Answers to Your Burning Questions About Translation

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Answers to Your Burning Questions About Translation

Burning Question

Tyson Shelley | April 7, 2017

Need content translation, but don’t know where to start? Check out our Language Services FAQs!

Buying translation or language services can be complicated. Whether you are an expert localization manager or a marketing professional with no experience with translation, there are always questions that come up--how long it will take to translate a website, how pricing varies based on the number of languages, how to manage updates or changes to translated content, etc.

Our Lingotek Language Services team translates millions of words each year, and as a result, we’ve answered hundreds of translation-related questions. To help you get ahead of the translation learning curve, we’ve put together a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) for those who have burning questions about language services.

How much does translation cost?

  • How much translation will cost depends on a number of factors:
  • Type of content
  • Timeline
  • Number of languages
  • Use of translation memories (TM)
  • Professional services needed, like project management, or website audits

The good news is that you can always find translation services to match your content and your budget.  Lingotek’s Content Value Index helps you determine the type of translation that best  matches your content type, time constraints, budget, and the level of quality required.

What’s an LSP?

Language Services Providers (LSP) are companies that offer a variety of translation services. They receive your requests for translation, calculate project costs, create bids and purchase orders. They manage vendors who provide the actual translation. They can be professional linguists or reviewers. An LSP ensures the quality of translation and ensures that projects are completed on time. At Lingotek, we are the leader in technology-enabled language services. Our cloud-based translation management system (TMS) offers several state-of-the-art computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools to integrate, automate, and streamline management of translation.

Are there different types of translation?

Lingotek’s Language Services department is a full-service localization group that offers a variety of translation methods, including machine translation (MT), a combination of post editing and machine translation (PEMT), professional translation, and review.

What’s machine translation (MT)?

Machine translation (MT) uses software to translate text or speech from one language to another. MT uses a machine translation engine to perform simple substitution of words in one language for words in another, but that alone doesn’t usually produce the highest quality translation of a text. But, sometimes the general meaning of a text is all you need from your translation.

You can add post-edit MT (PEMT) and use translation memories to improve the quality of machine translation, that offers a good combination of fast and cost-effective translation when getting the general meaning is sufficient. Use MT to translate less important types of content like tweets, blog comments, blog posts, forums, or message boards.

What type of content needs a professional translator?

Professional translation offers the highest quality and includes additional levels of review to ensure accuracy. Use professional translation for very important content like press releases, brochures, and white papers.

How is translation priced and what payment options are available?

Translation pricing:

  • Translation is priced by the word
  • Some services may priced on an hourly basis

Payment options:

  • Retainers
  • Purchase order (PO)
  • Project-to-project invoicing

Many of our customers are streamlining the process and reducing paperwork by opening a monthly or quarterly purchase order (PO) or a retainer to expedite any translation work needed. You can always go to and Contact Us to get an estimate.

How long will it take to get something translated?

Start with your end date in mind for project completion. From there, Lingotek project managers will be able to tailor a project plan that ensures you meet your internal deadlines.

If faster turnaround is needed, Lingotek can meet your need for expedited professional translation. Your LSP should be able to deliver translation at the following rates:

Average Translation Turnaround Times

Professional (Human) Translation  
1,500 – 2,000 words per day, per linguist for translation  
5,000 – 7,000 words per day, per linguist, for review  
8,000 words per day, per linguist for in-context review

Post-Editing + Machine Translation (PEMT)
3,500 – 5,000 words per day, per linguist for post-editing  
8,000 words per day, per linguist for in-context review

There may be some use cases, such as disseminating emergency messages to local areas, that require automatic machine translation workflows. Lingotek Languages Services team supports those type of workflows.

What’s the best way to send files for translation--email, FTP,  etc.?

Lingotek offers several connectors that use multilingual APIs that can integrate translation inside all of the most popular web applications, eliminating the need to email files or use FTP. Lingotek - Inside Connectors are able to integrate translation inside the applications you use most:

  • Customer engagement platforms - MindTouch, Lithium
  • Content Management Systems (CMS):
  • Adobe Experience Manager
  • Drupal
  • Liferay
  • Oracle Webcenter
  • Salesforce
  • Sharepoint
  • Sitecore
  • WordPress
  • Customer relationship management (CRM) - Salesforce
  • Website platforms - Drupal, WordPress, Oracle Webcenter
  • Marketing automation - HubSpot, Marketo, Eloqua
  • eCommerce - Drupal Commerce
  • Software localization
  • Git
  • SVN
  • Perforce
  • MS Visual Studio
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM) - Confluence, Documentum
  • Knowledge Bases - Atlassian, Confluence, Documentum, Lithium, MindTouch, Salesforce, Zendesk
  • Desktop Publishing-MS Excel (xls), MS Word, MS PowerPoint (ppt), Adobe InDesign

How can I  track the progress of my translation projects?

With customizable workflows, convenient task assignment, and real-time monitoring, project managers using Lingotek’s TMS can see the status of every translation project. This helps them stay on top of their deadlines and pace their work. Our powerful rules engine allows product managers to trigger actions throughout the project lifecycle to put translation phases on autopilot.

In addition to the convenient TMS workbench dashboard, Lingotek project managers will provide regular updates. Customers are also able to log in to our system and check real-time project status as frequently as they’d like using the Client Portal. In fact, in most cases, you don’t even need to leave your CMS environment to check translation project status.

How many languages can Lingotek translate in? Is translating content into several languages slower?

Lingotek can create on-demand translation into 250+ languages. Translation can take place in all languages at the same time, so it doesn’t take any longer to request translation into multiple languages. The number of languages may impact the project timeline however, because there will be initial setup work to accomplish, more people to coordinate with, and more queries to respond to.

How does Lingotek choose its translators?

At Lingotek, we understand that linguistic quality and accuracy is at the core of your global content and branding. Lingotek-approved professional linguists and editors must meet specific criteria for native language ability, subject specialization, and experience. They must also conform to European quality standard, EN-15038:2006.

Lingotek only uses professional linguists who meet the following criteria:

  • Translate in their native language
  • Pass a subject-specific Lingotek translation test to determine level of subject-matter expertise
  • Professional certification and/or work experience:
  • A translation-related certification and/or a degree from a respected institution
  • Or a minimum of 5 years of full-time, professional translation experience
  • Or a combination of 2+ years of professional experience and degree/certification.
  • Sign a Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) and Linguist Agreement
  • Achieve consistently high ratings on each project completed
  • A Lingotek-certified editor has requirements as well:
  • Proven to be one of Lingotek’s best translators
  • Pass a subject-specific editing test
  • Receive a recommendation from another certified editor
  • Achieve consistently high ratings on each project completed

What type of content can Lingotek translate?

Lingotek can translate almost every type of file or content your business generates, such as

  • Documents
  • Email campaigns
  • Landing pages
  • Websites
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Social media
  • Software
  • Desktop publishing
  • PPTs
  • And more!

The Lingotek Filesystem Connector supports over 30 file types, so you get seamless translation for the file formats you use most. The Filesystem Connector can handle almost any desktop file as long as it is saved in a file folder. It supports rich-text translation of the Microsoft Office Suite, industry standard exchange formats, such as .XLIFF, .TMX and .TBX; web languages such as HTML and XML, and desktop publishing such as Adobe InDesign files.

I have content that is very technical. How do I find a translator that has the subject matter expertise I need?

When recruiting translators, we first look to their translation credentials and their area of specialization. For automotive content, for example we require that they have demonstrated expertise in translation and have sufficient experience translating automotive materials.

What happens if I need updates or changes to  content that’s already been translated?

The Lingotek APIs will recognize any content change and trigger it for translation. It will be sent to the Lingotek platform to run through the selected workflow.  Lingotek encourages your in-country teams to log in to our platform and make edits directly in the content. This means there’s no need to worry about documenting change requests in marked up PDFs and sending them back and forth until the edits are complete. By allowing your in-country resources to be part of the translation workflow, any edits they choose to make can be saved in real time to your translation memory, which maximizes efficiency and ensures future consistency.

Can I use our linguistic assets in Lingotek’s system?

You can import all of your linguistic assets, including glossaries, translation memories and  style guides. Additionally, when you create assets with Lingotek, you maintain full control of those assets.

Do I need to purchase a CAT tool?

No. Lingotek - Inside Connectors come with a built-in CAT tool, the Lingotek Translation Management System (TMS).

How secure is the information that I send out for translation?

Using a cloud-based TMS ensures that your content is secure and access is only allowed when authorized. Lingotek is the leader in cloud-based translation management. When your content is kept in our translation management system, there is never a need to send your content to a translator to be downloaded onto an unknown personal computer.

Once you send your content to Lingotek via APIs, it is then made available to specific linguists who can access it via their Lingotek user profile. Once their translation task is complete, the content is removed from their dashboard and stored securely in the cloud.

In addition, our linguists are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and therefore are under contract for confidentiality.

I have several translators that I use often. Is there an easy way to automate their translation assignments?

You can create control default settings, like automatic assignments, by creating a Lingotek workflow. Simply apply the workflow whenever you want to automate assignments, notifications, and permissions on a translation project.

Can I use my own LSPs with Lingotek’s TMS?

While we believe it’s always best to combine Lingotek’s technology with our own LSPs who are experts in using it, you can use Lingotek’s TMS and your existing LSPs. We have extensive experience in training and onboarding LSPs on how to use our Translation Network.

If you have questions not answered here, contact us: US: +1(801)331-7777 UK: +44 (0)1628 421525 or go to


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