General Translation vs. Specialized Translation: What is the difference?
General Translation vs. Specialized Translation: What is the difference?

What is considered a general translation? What is the difference between general translation and other types of translation? This article serves as a complete guide providing information on definitions, types, and costs associated with general translation services.

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General Translation vs. Specialized Translation: What is the difference?

August 10, 2023 | Han Ngo
Table of Contents

What is considered a general translation? What is the difference between general translation vs. specialized translation? When looking for translation services, you may find it hard to identify the differences between these terminologies and determine which one is suitable for your documents. This article serves as a complete guide providing information on definitions, types, and costs associated with general translation services.

What does general translation mean?

General translation refers to the translation of non-specialized text aimed at the general public audience. The language used in this type of translation is typically day-to-day speech, not including complex terminologies.

For instance, general translation is used for items such as:

  1. ● Meeting minutes
  2. ● Memos
  3. ● Surveys
  4. ● Blog posts
  5. ● Letters
  6. ● News
  7. ● User Guides
  8. ● Announcements
  9. ● Etc.

This type of translation doesn’t require extensive knowledge or experience in a specific industry. However, it doesn’t mean anyone who knows the respective language pair can effectively perform this task. General translations should be provided by professional translators who are highly skilled and experienced in rendering precisely the meaning and the nuance of the original text into the target language.

What is General Translation? - Thao & Co.

Types of general translations and examples

General translation is among the most requested translation services but many people may not be aware that there are various types of general translation. Each type includes different types of documents requiring the translator to have appropriate skills related to the respective categories.

Internal correspondence

Internal communication plays a crucial role in your company’s success. Especially with international cooperation, it’s vital to ensure effective and professional communication between multinational employees and worldwide branches. General translations are commonly required for internal correspondences such as newsletters, meeting minutes, announcements, memos, emails, etc. 

Personal communication

On a daily basis, you may need general translation services for certain personal purposes such as searching for job opportunities, sending and receiving emails or letters, having telephone or online conversations with foreigners, etc. While it might be tempting to use free translation tools, it’s better to find a credible translation agency to receive an accurate translation and ensure the confidentiality of your information.

Other non-specialized texts

You can get general translations for any texts that don’t contain specific-industry terminologies. For example, these items can be handwritten letters, user manuals, blog posts, news articles, questionnaires, surveys, messages, or anything you can think of.

Are you in need of translations for general texts? Whether a few sentences or a book of instruction, Thao & Co. can help you translate them all with the same attention to detail and professionalism. Our team of highly experienced linguists provides accurate and quality translations to meet your every need. Head over to our Get A Quote page and start your order today!

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Differences between General Translation vs. Specialized Translation

To have a better understanding of the concept of general translation, we will delve into the differences between general translation vs. specialized translation through the following criteria:

Target Audience: General translation aims at the general public, while specialized translation is intended for specific groups of people such as technicians, professors, specialists, etc.

Use of words: Specialized translations often include industry terms that rarely appear in general translations. The main goal of general translation is to make the translation easy to understand, often using simple, everyday language.

Level of knowledge: Translators need to have vast experience and specialized background in the relevant field to translate specialized documents, while a general translation can be performed well by any qualified translator.

Cost: Since general translations don’t necessitate the level of expertise required for specialized translations, the cost is more affordable. Furthermore, to ensure the accuracy of industry terms in specialized translations, you may need to get supporting services such as Industry Terms ResearchⒸ and Expert ReviewⒸ for additional fees.

What is the importance of general translation?

Since general translation doesn’t require translators to have profound specialized knowledge, it is considered the simplest form of translation. Still, general translation plays an indispensable role in the translation industry.

Did you know that more than half of the translation projects fall under the category of general translations? This is because, in most work or daily life activities, we rely on general language to communicate and exchange information. General translation serves as a bridge, closing the gap between languages and enabling information to be transmitted accurately and effectively.

For multinational cooperations, having professional translations of internal correspondences can streamline workflows and help achieve business objectives. For individuals, general translation services can assist in easier communication with foreign individuals or organizations.

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How much does a general translation service cost?

General translation cost varies depending on the translation companies and their geographical locations. Besides, the price of a general translation project is also determined by several factors:

  1. ● The length of the document
  2. ● Type of document
  3. ● Specific language combinations
  4. ● Formats of documents (applied to translations of scanned images that require heavy post-translation formatting)
  5. ● Urgency

For example, translations of common languages such as English, Chinese, or Spain will have a more competitive price compared to other less common languages. It’s important to find a credible translation agency that provides a transparent quotation beforehand to avoid any unexpected charges.

Where to get General translation services?

Translators providing general translations don’t need to have superior acknowledge of a certain industry. Instead, they should have a broad cultural competence and well-honed localization skills.

The quality of translation and the execution process are important factors to consider when seeking translation services for general documents. Working with Thao & Co., you don’t have to worry about the quality of our translation services. Our team of professional linguists has impeccable skills to navigate any translation project.

What makes Thao & Co. translation services stand out?

  1. ● Translated by experienced native linguists
  2. ● Transparent timeline and quotation provided upfront
  3. ● Translation accuracy and confidentiality guaranteed
  4. ● Advanced translation technology to enhance efficiency and ensure translation quality.
  5. ● Thao & Co. proprietary platform which helps you monitor your project with ease

Visit our Get A Quote page and leave your information to receive a free consultation today!

Source: Thao & Company
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