Community Translation

Translation involves the accurate written transmission of meaning, form and tone from one language (source) to another (target) that is easily understood by the reader(s).

Translation is a process and, apart from the most straightforward commission, will require project management.  Our early involvement can improve efficiency and success.

As with all communication, it is important that, together, we put ourselves in the shoes of the reader(s).  Asking some initial questions can help:

  • Who is my readership?
  • How do I reach my readership?
  • What am I trying to achieve?
  • Do I need to translate the whole document or supply a summary?
  • Have I used jargon or plain language?
  • Has a similar document already been translated?
  • How will the readership contact me to follow up any calls to action?
  • Would it be more useful to ask an interpreter to do a brief `sight-translation`?

It also helps to be concrete, specific and avoid phrases that might confuse. Allow space for explanation within the translated text so that it carries the sense of the original source message. Organisations can consult the Translation Guidance notes we have compiled for hints & tips about planning translation work.

We are happy to discuss communication strategy: purpose, effectiveness, impact, cultural adaptation, design, literacy and educational levels and distribution. We can negotiate deadlines, share good practice and provide free quotations.

Assigning a translator with knowledge of the background of the target readership supports empathetic translation.

A translator with the appropriate competences translates the documents and after finalising the initial translation, checks his/her own work.  We recommend that a person other than the translator reviews the translation. This involves a proof-reader examining a translation for: suitability for the agreed purpose, typographical and formatting accuracy and that the text is understandable and reads well in the target language without reference to the source text.

The Team will be happy to discuss your organisation’s deadlines, design, IT and distribution needs. Reasonable consultancy services will be provided for free. Please request a quote.

Please see our charges for standard costs of translation and proof reading for organisations as well as our standard turnaround times.

SIS Community Translation service is Quality Assured (please see our  Quality Assured Community Translation Policy for further details).

The Translation Customer Survey in 2007 showed that 100 % respondents would recommend the service (Please click on the link for further details).

In the year 2018-2019

we delivered



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photo: © Howard Davies/