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Welcome to the Foreign Translations Knowledge Center!

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For Customers or Prospects

Learn more about the translations industry

Knowledge Center for Customers

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For Translators and Linguists

Learn more about the industry and how we operate:  Read more

Customer Knowledge Center

We all live and operate in an exciting, diverse and multi-cultural world. Our passion is helping our clients succeed in such a world!

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Translations Industry Knowledge

1. Need for multilingual materials

Even if you operate only in 1 country, there a is a great chance you will need to communicate to your employees and/or customers in more than one language. This becomes even more important when you buy, build, export or just do financial transactions in other countries or languages. 

2. Translation and Localization

Translations consist of more than just replacing content from one language to another. It involves nuance and a deep understanding of the source and target languages, as well as the subject matter being interpreted. In other words, the content must carry the same sense and tonality in the target languages.

3. Machine/Automated Translation (MT)

Simply do an online search for "should I use automated translations?" and you will find volumes of research, materials and opinions on this topic. 

MT is getting smarter, and although it cannot replace a human linguist, there are times when it makes sense to leverage this technology.  Contact us if you are interested in exploring this option.

4. Can't I just use an online translation tool?

Despite great advances in technology, online tools are still quite basic at translations.  Even coupled with AI (Artificial Intelligence), the fact is the technology is still in its infancy.  If you care about accuracy of the translated content, then you must engage with a professional translations partner like FT.

5. Human linguists working with translation technology

Despite the cautions of automated translation, there is a great deal of technology involved in the industry. Typically, the content to be translated is run through a Computer-Aided Technology (CAT) tool for analysis. This analysis identifies several key items:

  • Repeated content (only has to be translated once)
  • Reusable items: reuse from existing translation memory database systems (TMs etc.)
  • Number of words, segments and so on in scope for translation

There is also technology involved in secure file management, project management, pricing and so on.  We have been in business since 1998 and we have a robust platform set on which we operate.

Additionally, we always ensure a professional human linguist performs the translation that is needed and a human project manager oversees the entire project.

Note: There are several major CAT tools in the industry. SDL is a global leader in this space and is the platform used by FT. In fact, we are proud to be an SDL Language Services Provider (LSP) Partner!

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Q and A


Q: How can I reduce my project costs?
A: There are several key ways to do this.
 -- Use a single partner for translations. The more you translate with us, the larger the translation memory database becomes and subsequent translations cost less
 -- Provide quality source materials: In general word documents, digitized pdfs, excel documents and so on are preferred. Items requiring DTP (see DTP item later on) add to your overall cost.
 -- If you expect to have a large volume project or regular frequency of translation projects, we are always happy to have a discussion with you and to establish a customized pricing guide for you. This will ensure we devote the same linguists to your work (for consistency) and provide volume savings!

Q: What are your prices/costs for translations?
A: The answer is of course, "it varies". In general, prices for romance languages like Spanish and French have a lower cost than Asian languages like Chinese or Japanese. For our clients with volume work (quantity and frequency), we can provide a pricing chart as part of our engagement agreement. Additionally, we are always willing to work with a client to tailor pricing packages.

Q: Can you deliver quality translations in ALL our desired languages?
A: Yes! We can confidently support all the major languages of the world as well as many unique languages. Our distributed team of translation professionals means we're able to scale and be efficient for our clients. We have been in business since 1998 and in have accumulated a vast array of expertise in all world languages.

Q: Will we (the client) maintain ownership of our translation memories (TM)?
A: Yes, the translation memory shall remain the property of the client and a copy of it may be requested at any time or for any reason. We usually ask for a 3-business-day turnaround to extract old or aged TMs.

Q: Is translation memory applied only within the same document or project?
A: No. We analyze each new request against all previously created Translation Memories (TMs). Your project manager will work with you to ensure we maximize any reuse benefit and cost savings.

Q: What is DTP?
A: DTP is a throwback term to the days of traditional desktop publishing. In the world of translation services, it refers to the work required when content must be dissected prior to translation and/or re-assembled after translation. This is common for design files (like Adobe InDesign, FrameMaker etc.) where the visible content is created in many layers within the content tool.
Your Translation team must extract exactly what has to be translated, and make sure the target translated content fits perfectly back into the visual layout expected.
Related reading: see our Blog article Word Expansion in Different Languages

Q: How do you manage workflows and how will this benefit me?
A: We utilize an industry-leading workflow platform coupled with a proprietary project management system specifically engineered for the translations industry.

This allows us efficiencies and workflows
that many competitors do not have. You will have a dedicated project manager who will work with you every step of the way.

Q: Do you provide voice-over (VO) services?
A: Yes. We offer voice-over recordings, dubbing, and subtitling services on all major audio/video platforms. Voice-over projects are affected by multiple cost drivers. Because there are various ways to complete an assignment, voice-over projects are estimated on a case-by-case basis.
Please refer to our Translation Services page for more information on multimedia projects, including voice-overs.

Q: How do you handle changes to a project?
A: We recognize business needs at times dictate changes to projects. We have a proven change control process, which we utilize to accommodate changes with minimal impact. 
Our process allows the flexibility to make changes, while retaining the necessary rigor to produce a high-quality outcome. This process is initiated when a scope change is communicated to us. Our project manager will work with you to gauge impacts to timeline and cost and adjust the workflow as needed towards a suitable and successful delivery.

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Top 5 Reasons To Partner With Us

We understand translation is one small but critical part of your project needs. We take this burden off your shoulders and make it our driving passion!

  1. Expertise: diverse group of linguists who are experts in their language set and subject matter. Many have been with us for over 10 years!

  2. Tech Savvy: we leverage world-class industry leaders like SDL and Adobe, and cloud-based solutions from Microsoft and DropBox to efficiently handle and safeguard your data. We utilize a proprietary workflow automation tool which optimizes our processes and lowers our overhead—and your costs.

  3. Pricing: competitive industry rates on all services. We utilize a modern pricing model which removes price dependencies on CAT tools - meaning more savings for you!

  4. Trusted Partner: our goal is to become your trusted partner for all your language services needs. We do this by being innovative, ethical and professional in everything we do.

  5. Speed, Flexibility, Quality: we are nimble - we have a great track record of fast turnaround times. We can customize our processes and timelines to fit your needs. Mature processes, six-sigma efficiencies and quality checkpoints result in world-class excellence.

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Most importantly, we value and strive for the utmost in ethical behavior - towards our employees, contractors, vendors and absolutely our clients!

We are actively engaged in sponsorship: each year we give back a portion of our proceeds to the communities in which we operate.

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Knowledge Center (for Linguists and Translation Professionals)

The language industry encompasses numerous fields of specialty, including, translation, interpreting, software and website globalization/localization, subtitling, voice-over and other video applications, language technology, and much more.

Numerous universities and bodies of learning across the world have specialties, programs, or dedicated degrees devoted to our industry. At Foreign Translations, we offer many of the above-mentioned services for clients in Charlotte, North Carolina, Greenville SC and nationwide!

Useful Links

For Translators

We work with approximately 200 professionals translators in over 50 countries. If you are interested in working with us, you must have the highest level of expertise and be certified in your language and/or domain of expertise.

Please read more on our Partner page, including our terms of agreement and instructions on how to contact us.

The language industry in which we operate in is vast, complex, and continuously changing. We would not have it any other way!  We are excited to be an industry leader in the language services industry.

Categories of Language Professionals:

  • Translator: Linguists responsible for converting language from source to target.
  • Proofreader: Linguists responsible for editing (proofing) the translation according to source text.
  • Copy Editor: Linguists who review translations with little or no use of the source text.
  • DTP Experts: Design-trained experts who manage layout and publishing in many DTP software tools (see "What is DTP" section).