Our processes and management of translation services have...


Some of the most frequently asked questions to which we wish to provide a succinct answer. For more information, please contact us at info@alphalanguages.it or call +39 06 64781838. We will be happy to answer all your questions.

• What is the difference between the translation only service and the translation and revision service?
The translation only service provides translation by a professional mother tongue translator followed by quality control. This control entails a general check (names, dates, places and numbers, consistency with source files, typos) of the translated version and paginated by the Project Manager and translator. The absence of a second full revision reduces time and costs. The translation + revision service provides translation by a professional mother tongue translator and then review by a second professional translator. The final quality control entails a general check (names, dates, places and numbers, consistency with source files, typos) of the final version and paginated by the Project Manager and translator. This combination of services ensures a higher level of quality and is thus always recommended for materials to be printed and/or online publication and for technical sheets and product manuals.

• What languages do you translate?
We translate from and into all the most commonly used languages. We translate from and into: Italian, British English, American English, French, German, Spanish, Latin American Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Romanian, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, Sinhalese, Tagalog, Lithuanian, Latvian,  Bulgarian, Greek, Turkish, Polish, Albanian, Hungarian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Slovene, Czech, Finnish, Icelandic, Korean, Swedish and many more.

• Do you also translate from one foreign language into another foreign language?
Certainly, this is known as crossed language. And it is almost always possible, both in interpreting and in translation. The only case where it is necessary to use Italian is for sworn translations in court, where crossed translations are not accepted. For example: if you need a sworn translation from French to English, you must first translate your document from French into Italian and then from Italian into English.

• What kind of translations do you carry out?
We work in very different areas. We carry out legal, medical and scientific, business, economic, juridical, humanities, advertising and publishing translations in the marketing, communication, finance, information technology and web sectors. We translate websites, contracts, patents, technical manuals, leaflets, tax documents. We also translate personal documents such as: birth certificates, school certificates, identity documents, marriage certificates, degree certificates, vehicle registration papers, death certificates, academic certificates, certificates of specialisation, certificates of attendance at training courses, driving licences, divorce certificates, curriculum vitae, certificates of pending charges, residence certificates, wills, family status, marriage records, medical certificates, criminal records.

• Are the translations performed by mother tongue translators?
Yes. Translators work only towards their mother tongue. Even revisions, editing and copywriting are performed by mother tongue professionals.

• Can you keep the original layout of documents and websites?
Yes. The programs that we use allow us to translate documents in PDF, PowerPoint or Excel formats while maintaining the layout. For web sites we are able to translate HTML files directly, thus keeping all site settings and internal links so that they are ready for publishing online. For other formats (such as QuarkXPress or Adobe InDesign) please contact us directly and, depending on the version of the software and content, we will tell you if they can be processed directly or not.

• Do you also accept urgent translations?
Yes, compatibly with our quality standards which, in addition to translation, envisage careful review and qualitative analysis.

• Do you work only with companies and institutions or also with individuals?
We work with all types of client. In general, individuals turn to us for translations of documents, certificates, passports, dissertations, etc. while companies use us for more complex projects.

• Do you accept small jobs, such as half a page?
Yes. We work with large translation projects in multiple languages down to translations of short documents.

• Do you work with sworn and legalised translations?
Yes. Translations can be sworn (certified) in the court of Rome, or on specific request and where possible, in the courts of other cities. We also handle the legalisation of translations at the Prosecutor's Office of Rome or the Prefecture of Rome. We deal with notarised translations at notaries, and when requested, the affixation of apostilles and consular stamps.

• Is it necessary to provide other information in addition to the text to be translated?
A good translation must fit perfectly into the context for which it is intended. It is thus important to have as much information as possible (previously translated documents, information materials, etc.). In this way we will be able to speak exactly the same language as our client and its activities. The relationships that we aim to build with clients are designed to last and so, at the end of every project, we open an opportunity for dialogue to enhance mutual understanding, which is the basis of a strong and lasting partnership.

• Is it useful to compile a glossary?
Certainly. Glossaries help us to ensure continuity and uniformity of language and always use terminology that is specific to the client. If you wish, we will be glad to offer our assistance in the compilation of glossaries.

• What are assisted translation programs and what advantages do they offer?
Computer Aided Translation (CAT) tools are NOT machine translation tools, but translation support programs. Texts are divided into segments, generally each of one sentence, and once these segments translated, the translation is stored in a separate translation memory (TM).  In this way, when the translator finds a sentence that has already been translated in the same document or in the past for the same client, the software suggests the translation stored in the TM. CAT tools thus make it possible to reduce translation time (and therefore costs) for documents with repeated content, and to maintain a consistency of style and terminology over time for long-term collaboration.  They are particularly useful when a translation is being worked on by a team of translators and not by a single professional. To exploit this potential to the maximum, we have adopted a system of translation in a shared cloud environment.

• What quality guarantees can you offer?
All translations, like all of our services, are taken care of down to the finest detail: sector-specific terminology, accuracy, style.  Even after delivery of the translation, we remain available for any adjustments.  We are also ISO9001: 2008 certified for the management system and UNI-EN15038: 2006 certified for the quality of the core translation process and all other aspects related to the service, including quality control and traceability (find out more under Quality). However, the best guarantee that we can offer is the experience of the prestigious clients who have relied on our professionalism and competence over the years.  Go to Clients page.

• In addition to translations, do you also offer text revision services and copywriting?
Yes. Our editors and copywriters have extensive experience in the review and processing of texts for publications of various kinds.

• What types of interpretation exist and how do I know which one is suited to my needs?
There are basically four different types of interpreting and we will help you choose one that best suits your needs:

Simultaneous: this is suitable for conferences, seminars, large events, television and radio broadcasts; it requires sophisticated facilities and technical assistance. Normally, a booth and two simultaneous interpreters are available for each language.  It is a type of translation that requires an extremely high level of concentration, so simultaneous interpreters take turns, generally for about 30 minutes each, during which the resting interpreter helps the active one to consult the available material.  Simultaneous interpreting may also be itinerant with the aid of simultaneous wireless systems, with the interpreter following the group with a transmitter and the members of the group listening to the translation with their receivers.

Consecutive: in situations where no simultaneous interpreting booths are provided and when the audience is not very large, or if it is sufficient to translate in only one language, consecutive interpreting is used.  The speaker can choose to pause after each sentence or at certain intervals of time, usually between 3 and 5 minutes, while the consecutive interpreter takes notes.  At each pause, the interpreter will translate what has been said, using his/her notes.

Whispering (chouchotage): for one or a maximum of two people at a conference with several target languages, with an interpreter placed next to the person(s) who need language assistance which "whispers" the simultaneous translation to them.

Negotiation: negotiation interpreters provide language interpreting support in meetings, exhibitions, guided tours, contracting, training courses, interviews and many other similar situations in which only two people or a small group are involved.

• Do you also provide technical facilities for simultaneous translation?
Yes. We use the best infrared transmission technology and collaborate with highly qualified technicians. In addition to facilities for simultaneous interpreting (booths, amplification, transmitters, receivers and headphones), we also provide our clients with technical facilities for conferences (audio/video recording, big screens, video projection, sound systems, electronic voting, attendance and access control, gathering and slide projection points) and post-conference services (transcription and translation of proceedings, subtitling of video recordings).

• Where do you provide interpreting services?
In all cities throughout Italy and worldwide.  In many cases, the widespread deployment of our collaborators makes it possible to avoid travel costs for interpreters.

• Do you also provide event organisation support?
Yes. Our services include: selection and preparation of the event site; catering; organising secretariat; development of web pages dedicated to the event; processing and printing of invitations and information materials; mailing list management; technical facilities; multilingual hostesses and stewards; interpreting; transcription of proceedings from audio/video media.

• How are the costs of translations calculated?
We prefer to perform a word count of the original text to be translated. If requested, we also present our quotes with a folder count (1,500 characters including spaces).

• Do you apply discounts for texts with much repetition?
Yes, and more. Thanks to CAT tools, as well as offering an immediate discount, it is possible to benefit from increasing discount margins by maintaining a continuing relationship with our company.  Translation memories allow us to quickly identify the parts that have already been translated in the past and clearly define the volume of actual work.

• How are translations delivered?
Usually via e-mail, but any mode of delivery can be agreed: uploading via FTP, mail, courier, etc.

• How is an order placed?
The moment a request is submitted, we will prepare our best quote for the service required.  The quote will clearly indicate the costs of the service, the methods of processing, delivery time, payment terms and any technical specifications.  All the client has to do is sign the quote and send it back by fax to +39 06 97994134 or by e-mail to info@alphalanguages.it. In some cases and for some services, an advance payment may be requested to confirm the order.