Why Use Accredited Translation Services?

Last updated Jan 22, 2024
By Lucy Williams

If you sell or do business abroad, you might find you need a translator. If you have important documents to translate, you should use accredited translation services. This article explains what accredited translation services are, why you need them and how to find them.

What does accredited translation services mean?

Accredited translation service providers have official recognition. In the case of professional freelance translators, like us, it means we have officially recognised qualifications and are members of translation associations.

What qualifications should you look for in a professional translator?

The Diploma in Translation (DipTrans) from the Chartered Institute of Linguists or an MA in Translation are the gold-standard accredited translation qualifications. Translators with these qualifications are experts their field.

Entry-level translators should at least have the CIOL CertTrans qualification to show they have a basic grasp on the complexities of producing a professional translation.

Additionally, top professional translators are usually accredited members of professional organisations.

Find out how to become an accredited translator.

Professional translators usually specialise in a limited range of subjects. These could include fields such as legal, medical, literary or marketing translation. This expertise means they produce better translations. They’ll also be able to advise you on cultural and linguistic aspects, and provide a fast, reliable service.

Why use an accredited translator? Can’t you just Google Translate it?

Do you really need accredited translation services for translation? Can’t you just use Google Translate? If you need to understand something in another language, Google Translate will give you an idea. But, it’s artificial intelligence. It doesn’t understand nuance and can’t use the general context. It certainly can’t draft good marketing copy or translate your novel in a way that people will want to read it.

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Computers can’t read between the lines. They can’t interpret nuance. Even a correct literal translation might not be what you need.  A professional, accredited translator will be aware of those traps and know how to avoid them. Translators translate concepts and ideas as well as words. Computer “brains” can’t.

We’ve all seen those disastrous, but funny menu translations. I remember wondering what on earth “globular chicken” meant on a menu in Portugal. I never found out because, needless to say, I didn’t order it. It’s a funny anecdote, but you don’t want your business to be a funny dinner party story.

Professional translators invest in their business. This means that a professional translator is an investment in your business.

OK, not Google translate. But what about my bilingual friend?

You know someone who speaks the language. Surely they can translate your document, if they understand the words in both languages? Why do you need a professional?

Because it’s not enough to speak the language. Even if you are bilingual. A professional translator does more than communicate in two languages. A professional translator has studied the art of translation, as well as the grammar and punctuation of their languages. They are professional writers and linguists. It’s what they do, day in and day out.

Any text where it’s important to understand more than the gist is open to misinterpretation. Google Translate or an amateur translator can give you an idea. But, they will fall into language traps and misunderstand things. An accredited translator has a foot in each language and culture. They are aware of those linguistic traps. And they navigate your brand through them. The result is that you sell. Rather than becoming a globular chicken-style anecdote. Read about more myths busted to help you get a quality translation.

What do you get from accredited translation services?

What are the advantages for your business of hiring an accredited translator?


Professional translators invest in their business. This means that a professional translator is an investment in your business. Accredited translation services include ensuring consistent terminology, by using the latest technology. They invest in state-of-the-art terminology software, voice recognition and DTP tools.

Beyond having the right tools for the job, they do continuous professional development. Professional translators attend conferences and network with other translators. They keep up to date with the latest developments in their specialisation. All of this is what offering accredited translation services means.

Using accredited translation services means you know what you’re buying. It’s a guarantee of a level of service.

Accredited translation services mean agility

A professional translator is quick and punctual. Because they translate every day, they can give you a reliable estimate of how long the job will take. They have the equipment, software, skills and experience to do a good job, quickly. They use translation memories, glossaries and latest technology. This makes them consistent and means they work much faster than someone who doesn’t translate for a living.

A benchmark service

Using accredited translation services means you know what you’re buying. It’s a guarantee of a level of service. A professional translator translates for a living. Professional translators have qualifications in translation and are members of professional bodies. This shows they have the required knowledge and skills. It’s proof of their professionalism. Membership of these professional bodies also means they are bound by ethical obligations. What does this mean for you? It means you know your documents will be handled with professionalism and confidentiality.

Confidentiality for your translations

If your documents are confidential, Google is definitely not the solution. Google’s terms of service give it the right “to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content”. You can sign a non-disclosure agreement when you buy accredited translation services. This protects confidential documents from entering the public arena.

What are the dangers of not using accredited translation services?

As we saw in an earlier article about poor-quality transcreation, not using a professional can damage your brand. If you need your document to have the desired effect, you need someone who knows what they’re doing. If all you need is to get a basic idea of meaning, then perhaps your bilingual friend will be enough. But how do you know the meaning has been correctly translated?

To avoid errors and misunderstandings in your text, accredited translation services are the way to go. This is the case particularly for legal and medical translation. With legal texts, an inaccurate translation can jeopardise reputations, finances and livelihoods. The consequences can be serious. Errors made on medical translations could cost lives.

But, even seemingly simple texts can have unforeseen consequences if badly translated. Do you use marketing, sales or promotional material? Then, you’ll know how important it is to build a relationship with the customer. If the copy is clunky, it won’t hit the spot. If it sounds unnatural and “translated” it won’t build that relationship you need to make a sale. You need a professional translator and transcreator. Someone who knows how to reach your target customer in their own language. (what is a transcreator?)

Where can you find accredited translation services?

You’ve decided to use an accredited translator. Where do you find them? Professional translators will have an online presence. They will be on networking sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter. They will also have their own website and maybe a blog like this one. You should be able to find client testimonials and details of specialisations on one or more of their profiles. And remember, look for recognised qualifications and membership of professional organisations, as I mentioned at the start of this article.

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Written by Lucy Williams

Lucy Williams is a subtitler and a Spanish-English translator for fashion, tourism and luxury goods/services. She holds the CIOL Diploma in Translation and is a native English copywriter specialising in SEO-optimised long-form content. Connect with Lucy on LinkedIn.

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