Got a question? Here are the answers to some frequently asked ones.

Why do I need a translator?

You may have heard of machine translation, like Google translate, and are wondering why people still call on the services of translators when your text can be translated in the blink of an eye by a computer.

Languages are complex and continually evolve. The meanings of words may appear simple but can in fact vary greatly depending on context. Computers still cannot reliably handle the vagaries of language and often misinterpret the meaning of more colloquial or descriptive sentences. However there are some situations in which a combination of machine translation and human translation may be of benefit – your translator will suggest this when appropriate.

Translators are specialised professionals with in-depth knowledge of their native language and culture, and can craft a text to suit your needs – whether you want a simple translation for internal use, a certified translation for administrative purposes or a carefully worded marketing text. They are also experts at spotting issues in a text before they become a problem, giving you added value.

When you use a professional, experienced translator, you can rest assured the final translation will be of the highest quality.

What information do you need when I request a quote?

Apart from the ‘source’ language (the original language of the text) and the ‘target’ language (into which it has to be translated), you need to indicate the type of document, the number of words in each document, and how difficult or specialised it is (if you are unable to make that assessment yourself, I can help). I also need to know the purpose of the translation – is it for information or publication? – and the required delivery date. Any previous versions or glossaries are helpful.

How much will it cost?

Every translation project is different, which is why a quote will be prepared each time. That is why the information you provide is important as it will help me accurately gauge the time required due to the length of the document and the difficulty of the text.

How quickly can I get my document translated?

A translator can normally handle around 2,000 words a day. Naturally, this varies according to the difficulty of the text and other factors such as legibility. Lead time also needs to be taken into account; a good translator is a busy translator and may not be able to start straight away.
Contact me with your project details and I will be able to confirm a delivery date. If your project is urgent, I will discuss the options available so you get your final document in time, however the price will be adjusted to reflect this urgency.

What is the difference between translating and interpreting?

A translator works with written texts, while an interpreter works with the spoken language. Each profession is highly specialised, but both require a solid knowledge of both the native and second language.

What is a selective translation?

A selective translation is a translation of an official document, where key information is extracted and presented in a clear table. This is a faster option than a full translation and may be all that is required by government agencies such as the immigration service. Selective translations are certified and you receive the original printed copy by post.

What do I need to drive in New Zealand?

To drive in New Zealand, you need your original, current driving licence and an approved English translation. This can either be an international driving licence or a translation produced by an NZTA-approved translator. I am approved by NZTA and can provide you with a certified translation of your licence for the purpose of driving or hiring a vehicle in New Zealand. Once you have been in New Zealand for 12 months, you will need to convert your licence and will need an NZTA-approved translation for the application. For more information about NZTA requirements and to check who is approved to issue licence translations, click here.

How do I get an NZTA-approved translation of my driver licence?

Simply contact me to discuss your situation. I will require a scanned copy of both sides of your licence, your postal address and payment in euros or New Zealand dollars. Your translation will normally be ready in two days.

Which payment methods do you accept?

Payment is by bank transfer either in euros (French bank account) or New Zealand dollars (New Zealand bank account). I will discuss this with you when preparing your quote.


Kathryn Malan – Translator – French to English – New Zealand

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