FAQs on our translation service in Austin

1. What types of documents do you translate?

With ten years as a commercial and personal translation service in Austin and statewide, we have prepared thousands of documents for legal, commercial, academic and personal use. Our certified translations of official records include birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, academic transcripts, wills, contracts, vehicle and real estate titles, financial and medical records, court orders, correspondence, web pages, advertising copy, forms, surveys, witness testimony, etc. Our commercial translations that don't need certification include business correspondence, ads, web copy and human resources materials. Our clients are law firms, government agencies, students, immigrants, businesses and professional organizations.

2. What languages do you handle?

We translate English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Swedish in-house. We rely on a network of professional, freelance translators for Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Assamese, Azerbaijani, Bengali, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Catalan, Cebuano, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dari, Dutch, Estonian, Farsi, Filipino, Finnish, Flemish, Georgian, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hiligaynon, Hindi, Hmong, Hungarian, Icelandic, Igbo, Ilokano, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Javanese, Kazakh, Khmer, Korean, Kurdish, Lao, Latin, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Malay, Malayalam, Maltese, Mandinka, Mongolian, Nepali, Norwegian, Oromo, Punjabi, Pashto, Polish, Romanian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Somali, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamil, Thai, Tibetan, Tigrinya, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, Vietnamese and Yoruba. We're also happy to help you located another provider if we can't manage your project ourselves. 

3. Can I come to your office?

Unlike most translation companies in the Information Age, we keep a regular brick-and-mortar office where you're welcome to drop by: 7901 Cameron Rd, Bldg 3 Ste 3-314, Austin, TX 78754. This is on the corner of Cameron Road and Hwy 183, near I-35 in northeast Austin, Texas. We're on the third floor of building three, facing Cameron. You can drop off documents or payments in person, pick up your finished translation, or meet with a translator to discuss a complex order, but it's a good idea to call for an appointment since our staff is sometimes out running to the Secretary of State. Our office hours are 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM, business days.

4. How do I get my original documents to you, and my translations back?

We usually receive scanned images (or even photos) of the originals by e-mail. We can use these for quoting and translating. Certified translations include a scanned image of each page, followed by our translation of that page. You can also mail or drop off the originals, or photocopies, and we will get these back to you with the translations by mail or in person. We also send the translations as PDFs or Word documents by e-mail, when the end user allows electronic submissions.

5. Do you offer spoken or sign language "translation"?

"Translation" of spoken (or signed) languages, more accurately called interpretation, is available for Spanish by Marco Hanson, a Texas master licensed court interpreter who interprets for trials, hearings, depositions, conferences and meetings. We also make referrals to other interpreters in various languages. You can find other spoken-language interpreters through a professional association like the Austin Area Translators and Interpreters Association, the Texas Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators, the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators or the American Translators Association. For sign language, try the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services or the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

6. What does "certified translation" mean?

In the United States no government agency certifies translators or translations. A certified translation (also called a sworn or official translation), therefore, is one which includes a signed statement by a professional translator attesting to the accuracy of the translation. (There are various government entities which certify interpreters, who work in spoken or signed languages.) The American Translators Association, a trade organization, does offer a highly-regarded certification exam to its members. This ATA certification is not required for certified translations of legal documents, and many ATA certified translators do not handle certified translations, but we can arrange for translation by an ATA-certified translator upon request. 

7. Who are your translators?

We rely on a growing team of highly-trained translators, chosen for their specialized experience with a given category of document. You can see photos and bios of our primary translators on this page.  We hire translators based on their specialized academic degrees, experience, professional affiliations and proven performance. Strong preference is given to translators living and working in Texas. If you would like to join the team, please email us a current resume and cover letter. Here's a good summary of what we look for in a freelance translator.

8. What do past clients say about your services?

You can find enthusiastic comments about us here and here, with some samples copied below:
-- "The staff of Austin Certified Translations is AMAZING! Professional, accurate, cost effective and provide their services in a very reasonable amount of time - I can't recommend them enough!" -- Susan W., corporate executive

-- "We are a growing restaurant group in Austin and have used Austin Certified Translation for the last few years. They are AWESOME! Prompt, efficient and such a breeze to work with. They have translated over 20+ documents for us in Spanish.  We would highly recommend them for small or large projects." -- Lindsey L., human resources manager

-- "What an amazing experience. If you want someone who knows what they are doing and can get it done in record time. This is your person. Cut a long story short there were a lot of components we were dealing with. We had been to several places who had given us the wrong advice or were not able to help.even the consulate advice was different. These guys did all the research and did everything properly. There were no problems at all at the other end. I would recommend them very highly." -- Trudi W., small business owner
-- "Marco Hanson's excellent translation skills are evident throughout the English version of my autobiography, In the Shadow of Lázaro Cárdenas. Not only does it demonstrate his broad knowledge of the cultural, historical and technical material discussed, but also linguistic sensitivity to the nuances of dialogue and description." -- Alejandro Fedorenko, author

9. What is your guarantee?

When we take your order, we'll ask who the translation is for (USCIS, University of Texas, Austin Community College, the visa agency of Spain, Human Resources at Dell, etc.) and we'll discuss their translation requirements. Then we prepare your translation to meet those requirements, and guarantee that they will accept it. On the rare occasion something needs to be corrected, we will do so promptly and cheerfully at no extra charge. On the off chance it were to be rejected for any technicality, we would give you a 100% refund of your purchase price.

10. Will my translation come with a notarized certification statement?

All documents requiring a certification statement will have one, at no extra cost. We attach this as a cover sheet stapled over the translation. The details of the certification statement can be adjusted depending on the requirements of your end user, but will always include contact information for our company, the name and signature of the translator or translation manager and a declaration that the translation is complete and accurate. These affidavits are not notarized unless requested by the client or required by the end user.

11. Can you get my translation apostilled or authenticated?

Some foreign governments require an apostille or authentication on U.S. documents, which we can obtain for you ($90 for the first document, plus $35 for any additional documents in the same order). Because we are located in Austin, Texas, we can hand-carry your translation to the Texas Secretary of State's apostille service window. If you can come to Austin yourself or wait for the mail, you can obtain this same apostille directly from the Secretary of State. 

12. Can I get extra copies? Reprints? International or priority mail?

All translations come with a PDF or Word file by email. Extra copies or reprints of any translation are $10. There is no charge to have your translation mailed by U.S. mail to a U.S. address, and expedited shipping by FedEx or other carrier will be quoted based on current rates. 

What Does "Certified Translation" Mean?

¿Qué quiere decir “traducción certificada”?

13. I already have my translation done; can you just certify it?

No, unfortunately, we cannot certify a translation done by someone else. Our signed certification statement makes us legally liable for any mistakes in the content, so we only certify translations that we prepare. If you have an existing translation that you would like to submit with your order, that could possibly expedite the process.

14. How can I learn more about translation as a career?

The professional organizations listed in FAQ 5 above are very helpful. Our Business Development Manager, Marco Hanson, is available for seminars, conferences and classes as a speaker on the topics of language access, legal translation and court interpreting. 

15. Why pay for professional translation if we now have Google Translate for free?

Google Translate (other other machine translation software) is impressive and useful, but it still can't make make sense of poor photocopies or faxed reproductions, handwritten documents, obscure figures of speech, puns, odd formatting, context-sensitive connotations and so many other details that need to be exactly right in a professional document. Here's a good overview of the advantages of using qualified (human) translators. Before you trust your business translations to Google, buy a toy from China at the dollar store and read the English version of the instructions; is this how you want speakers of other languages to perceive your company?

16. How will you protect the privacy of my information?

We treat every order as confidential, whether or not you request it specifically. Identity theft is a real issue today, and we know the dangers of carelessly handling personally identifiable data. We have strict internal controls in place to prevent any misuse. Please see our Privacy Policy for more details.