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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Which languages do you translate? Lipstick covers a large number of the world's major languages, from the main European ones through to the less commonly spoken languages of other countries throughout the world. If you are not sure whether we can assist in your language combination, please contact us.  

    How long does the translation process take? This depends on the length of the document, the content and complexity of the text, and the formatting requirements. A reasonable workload for a translator is approximately 2,000 words per working day, but this depends on subject matter and language. More complicated jobs — handwritten or highly technical text, or translations for publication — will take a little longer. For Oriental languages, the average is approximately 1,000 words per day, due to the complexity of the characters.

    What about when there are tight deadlines? At Lipstick we understand the need to meet deadlines and we have the systems in place to help you achieve them. You can email your documents to us in seconds and receive the final work back in whatever format you prefer.

    The lead times we quote you are always realistic, to ensure your expectations are met. Where you have a particularly urgent requirement you should let us know and we will work out how to get it done for you on time.

    When dealing with large volume documents that are urgent and require work to be turned around quickly, it may be possible to split sections up between translators in order to meet a tight deadline.

    We try to avoid this practice, since it can lead to inconsistencies because of the difference in the style of each translator, and the inevitable fact that rushing a job will mean that it will be less thorough. However, with a client's specific agreement to this approach (and you will always be consulted), even the most urgent deadlines can usually be met, no matter how large the document may be.

    How much will it cost? The actual cost depends on the language combinations involved and the nature of the text. A translation into French for example is likely to cost less than a translation into Chinese or Japanese.  Special formatting requirements and tight deadlines will also increase the cost.  We are able to provide fixed price quotations once we receive the final text for translation.

    Aren’t translations based on word count? Translation rates are often priced on a per word basis. However, this is somewhat misleading because translation is seldom about translating individual words, but about conveying a concept.

    It is difficult to specify a fixed price per word without some information about the text itself, such as the subject matter, format, degree of difficulty, and delivery time.

    If you send us the text to be translated together with any other relevant information, we can provide you with a quotation within twenty-four hours and sometimes even less.

    What is the translation process?

    • you submit a request for a translation or interpretation project
    • we provide you with a quote
    • a translator is assigned to the project
    • the final translation is fully proofread to make sure it is consistent, accurate and technically correct  

    We are also very interested in knowing what happens after the work has been delivered. If you have any problems, we expect you to contact us.

    Who are the Lipstick translators? All our translators are native speakers of the target language. They are highly qualified professionals translators who reside in their native country to ensure they keep abreast of the changes in language that are constantly taking place.

    They all have particular experience and expertise in:

    • marketing
    • public relations
    • advertising
    • publications
    • manufacturing procedures
    • cosmetic technology                                                           

    How do you manage terminology? While our translators do know the terminology within this area of specialisation, many companies prefer specific terms to be used to suit their in-house style, especially where highly technical work is concerned and they provide a glossary to ensure that the precise meaning of the source text is understood by the translator and conveyed in the translated text.

    How creative can a translator be expected to be? Translation is an art, but a translator's task is to accurately convey the content of the source text in the target language. They are not copywriters, but like copywriters, each translator has an individual style. The greatest cause of dispute over translations concerns style, because everyone has an individual approach.

    If you tell a story to a hundred people and ask them to write it down, you'll get a hundred completely different texts. You would probably make changes to all of them, however small. If this is true in your own language, it is more than true with a translation.

    We try to be sensitive to your corporate image and to match it with translators who will produce accurate and stylistically acceptable translations for you.

    In our experience, problems are often overcome by using translators living locally. We think your local office in France will feel more confident about a translation done in Paris than about one done in London.

    What is the difference between a Translator and an Interpreter? While an interpreter uses verbal skills to exchange information and messages between two (or more) parties, a translator uses the medium of the written word to achieve the same thing. There are three main methods of interpreting.

    There is ad-hoc interpreting which is appropriate for business meetings or visits (where small groups are involved).  No equipment is required and the interpreter passes information between the two parties.  This is the most informal type of interpreting and also the most frequently requested.

    Alternatively, there is simultaneous interpreting, where the interpreter listens to one language and verbally converts it into another simultaneously, generally working with another person in a booth with headphones and a microphone. This is the most formal, expensive and demanding of the three types of interpreting.  As this requires intense concentration, simultaneous interpreters often work in pairs, taking turns every 20 - 30 minutes. 

    The final category is consecutive interpreting, where the speaker pauses every few minutes to allow the interpreter, who has been taking notes, to relay the speech to the delegates. The aim of this is to keep the situation as informal and spontaneous as possible.

    Can you provide a translated document that will look the same as the original? We supply translated documents in a variety of formats, according to the client's requirements. Costs are kept to a minimum if the client is able to provide an electronic file in the required format.

    How is work sent and returned? The simplest way to send documents to us for translation is by e-mail. Remember to discuss the format of the file with us beforehand. We can handle translations in most standard word processing, desktop publishing and presentation formats. We can also lay out your copy for you if required.

    We will set up the format in which you want the work done at the start of the project, just let us know what you need.

    What if my file is too big to send by e-mail? We can send and receive files over the internet via a secure FTP site - just give us a call in advance to arrange the transfer.

    Typesetting Japanese, Chinese and Arabic languages can be expensive - is there any way around it?   Unfortunately, the software and fonts needed for non-Latin scripts do impose certain restrictions on the way these projects are handled. However, it depends on the intended use for the text, and we will be happy to discuss with you the best output format for your purposes.

    Do you always need digital originals? It is always better to send a digital version of your document if you have it, as paper proves to be a lot more cumbersome when counting the number of words or forwarding it to the translator for example.

    What quality control procedures are in place at Lipstick? We have a strict quality control policy with thorough checking systems in place from the very beginning of each project. Each translation is proofread several times over (following very strict criteria) before anything is submitted to a client. We undertake to ensure our clients’ messages are delivered correctly and understood clearly in whatever language they require.

    How does Lipstick ensure accuracy? By working with trusted translators we have used many times before so we know that they can be relied on.  We have been around for many years so we can call on a large body of experienced translators and interpreters, who are experts in this field.

    How does Lipstick ensure confidentiality? We treat all translations in confidence as a matter of course. Whether just for a quote or as part of a job, any documents we receive or translations we do, are safely kept and, if required, destroyed.  We would also be happy to sign any confidentiality agreements you propose.

    Does Lipstick use machine translation? We believe that machine translation has a long way to go before competing with the skills, adaptability and creativity of the human mind. Some machine translation software is adequate at being able to provide a 'gist' translation of internal copy.  We certainly advise against machine translation being used if you are looking to publish materials or to obtain accurate information. 

    What other things do I need to consider for my project? The earlier you can contact us to discuss the translation stage of your project, the better. We will always be happy to advise you on the most efficient and cost effective way to handle your requirements. We can also work with you to foresee any potential pitfalls and we will try to take as much of the load off your shoulders as possible!

    As a translation buyer, how can I assist the translation process? Be as clear as possible at the outset in your requirements. Allow for reasonable deadlines. Please take into account that translators take pride in their work, as much pride as is taken in the original drafting of your text.  Translation also often requires a lot of research so give your translator enough time to provide a high-quality product.

    The time needed to complete the process can also be shortened if you are able to provide, previously translated materials or any background information relating to your company and its products.

    For any further information or a detailed quotation please do not hesitate to contact us.


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