Home > Services > Translation > Frequently Asked Questions

Your Questions About Ubiqus

How is your service different from that of other, less expensive translation agencies?

We know we won’t be the cheapest translators you talk to. Yes, you’ll find other translation companies and freelance translators who will give you a lower quote than we will. But do those cheap quotes take into account the value of your time?

Real savings come from doing the job correctly first time, not from a price that is 10% or 20% lower. If you spend time correcting a poor translation yourself, the total cost will be far more than if you had given it to a qualified translation company to begin with.

Very few translation companies can provide the same range of specialist translation services as Ubiqus. Even fewer can offer as deep a level of understanding. We don’t simply translate from one language to another; we invest wholeheartedly in your requirements. Ultimately, it means that, on delivery, your translation will be fit for the purpose it’s intended for. It will be accurate and it will be on time.

What languages do you translate?

We translate to and from about 70 languages. There are said to be roughly 200 languages with more than a million native speakers. So why don’t we claim to offer translation in 200 languages? Because our focus is on high quality translation and specialised translation.

Many of those 200 languages are used as everyday spoken languages – but often their speakers use a second language for education and official business. Sometimes the languages are spoken by communities where high academic qualification is rare.

Therefore, it simply isn’t realistic to claim that we can offer a large, academically qualified, trained and experienced base of medical, financial, and legal translators in – for example – Afar, or Aramaic, or Guarani, or Nahuatl. So we don’t make a claim we can’t sustain.

Do you have experience of my sector?

Ubiqus has two decades of experience in all these sectors: corporate, finance and investment, event organisation, HR, marketing, government and the public sector, legal, medical and pharmaceutical, and PR agencies. The chances are very good that we have translators with experience in your sector – just ask.

Who are your clients?

Ubiqus works with FTSE 100 companies, government departments, events companies and the Legal 500. We’re trusted by more than 6,000 demanding clients worldwide.

How do you price?

We operate a transparent pricing structure. Work is priced by the source word or target word, according to the languages and the type of specialist translation you require. Call us on 020 7269 0370 to discuss your specific requirements and one of our account managers will talk you through the process and set a price for your project.

What are "source languages" and "target languages"?

The "source language" is the language of your original document. The "target languages" are the languages into which the document is translated. For example, when English text is translated into French and German, English is the source language and French and German are the target languages.

Reputable translators translate only into their mother tongue (or a language they speak and write to mother-tongue standard) from a source language they understand intimately. This means that one translator translates your documents from English to Chinese, while a different translator translates from Chinese to English.

How do I ensure my translation will look right on the page?

It’s a common dilemma. Imagine you have a beautifully designed English report for translation into French. Your designer gets the French text back and drops it into the publication – only to find that it doesn’t fit! English to French translation generally expands by around 20%. Of course, the situation is even more challenging with non-Roman characters such as Chinese, Russian or Urdu. Does your designer have the right fonts? Do they know whether the translation runs left to right, right to left, top to bottom? You get the picture.

If your translation involves PowerPoint slides, Quark XPress, Illustrator, InDesign or non-Roman characters, you may want to choose a translation typesetting service. We can help with that too.

What is "localisation"?

Localisation ensures your translation is adapted to its target audience. Languages that vary in different geographies – like Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, even English – will often have different spellings, vocabularies, and colloquial phrases. Marketing materials, websites and software are all localised for different target geographies. Awareness of the host culture can make all the difference to the success of your translation.

Why do you use Computer Assisted Translation (CAT)?

There’s a huge difference between computer translation and computer assisted translation. Many websites offer free computer-based translation – like Yahoo’s Babelfish, Google and more. That’s not what we do! Free online translation is rough at best. Often it’s completely incomprehensible.

Computer Assisted Translation, on the other hand, involves a professional translator taking advantage of the most sophisticated translation software to create client and sector specific glossaries. There’s nothing automatic about it: it’s just a tool used by specialist translators. It helps us translate specialist terminology consistently. Do you have preferences for the translation of a particular phrase? We’ll use the CAT software to make sure you get the result you want.

How fast can you translate my document?

As a general rule, a skilled translator translates around 2,000 words a day. Then, for maximum accuracy, the translation must be proofread. The proofreader discusses any proposed changes with the original translator. However, we understand that there are times when you have to have your document faster. We use a sophisticated project management approach and take advantage of our network of offices across different time zones to get your job done on time – without compromising on quality.

What’s the difference between translation and interpreting?

Translation is written. Interpreting is spoken. They’re very different skills: we offer both.

For more information or a quote, contact us online or call 020 7269 0370.