Frequently asked questions


What do you need if we want our website translated?

Website localisation projects can be managed in different ways and depend on the website structure. We can readily work with your webmaster to agree on the best way to translate the web copy. This can be via direct access to the website code or the web copy can be exported into Excel formats which are then populated by the translators and then imported back into the website. We can decide together on what works for you.

Who will be my point of contact?

The point of contact at McFelder will always be a member of the commercial department.

Do we assess client satisfaction?

Client satisfaction is something that forms a fundamental part of our business and our established clients continue to collaborate with us year on year. At McFelder we always look to improve our performance and to excel in every aspect of the business. We do ask established clients to complete a short client satisfaction survey once a year and after the first project for any new clients. The results are carefully analysed and form part of our annual quality audit. The findings are then used to identify where we can further enhance the customer experience.

What happens if I am unhappy with my translation?

The client has a period of up to 10 days after receipt of the translation to advise if they are not totally satisfied. We respond immediately to any negative feedback from the client and do everything we can to resolve the complaint. The client must provide specific examples of where they do not agree with the translation and the project manager will liaise with the translator for their opinion about the client´s complaint and/or preferences. We work closely with the client to ensure the best possible outcome can be achieved and go to whatever lengths required to find a satisfactory resolution.

How are the translations of confidential documents managed?

At McFelder Translations all documents received from the client are treated as confidential. All McFelder employees have signed and work in accordance with our company confidentiality policy. The same also applies to our approved freelance translators.

For file transfer we use our secure client login system and all emails are automatically virus scanned prior to being sent.

What are the benefits to using an external agency to translate your documentation?

There are many benefits to using a professional translation agency to translate your documentation rather than translating texts in-house. Some of the key benefits are as follows:

  • A translator who has an excellent understanding of both the source and target languages, where the target language will be their native language, fully understands the subtleties of both languages.
  • Translators are trained linguists and only translate in their area of expertise. For example, a specialist engineering translator will not be translating a legal text.
  • Professional translators research around the specific subject matter of the text being translated and also have access to online dictionaries as well as their own knowledge of the sector and subject.
  • A professional translation will be delivered within the required timeframes supplied by the client unless they are unrealistic and would significantly compromise on quality.
  • In addition to the translation of the text, the process also involves a revision of the text by the translator and then again by a second proof-reader to ensure maximum quality control.
  • It is false economy to consider it cost effective to only translate texts in-house, unless the translations are being conducted by an in-house translator. Sales managers or  Commercial managers are trained to sell products or services, not to translate texts. The overall cost to the business is higher if sales and clients are neglected.

Project managers – what do they do?

The Project Managers are responsible for overseeing every step of the project from translation, revision and desktop publishing through to the final editing and formatting of the document. They will select the translators and revisers as well as ensuring that the delivery timescales are met while taking into consideration the different time zones.

How are delivery times calculated?

Delivery times are calculated based on the number of words of the documentation to be translated and the number of translators and the number of proof-readers. If there are very tight deadlines to meet then more than one translator can be assigned per language combination. If several translators have to be assigned to the project then this, while not ideal with respect to continuity and style, sometimes has to be done to meet the client deadline.

How many words can be translated per day?

A translator can normally translate in the order of between 1500 and 2500 words per day, depending on experience and complexity of the text.

File formats

Does translation of artwork affect fonts?

Depending on the languages it may be required to change the font from the original font used. This most frequently occurs with languages such as Asiatic languages or Cyrillic. Our designer will work closely with your designer or agency to determine which font should be applied and still comply with corporate or brand guidelines.

Can you translate images containing text?

Yes. We translate texts that are embedded into text documents. We are either supplied with the editable image files or we can edit the images by overlaying the text in the translated languages.

What file formats can you handle?

We work with all Microsoft Office programmes such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint as well as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, QuarkXPress and PDF. If you have text in other formats, we will be happy to advise you.

How are non-editable files translated?

For non-editable file formats such as PDF files, the texts can be extracted from the PDF format by a special scanning software that can then place the text into an Excel or Word file. The software will not necessarily extract all the text and sometimes only 90% of the text is recovered. The extracted texts must then be carefully checked by the Project Manager to ensure that all the text has been placed in an editable format for translation.

Non-editable files cannot be used in conjunction with CAT tools. As a result, these formats are much more expensive to translate since the text has to be converted to an editable format for translation and therefore this process will incur an additional cost.


What are the payment terms?

Our payment terms are 30 days after receipt of invoice. Payments can be accepted by bank transfer or credit card.

Can I pay by credit card?

Yes, we accept credit card payments.

Foreign language typesetting services – what do they cost?

This service is quoted based on a cost per hour. The project manager will advise as to how many hours will be required per language combination.

How is the cost of interpreting calculated?

Interpreting is priced on a day or half day basis. Costs for food, travel and accommodation for the interpreters are additional costs.

How are the costs of a translation calculated?

The cost of a translation is calculated on the price per word multiplied by the total number of words in the document. If there is also foreign language typesetting this is charged on an hourly basis.


Why does it have to be a native translator who carries out the translation?

The translator must translate into their native language because the style, knowledge of vocabulary, culture and fluency can never be the same as a native speaker. For example, a translation from English into French must be done by a French native speaker. This is important because even if the translator is perfectly fluent in English they still cannot translate at the same level from French into English as a native English speaker.

What are the benefits of a quality approved translation?

In order to ensure the highest possible quality for a translation it must be conducted in line with the protocols stipulated in the quality standard. The protocols were established by translation experts who advised the European Authorities on defining the protocols to limit to a minimum the possibility of poor quality translations.

How do I know if a company is really accredited?

If a company is accredited it will be able to present its certification with the quality standard in which they are accredited. The accreditation must also be with an official quality authority.


Do you offer sworn translations?

At McFelder, sworn translations are traditionally for Spanish rather than UK clients. The protocol regarding sworn translations in Spain is different from the UK. In Spain, a sworn translation can only be produced by a state registered sworn translator who is accredited and has their own official stamp. Sworn translations are only provided in the original paper format with the relevant signature and stamps from the sworn translator.

In the UK there are no sworn translators as in Spain but the translated documents have to be subsequently sworn by a lawyer or in Scotland a notary. This does not in any way guarantee the quality of the actual translation but does deem the translation approved for legal purposes.

Do you offer certified translations?

We can provide clients with certified translations of their documents or certificates. This is very often a requirement for business clients who require the translation of legal and financial documents. A certified translation will be issued along with a certificate from McFelder Translations stating our professional status and membership of the Association of Translation Companies and the European Union Association of Translation Companies and the associated stamp of approval. The certificate confirms that the translation was conducted by a professional, native translator with specialised expertise and that the translation process has been managed in accordance with the EN 15038 quality procedure.

Do you offer multilingual Audiovisual (AV) services?

We provide transcription, subtitles and voice-over services.

Foreign Language Typesetting services – how are they priced?

All typesetting work is charged based on an hourly rate.


How do I register as a freelance translator with your company?

Freelance translators can apply to register with McFelder Translations via our website. Translators are screened via our selection procedure before being approved as one of our translation suppliers.

What selection process does McFelder follow to choose its translators for an assignment?

The Project Manager will select translators for a project based on their knowledge and expertise within the particular sector. Only translators who translate into their native language will be assigned to a project. As well as their specialist knowledge they will also have a minimum of 3 years of translation experience.

Source and target languages – what is that?

The source language is the original language in which the text was written, with the target language being the language the text is required to be translated into. For example, if a translation is conducted from English into Japanese, the source language would be English and the target language is Japanese.

What language will a translator translate into?

A translator will always translate into their native language. For example a native French speaker who has an expert knowledge of German will translate from German into French and not in the other direction.