No More Guessing Games Working Out Translation Rates

The way translators and translation agencies calculate their translation rates must seem like some form of voodoo to many clients; you’re supposed to fill out an online form in order to “get a free quote”, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a call back soon.

How the translation agency arrived at that number often seems like an enigma. Is there a logic to it, or did they just type some random figures into a calculator?

It’s no wonder why many clients are put off by the lack of transparency when it comes to the rates for quality translations.

Many would rather try their luck with machine translation, or would use an unverified service, inevitably resulting in a below-par end product. (more…)

Movie Dubbing: How It Works and Why It Matters

The biggest improvement in the movie industry has been breaking the language barrier: we were no longer limited by foreign languages in films, meaning that we could watch almost anything we wanted to.

This made people appreciate film-making more than ever because each country and culture added something unique to the table.

French, American and Chinese films took the world by storm, and with that, movie dubbing and subbing became a must for a movie to gain an audience.

Dubbing is the process where the original script sound is replaced with words from a different language. It is a common practice in animated movies, for example, as well as in news and documentaries.

On the other hand, subbing is just the transcribed text placed at the bottom of the screen so that people can read what the characters are saying.

Both techniques seem easy to perform, but they’re more complicated than it looks. Let’s find out more about how dubbing is done.

Scripting and timing

To get started with movie dubbing, a translator is needed to translate the original text into the new language.

This is the trickiest task because all languages have different sayings and meanings, so the text must be thoroughly checked before voice actors are involved.

The voice of the actors speaking that foreign language will be recorded and then audio-edited to the original film.

Besides being a translated version, it’s also an adaptation of the original, where tone and emotion are crucial factors.

Each language is different and voice actors must replicate those feelings relevant to their native country, which is not an easy task.

One of the biggest challenges of dubbing is timing. First, a translator needs to be thoughtful about the sentence’s duration and not make it too long because the voice actor needs time to pronounce everything properly.

Plus, the words need to be fitted to the visuals that appear on the screen; work that takes hours to complete.

Casting and recording

The next challenge is finding the perfect person to fit the character and the movie’s vibe.

Voice actors should first mirror the tone and inflection used by the performer from the original film. You might notice these details even in the way voice actors speak in animated movies for children.

The emotion is still there including the excitement, the singing and the sadness.

Next is voice recording. There are two styles: the out-loud reading of the script by actors while they watch the original footage.

This is the standard method, where there will be three beeps with the performers saying their lines at the fourth beep. But to get there, performers go through rigorous training.

For example, a British voice actor will study a variety of acting approaches, like Stanislavski’s system, Strasberg’s method and Meisner’s technique.

Then there’s the alternative recording method, used primarily in France and Canada, where actors read the lines of dialogue at the bottom of the screen while the movie plays.


Getting to the most tedious work, editing, is converging the new dialogue tracks and recording with the original movie sound. It all starts by dismantling the original voices from the main soundtrack and creating a “music and effects track” (M&E).

After the foreign dialogue is recorded, the editors will fit it in the right places of the M&E to blend with the sound.

The audio post-production is done in three distinct steps:

  1. Editing everything from the speech, music and live action. This is when the audio takes are chosen and combined and the music is cut to fit as close as possible without affecting the sound quality.
  2. Mixing music, extra sound effects and balancing natural speech. Editors will use audio equalisers, dynamic compressors and noise reduction features.
  3. Mastering the sound by levelling the video so that everything sounds equally good. Editors must consider the devices people are playing the sound from, and given that they’re mostly smartphones or laptops, they should master the sounds accordingly.

Why movie dubbing matters

Movie dubbing can be easily underestimated by people who watch subbed videos and movies. That’s because if you are used to a type of voice and talking style, it may sound weird to hear other voices perform.

But subbing takes away the essence of the movie. Besides the fact that you need to pay attention to the text and the screen, it may be tiring to follow everything that is happening.

A study by the British Film Council in 2010 concluded that fans of mainstream cinema prefer dubbing, while people interested in foreign languages want to see a subbed film. In the end, it’s a matter of taste, but watching a subbed video might alter your experience, which lowers the movie’s quality.

However, there’s a downside to dubbed movies too. If you want to learn a foreign language, it’s more challenging to do so by watching dubbed movies than subtitled ones.

But dubbing can change the film by improving the sound effects and the dialogue, regardless of the conditions in which the audio was recorded.

Moreover, it can increase the reach of a film project since it can be released internationally, and people can view it in their native language.

Let’s take the example of Japanese animations called anime. The language they’re recorded from the start is quite difficult, but as soon as voice actors started dubbing anime, their popularity rose immediately worldwide, and now everyone knows about Naruto, for example.

Given that the mouth’s movements don’t have to line up with the audio, voice actors are not that limited when it comes to performing.

Wrapping up

Dubbing and subbing movies and video animations are the most remarkable changes in the cinematography industry.

Although they seem easy to do, each process is followed by many challenging steps in order to achieve the perfect audio.

Plus, watching dubbed and subbed movies can help people learn new languages better, as they get to see how voice actors interpret and talk.

10 Vital Keyboard Shortcuts for Translators

Translators often have to meet some pretty tight deadlines. When every minute counts, having the necessary time-saving tools close at hand is vital.

Let’s go over the keyboard shortcuts that will save you precious seconds and mean you can deliver the perfect translation every time.

The big hitters

• Ctrl + Z and Ctrl + Y

These two keyboard shortcuts go hand in hand and can in many ways save you from some very unpleasant situations.

Firstly, Ctrl + Z lets you undo your last action. Say that you had accidentally deleted your translation for the phrase you’ve spent the last few minutes struggling with, simply press these two keys simultaneously and your sentence reappears!

Meanwhile, Ctrl + Y lets you redo your previous action. Maybe you thought it over and that tremendous sentence that you had just recovered no longer meets your standards.

Press Ctrl and Y, and it’s as if it never existed! You’ll be pleased to know that you can also use this shortcut for a number of programs besides Word.

• Ctrl + A

This shortcut means you avoid scrolling through a 60-page document that you want to copy all the content from; it does it for you! With this shortcut, you can select all the text in a Word, PDF or even Excel document, and it works for all situations, including your homepage or online.

• Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V

These keyboard shortcuts are better known as “copy-and-paste”, indispensable for any computer-user and even more so for a translator.

Once you have highlighted the right section of text with your mouse, press Ctrl + C, place your cursor where you want to paste the text and press Ctrl + V.

And like magic, there it is! It’s child’s play, really. The Ctrl + V shortcut is also handy for things like images or emojis.

The unsung heroes

• “Windows” + V

Very few people know this shortcut, and yet…have you ever lost the word or image that you had copied an hour ago?

This shortcut will open the clipboard, showing all the previous information that you had copied using Ctrl + C.

Once open, you can navigate with the up and down arrows, choose what interests you and press the Enter key to paste.

Bear in mind that the last thing you pasted to the clipboard will be automatically chosen when you next use Ctrl + V.

• Ctrl + Shift + N

Is your file explorer a sea of documents? A dumping ground where you are the only one who understands anything?

Maybe the time has come to reorganise your workspace, to create some folders with their own subfolders. The Ctrl + Shift + N shortcut lets you create a folder for your scattered documents and prompts you to give it a useful name.

A clear, well-organised workspace will obviously mean you can increase your efficiency as you will be able to find the documents you need straight away.

We recommend developing a classification system for your folders and subfolders. Remember that depending on your keyboard, the Shift key might show a small arrow pointing upwards rather than the word ‘shift’. Whatever your keyboard, it will be found above the Ctrl key.

• Ctrl + F2

This shortcut is the perfect complement to the one above. You have now created and named your folder, but a typo has sneaked into the folder name.

Don’t panic, it happens to the best of us, even translators!

Click on the folder and press Ctrl + F2. You can get rid of the ugly mistake in a flash, then save the name by pressing Enter. This is a useful quick fix for any type of document in your file explorer.

• Alt + Shift

Have you changed your keyboard, so you can write in your second language? Alt + Shift will get it back to normal! This shortcut is hugely helpful when you work with different languages.

Each language has a specific keyboard layout for use in any Windows system, whatever the letters and symbols displayed on the keys.

Press and hold Alt with the Shift key, and the menu of languages and settings available on your computer will stay open.

Scroll through them by pressing Shift again and release Alt once you have chosen the language you need.

• Ctrl + Alt + Prnt Scr

This shortcut is designed with any person using two screens in mind. The Prnt Scr key lets you take a screenshot of everything your computer is showing and saves it on the clipboard (remember Windows Key + V? This is a shortcut that you will come to rely on).

However, there is one problem: you only want to screenshot one screen. Simply press Prnt Scr and the Ctrl and Alt keys at the same time, and only the screen with the cursor will be saved.

All that remains is to paste the screenshot with Ctrl + V!

Quick tip – if you want to save this screenshot, open Paint (available on all Windows devices) and paste the image there. You can name and save it in the folder of your choice.

With these extremely handy keyboard shortcuts, you have now had a glimpse at some of the secret weapons in a translator’s arsenal.

They might seem like no big deal to begin with but these mean many of us can meet the deadlines set for us, and meeting deadlines is a point of pride for BeTranslated!

Do you need to translate your content? You’re in the right place.

BeTranslated will take care of it for you! If you have any questions or would like a free no-obligation quote, get in touch with us today.

Trust Us, Learning English Idioms Is a Piece of Cake

Idioms are expressions or phrases with figurative, non-literal meanings, that can easily confuse language learners.

They are often unique to a country or region and, as such, offer a glimpse into local cultures and ways of thinking. Learning English idioms can be great fun and very useful.

Familiarising yourself with idioms truly deepens your knowledge of colloquial, everyday language, which will give you a great advantage if you are thinking about travelling, working, or settling in that country.

If you’re heading to the UK and want to impress the locals with your English abilities, brush up on your idioms sharpish!

Turn yourself into an advanced level English speaker

If you’ve been learning English for a while and have reached a level where you can hold your own in everyday situations, it’s time to take it to the next level.

Having knowledge of some of the most common idioms will help you communicate better, and give you a deeper understanding of songs, TV shows, and books in English.

Not to mention, using them will impress any native you meet and chat with!

As idioms are often regional, native English speakers who are not from Britain could also do with studying British idioms if they plan to visit the UK.

Knowing these phrases demonstrates deeper cultural awareness and will aid in social integration, earning respect for your language skills from the Brits in no time.

A good place to start

We’ve come up with a list of 11 frequently used British idioms for you to peruse and add to your vocabulary. Once you’ve learned the real meaning of these idioms and how to use them correctly, you’ll sound like you’ve lived in the UK for years.

  1. You don’t know your arse from your elbow – we are not referring to someone who has a poor understanding of biology, but instead someone who has made a mistake or keeps getting things wrong. Be careful with this one, it’s best used in very informal settings!
  2. Working your socks off – this has nothing to do with removing anyone’s socks and actually refers to a person who is working extra hard.
  3. It’s a piece of cake – if the English were actually referring to cake with this one, we’d need more bakers! When used, this means that something is really easy.
  4. I’m over the moon – an unlikely place to be, unless we are referring to being really happy, a much more frequent occurrence.
  5. The ball’s in your court – not only used when playing sport as you may have guessed, it actually means that the decision or power lies with you. It’s your choice.
  6. You’re barking up the wrong tree – no dogs involved when using this term, or trees for that matter! It simply means that the person in question has misunderstood, or got the wrong idea.
  7. Biting off more than you can chew – this phrase is not about some hungry person stuffing their face with food. Instead, it refers to someone who has taken on more than they can manage.
  8. It costs an arm and a leg – don’t worry, no limbs have been used as a form of payment! This is a way to express that something was very expensive.
  9. At the drop of a hat – no reference to headgear here; this just means that something is done instantly.
  10. You’ve missed the boat – this doesn’t mean you’re late for your travel plans or missed your holiday, it’s an expression of being too late to make the most of something or having missed an opportunity.
  11. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch – you don’t have to be a farmer to use this one! This expresses the need to wait for an outcome before assuming a result.

The importance of learning English idioms for language professionals

If you’re a language teacher, interpreter, translator, or content writer working in a foreign language or between a foreign language and your own, knowledge of idiomatic terms is crucial.

Idioms and proverbs are an ideal way to directly connect with a native speaker, crossing linguistic and cultural barriers and demonstrating mastery of their language.

This is why at BeTranslated we ensure that all our professional translators are certified native speakers, guaranteeing cultural sensitivity in our translations, both in understanding the source text and writing the final translation.

Also, students can visit sites like Studycrumb to find more advice on learning English idioms for language professionals.

Now you’re well on your way to communicating like a true English speaker!

Now that you’ve started learning some British idioms, you’ve taken a huge step towards sounding like a true native. Remember, there are hundreds of more idioms out there!

Why not challenge yourself to learn one a day for the next two weeks?

Are you working on your English in order to improve relations with British clients? Are you in need of a reliable translation service to work on your business documents, marketing material, or web content in a professional and authentic way? Contact BeTranslated today for more information or a free, no-obligation quote.

6 Tips for Hiring Translators for Your International B2B Deals

Many businesses aiming to expand beyond the domestic market concentrate on B2B sales; sales between businesses, rather than between a business and an individual customer (B2C).

If your company plans to pursue B2B deals with companies overseas, the creation and delivery of a high-quality B2B marketing campaign are paramount.

Of course, going global creates the need for B2B translation.

If you plan to branch out into countries where a language other than English is spoken, said marketing campaign will have to be translated by a professional translator, along with a myriad of documents and correspondence.

In this guide, we will share the most important factors to be considered when hiring a reliable translation service for your B2B translation needs.

Define your target market

Having a clear target customer, whether they are an individual or another business, is crucial to producing a successful marketing campaign.

Be clear on who you are communicating with and what tone you wish to portray.

If your translator knows these details they will be able to produce translations that are perfectly tailored to the reader, giving your product or service the best chance of resonating with the potential client.

Establish language combinations for your B2B translation

Once you have established your target market and identified which language or languages your content will need to be translated into, you can begin to work with a translation service that specialises in those languages.

Although some languages are spoken in many countries around the world, the dialects vary greatly from country to country.

Let’s take French as an example; there are huge differences between the French spoken in France, Canada, Belgium, and Haiti, to name just a few French-speaking nations.

If you are expanding into more than one country or region that speaks the same language, the translation agency can give you advice on whether a different B2B translation for each country is needed, or whether their dialects are similar enough for that to be unnecessary.

Find a translator who understands your niche market

The best translation service for you will not only specialise in the right language combinations, but they will also have native translators who are experts in your specific sector.

If your company produces medical equipment, working with a translator specialised in the medical field to translate your instruction manuals, for example, will guarantee clear and accurate translations.

Don’t underestimate the importance of localisation

If you haven’t worked with a translator before, you may see the process of translation as simply replacing words in one language with words in another.

Of course, it’s much more complex than that, and one of the major considerations for the translator is making sure that the target text will be understood in the context of the target culture.

This process of tweaking the text to suit the new audience is called localisation and takes into account issues such as humour, pop culture, religion, and superstition.

Working with a translator who can provide localisation services will ensure clear communication with your clients, free from damaging or costly misunderstandings.

You won’t regret having your website translated

To strengthen your presence in your target market it is essential to have your website and other online content translated into the relevant languages.

Hiring an experienced, native speaker as your website translator will help you to build a relationship with your new clients, which will directly benefit your sales.

A professionally translated website will give a good impression to those local businesses you are interested in working with on a B2B basis.

If your website is not available in their language it not only sends the message that your company is not invested in their market, it also forces them to use automated translation which can lead to serious misunderstandings.

Always follow local regulations

Remember that different countries and regions may have different laws and requirements when it comes to information such as ingredients lists, disclaimers, and instructions, and getting these wrong could lead to serious ramifications.

Do your own research, but also discuss these issues with your translation service so that you are all on the same page.

You’ve worked hard to establish your company in the UK, building a strong relationship with your clients through communication that suits your business, don’t let this standard drop as you take your business global. Translation agencies like BeTranslated, with our skilled, native-language translators are here to help.

Get in touch today for more information or a free, no-obligation quote.

How Do I Find the Right Translation Service for My Needs?

For many companies or individuals that find themselves in need of a professional translation service, the prospect of choosing the right high-quality translation provider can be rather daunting.

If your content is being translated into a language that you yourself don’t understand, there is an element of trust, as you aren’t able to verify the quality of the work yourself.

The abundance of information online can be overwhelming for those working with translators for the first time.

Perhaps you’ve come across terms like CAT tools and localisation while browsing through translation agency websites and been left feeling confused, but all is not lost!

Our simple guide to what to look for when hiring a translation service will help you find the right translator for you.

Be specific about your language requirements

Let’s start with language combinations. Many translation agencies specialise in specific languages, such as European languages like French and Italian or Asian languages like Korean and Japanese, whilst others that have a larger pool of translators offer a seemingly endless list of language combinations.

It is crucial that your translator is specialised in the right regional dialect for your needs. For example, if your company is branching out into the Latin American market, working with European Spanish translators is not going to be appropriate.

Be specific with your translation agency about the regional details of your target audience, and make sure that they have linguists who are experienced with the dialects your project requires.

Look for translators specialised in the appropriate subject

Linguistic knowledge is just one piece of the translation puzzle; your translator should also be knowledgeable about the subject of the text to be translated.

If you need a contract translated, you should work with a legal translator experienced in contracts, whereas a marketing translator would be a more suitable choice for your publicity content.

Working with a specialised translator will ensure you receive a high-quality translation.

When researching translation service providers, focus on those that specialise in the type of translation you need, and feel free to ask them about their previous clients, which will give you a better idea about the kinds of translation they have experience doing, and the profiles of their translators.

Read reviews with a critical eye

Once you’ve narrowed your search down to translation agencies that are experts in your subject area and language combinations, it’s time to focus on their reputations.

Take a good look at their website and social media pages, particularly focusing on customer reviews and feedback. Read the reviews thoughtfully, with a clear idea of the kind of company you’re looking for.

Do you need an agency that can turn around translations very quickly? Or would an agency with a reputation for strong communication with the clients suit you better?

Also, pay attention to the types of clients they have worked with; are they similar to your company?

Approaching this information with a clear idea of your own needs will make it much easier to process what is relevant to you and your needs.

Consider requesting a sample translation

Providing a translation agency with a short sample text (around 300 words is standard) for them to translate, which you may or may not be asked to pay for, is a great way of checking the quality of the work and confirming if they are the right fit for your translation needs.

Be realistic with what to expect from a free test translation; don’t expect a translator to translate pages and pages of text for free, especially if the job on offer is a small project.

That being said, many translators are happy to provide short samples, and it’s a useful step in finding the right high-quality translation service.

Be clear on the service that you expect

Ask for details on what the translation company offers, and be clear about what you need. Will you require extra services such as proofreading or localisation?

Don’t be afraid to ask the agency for details of their service, for example, is proofreading performed by a second qualified translator?

This is recommended as human error is natural and the more eyes on a text the better.

The bottom line is that clear communication will lead to a better working relationship and, ultimately, a better final product.

As an experienced translation agency with highly-qualified translators located around the globe, BeTranslated could be the right translation service provider for you.

Check out our past clients and some of our translator bios to get a clearer picture of the work we do. If you still have questions or are interested in a free, no-obligation quote, get in touch!

We look forward to working with you.