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November 7, 2017 |

What Are The Top Types of Translation Services?

Translation services are available for a multitude of content, from legal documents and commercial contracts, to movies, art and poetry. Each area of translation comes with specific terminology and its own processes to follow.

The methodology for translating a medical journal, for example, is not the same as that of a popular song, or a mobile app.

When you know what type of translation services to ask for, you give your translator important clues about the particular skills needed to complete the job. You’ll receive a high quality translation, carried out by an expert in the niche.

So how do you know what you need? Check out this list of the top types of translation services to understand which one is better for your content.

1. Technical Translation Services

Technical translation services cover both lengthy technical documentation and documents that target smaller audiences. It involves specific terminology, standard words and glossaries of terms.

This may include:

  • Instructions
  • Internal notes
  • User manuals
  • Industrial texts
  • Software strings
  • Study reports
  • Patents
  • Technical Journals
  • All documents with a limited shelf-life

Technical translations involve higher costs and can have slower turnarounds. This is because you need to work with a specialist in the technical field involved. Someone who has good knowledge of the terminology in both source and target language.

2. Legal Translation Services

Legal translation refers to all documents related to the legal system (civil or criminal justice). Any type of legal translation must provide maximum accuracy. Translators need to have in-depth knowledge of specific terminology, as well as a deep understanding of the the legal systems in both cultures.

Legal translators generally need special qualifications to be able to operate in this field. Depending on the target language, they should be registered with the Ministry of Justice (in Poland, Venezuela, Argentina), with a regional court (in Austria, Germany, Portugal), or with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Spain, Turkey).

In the US, legal translators should be registered with the American Translators Association (ATA). Hundreds of various legal documents need specialized legal translators.

Ask for a legal translation if you want to translate:

  • Immigration documents
  • Laws
  • Legal certifications
  • Licenses
  • Contracts
  • Certificates
  • Wills
  • Letters of credit
  • Real estate titles
  • Trademarks and copyrights
  • Insurance policies
  • Registration documents
  • Legal disclaimers

An important element in legal translation is confidentiality. Talk to your translator to see if he/she is willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement before sending your documents.

3. Judicial Translation Services

Similar to legal translation, judicial translation covers all content related to a court setting. You need a qualified translator, who understands the specific vocabulary and knows not just the language pair, but also the legal systems in both countries.

Judicial translation is used for court transcripts, minutes of proceedings, witness transcripts, expert opinions, judgments, court documents, depositions, police interviews, etc.  

4. Financial Translation Services

Financial translation services target banks, insurance companies, multinational companies, financial institutions and asset managers. This type of translation requires a solid understanding of the financial and banking sectors. As documents contain complex financial information, translators are generally subject-matter experts (SMEs).

Financial translators usually work with:

  • Annual financial reports
  • Financial statements
  • Market research
  • Investment reports
  • Marketing content: brochures, sales aids
  • Banking software  

When working in this niche, translators must also be in line with cybersecurity requirements, to be able to protect the data they work with.

5. Medical Translation Services

Medical translation is essential for the global medical industry. Highly qualified experts translate a wide range of documents for pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, medical device manufacturers and patients.

Medical translators must hold relevant qualifications, as they work with specific terminology and treat life-or-death situations. Errors in medical translation can lead to unpleasant situations and in some cases, have irreversible negative effects on patients’ lives.

Medical translation services generally include:

  • Periodic Safety Update Reports (PSUR)
  • Clinical reports
  • Doctor/Patient Notes
  • Declaration of Specifications
  • Laboratory Analysis
  • Medical research
  • Medical Journals
  • Medications labeling

Medical translation requires confidentiality. Ask your translation services provider if they comply with the requirements of the country you’re in, such as HIPAA in the United States, to make sure they’re able to protect your personal information.

6. Literary Translation Services

Literature, especially poetry, is often considered the highest challenge in translation. This is because the translator must capture the voice of the author and narrate in a similar style into the target language.

It’s not word by word translation and requires a lot of thought. Yet, translators shouldn’t adapt the text too much. Literary translation is about embracing the author’s style, not eradicating it.

The translator must also choose the right structure for the sentences and use the best constructions to keep the meaning intact.

It’s essential for the translator to maintain the right connotations and, for poetry, rhythm and metric. The text in the target language should generate the same images and feelings in the reader’s mind as the original text.

7. Business Translation Services

Business translations are suitable for marketing and sales content, as well as internal communications, such as training manuals.

Companies need to attract potential buyers with their campaigns, and translators must adapt marketing messages to local audiences with similar intent. They should have good knowledge of the target public and the local market they’re translating for.

Generally, you’ll need business translation services for:

  • Sales brochures
  • Flyers, leaflets
  • Marketing surveys
  • Market research
  • Labeling
  • Product packaging
  • Newsletters
  • Company magazines
  • Websites, software, mobile apps

Business translations also cover HR presentations and job descriptions. Furthermore, this type of translation service is essential for website or app localization.

8. Certified Translation Services

Certified translations apply to legal documents, such as business contracts, birth, death and marriage certificates, divorce settlements, court transcripts, immigration documents, wills, and more.

When you need a certified translation, the translator (or the translation agency) must sign a statement where they declare that the translation is true and that the target text is an accurate translation of the original text. This statement is called a “Certificate of Accuracy” and is usually attached to the translation.

Certified translation mustn’t be confused with notarized translation. In this case, a notary has verified the identity of the translator who signed the Certificate of Accuracy. This way, you know that the document isn’t fake. Generally, notarized translations are necessary for education or government purposes.

Some Translation Projects Require More Types of Translation

Depending on the scope of your translation project, you may need a team of specialists for high quality translation.

Multinational companies, for example, need legal, financial and business translation services at the same time. If you’re embarking on website localization, you should form a team of experts in programming (for software strings) and business translation (for web content).

Give your translator as many details as possible about the content you need translated. This way, he or she will understand the type of translation you need and offer the best service possible.