Can certified translation services really help your company grow?

Organizations based in the United Kingdom have been struck by an unfortunate series of events, which regrettably, over time, left a negative mark on their revenues and profits. From the decision to leave European Union without any further agreement, to the recent outbreak of a world-wide pandemic, businesses were affected in one way or another and most of them have struggled at some point, or at least had to review their long-term strategies. One of the plans, which had to be put on hold for now across majority of corporate sectors most frequently, according to research, was approaching foreign markets and international consumers. As a result, certified translations, which are an essential part of the process, were also postponed. Nonetheless, as the situation will sooner or later go back to normal, and so the plans of international expansion will again become relevant for many UK based businesses, professionally translating and certifying your content will, once more, be key.  

What does ‘certified translation’ actually mean?

Language is one of the crucial and important elements of any successful international campaign. As a result, so are certified translation services. Generally speaking, certified translation of documents refers to a translation completed by an officially accredited provider, such as a registered and authorized translation agency or a freelance translator, which meets specific criteria.

Unfortunately, free tools and translators aren’t accurate and reliable enough just yet, and so if you decide to translate your content using one of these tools, you must expect that it will not be accepted by an official body, such as court and recognized as a certified translation. In addition, as a rule of thumb, it is usually advised against using free software for corporate and business materials, simply due to the fact that any mistake in the translation might prove to be costly – both in terms of the budget as well as company image.

On the other hand, if you require the translation for personal use, such as contacting your friends or family or to understand lyrics of a foreign song, free online translation tools, such as Google Translate, are an ideal solution.

How can the use of language help my business grow?

A recent study has found that over 70% of European customers are more likely to finalize a purchase online, if the information about the service or product is available to them in their native language. Additionally, 6 out of 10 of the people asked, have said to never or very rarely buy products from websites, which are available only in English. These numbers are truly astonishing and show just how much potential market share you can gain by simply translating your content.

Today, when the corporate world is rapidly becoming smaller and smaller and when companies can trade with international customers with ease, working closely with a translation agency will allow you to be a step ahead of your competitors. Exploring foreign markets and approaching international consumers might just allow your business to truly prosper and flourish.

Which documents need to be translated when taking your company abroad?

This is a very complex question, and the answer can really depend on your individual circumstances as well as external factors affecting your company. Generally speaking, any legal documents which might be required for official use – such as contracts, bonds or agreements must be officially translated by an accredited provider.

Additional materials might include marketing content, such as your company’s website. Usually, a website will be the first point of interaction between your business and a potential customer. Providing the essential information about your products and services in the market’s native language greatly increases your chances of closing a sale. In fact, 3 in 4 of European consumers stated, that they are more likely to trust a brand if they are provided the information in their native language and as many as 60% of them said to rarely or never purchase from websites, which are only available in English!

How does a certified translation look like?

Although there isn’t a single formal way, in which providers certify their translations in the United Kingdom, generally speaking it is widely acceptable for them to provide an official statement, or a cover letter, which declares that the translation is a ‘true and accurate translation of the original’ and that they are legally authorized to provide such service. For example:

“I, ……………….., a member of the Institute of Translators & Interpreters, competent to translate from ……………. into ……………., hereby declare that the annexed translation in the …………… language of ……………………., and executed by me is, to the best of my professional knowledge and belief, a true and faithful rendering of the ……………original.”

Officially registered translation agencies can also certify translations on behalf of their translators, again stating their credentials, for example:

“………………………., a member of the ………………….., hereby declares that the annexed translation in the …………… language of …………………… was executed by a professional translator competent to translate from …………… into ……………, and is to the best of our professional knowledge and belief, a true and faithful rendering of the ……………original.”

How and where to find the right linguist or agency?

Finding the right supplier who can provide you with an officially certified translation can be somewhat more challenging than it sounds at first. In reality, anyone can call themselves a linguist and provide a translation. It is up to you to ensure that the person or company is officially registered with a legal body and authorized to provide such service as a result.

The official body for translators in the United Kingdom (ITI) can be found here, whilst translation agencies are usually registered with the ATC, (Association Of Translation Companies). Both websites provide detailed information about the potential providers and are excellent resources for finding just the right linguist or a translation agency.

Alternatively, another popular way of researching LSPs (Language Service Providers) who are able to offer a legally certified translations is by simply searching through a search engine, such as Google, where the most relevant linguists are displayed and where you can automatically see their reviews.

Once you find a provider you might potentially be interested in working with, either through a search engine or one of the websites mentioned above, there are a few factors, which you wish to pay close attention to before sending your documents. Objectively, just because a linguist or a translation agency is officially registered, doesn’t mean that the quality of their services is high.

Taking a closer look at their reviews, especially those verified and posted on trustworthy third-party websites such as Trustpilot, will give you a good initial indication of the quality of translations and customer service they offer. Additionally, you might want to explore their past clients to see whether trusted brands have worked or partnered with them previously. Furthermore, if you require a translation of several documents or a larger project, you might want to request a free translation sample, and then determine the accuracy and reliability of the translation yourself.