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By the Word, By The Page, Or By The Hour? How Translation Is Priced

Here’s a question we frequently get when customers ask us for quotes: “How do you charge: by the word, by the page, or by the hour?” Translation is most commonly billed by word or page. I don’t know of any company that charges for written translation by the hour, although interpreting, formatting and DTP are…

When Onsite Interpreting is Out, Try Over the Phone

Picture this: you’re a business owner and you must have a quick call with your client in Brazil who speaks limited English and would feel much more comfortable having a fluent conversation in Portuguese. Or you’re an immigration attorney who’s having trouble finding a Punjabi interpreter on short notice for your client’s immigration interview. Or…

Translation Prices Are All Over the Place. Here’s Why.

If you need translation on a regular basis, it’s happened to you: you send your files to three translation providers and ask them for quotes. Vendor A quotes you $1,500, Vendor B quotes you $500, and Vendor C quotes you $4,500. Now, you probably think I’m exaggerating with these ranges. But based on my experience…

Translation vs. Equivalency: Which Do You Need?

If you’re new to the United States and you’re applying to college or applying for a job, chances are you’ll be asked to present your credentials. If you’re in the process of obtaining a temporary work visa (such as the H1B), chances are you’ll have to present your diploma and/or college transcripts to ensure that…

Don’t Just Try to Upsell. Try to Downsell, Too.

It makes perfect business sense to upsell. Not necessarily because you’re on a quest to squeeze as many nickels out of your client as possible (although there’s nothing wrong with trying to sell more), but because your client may genuinely need or want a product or service that she may not know you offer, or…

If You Can’t Do This, Don’t Start A Business

Six months into my first “real” job out of college, I knew that corporate life wasn’t for me. I liked my job just fine, but it didn’t take me long to realize that I was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. I was driven and self-motivated, and I wasn’t good at…

The Real Cost of A Bad Translation

Recently we got a desperate call from one of our law firm clients. The attorney was requesting a Spanish-English interpreter immediately, because the client had brought her teenage niece as an interpreter to a bankruptcy deposition. Another attorney client told me of a case he was handling where the Chinese witness had brought his mother…

Spanish Is Spanish … Or Is It?

We get a large amount of requests on a daily basis for translation from English into Spanish, most of them for “dry” content: tax forms, contracts, financial reports, and so on. And occasionally the client will say something like, “this is for Colombia. Can you make sure this is translated into Colombian Spanish?” There is…

No Matter What You Do in Life, Consistency Is The Key

Not long after I took up cycling, I attempted a 50-mile ride. It didn’t go well. It was early September, and the scorching Miami sun was particularly unmerciful that day. I was fine for most of the ride, but at about 45 miles I began to feel the exhaustion. The cyclist next to me noticed…

Being Bilingual Does Not Equal Being a Translator

I was recently talking to a young woman who speaks English and some Spanish and who works in childcare services. She was distraught because her boss, who only speaks English, had asked her to translate a PowerPoint presentation into Spanish. She was trying, but she found it incredibly difficult and she was afraid to tell…

New to Networking? Here’s A Formula That Works

Whether you’ve just started your own business (congratulations!) or you’ve been at it for a while, you need to place yourself in front of your potential customers and educate them about your product or service. Networking is a proven way to do this. If you’re new to networking, let me be clear: it’s not about…

Ten Years in Business: I Knew I’d Made It When …

I’ve always loved to read, and when I was young I devoured women’s magazines. One of them – I don’t remember which – had a column called “I Knew I’d Made It When …” It featured a reader sharing a particular accomplishment she was proud of, and it was usually, but now always, a work…

Ten Years in Business: You Can’t Do It Alone

There’s a saying I love. I saw it a few years ago in a book in Spanish written by the famous soccer coach Jose Pekerman. Not sure if he was the originator of the phrase, but here it is in English: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together….

The Myth of The Certified Legal Translator

We get lots of requests from lawyers that go something like this: “We need you to translate a contract for us, but the translation must be done by a certified legal translator.” This is a perfectly reasonable and justified request. After all, a lawyer wants assurance that the work requested will be done by a…

Ten Lessons Learned in Ten Years in Business

This month of April, TransForma is celebrating ten years in business. During this time we’ve relished the good, survived the bad, and learned some valuable lessons along the way. Here are the ten most important ones. I hope you find them useful. 1. You don’t have to do things the way they’ve always been done….

TransForma Turns 10 … But Almost Didn’t

This year, TransForma celebrates a significant milestone … our tenth anniversary. For ten years we’ve been providing worldwide translation services from our home base in Miami. But three years into our existence, we landed a project that we thought would serve as a gigantic financial and professional springboard for our company. As it turned out,…

Ten Things You Didn’t Realize About Language and Translation

An astounding 43% of the people in the entire world speak more than one language. In today’s global village, language and multiculturalism are more important than ever … so, to celebrate our ten-year anniversary, we’re sharing with you ten things you may not have realized about language and translation: 1. Not all Spanish is the…

Spotlight Interview with Santana Rodriguez Law PA

Last month, we sat down with Elina Magaly Santana from Santana Rodriguez Law PA to share more information on TransForma Translation and how our services can benefit attorneys and their clients. For ten years, managing partner Carmen Hiers has provided professional translations to clients in Miami and beyond. In that time, we have seen attorneys from…

Translation of Medical Evaluation Reports and School Records

At TransForma, we take every translation and interpreting project seriously, but we have to admit that the translation of children’s school and medical records, including the translations of evaluations for special-needs children, really strike a chord in our hearts. During the last 20 to 30 years, society has become more aware that children with special…

Get Your Birth Certificate Translation Right Here

If you were born in a country where a language other than English is spoken, and need a birth certificate translation for a visa to come to the United States, your work doesn’t end when mom or dad texts you to say “found it.” Now, you need to find a birth certificate translator to take…

¡Sin el IVA traducido, no SENIAT a ningún lado!

Si usted es un comerciante venezolano y desea emigrar a Miami (más correctamente, a los Estados Unidos) con una visa de empresario, prepárese para el reencuentro con una vieja “amiga”, la Forma 99030 del SENIAT, la Declaración y Pago Del Impuesto al Valor Agregado, cariñosamente conocida como “la bendita vaina esa del IVA.” Usted la…

TransForma Translates SENIAT

Maybe it’s the bone-chilling 53° in Miami this morning, maybe it’s too early in the morning to be blogging about the translation of Venezuelan tax returns, or maybe our sight has been hampered by the new years’ deluge of translations (thank you, keep ‘em coming), but doesn’t the Venezuelan internal revenue service publication the left…

Barry Stein: The Miami Workers’ Compensation Lawyer’s Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

This is the first in what we hope will become a series of articles where instead of telling you what great translation and interpreting work we do, we tell you about other highly-regarded professionals. Our first featured professional is Worker’s Compensation attorney Barry Stein. Barry is the lawyer that other workers’ compensation lawyers turn to…

5 Steps You Should Take Before Hiring a Translation Agency

Let’s say you have a small or medium-sized law practice, or you’re a banker who serves foreign nationals, or you are a small exporter. You’ve realized the power that professional translation and localization can have on the growth of your business, and you’re ready to hire an agency. Would you know where to start? Would…

The Importance of Translation for Mortgage Borrowers and Lenders

It’s not uncommon for a mortgage lender to conduct business with a client who’s interested in purchasing property in the U.S., but their paperwork is in another language. It’s in fact very common in the banking industry. Banks offer several types of services that foreign nationals use quite often – mortgage lending being one that…

When It Comes to International Trade, Language and Culture Matter. Here’s Why.

“Bridging the Gap,” the 18th annual conference of the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT), took place yesterday in Nairobi, Kenya. Women from every part of the world gathered in this beautiful city to learn everything they need to know about taking their businesses beyond their borders, get to know one another, and find…

Retail, Commercial and Investment Banks Can Benefit from Professional Translation

Financial institutions are part of a business sector that can benefit greatly from translation services. In such a complex environment, the stakes are high. Accurate translation is a must when it comes to transactions, and because there is little room for error, it’s critical to hire a professional translation agency. Retail and commercial banking call…

Professional Translation Is A Must for Medical Institutions and Patients

Translation is most common in real estate, law, and e-commerce. But what about medicine? There aren’t many instances where proper translation can mean the difference between life and death, but in this field, the stakes are high. Professional translation is always needed for both medical institutions and their patients. The failure to translate costs a…

The Role of Localization in the Rebranding Process

Your brand is ready to expand to a global market, or maybe it already has. In an effort to garner more attention for your company, you consider a rebrand.  Between updating offerings, designs, and testing the market, there is one mistake we see time and time again. A company’s success abroad cannot depend on repurposing…

International Real Estate Industry Relies Heavily on Professional Translation

Immigration documents, financial records, licenses, and certificates are at the top of the list of documents that seem in obvious need of translation. However, with the increasing amount of real estate transactions that involve foreign players, there is a growing need for professionally translated documents. As it becomes easier to find buyers and investors all…

The Importance of Localization for Doing Business Online

Thinking of going global with your business? Here’s something to consider: localization and translation services. For a company going global, language is a number-one priority so that it stands out as an industry leader. Localization and translation services help businesses increase ROI by connecting employees, consumers and their local communities on a more personal (and…

Law Firms Require Translation Services

With more and more companies working with international clients or doing business in the global market, in addition to immigrants’ desire for naturalization, law firms and legal departments increasingly require multilingual translation of legal documents. There are numerous legal documents and forms that need to be translated for e-discovery, naturalization, mergers and acquisitions, arbitration, investments…

Translation Is Necessary For Global Expansion And Ecommerce

Global Expansion Is Essential In 2017, the U.S. retail ecommerce worldwide sales totaled $2.3 trillion and by 2021, ecommerce revenues are expected to grow to $4.88 trillion! Historical data show that this trend is not going in reverse, which is evidence of the fact that to progress in today’s economy, you must consider global expansion…

Mistranslations Cause Loss Of Profits, Trust, And Reputation for Global Businesses

In 1987, Braniff Airlines aired an advertisement of their new slogan urging travelers to “fly in leather” in Spanish, shocking local Latin American consumers and advertising executives. Without using an expert translator to take into consideration regional colloquialisms, and no doubt using a bilingual dictionary (this was before the Internet), the phrase “in leather” was…

3 Ways to Evaluate A Translation Agency

How To Evaluate A Translation Agency There are many reasons for needing a translation agency. In an international city like Miami, translation is often needed by law firms, mortgage brokers, companies selling a product or service, insurance agents, import-export companies, and many others. In the case of law firms and corporate entities, there are usually…

Spanish Translation Is A Necessity in Miami!

Miami is home to over 306,000 non-English speaking people, of which 61.2% speak Spanish signifying the need for Spanish translation services. Not only Spanish, but other common non-English languages spoken in Miami are French, Creole, and Portuguese. Miami is already a multiethnic city, but it is also one of the most popularly traveled destinations in…

Time? Money? Quality? What To Expect From TransForma Translation Services

Sometimes called the triple constraint, there are three factors that govern decisions in any project: time, money, and quality. These are certainly aspects of any translation project. TransForma always achieves a quality translation, and we aim to keeps costs at a minimum. Therefore, we highly encourage our clients to consider time of the highest value….

Unlawful Translation By Google Translate

Jimmy Fallon Reveals Google Translate’s Errors The media spread the word about how Google Translate closed the language barrier between foreigners and Russians for those who traveled to Russia to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup. While it may be an efficient method for understanding directions or what to order on a menu, it is…

What’s Emoji With You?

In the summer of 2016, the Editors of Time magazine published a special edition book (and Ebook) called, The Science of Happiness: New Discoveries for a More Joyful Life. To communicate feelings of happiness, the book’s cover displayed a series of emojis that signaled happiness, joy, or love…but what if an individual is not familiar…

Lost in Russian Translation at World Cup 2018—Literally!

I’m Where? Imagine you purchased tickets, booked a flight, and flew to Russia to be a fan at one of the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches only to find that you are over 600 mi (about 975 km) away from the host city. Several fans experienced this recently when they booked hotels in the wrong…

In Translation, False Cognates Are Funny … Until They’re Not

One of the few downfalls of being raised in a country the whole world wants to come to us is that we may unconsciously develop geographic or cultural blinders. As children of immigrant parents from a Spanish-speaking country, we took Spanish in school because our parents made us, so we wouldn’t lose our mother tongue….

Localization: The Key to Translation for Local Markets

Have you ever found yourself wishing you had a translation service to help you comprehend the utterances of an Englishman from the north, a Scot or an Irishman? You know that the person speaking is very intelligent and highly accomplished (say, for example, Sir Alex Ferguson). You know they’re speaking English because every five seconds…

Why English-Spanish Translators Secretly Love Spanglish

Top-level professional English-Spanish translators possess an in-depth knowledge of each language with which they work. Most everyone uses language in one way or another in the same way that most everyone can cook an egg, but professional translators use language in the same way professional chefs work with ingredients or knives. This profound knowledge invariably leads…

“Chuspa”, “Bolsa” and “Funda” All Mean “Bag” in Spanish

Translators are front-line witnesses to the fascinating tug-of-war between established authorities that act as the arbiters for the “proper” way to speak a language (e.g. the Royal Spanish Academy, the French Academy, the Oxford English Dictionary) … and life (do you remember when it was “electronic mail”, or have you noticed how “diss” has migrated…

Fun Facts About Commercial Leases in Monaco

We recently did a translation from French to English of a commercial lease and a tax return from Monaco. Our translator, who is also a Florida-licensed lawyer with significant experience in commercial real estate, reports that while he was performing the translation, his mind wandered from time to time to lovely Monaco. Ah, Monaco!! When it…

Summary Translations: Less Is Often Enough

The purchase by a foreign person or company of real estate in the United States, especially if the purchase is financed by an American bank, requires the review by the bank of tax, legal and financial documents from the buyer’s home country. Now, add the twist that the buyer wants to buy in the name…

Deep Inside the Mysteries of Cigar-Making with Padron Cigars

About 10 years ago, one of our translators became enthralled with cigar making, particularly the culture of Cuban cigar making. Tobacco and cigars are to Cuba what wine was (and perhaps still is) to France. They are more than economic activities; they are deeply woven into Cuban culture and national identity. Our translator’s fascination led…

For Compliance-Related Translation, Who Can You Bank On?

Short answer: you can bank on us. We’ve been providing translation services to the Miami agency of a foreign bank for nearly 10 years, as part of the work on translation of business documents. Principally, we’ve been performing Spanish-to-English translation of the minutes of Board of Directors’ and committee meetings. However, our work has also…

The Advantages of a Small Translation Agency

You’re a small multinational company doing business in several countries throughout the world, and you need to produce a steady output of documents, presentations, brochures, legal contracts, manuals and even regularly update your website content in one or more languages.  You need an agency that can provide you with translation and other services into English,…

With Free Translation, You Get What You Pay For

While many functions formerly performed by human beings (think wholly logical areas like mathematics) can today be performed flawlessly and quickly by machines, other functions not wholly governed by logic (say, translation, for example) still require human effort to be performed properly. Many translation agencies offer seemingly unbeatable low rates for machine translation, with an…