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Frequently Asked Questions

GENERAL
What is translation?
What is a "good" translation?

TRANSLATORS
How many translators do you employ?
Are your translators native speakers?
Are the translators qualified?
Are your translators certified?
What is the difference between a Translator and an Interpreter?

LANGUAGES & SUBJECTS
What language combinations does ALS translate?
What subjects matter does ALS translate?

SOFTWARE
How is work sent and returned?
What if my file is too big to send by e-mail?
What Software do you support?

OTHER SERVICES
Do you provide interpreting services?
What is consecutive Interpreting?
What is Simultaneous interpreting?
Do you provide Desk Top Publishing?

CONFIDENTIALITY
What about confidentiality?
Are my documents kept private?
Will you sign our non-disclosure agreement?

QUOTES
How do I get a quote?
When will I get quote?

RATES
How much do you charge?
Do you offer discounts?

PLACING AN ORDER
Do I need to setup an account?
Do I need to sign a contract?
What are your Terms of Business?
Do you need a Purchase Order from our company?

DELIVERY
What is the normal turnaround time?
Do you offer an express service for urgent translations?
Do you offer after delivery support?
How long will you keep my translation?

PAYMENTS
What are the accepted payment methods?
What are your payment terms?

MISCELLANEOUS
What is computer assisted translation Software?
Does ALS use any computer-assisted translation tools?

What is translation?
Translation is the process of converting a written document from one language into another.

What is a "good" translation?
A good translation is one that conveys the original message fully and accurately across the linguistic and cultural barrier. Good translations are produced by a professional mother tongue linguist, with vast experience and knowledge of the particular subject matter. To be effective, a translation must be complete and accurate but also grammatically correct, stylistically appropriate and terminologically consistent.

How many translators do you employ?
In addition to our in-house staff we have a database of over 4,000 professional translators whom we use on the basis of their knowledge and experience of your industry.

Are your translators native speakers?
All translations are performed by professional linguists, working exclusively into their mother tongue and chosen technical field, with a minimum of five years experience in full-time translation.

Are the translators qualified?
All linguists are members of an acclaimed worldwide language association and are rigorously examined to assess their capabilities. All of our translators have at least a Bachelors degree, and many hold advanced professional degrees (e.g. MA, PhD, MBA, JD, MD, etc.). In addition, most have previous professional experience in the particular field in which they specialise.

Are your translators certified?
We have a large database of certified and non certified translators. We can provide you with a certificate indicating that the translation has been performed by a certified linguist

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What is the difference between a Translator and an Interpreter?
Whilst an interpreter is paid to use verbal skills to exchange information and messages between two (or more) parties, a translator uses the medium of the written word to achieve the same thing.

What language combinations do you translate?
We offer translation services in over 80 languages. For each language we have several translators, specializing in many exacting fields.

What subject matter does you translate?
With a database of over 4,000 translators we specalize in many exacting fields.

How is work sent and returned?
Using state-of-the-art IT systems with high-speed communication links, we can receive and deliver information in almost any format or medium from e-mail, fax, diskette, CD, bromide or film. Translated text can also be uploaded directly to your website.

What if my file is too big to send by e-mail?
We can send and receive files over the internet via our FTP site - just give us a call in advance to arrange the transfer.

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What Software do you support?
Translated text can be received and delivered in most PC and Mac formats.

Do you provide interpreting services?
Yes, Our interpreters are the most seasoned in the market. We can provide you with consecutive, simultaneous, and on-site interpreters almost anywhere in the UK in all-major languages and dialects. We can also provide a whole range of interpreting equipment and on-site technicians to increase your effectiveness.

What is consecutive Interpreting?
Consecutive interpreting is a form of interpreting in which the speaker completes a sentence before the interpreter begins the interpretation. Essentially the speaker and one interpreter take turns addressing the audience. This form of interpreting is used in conferences, depositions, trials, hearings, and more intimate settings. Usually no equipment is used in this type of interpretation.

What is Simultaneous interpreting?
Simultaneous interpreting is a method in which the audience hears the interpretation of the speaker's words as they are spoken. It involves a team of interpreters communicating via specialized electronic equipment. This form of interpreting is used primarily in conferences, shareholder meetings, presentations, guided tours, etc.

Do you provide Desk Top Publishing?
We are experienced in both digital imaging and commercial art. All work is carried out in conjunction with linguists, who can address idiosyncrasies such as hyphenation and pagination to communicate your message in its proper cultural context. DTP can be performed on your existing files, or files can be created in a variety of software and hardware platforms. Our graphic artists have the ability to generate a wide range of foreign fonts and offer state-of-the-art design, layout and image setting solutions.

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What about confidentiality?
All of our employees and contractors are required to sign and abide by our strict confidentiality contracts as a condition of employment. We do not sell, trade or rent your personal information.

Are my documents kept private?
A limited number of employees have access to our job administration files.

Will you sign our nondisclosure agreement?
We will gladly sign your own agreement and in most cases this can be done immediately.

How do I get a quote?
You can either fax, email or send your document to one of our offices or simply fill out or online form for a free no obligation quote.

When will I get quote?
All quote requests will be given our immediate attention and you can expect to receive our written response within one hour.

How much do you charge?
Our rates is based on source word count which is within the industry. Rates for different languages vary, with major European languages at the low end of the scale and Asian languages at the high end. Urgency, complexity and formatting also have an impact on price. As each job has individual characteristics it is always necessary to see the text in question before providing an accurate and competitive quote.

Our rates include a second stage proofread by a second mother tongue linguist-checking for spelling, grammar and consistency of terminology.

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Do you offer discounts?
Yes, discounts are negotiated for long term and large volume work.

Do I need to setup an account?
Upon placing an order we will automatically setup an account for you. Please provide us with your complete contact details. After completion of the assignment an invoice will be sent to your specified address.

Do I need to sign a contract?
Upon your instructions to proceed with an assignment, we will either fax or e-mail you our standard "confirmation of order". This will detail the language combinations, format, delivery dates, total cost and your specific requirements. We will require your signature confirming these details prior to commencing the translation work.

What are your Terms of Business?
Our standard terms of business apply to every job we do for you and you accept that they apply when you ask us to go ahead with an assignment.

Do you need a Purchase Order from our company?
As long as you have signed our "confirmation of order" we do not require a PO from your company to begin work. However, if your accounts department require a PO number to release payment, we would request that you send an order within two working days from commencing the translation.

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What is the normal turnaround time?
We have the capacity to translate approximately 15,000 words on any one assignment. We pride ourselves on the ability to complete all assignments to any realistic deadline

Do you offer an express service for urgent translations?
Yes, we offer an express service for small documents which can be completed within one working day. With several offices around the world we operate 24 hours a day so urgent documents can also be translated overnight.

Do you offer after delivery support?
Our experienced staff will assist you with any technical support to ensure you are able to view and print your translated documents. We also have a wide range of fonts that can be downloaded from our site.

How long will you keep my translation?
Electronic copies are maintained for at least one year. We can also arrange for long-term storage services for both your paper and electronic documents.

What are the accepted payment methods?
Payment can be made by bank wire transfer, cheque or money order. We also accept Paypal, and Moneybookers payments.

What are your payment terms?
Our standard terms are 30 days from date of invoice. Invoices outstanding for more than 30 days from date of invoice will be charged interest at 10% per month. We always pursue debtors. Legal and administrative costs incurred by the pursuing of late invoices and debts will be payable by the defaulting client.

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What is computer assisted translation Software?
Computer assisted translation (CAT) is a tool designed to aid the creative and skilled translator via an integrated memory device. The two main types of CAT tools are Machine Translation (MT) and Translation Memory (TM) packages. MT only works satisfactorily for simple and unambiguous sentences. In short, a TM is a database of source and target texts divided into segments that can be easily retrieved for later use.

Does ALS use any computer-assisted translation tools?
ALS uses computer-assisted translation tools to improve a translator's accuracy, productivity and consistency. Through the use of on-line dictionaries, glossaries and translation memories, translation proceeds quickly and efficiently. Translation tools enable us to build translation memories from previous translations, allowing future translation projects to use past translations to ensure accuracy and to speed up the overall translation. With the aid of CAT programmes we can provide our clients with a full customised glossary of terms.

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