By now, several million people have fled Ukraine. In the UK, the Ukraine Family Scheme Visa is open for applications for the family members of Ukrainians already settled in the country, with thousands of refugees expected to apply.

But visa applications require certified translations of documents such as birth and marriage certificates. Many refugees not fluent in English rely on interpreting to communicate with UK authorities. Access to language support is a critical element in the UK’s response to the escalating crisis.

A language support task force

UK-based translation, interpreting and language service associations and organisations have formed a language support task force to respond to the rapidly developing need for Ukrainian into English language support in the UK.

The task force consists of Charity Translators, CIOL, ITI, NRPSI, the AIIC UK & Ireland and the ATC.

Free of Charge – Ukrainian-English Translation Templates for Official Documents

The UK’s Ukraine Language Support Task Force has produced model document translations from Ukrainian into English for key Ukrainian official documents:

  • Birth Certificate (in two versions: late Soviet-era and more recent)
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Divorce Certificate

The Ukrainian model has the language code UK in the file name, and the English model the language code EN.

Both the UK and EN models have blank spaces _____ for personal details.

About the template translations

The templates have been made available through Task Force partner Charity Translators, and may be downloaded and used free of charge from www.charitytranslators.org/LinksforUkraine#Templates. Further templates will be added in due course, for the most commonly needed document types.

Rules and regulations for producing certified translations are different in each country, and local conventions should be followed in producing translations of official documents for the authorities.

About certified translations in the UK

Under normal circumstances, visa applications and other official purposes require a certified translation of the original document.

A certified translation includes a photocopy of the original document, a translation of the original document, and a certificate stating that the translation is a true and accurate representation of the original document. The certificate is signed by the professionally qualified translator or a representative of a translation company, and it may carry the stamp of a professional trade association.

In the UK, there is no system of state-authorised or sworn translators, or legislation for certifying translations. Different UK authorities may have different requirements on how a certified translation is submitted.

General instructions from the UK Government for certifying an original document (if needed), and certifying a translation of a document, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/certifying-a-document.

If you need a certified translation in any language produced by a professional, please contact us at info@dixon-associates.co.uk

5 Christmas Dinners From Around The World

Working in our particular industry, we often find ourselves coming across various cultural differences and we truly deem this to be a great perk in our job. There is nothing more fascinating than seeing how different countries approach or mark a certain event.

As such a widely-celebrated holiday, Christmas is a huge part of the year and is marked by different countries in numerous ways. Arguably, one of the best parts of the season is the Christmas dinner so let’s take a look at what a few other countries eat on the big day.

1. Germany

German Christmas markets have become extremely popular in this country over the past 20 or so years, so we do have some idea of what foods are enjoyed. Gingerbread houses – or Pfefferkuchenhaus – set the perfect festive scene, complete with candies, sweets and icing sugar snow. And for the main dinner itself, tables are often lined with roast goose, carp, pork or duck. And for sides, you may see roast potatoes, red cabbage, kale and brussels sprouts.

2. France

In France, Christmas dinner is taken to the next level as, in the form of the Réveillon, it is eaten over a more prolonged period of time on Christmas Eve or after the midnight church service. Dishes within the Réveillon can include roast turkey or goose with chestnuts, oysters, foie gras, lobster, venison and, of course, plenty of different cheeses.

3. Norway

Turning to something a little bit different, in Norway, you may find a whole sheep’s head to be the dish of choice. Although an alternative option for those slightly less adventurous types is a rack of lamb ribs slow-cooked over a fire of birch branches. And for dessert? Multekrem – a dish which contains cloudberries and sugary whipped cream.

4. Japan

Let’s talk Christmas cake. Unlike our version, which is a dried fruit cake covered in icing, Japan serves something which is much more like how you would picture a traditional cake – a white sponge with cream and strawberries.

5. Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, real time and care is taken in preparation for dinner. A suckling pig is gently roasted over an outdoor spitfire. It requires constant supervision, keeping the pig rotated to ensure an even-cook all over. This process traditionally starts in the very early hours of Christmas morning. 

Whatever you choose to eat this season, however you plan to celebrate, here at Dixon Associates we would like to take the opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

What Is A Translation Certificate & Do I Need One?

When it comes to translating important documents, it is essential that this is carried out by a professionally qualified linguist. Without this, the validity of the translation may be called into question.

But how can you assure professional bodies that your translated document is both accurate and above board? After all, this assurance is just as important as the translation itself. That’s where we come in.

At Dixon Associates, we have decades of experience that you can rely on and our team is always on hand, ready to help you every step of the way. We go the extra mile; whether it is a technical or legal translation you are after, we have qualified, expert translators ready to help you. And once it is complete, we will provide you with a certification to accompany the final document. 

More than a statement, a translation certificate is an assurance and proof that your translation is an accurate representation of the original text, whether it be a passport, academic qualification, marriage certificate or a DBS check. It also ensures that your translation was carried out by a qualified translator and to the best of their ability, which is crucial. Without this certificate, your document may not be accepted by certain governmental bodies.

In order to ensure your translation ticks all the boxes, all our certificates bear the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) seal, as well as the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) stamp, both of which are recognised as the quality benchmark in the translation industry. 

And the cherry on top of the cake? All of our translation certificates are included within the quote we provide, so you can rest assured that there are no hidden charges.

To find out more about our translation certificates, or to discuss your requirements, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team.

Professional In-House Linguists Available To Translate Your Business Documents

Online communication can be complex but it does not have to be. The internet allows us to communicate with anyone in the world and websites and digital communication provide a fantastic opportunity for any business, serious about exporting. When selling abroad, your website should, at the least, be translated into the language of your target market. 

Technology has transformed and is transforming the world of translations, but you cannot rely on the internet to translate for you. Ensure you use a qualified translator and expert linguist to get the right message across.

Our linguists understand the complexities of written language

Dixon Associates has in-house linguists who will review and accurately translate your text for you. We have over 50 years of experience when it comes to translating and interpreting and we pride ourselves on delivering the best service to our clients.

All of our linguists are degree level qualified and ITI accredited. And they are ready to help you today!

When working on a project, we will pair you with one of our expert linguists. Your dedicated partner will continue to work with you and will develop an understanding of your business in respect of all of your projects. They will be on-hand to help when you need them and will become a key partner in the operation of your business. This will allow for quicker translations and will provide you with peace of mind that the translation is completed to the highest standard.

If you require a linguist to translate important business and sales documents, contact us today and we will be happy to help.

The Rising Costs of Cheap Translation and Interpreting Using Unqualified Linguists

A trial at a London court recently collapsed after an unqualified interpreter mistakenly gave the wrong evidence.

A Romanian defendant giving evidence at Snaresbrook Crown Court said the claimant had “beaten them” but the interpreter translated this as “bitten”.

The mistake came to light once the prosecution questioned the defendant. The judge then ordered a retrial.

The Defence solicitor said the interpreter told the court she realised she had made a mistake but had kept quiet about it. When the prosecution cross-examined the defendant, towards the end of the four-day trial for burglary, they asked for evidence of the defendant being bitten. The defendant then said they had been “beaten”.

Mr Sharma said it was inexcusable that a re-trial had to take place as not only had the victim had to recover from the experience, but they then had to go through the alleged incident for a third time, having already given evidence at the trial.

The retrial cost around £25,000.

What is the true cost of a correct and accurate translation or interpretation?

The answer is that this is “incalculable”.

In many instances a court would favour the appointment of an interpreter if the defendant or legal counsel asks for one or appears to not understand what is being said and if English is not their first language.

Sometimes, we know that courts try to avert the use of interpreters to avoid delays, speed up proceedings and save costs, taking the “let us see how we get on” approach without one. But can this approach be justified in the long-term? Naturally, what the court does not wish to happen is that at the end of the trial or hearing, the defendant states that they did not understand what was happening and there is an adjournment or retrial or appeal.

In a hearing at a Crown Court in London recently, upon the request of the defense counsel to appoint an interpreter on behalf of his client, the judge asked whether the defendant really needed one, adding that “using interpreters when it is not necessary gives the impression that people are hiding behind them and is a bad use of public money”. Surely costs of a retrial due to initially cutting corners and using unqualified and experienced interpreters is a “bad use of public money”. The perception of an interpreter and someone who does not have English as their first language needs to be changed. This distrust and prejudice of non-English speakers is extended to the interpreter is some cases whereby the court believes that interpreters exercise a certain level of control over the person assisted and they can therefore substantially influence the outcome of a case. This may be the case when inexperienced interpreters are used. However, using the services of an accredited agency such as Dixon Associates, means this would not happen and has never happened with one of our qualified and experienced linguists. The rules governing the profession mandate that interpreters remain passive actors and unobtrusive figures, limiting themselves to interpreting word by word, from one language to another. The Codes of Conduct of the ITI, ATC and IOL of which we are members, reveal that an interpreter “shall interpret truly and faithfully what is uttered, without adding, omitting or changing anything”.

Unqualified and inexperienced interpreters are most definitely an obstacle in the court room. Using qualified and experienced interpreters however, provide valuable linguistic, cultural and legal expertise. Avoid delays, additional costs and complications, by choosing one of our linguists here at Dixon Associates.

Please call us on +44 (0)1902 312988 for further details in this respect or email us.

Being Understood – A Foreign Language Should be no Barrier to Justice

A Polish client, of one of our solicitor client firms, had been the victim of an RTA. The defendant had attempted to imply that it was the claimant”s fault, assuming her lack of knowledge of the English language would result in her not being able to defend herself. However,  the claimant, through the assistance of an interpreter, was able to explain the full facts of the incident, such that, the defendant had been texting on the phone and subsequently crashed into her car and was in fact driving without due care and attention.

A statement was prepared in Polish and English which the claimant signed and which was disputed by the defendant as being the truth.

The matter went to court. The interpreter did not have to attend the trial, but was able connect via the Court CVP system and interpreted remotely, live into the court room.

The case was successful and the claimant won her claim for personal injuries, compensation and costs.

This would not have been possible had she not been able to give a full account of what happened on the day, in her native language, duly and accurately translated firstly in writing and then verbally in the court room, on the day.

This is a regular occurrence for Dixon Associates, whereby we are asked to translate or interpret for non-English speaking clients in court in cases such as RTAs, accidents at work, breaches of contracts of employment, etc.

Please call us on +44 (0)1902 312988 for further details in this respect or email us.

Use an accredited translator for passports & legal documents

There may be several reasons why you would need to translate your passport and other official documents. If you are travelling to a different country where your personal documents require translating, our translation experts can help. We can translate legal documents such as:

  • Citizen forms
  • Visas
  • Passport forms (approved by the Passport Office)
  • Criminal records
  • DBS checks
  • Marriage certificates
  • Death certificates
  • Wills

Dixon Associates are official members of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) which ensures that your document translation is in safe hands. We have been providing translation services for over 50 years and we are authorised to stamp and certify official legal documents. We can also offer a 24 hour turnaround time in most cases.

As part of our translation service you will receive a scanned copy of your document sent directly to you via email, as well as a hard copy which will be securely sent to you in the post.

Our qualified, in-house translators are on hand to translate any language. We have a range of native translators who can assist you throughout the process and who will ensure that your documents are certified.

All of our legal translations are handled with strict confidentiality and will include a letter of certification signed and stamped. We can quickly, efficiently, and accurately complete your translation providing you with peace of mind.

If you have a legal document that requires an authorised translation, please contact us today or call 01902 312 988.

Zooming In On Remote Interpreting

“Challenging times” are words we often hear nowadays. Due to the current pandemic, many of us have had to adjust our professional pattern of working and interpreters have been no exception to this. Luckily, platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams have enabled this transition to be as smooth as possible. But just how dependable are they and how can these tools add value to our work and yours?

Why Online Interpreting Is Here To Stay

The environment in which we are working can sometimes affect our performance in interpreting. Background noise is often an unavoidable distraction in a face-to-face assignment. However, with remote interpreting, no matter how many people we may have to interact with, we can easily choose who to mute and un-mute. This allows the interpreter to solely focus on the speaker. There are endless user-friendly options too. One which we use regularly is an integrated file sharing option which allows participants to actively engage with each other, without interfering with the main speaker.

In a face-to-face assignment, interpreters sometimes have to be somewhere for a specific time and often it can be quite a distance away. Now, an 8.00 am assignment is no longer arduous. Travel time and expenditure is cut to zero! In addition, the health and safety of all parties involved are protected with a click of a button, no matter where they are in the world. These platforms have enabled us to continue offering our interpreting service and as a result, actually connecting with people more frequently.

Interpreters are essential to promote good communication across cultures in business. It is our role to do it as discreetly as possible, and to act as an intermediary between two parties. We have noticed, with online interpreting, that we are now an active participant in the conversation, and in turn, we feel more valued as an interpreter. As the language interpreter for the Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, we thoroughly enjoy interpreting for the players. Another unexpected bonus to remote language interpretation is that we get to “meet” participants beforehand and go through what will be talked about on the call, providing a good opportunity to further prepare for the meeting. Which benefits both the business and the interpreter.

Face-to-face interpreting is always something we will enjoy as we like to be out and about and meet people. Whilst we are excited about getting back to some sort of ‘normal’, remote interpreting should be seen as a fantastic opportunity which allows us to connect with people quickly and easily. If you require a language interpreter or would like to discuss how our translation services can support your business, contact our team today or call +44 (0)1902 312 988.

12 months in review at Dixon Associates

At Dixon Associates, we have been providing many legal interpreters over the last 12 months. Interpretation jobs have ranged from clients attending court to clients working from home, and assisting with consultations, to interpreting essential medical appointments for patients. We have also continued language interpretation for the Wolves football team, which is always enjoyable!

As far as translations are concerned, as you can imagine, some of the work we have done in the past year have been Covid-related such as PPE instructions, social distancing regulations, medical trials, work signs and contracts. However, we have also been busy with legal translations, translating powers of attorney, contracts, wills and medical records for insurance claims, all essential for progressing with sales, purchases or claims.

Some clients have had their operating and maintenance manuals translated into their target markets, ready for export, getting ahead of the game, and all of their paperwork in order.

Website translations are more important than ever before

We have also seen an increase in website translations. Clients are realising now, more than ever, how powerful and important their website is to sell their company’s services and products abroad. We cannot recommend translating your website enough. Those of our clients who have had their websites translated into their target sales markets have seen a significant increase in their sales to these countries. Even if it is just a landing page, or summary page, the facts speak for themselves:

  • Users are 5 times more likely to purchase from a site with information in their own language.
  • 72% of consumers say they spend all or most of their time on websites in their native language.
  • 56% of consumers say the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price.

Matched funding is available with the European Regional Development Fund – please do contact us on 01902 312988 for further information, as we have helped to successfully secure funding for several clients for internationalisation of their website.

Automated translation tools are no match for skilled interpreter

We have (unfortunately) also seen an increase in proofreading assignments and re-translations!

In a bid to save costs, we have seen that some businesses are turning to Google Translate (who can’t resist a freebie!) and then realise that a machine cannot understand nuances or contextualise and so end up getting their text re-translated. 

For all its ability to produce an instant response, which is fine to get the gist of a foreign email for example, it is not an effective communicator, so caution should be used with this tool.

The most common languages we translate

In the last 12 months we have seen an increase across the board in the number of languages we translate for our clients. The top languages we are currently translating are: 

No. 1 – Spanish with a lot of translations in the legal and medical field, closely followed by, 

No. 2 and 3 – French, Spanish, Czech, Polish and German, more specifically technical texts then

No. 4 and 5 – Italian and Russian, most definitely for commercial use and for the foodstuffs industry.

So the “traditional” languages we have always translated still appear to be popular, which is a great sign for businesses and importers and exporters.

Are you looking for a translation specialist?

We look forward to working with you and continuing to do what we have always done, translate and interpret, using qualified and experienced linguists. Whatever the next 12 months may bring, you can rest assured that we are here to support you every step of the way.

Please do give us a call on 01902 312988 or email us at info@dixon-associates.co.uk for a quotation or simply for some advice.

We are Often Asked the Question… Can “Google Translate” be Relied Upon?

It can be, for a quick translation of, e.g. a menu, if you are on holiday abroad and want to find out exactly what you are eating.

But it cannot analyse a text, its context and the subtleties of a language and a machine does not have a sense of humour or understand emotion or cultural values, so cannot always find the perfect words for a particular text.

We have in fact, seen disastrous results for translation. We were recently asked to proofread a contract by a client who had “run” this through Google Translate. The end result was so confusing and ambiguous, that we had to translate the whole document from scratch.

For example, the word “run” has numerous definitions in the English dictionary. It means everything from move quickly (I can run quite fast), to administrate (the election will be run by the Board), to operate (first, run the washing machine without a load), to publish (we should run this story in the newspaper)…. this list is endless!

How can a computer know which “run” you want to run with?

Also, we are hearing that some companies who have used free translation platforms have had the confidentiality of their documents breached and some of their data published online after using online translation tools.  

So, as a translation agency, we would say for professional, corporate translations, a definite “no”. Google Translate should not be relied upon.

As a Portuguese native speaker and translator, I would consider “Saudade” to be one of most beautiful words in the whole world and sadly, it has no English equivalent. The precise meaning of this word is connected to Portuguese culture.  Considered untranslatable by many, the word describes a rather specific longing or nostalgia. Although a beautiful concept, it is also a nightmare in its own way.

So how can one replicate the nuances of a word without undermining its true meaning or the feelings it conveys? It is a tough question and it leads to an even more complicated answer: with difficulty. However, that is the beauty of it and the beauty of translation. Here, at Dixon Associates, we encounter many of these issues and handle them with care and professionalism, based on many years of experience in translation.

We believe that a precise, professional translation of a document as important as a website, brochure or label is a necessity and not a luxury.

We hope you value your business and you feel the same.

I look forward to hearing from you again soon.

Inês
Dixon Associates
Portuguese Translator, Interpreter and Project Manager