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Questions & Answers

How much does it cost to translate a birth certificate?

Translation costs vary depending on the subject matter, source and target language, length and stylizing requirements. Birth certificates are different around the world so reach out to our translation department for a free quote.

What is the difference between translation and interpreting?

While both convey the meaning of a statement from one language into another, translation is written while interpreting is spoken. Learn more about the differences between interpretation and translation.

I need a marriage certificate translated, how long will it take and what will it cost?

Prices vary depending on source/target language, length of document and formatting specifications. Marriage certificates are different depending year and country of issuance.  Reach out to the translations department for a free quote.

How are translated documents reviewed?

Document review happens through a multi-step process where the document is independently cross-checked at each of the three TEP phases.  Upon successful completion of all phases, the project manager signs off on the final copy. Learn more about our accurate document translation process.

How can I become a translator?

There are two ways of becoming a translator: formal schooling in the form of an undergraduate/graduate degree or specialized training organizations and certification courses.

What is a certified translation?

A certified translation is certified by a professional company to be accurate and faithful to the original. The certification is a legal document that is typically affixed to the front of the original document that was translated.

Can I trust Google translate for translation?

Yes, Google translate is best utilized in single word and short phrase translations.  Any document that has multiple sentences, contains cultural/stylistic nuances or industry-specific jargon should be translated by a professional. Acutrans recommends all contracts, legal, medical and technical documents be translated by a professional company. Learn more about when and when not to use Google Translate.

How much money can a translator make?

Depending on the region, years of experience, language pairs, education and specialty, freelance translators can make anywhere from USD $.03 – $.75/word.  Hourly and salaried employees are common practice.

How quickly can you translate my document?

The time it takes to translate your document depends on its length. Longer documents take longer to translate. Learn more about how we translate texts quickly.

Will my translation be notarized?

Yes. Acutrans notarizes and certifies all its translations. Learn more about our accurate document translation process.

Does Acutrans offer machine translation services?

Acutrans is proud to offer state of the art machine translation services. Machine translation is a great tool that makes translation faster and cheaper, but is not recommended for all projects.

Do you provide same day service?

Yes. Acutrans is able to provide same-day service. Learn more about our quick document translation services.

How can I be sure that United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will accept my translated document?

USCIS only accepts hard copy, original translations that are both certified and notarized. Acutrans provides notarized certifications with every translation and can provide hard copies with original signatures free of cost. Learn more about how to get a certified translation for USCIS.

What languages do you translate from?

Click here to download a list of the languages we translate into and out of.

What if I need to make changes to my translated document?

Changes to documents do happen, and the translation team is happy to help accommodate them. Make sure to talk to the project manager beforehand if there is even a chance your document may be changed during the translation process. If changes happen after the project is completed, we will make the changes for our standard per word rate.

Do you provide a hard copy of the translated documents?

Yes. We provide up to four (4) hard copies of your documents to you, free of charge. These hard copy documents can be picked up at one of our locations or mailed to you.

Can I mail or fax my document?

While we do not accept mailed documents, we are happy to accommodate faxed documents. When faxing a document, make sure to include a cover page with your contact information (including phone and email), the languages you need the document translated into, and any other important information you feel the project manager should know.

Do I need to send you an original copy of the document I need to be translated?

In order to translate your document, all we need is a high-quality picture, scan, or the original digital file. For walk-in customers, we scan all original documents to store them in our encrypted servers.

What is your refund/return policy for translated documents?

Acutrans does not give refunds or accept returns for translations. If you feel something is wrong with the translation, a project manager and team of linguists will assess if any changes need to be made and will correct errors if necessary, free of charge.

How well do you need to know a language to become a translator?

Translators must have at least a near-native knowledge of a language to become a translator. Because they are, in a sense, creating in another language, they need to truly understand its grammar, spelling, sentence structure, vocabulary, and linguistic norms. Remember, translators often train for years to be able to translate.

Can I become a translator if I’m bilingual?

Yes. About half of all translators are bilingual people. But just being bilingual doesn’t mean you’re automatically qualified to translate documents—a translator studies and practices translation for years to be considered qualified.

What are the benefits of having a notarized and certified translation?

There are many benefits to having a notarized and certified translation including that it is admissible as evidence in court, able to be handed in to Federal and State branches of government, and able to be handed in to foreign governments. Learn more about why you need a certified translation.

Why should I use a human translator over a machine translator?

Humans do a much better job at processing nuances of texts and making valid decisions in translation than machines do. While machine translation is perfectly acceptable for short, simple phrases and sentences, it lacks the cognition humans have to create well-written translations. Learn more about machine translation vs. human translation.

Do you offer website translation services?

Yes, Acutrans offers website translation services for sites of all kinds.

Is there a minimum order size?

No, there is no minimum translation size. Acutrans will translate all texts, big or small. Reach out to the translation department to hear more about minimum fees for small translations.

Do you offer certified translation?

Yes. All of Acutrans’ translations are both certified and notarized. Learn more about our certified document translation process.

What information do I need to provide to have my document translated?

The information we need in order to translate your document include: your name, phone number, and email address, the source and target language of the document, and the document itself. Contact us to get started.

How do I pay for the translated document?

Acutrans accepts payment for translations in a number of ways. For walk-in customers far away from our offices, we accept credit cards over the phone. In our office we accept credit cards, checks, cash, and electronic payments such as PayPal or wire transfer. If you’re a business, please contact a project manager to set up a billing account.

Can I submit a special request to my project manager?

Yes. Acutrans project managers are here to help you with your project, even if that means going out of their way for a request.

Can I request to work with the same project manager for each document I need to be translated?

At Acutrans, we assign a project manager to each account so that you get to know your translation counterpart. If you are unsatisfied with the translation project manager, we are happy to assign a new one to you.

What factors go into a document translation quote?

There are many factors that go into a document translation quote. We list all the factors that go into a translation quote here. The main ones are the length and complexity of the document, your budget and timetable, and the language you are requesting for the translation. Request a quote

Can I be ensured that my documents will remain confidential?

At Acutrans, confidentiality is our top priority. All documents are shared via encrypted file links and stored in encrypted servers. In our office, all confidential documents are kept locked and out of view in secure rooms and filing cabinets.

What file format do you need for document translation?

We accept almost every type of file format for translation including: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, PDF, JPG, Illustrator, InDesign, Publisher, etc.

What is Transcreation?

Transcreation is a combination of the words “translation” and “creation”. Regular translation is where a translator finds an equivalent phrase in another language. On the other hand, transcreation is a process of translating from one language to another in order to preserve a concept and emotional impact. Like the name suggests, the translator is more actively creating in another language rather than transcribing. These translators use their cultural knowledge and creativity to a much fuller extent than in other types of translation.

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Why is interpreting necessary?

Interpreting is necessary in the United States because of our large and culturally diverse population.  Individuals who possess limited English proficiency (LEP) and no English proficiency (NEP) frequently utilize interpreters for common activities such as doctor visits, traffic court, school meetings, etc.

How can I be sure there is someone who speaks a language I might need?

Depending on the venue, one would typically ask for a language access department, interpreting department, diversity inclusion or patient access. See all of the languages we provide interpretation services for.

What is the difference between translation and interpreting?

While both convey the meaning of a statement from one language into another, translation is written while interpreting is spoken. Learn more about the differences between translation and interpretation.

Do I need an interpreter for my immigration court case?

If you are a person with limited English proficiency or no English proficiency, you have the right to an interpreter, free of charge. All immigration interpreters are trained and certified to conduct services within the state they are interpreting.

What is OPI?

Over-the-phone interpreting is the use of a telephone or smart device to audibly communicate between a party with no English proficiency (NEP) or limited English proficiency (LEP) and an English speaker. No video feed is used.

What is VRI?

Video remote interpreting uses a computer, tablet or smart device to video conference an interpreter, a party who has no English proficiency (NEP) or limited English proficiency (LEP), and an English-speaking party. VRI is typically conducted in HD Video and HD Audio.

What is a video interpreter?

A video interpreter is someone who facilitates communication through a video conferencing platform.  Typically, video interpreters either work in a call center or from home.

How quickly can I connect to a video interpreter?

Connection times vary, but the industry standard is between 30 seconds to two minutes to be connected to a video interpreter.

How quickly can I connect to an OPI interpreter?

Connection times vary, but the industry standard is between 30 seconds to two minutes to be connected to an over the phone interpreter.

What device do I need to access an OPI interpreter?

Typically, OPI is accessed through a land line, mobile device or URL.

What device do I need to access a VRI interpreter?

Typically, VRI is accessed through any computer, tablet, URL, iOS or Android device.

Can I connect to an interpreter on my smart phone?

Yes. In a typical setting, an interpreter can be accessed through an application or web URL via smart phone. 

How much money does an interpreter make?

Depending on the region, years of experience, language, training, and type of interpretation, interpreters can make anywhere from USD $15 – $70 per hour.

What is a certified interpreter?

A certified interpreter is any individual who receives certification through the Certification Commission for Health Interpreters (CCHI) or National Interpreter Certification (NIC).

Can I use an interpreter for a conference?

Yes, interpreters are commonly used in a conference setting.  Additional equipment may be required depending on the size of the conference and target audience. Conference interpreting is the most expensive type of interpretation because it requires an interpreter to have extensive subject matter knowledge and conference experience. Contracting through a professional organization is recommended for this type of service.   

What is the importance of on-site interpreters?

Best practices dictate that the use of an on-site interpreter, if available, is preferred to other interpreting modes.  An on-site interpreter will be able to pick up on nonverbal cues that might be crucial to a session and may otherwise be missed by a video or telephonic interpreter.   

How should an interpreter dress for an assignment?

While specifics depend on the environment, interpreter attire should always project professionalism and be neat in appearance.

Are video interpreters working from other countries?

Depending on the provider, some companies utilize resources outside of the continental US

Is there a governing body for interpretation?

While there is no Federal governing body, certain countries/states require additional certification/training to conduct services.

What is a consecutive interpreter?

A consecutive interpreter is an interpreter who speaks after the source language speaker has finished speaking a sentence or phrase. The source language speaker must then pause to allow for interpretation.

What is a simultaneous interpreter?

A simultaneous interpreter is an interpreter who translates the message at the same time the source language speaker is speaking. The source language speaker does not need to pause in this form of interpretation.

What is a conference interpreter?

A conference interpreter works within an interpreter team to do either consecutive or simultaneous interpreting with the help of specialized equipment. Teams are paired together to meet the specific needs of the conference.

Can I become an interpreter if I’m bilingual?

Just because someone is bilingual does not make them a qualified interpreter.  A multi-step qualification process is required prior to employment.

How well do you need to know a language to become an interpreter?

Individuals who are considering the interpretation field as a career need to be fluent in the source and target languages.  Typically, companies will conduct a language proficiency examination prior to hire.

How much would it cost to hire an on-site interpreter on an hourly basis?

The hourly costs vary based on the appointment setting, type of service rendered, and volume. Learn more about the cost of interpretation services.

How much would it cost to hire an over the phone interpreter on an hourly basis?

The hourly costs vary based on the appointment setting, type of service rendered, and volume. Learn more about the cost of interpretation services.

How much would it cost to hire a video remote interpreter on an hourly basis?

The hourly costs vary based on the appointment setting, type of service rendered, and volume. Learn more about the cost of interpretation services.

How quickly can I get an on-site interpreter?

Typically, onsite interpretation happens on a prescheduled basis.  However, last minute requests are not uncommon.  Acutrans routinely fills over 90% of last-minute requests.

What is considered a last minute on-site interpreting request?

Any spoken language request made with less than 24 hours’ notice.

How quickly can I get a Video Remote interpreter?

Phone interpreting is an on-demand service. Current customers experience less than 30 second connection time.

Do you offer long-term on-site interpreting services?

Yes, Acutrans provides long term specialized interpreting services.

For VRI, what computer systems and software do you support?

Our VRI app can be utilized on any desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Do you provide on-site interpreters outside the Chicago area?

Yes, we provide on-site interpretation nationally on a pre-scheduled basis.

Do I need to be in the Chicago area to use video remote interpreting (VRI) or over-the-phone interpreting (OPI) services?

VRI and OPI services are available anywhere Wi-Fi or 4G is accessible.

Can I be assured everything said in an interpretation session will be kept confidential?

Yes! At Acutrans, we take confidentiality very seriously.  All staff undergo industry-specific privacy training and have signed a confidentiality agreement.

Can I hire an interpreter to translate a document for me in addition to interpreting?

Interpretation and translation services are kept separate.  Each modality requires specific quality assurance methods and training.

Can an interpreter travel with me internationally or domestically?

Yes, At Acutrans we offer domestic and international interpreter travel on a per diem basis.

How are your interpreters qualified?

Interpreters are screened through a multi-step process that ensures they are qualified in fluent communication in the source and target languages.

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How do I apply to work for Acutrans?

We accept both translator and interpreter applications. To apply to work with us, submit your resume. If our team thinks you would be a good fit for one of our open positions, we will get in touch with you.

What kind of training does an interpreter need?

Interpreter training varies depending on the field of expertise. For example, a legal interpreter position might require a state certification/enrollment in order to take assignments. In most cases, an interpreter working in the health care industry requires a training certificate from an accredited organization done either online or at an onsite location.  In order to obtain national certification, a training program of at least 40 hours is required.

Are there other requirements for interpreting besides training?

Yes, some additional requirements might be necessary before starting work as an interpreter. These include, but are not limited to: a language proficiency assessment, background check, experience, immunizations and additional training.

Where can I work with an interpreter training certificate?

Depending on the training you receive, individuals typically work in the medical, legal, and general fields

Do I need to pass a test in order to take an interpreter training class?

Depending on the course you will take, a professional organization will require additional testing prior to class enrollment. Acutrans requires all prospective interpreters to take a language proficiency class before they may enroll in a training class.

Do I need training to become a medical interpreter?

Yes, most companies require an interpreter to have some formal training from an accredited institution.

Do I need medical training to become a medical interpreter?

Typically, you do not need to have previous medical training to become a medical interpreter.  However, you do need to have a medical interpreting certification from an accredited institution.

How much does the medical interpreter training program cost?

The cost of medical interpreter training programs range in price and length. Some local colleges offer interpreter training programs that often times take a year to complete.  Typically, interpreter training from a private institution requires at least 40 hours of classroom training and additional in-the-field training.  Costs range from $500-900. Learn more.

How can I pay for the medical interpreter training program?

Most organizations accept checks, money orders, credit cards, cash, and PayPal for medical interpreter training programs.

Do I need to live in the Chicago area to join the medical interpreter training program?

Yes, if you elect to train with Acutrans it is preferred to live in the Chicago or Milwaukee areas.  Please submit an inquiry for more information on upcoming classes and locations.

Do you offer localization services?

Yes, we offer localization services to ensure adaptation of products or services for a desired population.

I don’t see the language I need on your language list. What should I do?

Our recommendation is to reach out directly to the Acutrans team at [email protected] to see if they can service your language request. Languages are added or removed periodically.

Do you accept international currency?

Yes, we do accept international currency through electronic payments such as PayPal or wire transfer.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept cash, checks, money orders, credit cards, and electronic forms of payment.

Does Acutrans find assignments for me upon completion of the training program?

Once a candidate completes our training, they are officially a trained medical interpreter with a certificate. Having obtained the certificate, the interpreter can do several things: apply for an independent interpreter position with Acutrans, apply to work for other vendors, apply for work in a hospital setting, or pursue their training further.

Why do some languages cost more than others to translate?

Languages of Lesser Diffusion (LLD) typically cost more due to a limited amount of resources available.  Our multi-step translation process requires different linguists to review at different points of the process. At a minimum this requires 3 linguists per document.

Are Acutrans translators based in the US?

Acutrans has many linguists all over the world. Privacy and document security are a top priority.  We are happy to use a US-based team to translate your files for your specific project.

Who do you use as your linguists?

Acutrans only uses professional linguists with years of experience.  At a minimum each linguist has a college degree and has successfully passed the Acutrans language proficiency examination in the specific industry they are qualified for.

What does health equity mean?

Health equity is the absence of unfair or curable differences among groups of people. Groups can be defined geographically, demographically, socially, economically or by other ways of classification.

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