are small in file size, can be used across multiple platforms, and eliminate most font requirements. All fonts and styles are embedded in the PDF file. For example, you can publish your Internet order forms in many different languages. Your clients can then download the order form in their native language and purchase your items over the Web. You don’t have to worry about the look and feel of your documents changing over different platforms.
Can I submit my files via e-mail?
Yes, our e-mail address is info@truelanguage.com. For files over 2 MB, please use our drop box: http://dropbox.yousendit.com/TrueLanguage. You can also upload and download files via our client portal once we have assigned a unique client login for you.
Can I send files over the Internet?
Yes, you can upload and download files via our client portal once we have assigned a unique client login for you.
What’s the safest way to get my files to you?
The level of security you apply to your files is really a matter for you to decide. We are willing to accommodate the security policies you establish in how we handle the project, communicate your needs and data to the translation team, and deliver your final files. If you organize your documents with a secure CMS, consider granting us access to it, rather than using e-mail to transmit files. You may also wish to request a customized login to our Language Portal. If you have to transmit sensitive information in e-mail attachments, use any encryption options provided by your productivity suite of choice, and provide the project management team with any keys or passwords needed to access the text.
What’s the client portal?

The online language portal is our way of giving you 24/7 access to your translation projects and your project team. If you have regular translation needs and would like a more direct way of interacting with your projects, we can provide you with a unique login. With portal access, you can request quotes for any documents you upload, specify which services you do and do not require from the beginning, monitor each project’s progress at any stage, and get a comprehensive overview of your translation history, including your total spend. We’re also pleased to offer a live demonstration of the portal’s features so that you and your team can be sure you make the most of the portal experience. If you’d like to use the portal, contact us at your convenience.

What type of files will I receive back as a “Final Deliverable?”
It depends on your requirements and language-specific challenges. Size often comes into play and must be taken into consideration. Most of the time, we will deliver the translated files in the same format and application as used in the original version. For languages such as Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Thai and Greek, outlined files or PDF files are often preferred.


How much does a typical translation project cost?

In order to provide an accurate quote, we need to understand the specifications of the project. Below are some aspects to keep in mind regarding cost.

  • The easiest way to translate a document is from an electronic text format such as MS Word. However, PDF files can be converted or a hardcopy can be scanned and prepped, but the required time for the file prep will have to be added to the project scope.
  • If the project calls for text-only translation, the cost will be based on the word count. The cost per word depends on the language as well as on the complexity and difficulty of the topic.
  • Graphics often require special software and additional time. For website and software localization, the manner in which the original was created influences the cost.
  • All project requirements are unique. Please call us at 770-850-1205 for a free estimate on your project.
What other factors influence the cost of a project?
There are many factors that influence the cost of a specific project. Size, as determined by the number of words, is usually the most important of these. Additional languages will add to the cost, as could a tight deadline. This is true for all types of translation projects. If typesetting is involved, the program used to create the document and the number of graphics to be localized will influence the cost. Subtitling projects will be more time-consuming if a lot of text is to be placed on the various frames. Software projects are more challenging if no allowance has been made for the fact that nearly all Western languages require more space than English. If you are new to localization, please call us at 770-850-1205 before you get started.
Are there tools to reduce the cost of translation? If I click on “Translate” in Google, it doesn’t cost anything.
If the quality of a quick machine translation will work for your needs, we encourage you to use any of the free tools available on the Internet. However, keep in mind that the benefits of a human translator cannot be matched by these free tools. Only intimate knowledge of both the source and the target language will produce the quality translation your project requires. TrueLanguage utilizes translation tools that not only ensure consistent terminology, but also help to reduce costs in the long run. The cost savings will only be realized with subsequent versions and updates.
How much do interpretation projects generally cost?

We’re happy to provide you with a cost estimate for any interpretation project you have. We can’t give out costs in advance, without specific project needs to work with. What we can tell you is that interpretation projects generally do come with a higher price tag than translation projects. This is because interpretation projects must factor in all of the costs of adding an interpreter to your team for the duration of the project (transportation, accommodation, meals, per diems, and so on). In addition, interpreters tend to charge higher rates than translators. They deserve to charge higher rates, too – it’s a high-stress, high-risk job! For a look at the skills and drive needed by interpreters in general, and sign language interpreters in particular, visit our blog here.

For certain projects, you may be able to save money and time with telephone interpretation. You can learn about that here, and contact us directly if you’d like to know more.