What Is the Difference Between General and Specialized Translation Services? – And How Can You Find a Good One?


Language services are a cornerstone of modern business. They help connect businesses from across the globe with their target audiences and expand their reach to new marketplaces. Even in this digital age, translation services remain an essential means of communication for businesses that market themselves internationally or cater to non-English-speaking consumers.

With so many language service providers out there, how do you know which kind of service you need? Do you need both general and specialized services? And if so, what should you look for when hiring one? Let’s take a closer look…

What is general translation?

General translation is the process of translating materials that aren’t specific to a certain industry or subject matter. This can include press releases, marketing materials, websites, and other materials that aren’t specific to your business. General translation is usually done from English into other languages.

This type of service is particularly useful for businesses that are just getting started marketing internationally. General translation services are usually less expensive than specialized translation services and can be a great choice for businesses that don’t require a lot of translation materials.

Another type of general translation is called “sight translation” or “philological translation,” where the translator looks at the original text and translates it immediately, as in a court hearing or other time-sensitive situation when the original language is lost or unavailable. This type of translation is less accurate than regular general translation since the translator doesn’t have time to fully grasp the nuances of the source text.

What is specialized translation?

Specialized translation is the process of translating materials that are specific to a certain industry or field. This can include materials for investors, contracts, marketing materials, and other materials that are specific to your business. Specialized translation is usually done from one language into English, which is often the “lingua franca” of international business.

Specialized translation services are usually more expensive than general translation services but are more appropriate for businesses that require a high level of accuracy in their materials. For example, if your business does research and development and needs materials translated for patents, you’d hire a specialized patent translation service. If your business regularly collaborates with other companies on contracts, you’d hire a specialized contract translation service.

If your business has a strong brand identity or marketing materials that are specific to your company and its offerings, you’d hire a specialized marketing translation service.

The difference between general and specialized translation services

General translation services are a good choice if your company doesn’t need a lot of translation materials. General translation services usually cost less than specialized translation services. General translation is usually done from English into other languages.

Specialized translation, on the other hand, usually takes place between two languages that are not English. Specialized translation services are often more accurate than general translation services because the translator has more proficiency in the source language and knows the industry or subject matter.

Some businesses need both general and specialized translation services. For example, if your company has materials in English that need to be translated into other languages and materials in other languages that need to be translated into English, you’ll probably need both.

Which type of service should you hire?

Before you hire language services, you should know which type of service you’re likely to need. To do this, you should first identify the languages where you need translations. You may need a combination of both general and specialized translation services for your business.

If your business has a lot of materials in English that need to be translated into other languages and materials in other languages that need to be translated into English, you’ll probably need both general and specialized translation services.

Next, you should consider the content of your materials. If you regularly collaborate with partners on contracts, you’ll want to hire a specialized contract translation service. If you need materials for investors, you’ll need a specialized investor translation service. If your company has marketing materials that are specific to your brand, you’ll want a specialized marketing translation service.

How can you find good translation services?

There are a few ways you can find good translation services. The first is to ask your colleagues and industry peers for recommendations. You can also search online for language services providers. Some online directories provide information about each provider, including their industry experience, skills, and specialty.

Another way to choose the right translation service is to ask your translation service provider a few questions. You can ask what type of language services they provide and what their process is for handling each type of translation. You can also ask how long they’ve been in business and how they train their translators.

Finally, you can ask for samples of the translation work a provider has done for other clients. This is the best way to evaluate a provider’s work. You can also ask for references from other clients, and you should definitely look up the provider online to see what comes up.

Conclusion

General translation is the process of translating materials that aren’t specific to a certain industry or subject matter. Specialized language translation is the process of translating materials that are specific to a certain industry or field.

The difference between general and specialized translation services is that general translation is usually done from English into other languages while specialized translation usually takes place between two languages that are not English.

If your business has a strong brand identity or marketing materials that are specific to your company and its offerings, you’d hire a specialized marketing translation service.