What is court interpreting

What is Court Interpreting?

Court interpretation is a service provided by a court certified interpreter who is trained to interpret between English and one or more foreign languages. Interpreters work with a number of different individuals in the court system and are able to communicate directly with the individual they’re working with, providing a necessary line of communication between that individual and other representatives of the court.

A certified court interpreter carries a lot of responsibility in their role. Anything they interpret from a given individual is taken as fact, which puts pressure on the interpreter to make sure these communications are as accurate as possible. In addition to the words used, appropriate context, tone and connotation also need to be used to provide the court with the closest approximation as possible of what has been said.

Court interpretation can feature both simultaneous and consecutive services, depending on the circumstances and the preferences of the court. While consecutive interpretation is often preferred for a courtroom setting and one-on-one interviews, it’s possible that simultaneous interpretation would be used to facilitate more informal conversations.

In the United States, the most common type of court interpreter needed is one who can communicate between English and Spanish. But other language specialties are commonly required across the United States, serving non-native English speakers such as immigrants, refugees, tourists, and other individuals.

Depending on the setting for these interpretive services, the hours and nature of court interpreting can vary widely from one job to the next. While courtroom interpreters are only required when court is in session, depositions and other projects can demand long hours, including evenings and weekends, and the hours for this profession can be unpredictable, with new projects and job demands forcing interpreters to work overtime on some weeks while enjoying a lighter load at other times of the year.

Becoming a Court Certified Interpreter

Court interpreters must go through rigorous education and training before they’re able to work as certified court interpreters. Most court certified interpreters have earned a bachelor’s degree, with the most helpful majors focusing on a foreign language that could be useful in their interpreting work. Depending on the college or university, interpreting and translation-specific course loads may also be available.

After a college degree is earned, aspiring interpreters must complete a certificate program from a reputable organization such as the American Translators Association (ATA) or the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT). Specialized court interpreter certificate programs are designed to provide professionals with essential interpreting skills as well as an understanding of the U.S. legal system.

These certifications are key to helping clients hire credible interpreters for various projects. Protranslating’s also has ISO 17100 certifications, providing peace of mind when you’re seeking  a linguist who knows what they’re doing.

Once interpreters have completed their court interpreter training, they’re able to enter the workforce as professional interpreters, entering a high-demand field where their specialized skills can support the mission of the U.S. court system.

Courts seeking a professional interpreter should contact us today to learn more about our interpreter services and how we’re able to connect you with an experience court interpreter. If you’re still in your pursuit of a court interpreter certificate, seek out the right program that will help you meet your goals and prepare you for an exciting, important career providing interpreting services within the court system.

Business Translations – The Ultimate Guide

As international trade becomes more prevalent, desirable and complex, businesses need reliable, expert translation services more than ever.

Here are some reasons why finding a trusted resource for accurate business translations is top of mind for savvy business leaders:

  • Appealing new markets are opening every day.
  • Companies need to expand their multinational, multicultural footprint as efficiently as possible.
  • The world marketplace is competitive, highly regulated, multi-layered and constantly evolving.
  • Doing business internationally requires being able to communicate seamlessly with local employees, business partners and customers.


The goals of business translation

Multinational businesses depend on well-written, accurate and culturally relevant translations of a wide range of documents in order to:

  • Communicate effectively with audiences around the world
  • Penetrate new markets
  • Boost sales
  • Manage daily operations

Just think of all the aspects involved in opening a new market. There’s due diligence, distributor and supplier recruiting and auditing, regulatory compliance and customs documentation. Preparing accurate financial and legal documents requires familiarity with local and international government and regulatory agencies and standards.

Both internal and external documents need to be accurately translated. A single business must ensure that consistent content exists worldwide across a range of documents, from annual reports and user manuals to employee handbooks and learning materials.

Sample business documents that need to be translated include patents; handbooks; contracts; RFPs; sales and marketing materials; training materials; and corporate videos. The list goes on.


Cultural relevance

In addition to accommodating a company’s preferred terminology and brand, effective business translation includes incorporating culturally relevant images, graphics and words. Here are a couple of specific examples gleaned from our own experience at Protranslating:

  • A newsletter that worked well in the United States for a major airline featured the image of an American football goalpost, which was not meaningful in Asia or South America.
  • While American retail businesses make extensive use of superlatives in their communications, using such language is against the law in China. Hence, in that country, a company could not claim in advertisements to have the “best ….”


Finding a qualified business translator

No one can argue that choosing the right language services provider is vital. Some traits to look for include:

  • Translators vetted through a rigorous process
  • Many loyal, longstanding customers
  • Track record of success in countries where you operate or wish to
  • Flexibility – quick turnaround
  • Availability – business translation services should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
  • Proven expertise in your field and access to industry-specific language
  • Wide range of languages represented
  • Appropriate business translation software
  • ISO certified


Business translation best practices

Here are some tips for managing the business translation process:

  • Translators should sign commercial confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements.
  • Translators should have native speaker-level fluency and be versed in local customs and practices, as well as popular and traditional cultural references.
  • Localized translations should match both the technical content and the “look and feel” of the source documents.
  • Translations should be suitable and useful for the chosen audience for each individual document.


What Protranslating offers

  • Our seasoned project managers lead a team of linguistic specialists and subject matter experts drawn from a credentialed pool of more than 5,000 business translators worldwide.
  • We create a glossary and style guide unique to each business, which specifies such things as how measurements are to be treated, and how different currencies should be converted and expressed.
  • Our translations are thoroughly reviewed for content, completeness and tone.


In summary

Business translation services are a critical component in the daily operations and business plans of international players.

Selecting a language services provider with the skills, experience and depth of industry knowledge required can boost your competitive position on an ever-expanding world stage.

Click here to learn more about why we’ve been in the translation business for more than 45 years.


What is Transcreation? The Definitive Guide

Everybody knows about translation, but have you heard the term transcreation?

We think you’ll agree that successful international businesses understand the vital importance of accurate document translation.

Textbook examples of serious—and sometimes cringe-worthy—translation errors abound.

There’s Kentucky Fried Chicken’s slogan, “Finger Lickin’ Good,” which was translated into Chinese as “Eat Your Fingers Off.”

Colgate marketed a brand of toothpaste in France called “Cue” without realizing it was also the name of a French pornographic magazine.

The “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life” campaign debuted in China as “Pepsi brings you back from the grave.”

And the American Dairy Association’s “Got Milk?” campaign faltered in Spanish-speaking countries when translated as “Are you lactating?”

Inaccurate translations can damage corporate reputations and profits, so businesses need to choose their words wisely when dealing with customers in a foreign language. Seeking help from highly qualified, experienced translators is key.

That said, the dynamics of the global marketing of goods and services have grown even more complex. Here’s the bottom line:

These days, international companies are going beyond translation and embracing transcreation.

What is transcreation?

Transcreation is using an original text or concept to adapt or re-create a message in a different language while making sure the new text is suitable, relevant and useful for the intended local audience and application.

Transcreation may also be referred to as creative translation, cross-market copywriting, or global copy adaptation.


What is the purpose of transcreation?

The goal of transcreation is two-fold. The new copy must:

  • resonate with the chosen audience and
  • be targeted and localized to that group and its culture.

In a nutshell, here’s how the process works:

By beginning with an understanding of why the source text succeeds in stimulating certain reactions among readers, transcreation specialists can preserve the “look and feel” of the original copy and to re-create its emotional impact.


Transcreation vs. translation: What’s the difference?

Let’s clarify the transcreation definition further.

Here are six key differences between translation and transcreation:

  1.  Translation involves taking words from one language and converting them into another language. Translators must be faithful to the original meaning of the passage. They must convey subtle nuances as well as broad ideas in the most concise and effective way possible.
    The most successful translations do not simply convert passages of text “word for word.” Instead, they paraphrase the original text, using fresh combinations of words to ensure the accurate transfer of meaning.Ideally, translators fluent in two (or more) languages translate passages of text into their native language. Often, these individuals are selected not only for their linguistic ability but also for their expertise in technical areas such as accounting, manufacturing, engineering or law.On the other hand, transcreation specialists are essentially multilingual copywriters. They often begin their process not only with a passage of text but with a creative brief, or a conceptual outline of the proposed message and the action it is intended to inspire in the audience.
  2. Transcreation specialists typically bring creative writing flair to the task at hand.They are commonly employed to develop creative, market-focused copy, such as websites, brochures, television and radio advertising, posters and fliers.They create documents in the areas of marketing, advertising or media, where readers must be persuaded to do something as a result of reading the text.
  3. Transcreation specialists are mindful of cultural references.These references include such things as local foods, clothing styles, music, film, celebrities and political figures, television characters and so on, as well as current idioms and wordplay (such as puns, rhymes, alliteration, etc.) specific to the target language.Cultural references also include established social cues, such as expressions of emotions, gestures, body language, and facial expressions that members of the culture would immediately recognize and respond to.
  4. Transcreation specialists are careful to avoid using cultural references that don’t work well in the target culture.They are aware that certain brand names, slogans or even product uses may not translate well into another culture. For example, what may be an everyday item in one culture may be a luxury item in another.
  5. Transcreation specialists are more likely to work in teams, whereas translators may tend to work independently—with required proofreading and quality checks performed by others, of course.At Protranslating, a project manager leads a team of linguists, specialists in advertising and marketing, and subject matter experts drawn from a pool of more than 5,000 cultural consultants worldwide.
  6. Translators typically bill by the word, whereas transcreation specialists bill by the hour.

The elements of transcreation

Transcreation includes several components:

  • Research – background information provides an understanding of what drives consumers in each market to purchase a specific product or service
  • Marketing expertise – this knowhow informs how the transcreation specialist shapes the copy to conform to the intended motivations and “hot buttons” of the target audience
  • Linguistic skills – transcreation specialists must have native language fluency to be able to adapt text effectively from one language and culture to another
  • Deep knowledge of the target culture – this includes an understanding of the differences between cultures as well as among sub-cultures within individual countries
  • Sensitivity to visual imagery – when creating documents, transcreation specialists also consider the visual components and layout of their documents and advise clients about which images will work best in a particular market.

Wrap-up on transcreation

Global customers are linguistically and culturally diverse. Therefore, to market effectively to them requires both translation and transcreation expertise. The two go hand in hand.

By maintaining the intent, style, tone and context of the original material, transcreation allows a company to market its products internationally and to transcend the boundaries of language and culture.

Click here to learn more about the services we offer in these arenas.



Insurers Need Accurate Translations

Premium service benefits the insurance industry

As the world gets smaller, the global marketplace explodes, and international travel becomes an everyday affair, insurance companies that strive to be industry leaders have come to recognize the significant value of translation and interpreting services. Increasingly, they seek skilled and nimble language services providers (LSPs) that offer both linguistic acumen and subject matter expertise. They have learned that, to serve a multilingual, multicultural client base, consistently accurate translations are the key to success.


The Importance of Quality and Speed

When it comes to translating insurance documents, in which content is crucial, quality is the first vital component. While some translation mistakes can be innocuous or even laughable, for insurance companies, disseminating incorrect or inadequate information can have serious consequences, including physical harm and lawsuits.

As many textbook examples from the realms of politics, healthcare and commerce have shown, a single mis-translated word can have far-reaching legal and financial impacts and can damage a company’s credibility and reputation—sometimes permanently.

  • Insurance industry terminology is extensive and complex, laden with concepts that are challenging even for a native English speaker to grasp, with sub-categories of important documents related to auto, property, healthcare, legal matters, business and human resources. A seasoned LSP, such as Protranslating, will tailor its services to each entity’s business line, clientele and unique standards and needs.
  • The range of documents that need to be translated is staggering, including forms, policies, accident reports, property loss, medical records, court documents, annual reports, handbooks, employment benefits and risk management. Each must be translated precisely, with keen attention to detail.


In addition to quality, speed is essential in the fast-paced world of selling policies and processing claims. This requires an LSP that can handle all the documents required in both electronic and paper formats, throughout the entire client relationship.

  • Protranslating offers 24/7 availability through a worldwide network of more than 5,000 linguists, copywriters, transcreation specialists and industry experts. These strategically located professionals provide convenient assistance with initial client intake meetings, reports, assessments, witness statements and affidavits, examination for discovery, trial transcripts and much more. In short, we are always where you are when you need us.
  • We perform scrupulous research—in an efficient and effective manner.


Protranslating’s Track Record  

The best way to prevent costly translation errors and delays is to have your documents translated by a professional LSP like Protranslating. Our goal is to satisfy you, our customer, so that you can in turn provide impeccable service to your customers to gain their loyalty and earn their referrals. You’ll improve your retention rate and ensure that clients of all cultures are properly served so you can process claims in a timely and responsive manner.

  • We’ve been in the translation business for 45 years. We have shaped and been shaped by the industry’s continuing technological advancements
  • We have earned ISO 9001 Certification and ISO 17100 Certification, which means we have been vetted by an independent, international organization that sets the standards for excellence in human resources and quality management in our industry
  • We provide expert translations in more than 200 languages
  • We are the preferred vendor for more than 2,000 companies throughout the world
  • We have interpreters and linguists with specialized expertise in the insurance industry who offer round-the-clock access
  • Our certified, professional translators are not only native speakers but highly experienced in interpreting in their languages
  • We are fast and efficient, knowing that timeliness can make or break a transaction
  • We perform comprehensive, ongoing quality reviews that include glossaries, style guides, translation memory and audits

Protect your company against costly translation mistakes by investing in Protranslating. We’re your assurance of swift, accurate, reliable translations—for every document, every client, every time.



We Are Family!

Presenting our high-functioning global team


Did you know that Protranslating has offices in Miami, Los Angeles, Cambridge, Montreal and Beijing? With this extensive global network of 5,000 linguists, copywriters, transcreation specialists and industry experts, we work as a nimble, cohesive team around the clock, no matter the time zone or location, catering to the diverse needs of more than 2,000 clients worldwide.

In each of our locations, our staff strives to create positive synergy, supporting each other and celebrating our successes in fulfilling a wide range of client requirements. Highly trained and certified native speakers continuously create accurate translations fine-tuned to cultural nuances.

Wherever you operate and whatever your translation or transcreation need, we invite you to become a part of our growing family of loyal clients.

Click here to read all seven core values that guide us. And click here to contact any of our offices.


Choosing a Language Service Provider

Ten Key Questions to Ask

Selecting a qualified language service provider (LSP) can be a very tricky process. Now a $30 billion industry, the translation services sector encompasses tens of thousands of businesses that vary widely based on the languages they translate, range of services offered, number and capacity of locations, quality, customer service, internal capabilities and subject matter expertise. Here are a few tips on what to look for when selecting your LSP.


  1. Can it meet your needs?
    • When interviewing the LSP, be clear about your project goals. Choose a translation company that has specific knowledge of your business sector and the languages of the cultures you are targeting. Ask the company you are vetting to provide case studies of its work with other clients in your area. Before work begins, provide the LSP with examples of translations that demonstrate your desired tone and style, as well as a glossary of company-specific terminology.
  2. What is its background and financial status?
    • It is important to verify that the company with which you will build a relationship is financially secure and has an established history of success. Also, make sure that translation is its core business and that its staff includes native speakers with specific subject matter expertise.
  3. Is it accredited and certified?
    • Quality should be of the utmost importance when selecting your LSP. You should only consider agencies that have acquired the ISO9001 and ISO17100 certification for professional translation services.
  4. Does it have global offices in relevant locations?
    • It is important that the LSP provider aligns with your business. If your company has offices and clients in Asia and Europe, partnering with an LSP that has project managers located in these regions can help ensure that your global teams have access to direct contacts during their respective business hours.
  5. Is it accessible 24/7?
    • It is crucial to have ’round-the-clock service no matter where you are located. For example, there is a 12-hour time difference between Miami and Beijing. If a change is requested by someone in Miami in the middle of the workday, colleagues in Beijing won’t see that request until the next morning. This could cost you an entire day’s worth of translation work. Balance your project managers around the globe and you’ll save time, money and stress.
  6. Does it supply references?
    • Companies that have completed projects successfully will have happy clients who are willing to share their experiences. Ask the LSP to connect you with past or current clients so that you can speak to them directly.
  7. Will it sign a non-disclosure agreement?
    • It is common to ask a vendor to sign a nondisclosure agreement before allowing access to your confidential files. Your contract with the LSP should include signed NDAs with all staff and linguists assigned to your project.
  8. Does it have a solid quality control process in place?
    • Make sure that the LSP has a thorough-but-efficient process for reviewing the content and formatting of all translation projects.
  9. Is it affordable?
    • Everybody wants the highest quality of work at the lowest price. Bear in mind that cost is affected by your internal process, the complexity of the subject matter and the level of technical expertise required. Be sure your LSP is transparent in its pricing and that there are no hidden fees.
  10. Does it work quickly and provide easy access to translation projects?
    • It is key that your vendor be able to translate efficiently, reliably, and on time. A timeframe for completion should be clearly agreed upon at the beginning of any project. And, your LSP should make it simple for you to track the progress of your project at any time.


Going the Extra Mile

Specializing in outstanding service

As a premier language service provider with more than 2,000 clients worldwide, we believe in giving each company our complete creative attention to deliver exceptional service, no matter how small or large the project. Here’s just one example:

Protranslating was asked to create a series of original menus for a major cruise line that were customized to each of its travel destinations. These localized menus needed to be mouth-watering, accurate and consistent across nine different languages, including Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, German, Italian and Russian. There was one additional challenge: Each of these menus had to be created and delivered with a three-day turnaround to dovetail with the ship’s itinerary.

To accomplish this demanding transcreation task, we rallied our troops. We recruited culinary experts in each language and trained our client’s staff in how best to format files for the final print-ready products. We even created a second set of annotated menus for restaurant wait staff, so they could better inform their customers about the diverse culinary offerings being provided.

We jumped on the challenge presented to us and did what it took to meet the deadline and deliver an exceptional product, which freed up the client to focus on creating exceptional food and travel adventures for its guests.

Click here to read all seven core values that guide us.

Machine Translation vs. Human Translation

Can software replace a native speaker?

As you have no doubt heard, the last few years of software development have yielded significant advancements in machine translation, and dramatic improvements continue to occur. Companies such as Google, Bing and Amazon have all been refining their algorithms to make automated translation a viable option for some business applications.


So, how do you know which translation method to choose, given your specific business requirements? To help clarify the issue, here are few pros and cons of both human and machine translations.


  • The Machine Translation Option
    • The pros:
      • Usually less expensive
      • Can translate large volumes of content quickly
    • The cons:
      • Less accurate across different languages
      • Less effective for technical or creative content
      • Cannot pick up cultural nuances
      • Cannot decipher context, resulting in poor word choices and literal translations
      • Machines don’t recognize words specifically chosen for their brand power
      • Hidden costs due to having to review and revise the translations


  • The Human Translation Option
    • The pros:
      • Removes most of the negatives of using machine translation
      • Native speakers can identify and translate cultural nuances
      • Human translations can convey the brand’s intended tone and voice
      • Captures the creativity in your content
      • Can incorporate SEO keywords
    • The cons:
      • Typically more expensive than machine translation, although continuous process improvements are helping to decrease costs
    • The Hybrid Option
      • In some cases, combining machine and human translations can create the perfect balance for your company, with an initial machine translation cross-checked by a human for accuracy and authenticity. While there has been exciting progress in machine translation technology over the last couple of years, it remains in the early stages. If you’re passionate about your message being interpreted correctly across multiple languages, it still pays to inject the human element into your translations.


In deciding which approach to take, it is important to carefully consider your requirements in terms of brand consistency, overall tone, speed, quality and cost. In general, machine translation works better for product pages or specific sections where 100% accuracy is not vital. Human translation serves well for high-traffic pages and translations across multiple languages, where content, messaging and context are crucial. We’re always happy to discuss with you the best option for your next project.


Keeping it Real

Building strength through humility

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” –Rick Warren

Protranslating strives to deliver the highest quality translation and interpretation services possible, and we have a 45-year track record of doing just that. But success doesn’t mean that we can rest on our laurels. We also understand the importance of staying humble when it comes to building enduring relationships with our clients.

Our customer-centric approach requires the ability to focus on others and having a genuine interest in their projects, challenges and goals. Excelling in a consultative role demands that we put ourselves in others’ shoes and empathize with their own vision and needs, in order to grow strong and effective partnerships. To stay flexible and to continue to improve as a company means staying “teachable.” We understand the importance of listening, communicating clearly, and responding to changing circumstances in a timely fashion. We’re always learning from our clients and from each other, capitalizing on our strengths and working to shore up our limitations, and giving credit where credit is due.

We strive to foster teamwork, to facilitate communication and to inspire creativity. It’s important to make sure your language service provider, no matter how large, approaches its clients with the same openness, dedication and service mentality, whatever their size.

Click here to read all seven core values that guide us.


How to Streamline your eLearning Localization

Tips for collaborating with your language service provider

By: Carlos Estefani, VP of Client Services | Protranslating

To maximize your collaboration with a language service provider (LSP), it is helpful to consider a few elements early in the process. Making sure your source material is in the most useable form for localization will facilitate our work and ensure the best possible training experience for your global end users.

Over many years of working with hundreds of companies to develop localized eLearning material, we’ve discovered some ways to make the process go more smoothly. Here are some tips for increasing efficiency—and saving time and money:

  • Versions of the files used in the final source products should be made available for localization. Often, technologies used for eLearning products have two versions of the source—both editable and noneditable (published) versions. If the editable version is not available, then either the localized version needs to be created from scratch following translation or, in the case of multiple languages, rebuilt before translation is begun.
  • When designing eLearning content, be sure to allow space for possible text expansion. Depending on the language, the length of localized text can increase by as much as 50 percent. If the layout of your source content leaves room for expansion, you won’t be faced with space challenges in the localized versions, which can result in development delays.
  • Sharing process information, such as screen shot scripts and asset maps, from the source creation phase can be very useful to the localization effort. This helps reduce the process design time and minimizes the issues encountered during engineering.
  • Consolidate repeated items in a single place. Often in eLearning content, certain elements will be repeated on each page (for example, the “Next” and “Back” buttons). Assemble these repeated elements in a common repository or page template so they only need to be replaced once during the localization process. If these elements are integrated into each page, then each equivalent localized version must be similarly integrated, which increases the development time.
  • Lastly, consider up front which culturally relevant items will need to be changed in each version of the training. If an eLearning product has content that is not culturally neutral, that content needs to be replaced or re-written for each localized version. For example, using images of currency from the United States would need to be changed to comparable images suitable for each country. Being aware of this during the design phase will help eliminate time-consuming revisions later.

Following these simple guidelines will help us create accurate, effective and compelling localized eLearning programs for you.

About the Author: Carlos has been with Protranslating since 1998. During this time, he has helped introduce translation technology solutions that save clients both time and money. He is currently vice president of client services and in this role serves as a liaison between Operations and Sales. Drawing on his extensive industry knowledge, he provides expert guidance on creating efficient processes in complex translation projects. Carlos received a B.A. in Economics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.