Everything You Need to Know About Professional Translation Services

Thanks to the developments in technology and ease of travel, professional language translation services have been rapidly growing in popularity over the last decade or so. Today, people require a wide variety of different documents and materials translated into other languages for a wide range of reasons: from personal motives such as simply traveling abroad and needing to rent a car or applying for a visa, to business purposes, for example, international business expansion or approaching international audiences.

Regardless of the reason why you need to translate your documents, website, reports, or any other content – finding a renowned and reliable linguistic company in the United Kingdom that can provide you with expert translation services is absolutely essential in the process. The know-how of a translation agency depends on a number of different factors, and it can be difficult to know whether it will in fact be a good match for your specific requirements or documents. 

Today, we’ll take a closer look at what the term ‘professional translation’ actually means and how you can go about ensuring that your translated documents are legally accredited and accepted by government institutions or, if you translate any business materials, that it is positively welcomed in your international target market.

What does the Term ‘Professional Translation’ Actually Mean?

Generally speaking, the term professional translation service refers to a language translation completed by an accredited and officially established global translation company. In some cases, the translation can also be done directly by a freelance linguist who’s a registered member of a recognized translation institution, such as for example the ITI or CIOL (Chartered Institute of Linguists). 

What Aspects are Involved in Creating a Professional Translation?

Understandably so, a vast majority of people asked says that the only aspect of a professional translation is the linguistic aspects involved in converting the text. 

Although this is a fairly logical explanation, it is actually far from the truth. 

When converting documents or other content from one language into another, and this is perhaps especially true within the business/corporate environment, socio-cultural factors also play a very important part in how the content will be perceived by your potential consumers.

For example, aspects such as religion, socioeconomic, and culture-specific factors can all have a significant impact on how the translated content or documents are perceived by the target audience. 

Additionally, when translating marketing or advertising campaigns, visual aspects such as images or colors must also be carefully adjusted to meet the market’s expectations. This type of translation is called localization, as it takes into account not only the linguistic aspects but also the socio-cultural factors mentioned above. 

Who can Provide Professional Translations? 

Generally speaking, a professional translation can only be supplied directly by an officially accredited translation agency or a freelance translator. 

To be able to provide translation services, the provider must be officially registered with one of the accredited associations in their given country. 

For example, in the United Kingdom, we recognize organizations such as the ATC (Association of Translation Agencies) or previously mentioned CIOL (Chartered Institute of Linguists). In the U.S the American Translator Association (known as the ATA) is an equivalent.  

By being a member of the above organizations, a translation provider can prove that the quality of their work meets the highest industry standards. They are also able to legally take responsibility for the accuracy of the translation as an independent party in front of government institutions like the Home Office.

Most Frequently Translated Languages in the UK

By far, a majority of the most frequently translated languages from and into English in the United Kingdom are European. They include:

  • Spanish
  • French
  • German
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian

There are also other languages, which are intended for an audience outside of Europe. These are:

  • Arabic
  • Chinse (Mandarin & Cantonese)
  • Japanese

What Type of Documents Should My Business Translate to Reach International Audiences?

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors that are very individual to your business. For example, the type of content you should translate may depend on how you intend to approach your target audience – e.g. whether you’re going to have a physical location in the target market, or you will only be trading online.

Nonetheless, there are some general guidelines, which your business should follow during the translation process regardless of how you actually intend to approach your international customers. 

Firstly, you need to translate your company’s website. In many cases, it will be the very initial point of contact between your brand and a potential client. By translating and carefully localizing its contact, you allow yourself to create a professional brand image, which will result in a higher conversion rate online. Professionally translating a website involves considering not only the text content but also images, time zones, and currency – all of which can create a much better user experience for the user. 

Additional marketing materials, like ads, brochures, or even presentations might need to be translated, again, depending on your particular approach strategy. 

Another important aspect of translating content for your business is looking into converting legal documents, contracts, warranties, and other similar papers into the market’s native language. 

Although this may not directly affect your sales and revenue, it can be extremely beneficial in the long run.

If you’re unsure about which particular content you should actually translate, it might be a good idea to speak with your chosen translation provider first. As they will probably have first-hand experience in dealing with similar projects, they will be able to give you professional advice. 

Where Can I Find the Best Professional Translations Providers?

The number of expert and professional translation agencies registered in the United Kingdom grows continuously. From content or language-specific agencies to more comprehensive providers, choosing the best translation supplier for your particular needs can be a challenging task. 

Generally, it is recognized that the best translation companies in the UK in 2022 are:

  • Translation Services 24
  • Lionbridge
  • RWS Holdings
  • Language Solutions


Professional translation services often involve a lot more than simply converting text directly from one language into another. Socio-cultural as well as economic aspects of your target market must also be carefully taken into consideration. 

Finding a professional translation company or a freelance translator who is officially registered can be a challenge, however, the list of agencies we created above will give you a great head-start in understanding how they actually operate, their pricing structures, and turnaround times. By choosing and contacting one of these providers you can rest assured, that you’re in good hands when it comes to your linguistic needs.

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