What comes to your mind when you hear about translation services? If you enjoy literature, you might think of literary translation, if you’re a business person, you might remember how document translations came in handy last time you negotiated an international partnership. Maybe you work in academia, and recently discovered a brilliant article from a foreign-language journal.
By the way, this is part of our Ultimate Guide to Translation, check it out for a full article on all topics regarding this kind of services.
There are numberless ways in which translation impacts our life. In some cases, it can even help our family reach their dreams. But, when would a family require translation services?
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common cases in which families request translation services, and what translation services providers need in order to offer them quality solutions.
Translation Services for Families: Common Cases
Most families in need of translation services are either immigrant or intercultural families. And the most often required translation services for families are document translation services. These families usually reach out to a translation company to have their legal documents translated and certified, so they can be presented to an authority.
In the U.S., this tends to be the USCIS (the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). The most commonly translated documents are birth certificates, marriage certificates, and divorce certificates.
Since most U.S. immigrants come from Latin America and China, it’s essential for language services providers in the U.S. to offer quality services in Spanish and Chinese. Of course, both Spanish – and in a far more radical sense, Chinese – are umbrella terms for dozens, if not hundreds of dialects. This fact, as well as the precision that document translation requires, makes it vital to have experienced, mother-tongue translators in charge.
Families might also request translation services for academic purposes. For instance, let’s say one of their children will study abroad, or used to a study at a foreign institution and wants to continue their education locally. In these cases, academic records, degrees, and other relevant documentation reporting on the student’s merits might be requested by their target institution.
Another occasion in which a family might reach out to a translation company is during a medical emergency.
Those with limited English proficiency are referred to in the medical community as “LEP patients”, Limited English Proficiency patients. LEP patients might have a hard time communicating their symptoms, preexisting conditions, and ongoing treatments to a medical professional. So it’s crucial for linguistic assistance to step in, and make sure that the patient and health care providers can understand each other.
While some clinics and hospitals in multilingual areas might have procedures in place to communicate with LEP patients (from multilingual healthcare providers to a translation company on fast dial), sometimes it’s up to the patient’s family to ensure that nothing is lost in translation.
And, if the patient is a very recent immigrant, their medical records might not be in English. So diligent and rigorous translation services will be crucial to ensure they receive proper medical care as soon as possible.
A translation company can help guarantee cross-cultural understanding in this context through both medical translation and medical interpreting services.
Human Translation Services: The Best Solution for Families
Human translation services are, put in simple terms, translation services provided by professional mother-tongue linguists, not machines.
Machine translation is a fastly evolving field, but it’s still too underdeveloped for translation services to be left entirely to artificial neural networks (what we commonly refer to when we talk about artificial intelligence). If we need a high-quality translation quickly, relying on a specialized human translator will be a success guarantee.
An experienced human translator with profound knowledge of the domain in which they work (be it legal, medical, or any other), will be able to craft precise and functional translations to help clients meet their goals.
And, when a family reaches out to a fully human translation company, they’re bound to receive careful, quality attention from a human sales representative or project manager, who will also be able to advise them on extra services and necessary procedures.
For instance, in some cases, the documents in question will need to be apostilled, not certified. Apostilles are required when the two countries involved (an immigrant’s home and target country, for example), are members of The Hague Convention of 1961. A team at a professional translation company will know when apostilles will be needed and will notify the client accordingly.
Human translation services providers aren’t technologically less evolved than their machine-based counterparts. But human translation companies know that nothing can replace the dedication of an intelligent project manager, and the years of experience of a specialized linguist. Human translation companies have the human factor at the core of their value proposition. And, thanks to this, they are especially well-equipped to assist families.
What Makes Great Translation Services for Families?
When families reach out to a translation company, they often do so with a very restricted budget. It’s crucial to offer these families affordable and high-quality solutions.
When translation companies fail to give proper, affordable and personal assistance to families, they fall prey to inexperienced translators or low-quality companies that don’t work like translation agencies, but rather like translation mills. These translation mills outsource the work to poorly-vetted translators whose only advantage over their competitors is their incredibly low prices.
On the other hand, professional human translation companies with considerable experience in the field can also offer families some extra guidance regarding the processes for which they need to provide the documentation.
In conclusion, most families reach out to translation services providers to have legal, medical, or academic documents translated. These kinds of translations always require precision, attention to detail, and comprehensive knowledge of the domain in question. But, when we’re not working with organizations or businesses, but with families, it’s key to also be available, approachable, and always willing to answer questions.
Affordability is another key aspect. We need to make sure families can afford our services, and we should offer them as many payment methods and processes as possible.