Translation services help businesses connect to a wider global market with document, website and software translation. They also help individuals with personal translations and certified translations of official documents such a passports and birth certificates.

Translation services generally offer the same types of translation services, but they vary in their industry specifications, price structure and turnaround time. Consumers and business owners who need documents translated can find a service that meets their need and budget.

Top 10 Most Reviewed Translation Services

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What features matter most?

Turnaround time

Some translations need to be done quickly, while others are not as urgent. Figure out how quickly you need your translated document before deciding which company to choose.

  • Hourly: Some translation companies offer turnaround time in a matter of hours. These translations might be done by machines and then proofread by humans, which means they will be literally accurate but might lack nuance.
  • Daily: Short translated documents can typically be delivered within a matter of days, depending on the language pair. Language pairs that are less typical may take longer to translate, depending on the company.
  • Weekly: Longer translations and translations that have unique language pairs might take a week or longer to deliver. It’s important to contact the translation service directly with all the information about your project so you have a clear, accurate timeline.
  • Ongoing: Businesses that require ongoing translation services will want to work with a company equipped to handle business accounts. These services will provide continuous support and a team that is dedicated to working with your company to ensure continuity across all translated web and text documents.

Price

Translations are priced differently depending on their purpose. The amount you pay will vary from company to company, with additional factors including rush delivery and notarization costing you a premium amount.

  • Certified translations: Certified translations are official documents, such as a birth certificate or passport, that need to be translated. These generally have a flat-rate price ranging from $25 and up.
  • Business translations: Business translations include emails, correspondence and other business-related documents. These are generally priced based on word count. You might pay 10 or 20 cents per word, depending on the company, and there is usually a minimum charge allowance.
  • Proofreading/editing: Some translation services include proofreading and/or editing as part of their translation package, but others charge extra for this service. Make sure to find out whether or not editing is included with your translation service provider if you want it.

Certifications

Not all translation services are certified. There are two major certifications for translation services, one national and one international.

  • ISO-9001:2008 certification: The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certifies certain quality management procedures, and ISO-9001:2008 is the most updated version of this certification. It is not specific to translation or localization industries; however, it certifies that there are documented processes to the translation or localization service. It is an objective standard that ensures certain quality measures are being met by certified organizations.
  • EN-15038:2006 certification: This certification is a specific European standard for translation services and is designed to provide translation service providers with a detailed set of procedures and requirements that are meant to meet the needs of the market. A translation done by a company with EN-15038:2006 certification is read by a reviewer other than the translator before it can be finalized. Translators who work for a certified translation service must meet specific requirements, such as achieving advanced translation certification, an equivalent qualification in another area of specialization in addition two years or more of documented experience translating and/or a minimum of five years’ experience of professional translating.

Method of delivery

Translation services can deliver their translation in different ways, depending on the company and the specific item being translated.

  • Mail: Some translated documents, including certified translations, must be delivered by mail. If you are on a strict timeline, you may need to pay extra for expedited shipping. Make sure you have a tracking number so you can monitor your document’s progress.
  • Email: Many translation companies operate on a cloud-based platform and deliver translated documents online. It’s important to make sure these companies use encryption to keep your documents private and secure.

Industry focus

It’s important to work with a translation service that understands the unique needs of your industry.

  • Medical: Medical records and documents that need to be translated need to meet HIPAA compliance to ensure privacy and security. It’s best to work with a translation service that specifically handles medical translations.
  • Technical: Technical documents have specific nuances and needs that are best understood by translators who have a technical background.
  • Legal: Law firms who frequently encounter foreign language documents, including law firms specializing in immigration, may want to work with a translation service who can provide ongoing translation services.

Machine versus human translation

Translations can be performed by humans and machines. There are benefits to each type of translation.

  • Machine translation: Machine translation refers to a computer performing the work of translating. Translating services who utilize machine translation employ human editors to proofread and review the machine translation before giving to the client. These translations are often faster than human translations, however, they may lack nuance and cultural fluency. They are a good option when you need a literal translation fast and don’t need it to have exact cultural fluency.
  • Human translation: Human translation is performed by people who are fluent in the language pair being translated. The whole process, from translation to proofreading, is performed by people. This type of translation is generally more accurate than machine translation since the humans who translate will account for nuances and cultural context. Because of this, though, it takes longer than machine translation.

What are different types of translation services?

Certified translation services

Certified translation is the translation of official documents, including those needed for immigration, contracts, wills and other papers that need to be accepted by government agencies, educational institutions and other entities. Many organizations require a certified and/or notarized translation for the document.

Document translation services

Businesses in all industries rely on having documents such as emails, policy manuals, advertising campaigns and proposals translated. It’s important to work with a translation service that understands your particular industry so they can accurately address the context and nuances necessary for your documents.

Web translation services

Translation services can translate and localize websites and software to make your business more globally accessible. Localization is an important component of web translation to ensure your message is being accurately conveyed to your targeted cultural market.

Who's it for?

Healthcare and medical industry

The medical field frequently needs documents, discharge instructions, patient forms and more translated. They may require rapid translation depending on the situation, and will always need to work with a translation service that is HIPAA compliant.

Finance industry

There are many finance documents that can be translated, including loan documents, mortgages, contracts, account statements and credit reports. These can be needed by individuals or businesses and will require a translation service that understands the technicality of finance documents.

Government

Government services often need letters, applications, public outreach information and notices of rights translated. They will require a translation service that is capable of delivering translations professionally and accurately.

General business

Businesses of all types may need translation and localization services for their websites, software and documents to reach a global cultural market. They may also need translation services for in-house documents such as employee materials.

Individuals

Individuals may need certified translations of important documents, particularly for immigration purposes. They may also need literary or personal translations.

Company reviews

  • Universal Translation Services

    Universal Translation Services (UTS) is a global translation company with offices in Europe and the United States. They offer translation services for businesses and individuals with an efficient process that provides several services.

    • Best for UTS is best for business and individuals who need translation service at all hours of the day.

  • Translate By Humans

    Translate by Humans began as a one-man translation service and has grown to have hundreds of translators worldwide. They provide a full suite of translating services, including document, video, email, website and live translation.

    • Best for Translate by Humans is best for businesses and individuals.

  • LanguageLine Solutions

    LanguageLine Solutions was officially founded in 1999 as a telephone interpreting business. It has since expanded its services to include video remote and onsite interpreting, translation and localization services, language proficiency training and language proficiency testing.

    • Best for LanguageLine is best for businesses that work in healthcare, government or business.

  • TransPerfect

    TransPerfect was founded in 1992 as a two-person operation. Today, the company employees over 3,500 people full-time and has a network of over 5,000 certified linguists and subject-area specialists. Their offices have expanded from a single dorm room to 90 offices across the world, making TransPerfect the world’s largest privately held language services provider.

    • Best for TransPerfect is best for businesses of all sizes that need an accurate translation.

  • JR Language Translation Services

    JR Language is a professional translation service provider for individuals and companies worldwide. They are headed by a multicultural management team with a diverse skill set that helps their clients internationally. They specialize in Spanish to English and English to Spanish translation, but they are also capable of translating in over 60 languages.

    • Best for JR Language Translation Services is best for businesses who have English/Spanish translation needs.

  • RushTranslate

    RushTranslate is a global translation firm with over a decade of experience. They have worked in every industry, including immigration, automotive, agriculture and government. They have a simple pricing structure for all of their translation projects.

    • Best for RushTranslate is best for law firms who frequently work with foreign language documents.

  • Rev

    Rev offers translation, transcription, caption and subtitling services for businesses and individuals worldwide. They offer translation services in over 30 languages and continue to add new languages. They hire professional translators to translate all documents and offer a fast turnaround time.

    • Best for Rev is best for businesses and individuals.

  • One Hour Translation

    One Hour Translation is a translation service provider specializing in delivering accurate translations for businesses in the legal, technical, Internet and marketing industries. Their experienced translators can translate one 200-word document in an hour, and a countdown clock that begins once the translator has started working on the document signals how long it will take for the project to be finalized.

    • Best for One Hour Translation is best for businesses that frequently work with foreign language clients.

  • Bureau Translations

    With offices in Sao Paolo, Brazil and Miami, Florida, Bureau Translations offers language solutions to businesses around the world. Their services include translation, localization, interpretation, dubbing and transcription.

    • Best for Bureau Translation is best for businesses in the industries of finance, technology, legal, medical and government.

  • Straker Translations

    Straker Translations is a cloud-enabled translation services provider with offices in nine countries and major production centers in Barcelona, Spain and Auckland, New Zealand. Their services include document and web translation for businesses and individuals and video transcription.

    • Best for Straker Translations is best for businesses.

  • SimulTrans

    Founded in 1984, SimulTrans provides software, document, and website localization services to companies around the world. It is headquartered in Mountain View, CA, and has offices in Boston, Berlin, Chicago, Dublin, London, Paris and Tokyo.

    • Best for SimulTrans is best for technical and marketing businesses.

  • Apex Translations

    Apex Translations has a dedicated team of linguists, DTP experts, engineers and project managers who deliver timely and accurate translations to businesses around the world. They specialize in translations for the industries of science and technology, life sciences, law and intellectual property, marketing and advertising and business and finance.

    • Best for Apex Translation is best for businesses in the industries of science and technology, life sciences, law, marketing, business and finance.

  • Acclaro

    Acclaro helps brands around the world reach target cultural audiences with localization and translation services. Their speciality is adapting brands, products and services to reach new language markets with an in-house team of language experts and localization professionals. They currently have translation offices and affiliates on four continents.

    • Best for Acclaro Translation is best for businesses with an ongoing translation need.

  • Gengo

    With offices in the United States and Japan, Gengo provides fast and accurate translations to businesses around the world. They specialize in business documents and do not deliver translations for legal, medical or other safety-critical industries.

    • Best for Gengo is best for businesses with an urgent translation need.

  • Language Scientific

    Language Scientific was founded in 1999 by a group of international scientists and engineers. The company was born out of the group’s frustration with the inaccurate technical and scientific translations they discovered while working together on a nuclear non-proliferation project for the US Department of Energy. Today, Language Scientific has grown to include over 5,000 highly specialized translators.

    • Best for Language Scientific is best for businesses in technical fields.

  • ALTA Language Services

    ALTA was founded in 1980 as a language training company under the name Southeast Language Associates. The company has grown to include services such as translation and translation testing. ALTA is headquartered in Atlanta, GA.

    • Best for ALTA Language Services is best for businesses needing technical, HR, legal, marketing and document translations.

  • Day Translations

    Based in New York, NY, with a network of global offices, Day Translations specializes in translation, transcription, interpreting, immigration and localization services. They deliver accurate medical, legal, literary and business translations to companies worldwide.

    • Best for Day Translations is best for businesses in the fields of medicine, law and business and for individuals applying for US immigration.

  • ProTranslating

    Founded in 1973, ProTranslating is based in Coral Gables, FL, and delivers quality translations to businesses around the world. They offer document and website translation and localization services in over 200 languages. Other services they offer include transcription, interpretation, subtitling, voiceovers and desktop publishing.

    • Best for ProTranslating is best for businesses and individuals who need certified translations.

11 – 18 Most Reviewed Translation Services