GTS Translation Shows Off Translation Skills on Clutch!

With over 6,900 languages in the world, conducting business on a global scale can be tricky. And though we live in a globalizing world, it can still be tricky to communicate with overseas business partners.

GTS reviewed on Clutch

So how do you do it? Lucky for you, we are a top-notch translation service with the ability to translate countless languages such as Russian, Hebrew, French, Chinese, and Spanish just to name a few.

We provide professional translation services you can trust, and in a timely manner. With almost two decades of experience, we are able to deliver high quality translations unlike any other!

Don’t believe us yet? Well, according to Clutch, a B2B ratings and review site, we are one of the best translation services in the world! Our speedy and high-quality services have helped us continuously outrank out competitors all over the world.

However, we haven’t just been recognized by Clutch! We have ranked on The Manifest, a business news site, as one of the top translation service providers as well.

Thanks to all of our clients for leaving us such amazing feedback and helping us rank so well!

We recently received two reviews on Clutch: one is from an RV manufacturer we helped with translating vehicle manuals. The manuals ranged from 166-200 pages each- we translated from English to French Canadian. The publications specialist for the RV Manufacturer has said that we were always responsive and met deadlines! The translated manuals received good reviews from Canadian dealers, verifying the quality of our translations.

The second review was from a software company whom we helped translate their web application User Interface (UI) into 13 languages. The end client was very satisfied with our translations. And the software applications users in dozens of countries were invariable happy with our translations as attested to by the Senior Brand Strategist who ordered and coordinated the translation work.

But our clients aren’t just limited to one industry- we have translated materials for companies in biotech, banking, chemical manufacturing, clinical research, education, e-commerce, cosmetics, fashion, healthcare and more!

Here are a few more client testimonials to demonstrate our success:

“We are very happy with the results of the translations.  The setup for each section was perfect and it made implementing the translations much easier for us.” -Joshua Meinke, QA/Regulatory Supervisor, Applied Medical Technology, Inc.

“I just wanted to share a compliment with you from our CEO. He was incredibly impressed with the recent translation. It was quite evident to him that the team that performed the translation really knew what they were doing and produced a high-quality translation that is a great help to us.”-Laura Eichorn, FerroKin BioSciences, Inc. (now Shire PLC)

 In addition to Clutch and the Manifest, you can find our work featured on Visual Objects, a platform for creative design firms to post their portfolio items!

Thanks again to all of our amazing clients for sticking by us and helping us achieve such amazing titles! Visit our website and get in contact to learn what we can do for your business.

Selling your translation business. Is it worth it?

The Mergers and Acquisition (M&A) space in the translation industry is hot. It seems like every other day, a large LSP (Language Service Provider) is buying another translation or localization company. Here is an interesting page from Slator, a translation industry website, which lists M&A activity in the translation industry.  Indeed, from perusing this page one can see that there is a merger nearly every week.

Why does M&A happen in the translation industry?

Profit margins are high in the translation industry. Which means that some LSPs have cash on hand which they can use to fuel purchases of other companies. And even if they don’t have cash, they can get funding from equity firms who are attracted by high fees for the M&A transaction.  Buying an LSP makes sense as it serves as a quick path to growth and increasing market share. Vertical leaps can also be made if an LSP does not have a presence in a certain vertical, for example in the space of patent translation. So instead of creating a new department, hiring personnel, establishing accounts and and learning about the business, the LSP simply buys a suitable company for an instant foothold. M&A in the translation industry is by no means limited to acquisition of a translation company. LSPs have been known to buy technology companies (like machine translation companies or CAT tool developers) or digital marketing companies as a way of diversifying their business.

How much is your translation company worth? has created a tool to give translation business owners an idea if their business would attract significant interest or if they need to make some adjustments before selling. Click here to get your score and start the process of estimating the worth of your business.

Of course, M&A is a long process with lots of due diligence required before the merger is made. But a price of 5 to 6 times the EBITDA seem to be the range in which translation companies are valued. Here is a web page that lists EBITDA multiples by industry.

Can you get rich by selling your translation business?

The short answer is: yes. If you are already rich to start with. The exits in the translation business are nowhere near the crazy levels that can be seen in the world of hi-tech. In the tech sector, a startup company valuation can be independent of the revenues or EBITDA. Anything goes and that’s why people like Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos are filthy rich. For example, Amazon was losing money for years before it started making a profit. But that didn’t stop if from having huge valuations on Wall Street-the market saw the potential and priced that into the stock.

But there is no translation industry “Facebook” that has the promise of changing the future.  If you have an LSP that is not turning a handsome profit. forget about selling it. Buying a translation business has no dream factored into the price; it is a cut-and-dry business valuation which is handled by M&A professionals.

So. If you have a translation business that is selling a lot and making a lot of money, you can get a great price for selling your business. But then the question should be asked: if you are already making a bunch of money, then why sell your business?

How to sell your translation business?

If your business has been around for a number of years and is maintaining a reasonably high industry profile, you don’t have to do anything. You will get frequent emails or phone calls asking you if you are interested in selling your business. Or you will be approached at an industry conference. Here is an example of one such email:

I am trying to contact the ownership on behalf of our well-capitalized client who would be interested in talking with you on a confidential basis about the possible acquisition of your company. They are keenly interested in acquiring companies that would complement their existing strategy and from the public information we could find, we think that this is a good fit.  They are ideally looking for opportunities between 2MM and 15MM in EBITDA but can go higher than this range depending on the opportunity.

So the answer to how to sell your translation business? is this: do nothing and wait for someone to contact you. That will give you better leverage and posturing for your potential sale.

Why do people sell their translation business?

Well we have already established that you can’t make a fortune by selling an translation business unless your business is a cash cow already (unlike in the tech startup sector). So what are other motivations? Retirement is one. If you have a translation business and your children are not involved, why not cash in and retire. Not everybody loves working and sometimes there are health issues involved. Or maybe you just want to stop working for whatever reason.

Another reason to consider selling a business is hitting the wall. Your business may have plateaued out and teaming up with another, larger company  will move your business onward and upward. True you won’t be the owner anymore but you will enjoy seeing your company advance and may enjoy your job more. You may make more money if the company that acquired your company does very well and you become part of the senior management team. And you may enjoy a shared vision with the new ownership which will give you purpose in your new position.

What happens to the employees of an acquired LSP?

The rank-and-file usually just keep their job and continue working as usual. Company owners of the acquired firm either retire (after transitioning with the new ownership) or get a new position in the merged company.

What is a boutique translation company?

Here is an answer I found on Quora.

Boutique translation agencies are generally distinguished by their small size, specialised focus and flexibility. They work to a totally different business model than large multinational translation agencies, aiming to provide a superlative level of quality rather than endless quantity, and because of this they are highly focused on doing a great job and building their reputation by word-of-mouth.

Boutique translation agencies are usually the targets of translation industry M&A.

The bottom line

Selling your translation business can be a good option if it fits your career goals or retirement plans. If you like your business and are making good money, perhaps check this option again when you are ready to call it a day.


The state of the translation industry in North Korea

North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong Un, are in the news today after President Trump initiated an impromptu meeting with the North Korean dictator in the DMZ. North Korea is shrouded in secrecy in just about all matters, including the translation industry. This post will try and shed some light on the state of the translation industry in North Korea. This information was obtained through an interview with a professional translator who used to work in North Korea and has relocated (defected?) to South Korea. For obvious reasons, this translator chose to remain anonymous.

In general, all dictatorships like North Korea control all media and communications very tightly. Translation is clearly a part of the communications chain and as such, it is very tightly regulated and controlled by the government.

Are there professional freelance translators in North Korea? How many?

There are professional translators in North Korea. The number of them is unknown, but as far as we know, they are communists and work for the government. If you search for freelance translators who live in North Korea on Proz, the leading directory of freelance translators, you will find 4-5 freelance translators. However, none of them have websites or a CV available and it is unclear whether these entries are real. So it appears that are no commercial freelance translators in North Korea.

Are there commercial translation companies in North Korea? How many?

There are no translation companies in North Korea. All North Korean companies are owned and controlled by the government.

Who provides language education to translators in North Korea?

Language training is controlled by the government. One of the main training centers for translators and interpreters is the Pyongyang University of Foreign Studies. As far as we know, this and other similar North Korean language schools accept nearly no foreign students.

Where do North Korean companies buy translation services from? Do they use South Korean translators?

North Korean companies do not buy translation services. The government supplies translation services to the companies which need them. So the answer is no, North Korea does not buy translation services from South Korea.

How do professional translators get paid? Can they use online payment (like Paypal)?

There is no access to online payment systems in North Korea. So in effect, North Korean translators can’t work for anyone outside of North Korea.

What languages are the most in demand in North Korean? What language pairs are most ordered?

English, Chinese, and Russian are the most in demand in North Korea. Courses of study in North Korean language schools are available in Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Hungarian, Arabic, Malay, Khmer, Thai, Lao, Persian, Hindi, Urdu, English, German, Bulgarian, Czech, Polish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, and Spanish.

Do translators in North Korea need a license to operate? Is the industry controlled by the government?

Every single industry is controlled by the government and all translations must go through the Foreign Languages Publishing House.

Do translators is North Korea have Internet and email access? Any restrictions?

Internet use in North Korea is allowed to very few people, with strict limitations on use.

Are there language differences between the language used in South and North Korea or is it exactly the same?

Since the two countries have been divided for 70 years, there are quite a few differences between the Korean used in South Korean and North Korean. North Korean is basically similar, but some words they use are completely different from that of South Koreans. Read more about that here.

Do translators in North Korea have access to MS Office and CAT tools, etc.?

Translators in North Korea do not use commercial software available to the world public. They use custom tools developed in North Korea.


Grading the Democrat Spanish speakers at the debate

The Democratic party debates took place on Tuesday and Wednesday (6.26 and 6.27) in Miami. There were two sets of debates, each featuring 10 candidates. The first set on Tuesday featured no less than three Spanish-speaking candidates on the same stage:
Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker and Julian Castro. Since Miami, Florida has a large Spanish speaking population, each of the those candidates wanted to show off their Spanish skills to the constituents in the obvious hope of currying favor with them. The press had a field day with this, stating the motives of these candidates as “pandering.” If you ask me, it’s just politics as usual. All politicians engage in pandering of one sort or another. Watch the Spanish performances in this YouTube video.

Pandering or no pandering, we wanted to check how each of these candidates did. How good were their Spanish speaking skills? We put this to two senior members of our Spanish language team (Lucia and Tany) at GTS and this what they had to day:

Beto O’Rourke gets a B

Beto was the best of the lot.


Beto’s Spanish is fluent. He has good pronunciation and he corrects himself when making a mistake. Here are some of the mistakes that he made:
Missing prepositions
Gender mismatch: “nuestro democracia” should be “nuestra democracia”
Subject-verb disagreement: “cada votante necesitamos” should be “cada votante necesita”
Wrong word order: “cada voz necesitamos escuchar” should be “necesitamos escuchar cada voz”


His overall pronunciation is not native but is acceptable and understandable.
There are several mistakes:
He says: “incuir cada persona” He should say: “incluir a cada persona”
He says: “en nuestro democracia”  He should say: “en nuestra democracia”
He says: “cada votante necesitamos la representación” (grammarly incorrect)
He should say: “necesitamos la representación de cada votante”
He says: “y cada voz necesitamos escuchar” (sounds unnatural)
He should say: “y necesitamos escuchar cada voz”.

Cory Booker gets a D


Cory has poor pronunciation and it is a little difficult to understand what he is saying. He seems uncomfortable with the language. But he had no grammar mistakes.


His overall pronunciation is very unnatural and difficult to understand.
Besides he makes the following mistakes:
He says: “Es de presidente ha atacado”  He should say: “Este
presidente ha atacado”
He says: “ha dimonadado” (it is ununderstandable, it does not mean anything)
He says “ha dimonadado los inmigrantes” (grammar mistake)
He should say “ha ????? a los inmigrantes”
He says: “Es inaceptable, voy a a cambiar este”.
He should say: “Es inaceptable, voy a cambiar esto”.

Julian Castro gets a D


Says just one sentence. Too little to evaluate.
“Me llamo Julián Castro y estoy postulando por presidente de los Estados Unidos.”
Personal pronoun missing, the correct version would be: “me estoy postulando…”


His overall pronunciation is like a native Spanish speaker, very understandable and natural. Nevertheless in his few words he makes a grammar mistake:
He says: “Estoy postulando por presidente”
He should say: “Estoy postulando para presidente”

Julian may actually not even be a Spanish speaker as he was born and raised in the USA. His grandparents spoke Spanish but it was probably not spoken much at his home. Most probably he practiced his 1-2 sentences until they came out OK.

In Summary

Beto O’Rorkue is the only fluent Spanish speaker of the three candidates who spoke Spanish on the stage. Hailing from El Paso with its relatively close proximity to Mexico and large Spanish speaking population, Beto obviously has good language skills as well. Is that enough to get elected to the White House? Probably not, but if Beto doesn’t make it he can always find a place for himself in the translation industry.


How to find the best translation agency for your next project

Translation is a big business. According to the localization industry research firm CSA, the global market for outsourced translation services in 2017 was US$43.08 Billion.  That’s a lot of money! Nearly every business in the world needs translation services. Whether you are a restaurant owner who needs to translate your menus, an airline that needs to translate it’s in-flight safety videos or a chemical company transporting chemicals to another country-you need professional translation services for your business. Many private individuals will also require translation services at some point. This includes professionals who wish to relocate to another country, hospital patients who were treated abroad and people involved in divorce proceedings.

Once you have realized that you need professional translation services, you can start looking for a suitable translation agency. But there are thousands to choose from. A daunting task no doubt. How should you start? This post will try to help you sift through the noise and find the right translation agency for your needs.

High-End Translation Companies

The biggest companies in the world, like the Fortune 100 companies, will need a high-end translation company. These companies include Transperfect, Lionbridge, Welocalize and SDL. These and other large LSPs (Language Service Providers) have the resources to carry out large scale deployments of product releases, global Internet sites, software releases and social network campaigns.

Tech giants like Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and Facebook maintain a presence in every country in the world. So when they release a new product or update an existing one, they will need to localize and translate the materials in as many as 100 languages at the same time. This requires the deployment of a massive team of hundreds of translators, editors, project managers and software engineers.

Such efforts also require very advanced technological capabilities: such as integration with internally developed Content Management Systems (CMS), use of online translation aids and content sharing by many people at the same time. Only translation companies with significant resources can work at that level. The annual localization and translation services budgets for these companies will run in the millions of dollars.

Industry-Specific Translation Companies

Some types of translation requires advanced specialization and in-depth capabilities in not only the translation work itself, but in other aspects of the work in general.  This includes translation companies that specialize in patent application filing, in medical device translation, aerospace industry and automotive industry translations. So if you work for an auto company (like GM), there are companies that specialize in translation of the car owner manuals, assembly instructions, parts maintenance and such.

In today’s translation industry there is a consolidation of companies, and  many of the industry-focused companies have been acquired by the big LSPs. For example, Transperfect acquired a company named Crimson Life Sciences in 2005, integrated its activity into its own operations and re-branded it to Transperfect Medical Device Solutions.

If you are working for one of the leading companies in one of these areas (e.g. Boeing, Medtronic, Pfizer, Ford Motor company), chances are that you will be in touch with one or more of the large LSPs mentioned previously. Here too the budgets will run in the hundreds of thousands or even millions annually. If your budget is less than that, your best bet is to find a small of medium sized LSP with relevant industry-experience. That should narrow down the field considerably.

Language-Specific Translation Companies

Single language vendors (SLVs) are companies that focus on one language, or the languages of a specific geographic region. For example, Sandberg Translation Partners specializes in the Nordic languages like Swedish and Danish. Or Middle East Localization, a translation company that specializes in Middle-Eastern languages like Arabic and Farsi.

These companies tend to market their services in the relevant countries in which these languages are used most; or to other LSPs that lack the resources in that specific set of languages. If you are running a multiple language translation project, chances are that one or more SLVs are being used without you even knowing it.

Local Translation Companies

These companies are throwbacks to the translation agencies that were dominant 40 years ago. Before the age of the Internet, translation companies would advertise in the Yellow Pages and the local newspapers to local businesses. They would provide a full range of translation services from restaurant menus, to immigration papers, legal court documents and other business documents. In large cities like New York and Chicago, the local translation companies sold their services to the large companies located in that city. Because email and the Internet did not exist, much of the work was physically delivered in hard copy. Obviously being local gave you a big advantage.

Even today with email and everything, being close to your customers can be of significant importance. Some customers, like private individuals, want to visit the shop in person. Some papers still need to be notarized and delivered in hard copy; and even though Fedex can get to any location in the USA within 24 hours, being local gives some customers that warm, fuzzy feeling that they need to do business. One of the biggest translation-related terms in Google search is “Translation Services near me.”

Interpretation Companies

Some language providers specialize in on-site interpretation, simultaneous interpretation and phone interpretation services. LanguageLine Solutions provides interpretation services over-the-phone (OPI) when needed by hospitals, courts or in video conferences. CyraCom International, Inc. is an company that provides over the phone and video interpretation services. Some companies provide simultaneous interpretation to venues like the UN where a speakers words are translated in real time and delivered on headphones. These interpretation companies will have a large staff of interpreters as well as the equipment needed for this kind of work.

Website Translation Companies

Publishing a website in multiple languages requires both language expertise and technological capabilities. Many companies offer website translation services. But there are companies that specialize in translation of websites and that have made this their predominant line of business. Examples include MotionPoint and Smartling. (owned by Transperfect) is one of the leaders, if not the biggest, in this area. Here too, the Fortune 100 companies are going to be using one of the large LSPs or one of the large website translation companies.

If your budget for website translation services is not in the hundreds of thousands at least, you will need to find a small or medium size translation company. Try to find a company with relevant experience, a company that has IT people that can oversee the integration of the translated content in the CMS that your company is using.

Online Translation Companies

These companies are the best option for when you need quick delivery of documents like a contract, a technical manual, a consent form, web content or a marketing brochure.  These companies provide an instant online price quote, online payment and fast online delivery. The prices will be considerably lower than those offered by the medium to large LSPs. And there is no minimum budget required to work with these companies.  Some of the online translation companies include OneHourTranslation, Gengo,, Straker and GTS Translation.

How to get the best deals on translation services

Great translation service deals

Buying professional translation services isn’t rocket science. But it is more complicated than buying gasoline for your car. Or bread and milk at the supermarket. First of all you are not dealing with a commodity but with a personalized, custom-made service. You can give the same text to five professional translators and get five different results. There are other variables involved in the purchase including the target languages, file formats, service level and time of delivery. All of these, as well as other factors, need to be considered when purchasing the translation service. And these and other factors may impact the price you will pay for the service. This post will try and provide you with some guidelines which will help you make an intelligent buying decision.

Get a few quotes.  This is a no-brainer which is common practice when purchasing any big ticket item. Get a few price quotes.

Write up a bid spec. If your project budget is in the thousands of dollars and up, consider writing up a basic bid spec which you will send to prospective suppliers. That way you will be comparing apples to apples. Here is an example of an RFP that we received from one of our clients:

From its hub in Dubai, flydubai strives to remove barriers to travel and enhance connectivity between different cultures across its ever-expanding network. Since launching its operations in 2009, flydubai has created a network of more than 90 destinations across 35 countries and operates on average more than 1,500 flights a week. The airline currently has a fleet of 47 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft and has more than 100 Boeing aircraft on order. flydubai has also enhanced Dubai’s economic development, in line with the Government of Dubai’s vision, by creating trade and tourism flows in previously underserved markets. flydubai launched its cargo operations three years ago building on the growth, expansion and success of the airline. operational efficiencies and offering the passenger more choice.

The Client is seeking an experienced, translations service provider to support their Marketing, legal and Public relation department by providing quality translation services.

Agreement and service level will be shared with the shortlisted suppliers.

Ask for a translation sample. Before getting into this point, I should add that at GTS Translation we do not provide free samples under any circumstance. But we encourage our clients to order a short, test sample before committing to a large purchase. And many other translation companies will provide a free sample if they are interested in your business.

As I wrote at the start of this post, human translation services are subject to stylistic and cultural preferences. You say tomato, I say tomahto. Getting a translation sample is only recommended if you have someone that can review and evaluate the sample. Like a distributor or agent in the target country. If you get a sample from each of the prospective vendors, you and your language people can determine which one is best for your company.

What is the service level? Another important point to consider is the service level you will be receiving. Is the translation purely human or does the company deliver edited machine translation. Is the text reviewed by a second linguist? What are the qualification of the translators? Are they certified by an recognized accreditation body? If you don’t need a high level of certification or industry specialization then maybe you can negotiate a better price from your supplier.

What is the price per word? Try and find out the per word rate you are being charged. This is very easy if you are ordering translation services online. But even if you are not ordering online, the person you are ordering from will provide you with this information. Once you know the per-word price, try and get a frame of reference on it and see if you can negotiate a better per-word price.

Can you get a discount for late delivery? When ordering from a translation agency, this point will usually not get you any price discount. Yet many customers ask anyway. Even though it may not get you a discount, try and bring it up as part of the negotiation process and when weighed in with other factors, it may get you something.

DTP/Page Layout considerations.

Does the document you are translating contain graphics, charts, diagrams? Do you need to have them translated? Are they editable? Some graphics, like in a technical manual, may not be editable or the source graphics files may not be available. In that case the translation company may need to recreate the graphics which will increase the price. Make sure that you know this in advance and if you need to translate the graphics, factor this in the price. Are there files that you need to translate that are in an exotic file format like Framemaker or Corel Draw? This too can jack up the price and you should factor this work into the price as well. Does the customer expect the translation vendor to deliver print-ready Powerpoint and MS Word files? Text can expand in translation and require touching up the final files. Will the vendor do it or will you have to edit the work yourself?

Other file considerations. Translation of website content and software applications can require working with special file formats like XML and RESX. Verify that the files will arrive in the formats you need and make this part of the agreement.

Will you be getting a repeat text or TM discount? If you are submitting multiple files for translation, there may be some text repetition across the files. This should convert into a price discount for the job. Do you have legacy translations. Consider giving these to the translation company and asking for a TM discount. Don’t be shy, these are your hard earned dollars and if you can get a discount then why not?

Top Sites for Translation Company Reviews

Customer reviews are an integral part of the due diligence people perform before buying a product or service online. For example, before going to a hotel I will usually check the online reviews. If a hundred people are saying that the hotel stinks, it is probably a good idea to stay away.

Last year I reserved several nights at the Boston Harbor Hotel. The reviews for this hotel were incredible (and indeed the hotel was amazing). But one week before we went to the hotel, I found out from reading the online reviews that the hotel’s indoor pool was closed due to maintenance. Now I myself am a swimmer and booked the Boston Harbor hotel with the knowledge that I would be able to perform my daily swim routine.  Had I read the online reviews more carefully, I may have booked a different hotel. As it happened, and since I was unwilling to forgo my exercise, I found a public pool nearby the hotel called the Mirabella pool. Since I enjoyed the outdoor, Olympic-size Mirabella pool the story had a happy ending.

Before buying professional translation services online, there are a number of review sites you can check.

GTS Translation Google Reviews

Google My Business. To check user reviews on any business, including translation service agencies, just do a Google search on the business name and the address of the business. For example, do a Google search for “GTSTranslation, 4747 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33140, USA.” Then click the reviews link to read the customer reviews.

Clutch – B2B Ratings and Reviews is an online review platform. You can find translation company reviews on this website.

Pickwriters is an excellent resource for translation agency reviews. It has numerous lists categorized by industry (e.g., top legal translation companies, top medical translation companies, etc.).

ConsumerAffairs is a well-established reviews website that has been in existence for 20 years. ConsumerAffairs offers custom partnerships that start with proactive review collection by phone or email. This allows them to gather authentic, useful feedback from verified customers. The problem with this website, from a user perspective, is that translation companies that are listed on ConsumerAffairs must pay thousands of dollars a year to get listed on the website. So this review board may be skewed in the sense that 98% of the translation agencies are not mentioned here.

Goodfirms has a list of translation companies and collects reviews for each one.

Trustpilot is a company that collects online reviews for its customers and places the rankings on its own website as well on major search engines.

Yelp is the modern, online version of the Yellow Pages. This is a ‘catchall’ reviews platform with no specific industry focus, certainly not for the translation industry. Yelp seems more suitable for local retail businesses and not so much for B2B segment.

G2 provides fair listings of companies ranked in order of their review quality/quantity. Categories like G2 document translation reviews receive thousands of visitors hoping to research a market unbiased from a third party. Individuals can request to contact said organizations through G2. They provide both free and paid options (the paid option provides review generation campaigns using by-hand techniques and/or automated software outreach.

Click to read online reviews for GTS Translation on Google My Business.


Using Translation Services in Investigator Initiated Trials (IIT)

investigator initiated trials translation services

Most people tend to think that clinical trials are conducted by pharmaceutical  or biotechnology companies in their path to releasing a new drug to the market. And indeed most clinical trials are sponsored by drug companies. But there is also a significant number of investigator initiated trials (IIT) that are conducted by public institutions likes Universities and hospitals. According to the US Government NIH over 300,000 clinical studies are currently being conducted worldwide. Out of these, it is estimated that up to 20% are IITs, which are sometimes referred to as academic clinical trials.

In clinical trials which are sponsored by drug companies, profits are the driving force behind the study. Rolling out a new drug can bring pharmaceutical companies a fortune in sales and profits. On the other hand, academic clinical trials serve as a source of prestige; they can also generate income from private and government funding. Another difference between a new drug study and academic clinical trials: academic clinical trials can test the efficacy of an existing drug or medical device to investigate how it may improve treatment and safety of patients.

Unlike industry‐sponsored trials focused on regulatory
approval of new medications, IITs are developed and executed
under the direction of 3rd party investigators who are
physician researchers, often within an academic institution
(from Centerwatch website)

Medical translation services play an important role in academic clinical trials. Academic clinical trials are multicenter trials which can be conducted in different countries. Informed Consent must be available in the languages spoken by the clinical trial participants. Back translation is also typically required to validate the accuracy of the translation. And translation Statement of Accuracy certificates are always needed.

GTS Translation Services have considerable expertise in medical translation services for academic clinical trials. Here are some projects we have done in the past year:

NYU Langone Health – Translation and back translation of informed consent forms into Arabic, Chinese, Polish, Spanish, Russian.

David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA – translation of informed consent forms and clinical protocol data into Farsi, Arabic, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese and Spanish.

Medical College of Wisconsin – translation and back translation of informed consent forms into Spanish.

Connecticut Children’s Medical Center – translation of 300 page Pediatric Emergency Medicine manual into French.


Mayday? Or May Day?

Today is May 1st. Which may not mean much to some people. But in many countries May 1 is an official holiday which is commonly referred to as International Workers’ Day or May Day.  The list of countries in which May is a national holiday is very long and includes Germany, France, Russia, China, Spain, Italy and many more countries. If you are ordering translation services from GTS around May 1st, please bear in mind that slowdowns may result owing to the holiday.

Ironically, and even though May 1 is not celebrated in the United States, International Workers’ Day originated due to an event that took place in the USA: the Haymarket affair was a bombing in Chicago that interrupted a peaceful demonstration for worker’s rights. Despite this fact, the USA celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday in September. and May 1 is just another work day.

Much can be said for the United State’s way of celebrating Labor Day. Since it is always observed on a Monday, the disruption to the economy is minimized. And it can be said that the “long weekend” even stimulates productivity since people need a break now and then. But in countries that celebrate May 1st, the holiday is observed no matter what day of the week it falls on. In years like 2019, when May 1 falls in the middle of the week, productivity at workplaces is low in the first week of May.

If you are celebrating May Day this year, have a nice holiday. If you are not, then have a great day at work.

Will Machines Replace Professional Translators?

This debate has been going on for years. Will machine translation (MT) become good enough to replace human translators? Will professional translators need to find another line of work? If recent history is any proof, the answer is no. MT will not replace professional human translators in our lifetime. This notion is shared by many people in the industry. Here is a supporting quote from a recent (February 2019) Techcrunch article on MT:

The problem with machine translation, when you really get down to it, is that it’s bad. Sure, it won’t mistake “tomato” for “potato,” but it can’t be trusted to do anything beyond accurately translate the literal meaning of a series of words. In many cases that’s all you need — for instance, on a menu — but for a huge amount of content it simply isn’t good enough.

The simple fact is that as much progress as has been made in the last 10 years, MT is (a) not reliable enough to replace human translators and (b) it is unsuitable for 98% of the mission critical tasks needed by today’s customers.

Brief History of MT

First there was rule-based MT (RBMT), which was deemed as not ready for prime time. Then about 10 years ago, Google started the statistical MT (SMT) revolution which was supposed to bring MT to the next level. Which it did, but the promise did not come to fruition and the models did not deliver human quality translation. Then came neural MT (NMT) which was definitely the greatest MT technology ever invented. Now, companies are touting Deep NMT based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) which will surely replace professional translators.

The MT experts keep on telling us that MT will be ready really soon. But that ‘really soon’ has already stretched out into a long time with no real end in sight. And the demand for professional human translators seems to be growing steadily and outperforming other professions. According to a USA Department of Labor report in 2016, translation jobs are expected to grow by 18% in the next 10 years.

Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Globalization and large increases in the number of non-English-speaking people in the United States will drive employment growth. Job prospects should be best for those who have professional certification.

Drivers of MT

As it has been from the start, MT is a scientific endeavor which combines several advanced fields: computational linguistics, mathematics, computer models, statistics among others. MT technologists are geek scientists who speak in a language of their own. If you suffer from insomnia, go to a conference in MT and you will be put to sleep in no time.

Advances in MT are driven by one thing and one thing only: money. Companies are hoping to capitalize on advances in MT in order to make money.

The companies who are promoting MT as a business are either tech giants (like Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Facebook) or LSPs. The tech giants want to get their hands on cheap translation services since they have gigantic amounts of text that need to be translated. The tech giants also have the resources to train the MT systems to provide good translations for their own purposes. LSPs are using MT so that they can offer low cost translation services to customers with large translation budgets.

The tech giants have peripheral objectives as well. For example, both Google and Microsoft have been developing speech-to-speech translation systems for commercial use. Microsoft and especially Google are monetizing access to their MT APIs. And MT is helpful for search engines who want to gain market share.

What Can and Can’t be done with MT

As stated previously, MT can be improved by training the system with large corpora (plural of corpus) of aligned text. So if a company like Microsoft trains their MT to translate Microsoft’s knowledge base, then the system will yield good results. But since it takes huge resources both financially and technically, almost all companies can’t undertake this kind of work. Likewise, using an MT-savvy LSP for PEMT (post-edited MT) work is also tricky. Firstly, the LSP will need to make a huge investment in their MT which will be passed along to the client. And if you do not have huge amounts of texts then the price may be comparable or even higher than human translation. And even after all of that, a human translator is needed to post-edit the MT.

The following kind of translation work can’t be done with MT:

– Certified translation for official purposes. This kind of work requires a signed statement of accuracy by the translator, something that can’t be done by MT software.

– Books/Novels/Poems. In the 1970s and 80s my uncle, Ivan Sanders, had translated a number of Hungarian novels into English. I remember that these projects involved numerous face-to-face meetings with the author so that that translator (my Uncle) could gain an in-depth understanding behind some of the characters in the novel and to understand the author’s thought process on certain parts of the novel. These projects took about two years to complete. No way a machine can translate a novel at the same quality level.

– Scanned images on PDF files. At GTS, most of the orders for online translation services are for PDF files. Some of them are scanned documents which are not great quality. These kind of files require prep work and getting MT into the loop may not be efficient.

– Critical legal documents. If you were buying a house in France for $5 Million and needed to translate the contract, would you trust a machine translation?


Scientists and engineers funded by the private sector will continue to develop MT systems which will represent breakthroughs in science and technology. Quality will improve but only marginally. Demand for translators will increase due to the increase amount of content that needs to be translated.

Top Online Translation Companies

Buying professional translation services online has emerged as a viable solution for today’s customers. In the traditional, full-service model that prevailed in past years, customers would contact a translation agency by phone or by email. Ensuing communications between the client and the agency would also be done offline-sometimes even using postal mail to send in materials.

Today, customers can get instant price quotes, order translation services and complete payment online. This results in lower prices and faster delivery times. Now, you can get a professional translation services in a matter of hours.

Here is a comprehensive list of online companies, not listed in any specific order. In this list we only included companies that provide instant translation price quotes anonymously (without needed to enter your name and email address). If anyone comes across an online translation company that is not on this list, or if you have any reviews or comments about a company, please feel free to comment and we will update this list.

gengo is a Japanese company which was recently acquired by Lionbridge (one of the biggest translation companies in the world). Together with OHT (see next entry), Gengo pioneered the professional online translation space. Prices at gengo start at $0.06 but are much higher for reviewed translation. Up until recently, gengo only provided translation of business and general texts. Now they provide translation service in most subject matters.

One Hour Translation is an Israeli company that provides translation services in all subject matters. Prices start at around $0.14 for specialized text.

Based in San Francisco, Rev seems to have shifted their focus towards the video and entertainment industry. They offer services not related to translation, such as transcription and captioning services. They do provide certified translation of official documents and business translation services.

Stepes is a US-based company that provides professional document translation services. Self-billed as the “Uber of Translation Services,” Stepes has a nifty, easy to use user interface which can be used on mobile devices as well as computers.

Textmaster is a company based in France that provides professional document translation services. Specialized translation services start at 0.16 Euro per word.

Translated is an Italian company that has been in the translation business for 20 years. Their online interface is not very convenient. Prices for professional translated start at $0.10 per word. They offer buy-now-pay-later service for corporate clients. They also offer Post-Edited Machine Translation (PEMT) services in partnership with Google.

Based in the UK, Turbo Translations provides fast document translation services starting at $0.10 per word.

Tolingo is based in Germany. There prices seem to be high (around 0.20 Euro per word). Furthermore, they add 19% VAT to the price even if you are outside of Germany.

Mars Translation provides instant quotes but asks you to enter your name and email address. You can enter a fake name and email to get the instant quote. Prices start at $0.15 a word.

Smartlation’s user interface is cumbersome and it takes many clicks to get a price quote.  It is really an online marketplace of translators and you get several options from specific translators in their database. It is unclear what responsibility Smarlation assumes in the process. Furthermore, I am not sure I would want to order translation services from a company that has typos on their home page.

Nativy is an Austrian based company. They add VAT to all orders even if you are outside of Austria. There User Interface is not very convenient due to a wizard that constantly serves up popup windows.

Tomedes is an Israeli company. Prices start at $0.14 per word.


MyTranslation is a professional online translation agency based in France.  They only offer translation into German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Dutch. They offer two modes of service. They choose a translator for you with prices starting at $0.14. Or you get bids on your projects with prices starting at $0.11. They also add VAT to the translation price even if you are outside of France.

GTS Translation is the owner of this blog. Click here to get an instant online price quote for professional translation services.