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Frequently Asked Questions

What rates does Alltrans charge?
It is impossible to provide a standard rate or average cost for a translation or an interpreting assignment.

The cost of a translation is calculated based on the quantity of text, i.e. the number of lines (1 line = 60 characters in Word, including spaces), the difficulty or technicality of the text, and the source and target languages. A translation will also be more expensive if it has to be sworn or legalised.

In principle interpreting is paid on a full-day basis. Again, rates depend on the source and target languages and the subject. If equipment also has to be delivered, (booths, microphones for speakers and/or interpreters, wireless headphones for the audience), this obviously involves extra costs. Moreover, it is customary to reimburse the interpreter's transport, hotel and restaurant expenses, if any. We guarantee that Alltrans will provide honest advice about the best possible way to organise an interpreting assignment.

Should you require a quotation for a translation or an interpreting assignment, you are kindly requested to contact us.
What is the average cost of a translation?

It is impossible to provide a standard rate or average cost for a translation. The cost of a translation is calculated based on the quantity of text, i.e. the number of lines (1 line = 60 characters in Word, including spaces), the difficulty or technicality of the text, and the source and target languages. A translation will also be more expensive if it has to be sworn or legalised.

Should you require a quotation for a translation, you are kindly requested to contact us.

What is the average cost of interpreting?

In principle interpreting is paid on a full-day basis. Rates depend on the source and target languages and the subject. If equipment also has to be delivered, (booths, microphones for speakers and/or interpreters, wireless headphones for the audience), this obviously involves extra costs. Moreover, it is customary to reimburse the interpreter's transport, hotel and restaurant expenses, if any. We guarantee that Alltrans will provide honest advice about the best possible way to organise an interpreting assignment.

Should you require a quotation for an interpreting assignment, you are kindly requested to contact us.

What is a reasonable deadline for a translation?
A reasonable deadline is agreed on with the translator. Most but not all deadlines set by customers are feasible: in theory, a 4-page translation can be delivered after 1 working day, unless there are several other deadlines around the same time. In any case Alltrans undertakes to find the best possible solution for you.

What is the difference between translation and interpreting?
An interpreter translates orally, a translator only translates on paper.

There are different types of interpreting:
  • simultaneous interpreting: interpreters listen to the speaker using headphones and translate almost immediately what they hear, speaking into a microphone. Interpreters usually work in a sound-proof booth. Listeners who do not master the speaker's language can hear the interpreter through headphones and thus understand the speaker's message. This is the most frequent type of interpreting.
  • whispering: this is a type of simultaneous interpreting, especially used if only one or two individuals require translation. The interpreters will sit next to the person they are translating for and 'whisper' their translation into their listener's ear.
  • consecutive interpreting: the interpreter is close to the speaker and takes notes on the latter's message. After a few minutes the interpreter is given the floor and translates the message, after which it is the speaker's turn again.
  • liaison interpreting: this is actually also consecutive interpreting, but without interpreters taking notes. They translate short interventions of two persons who each speak a different language. This type of interpreting is especially used in a social context (e.g. an immigrant who does not know the language of his host country yet, can appeal to a 'social' interpreter to translate at town hall, at the hospital, …)
What is a sworn translation and when must a translation be sworn?

A sworn translation is signed by translators who took an oath before a court, swearing to perform all their translations to the best of their abilities. In order to be sworn, translators must be able to prove they have sufficient knowledge of the languages they would like to be sworn in for.

Sworn translations are usually requested by lawyers, Notaries Public, judicial officers, … in the context of court proceedings or to be submitted to public administrations (administrative procedures). To find out whether a translation needs to be sworn, it is best to contact the person or service requesting the translation.
What is a legalised translation and when must a translation be legalised?
A legalized translation is a sworn translation bearing the stamp of the court where the translator was sworn in. This is another official confirmation of the court that the translator is sworn.

Legalised translations are usually requested by lawyers, Notaries Public, judicial officers, … in the context of legal proceedings or to be submitted to public administrations (administrative procedures).

Administrative documents intended for use abroad usually also have to be legalised. In many cases these documents do not only have to bear the stamp of a court, but also that of the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The latter type of legalisation is called 'apostille' for some countries and is required, for instance, when a European driving licence needs to be recognized in the United States. Afterwards, the document may still have to be legalised by the embassy of the country where it will be used. To find out whether a translation has to be legalised, it is best to contact the person or service requesting the translation.
What is an intermediate translation and why is this sometimes necessary?
It will not always be possible to find a translator for a certain language pair. In Belgium, for example, it will not be so easy to find a translator working from Polish into Portuguese. In that case an intermediate translation can be a solution: a translator working from Polish into Dutch will be a bit easier to find. His Dutch translation is then translated into Portuguese by another translator with Dutch and Portuguese.

Moreover, if a translation must be legalised, the court requires that the source or target language is the language of its jurisdiction. Translators sworn in before a Dutch-speaking court can therefore only submit translations from or into Dutch for legalisation. An intermediate translation will then be the only solution.