A good translator or reviewer has to have very good language skills. But that’s not enough. In-depth knowledge of the subject and terminology is vital. Even the most common words can have a different meaning in a specific context and only a specialist in the field is aware of that. Translation is not just a matter of replacing words; some interpretation and rephrasing is almost always necessary and this can lead to mistranslations or anachronisms if the translator is not familiar with the subject or the period. If you don’t want your text about medieval punishment to be spoiled by rotten tomatoes, you had better hire a specialist!
As anyone who has ever travelled to the Netherlands can confirm, most Dutch people are able (and more than willing) to speak English to foreigners. And most Dutch people will be able to buy a ticket and ask for directions in English when they are abroad, so it’s usually not necessary to translate every sign into Dutch, even if you get a lot of Dutch visitors. But buying a ticket and asking where the toilets are is not the same as understanding all the information in a museum or following an English audio guide when visiting a heritage site, especially in a foreign country whose history they may not be familiar with.
We may be in the top 5 when it comes to speaking English as a foreign language, but that position is based on a voluntary online test (not representative for the population as a whole) and it only covers basic conversation skills. While we are proud of our top position, we feel it is a shame that Dutch people abroad miss out on a lot of information because of our reputation as excellent English speakers, and are left to struggle with English texts, while other foreign visitors often get hand-outs or audio guides in their own language.
So if you welcome Dutch-speaking visitors or want to engage a Dutch audience, it’s a good idea to invest in Dutch translations. It will greatly improve your Dutch guests’ experience, making them much more likely to return and tell their friends!
We are not an agency, so we do not provide translations into every language of the world. Our mother tongue is Dutch, so that is the only language we translate into and the only language we write in. (Except that we just wrote that in English, but you know what we mean.) However, we do have a network of carefully selected translators and reviewers who can help us with other languages, so if you have a multilingual project, let us know what you need and we will see what we can do.
Not necessarily. History, archaeology and heritage are our passions, but we know about other things as well! If you need a translator for a medical report or a very complicated technical manual, we have to disappoint you. That’s not what we do. But if your project includes marketing, legal agreements or tourism, for example, that’s not a problem at all. Not sure? Just send us the text and we will tell you honestly if we can help you. We would never accept a project that we cannot do well.
Glad you asked! Before we start, we will discuss the project with you, so that we both know what to expect. We also keep you involved and informed at all times. If you have any doubts or questions, it’s really helpful if you let us know. You can also help us by answering any questions we may have.
What’s also important is that you provide us with the final version(s) of the text(s) you want us to work on. Any changes made to the source text during the process can lead to errors and if they require extra work, we may need to apply additional charges.
That depends on a number of factors; not just the number of words, but also the subject and the type of text. When you ask us for a quote, we always send you a proposal in which we clearly state the time frame for the project, if necessary split into different steps. If you accept the proposal, we will make sure you receive the text(s) by the specified date(s).
Every project is different, so it’s impossible to work with standard prices. You may have seen ads from large translation companies that feature rates per word for translation, but they offer a different service: usually not more than a quick and dirty translation by someone without any special knowledge of the subject and sometimes a light revision to check the spelling and grammar. Plus, the actual rate you end up paying is often quite a bit higher than the advertised ‘from’ rate. We don’t lure customers by creating false expectations. When you send us your project, we will tell you exactly what it will cost you. No hidden fees and no unpleasant surprises.
We do our very best to keep our customers happy and we keep you involved to make sure we understand what you expect from us. If you have any doubts or questions during the process, don’t hesitate to let us know. The sooner we know, the better.
Despite our best efforts, there may be things you are not happy with. Don’t worry; we can deal with those in the correction round that’s included in the price. Just let us know what you want to change and we will gladly amend it for you.
Yes, but only when we’re on holiday and we can’t read the menu.
Machine translation is great for texts that you want to understand (more or less), but it’s not suitable for texts that you need to publish. The quality is simply not good enough. Another reason not to use free online tools for machine translation is that all texts you upload become part of an online corpus that is owned by the provider of the tool, including any confidential or copyrighted content.
What we do use is software that helps us with the consistency and quality assurance of our work. After all, we’re not stuck in the past.
We are not an agency, so we don’t have (or want) a huge database of subcontractors. What we do have is a network of like-minded, highly skilled professionals. If you want to be part of that and you meet our criteria, we would love to hear from you. Please note we are only interested in working with experienced translators/reviewers/copywriters who can provide proof of their linguistic skills (relevant degree, certification, qualified membership of an officially recognised organisation and/or a similar qualification) AND of their expertise in one or more relevant subject areas (history, archaeology, heritage, art history).