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Translation: What happens when you buy a commodity.

by Joseph 12. January 2015 05:56

The very first Translation blog post that I posted started off with a quotation from Benjamin Franklin, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” and established our commitment to quality and quality assurance.

It is truly something I believe in and instill in new hires when training the translation team here at Foreign Credits. If we are going to do something, we are going to do it well in order to deliver the best quality translations at a fair price.

As a company that offers credential evaluations as well as translations, we are in a very unique position in that we see what other Language Service providers deliver. A lot of the providers whose translations we receive offer bottom-barrel pricing and sell translation as a commodity rather than a service (see Translation: Service or Commodity?).

Below are examples of translations we have received that were done by said companies. These examples prove that you truly get what you pay for and when a translation is concerning your academic credentials, buying a service is much preferable to buying a commodity. Furthermore, these examples are ones from fairly common language pairs (German, Spanish and French into English) and I assure you, finding good-quality providers for these language pairs is easy to do.

German Error image 1


Erroneous Translation



This first one was done from German into English. As can be observed, there is a typographical error in the translation of FAKULTÄT – FCAULTY; which would not be that bad except that the original document had attached an original English Translation to the German Text (see below).

German correction

Original Translation


And still further, we have the following typographical error.

Second German Error


Erroneous Translation

Original Translation




While typographical errors are minor infractions, they are magnified by the fact that these misspellings in the final translation could have been avoided if the project manager had been more careful to notice that an original translation was attached, if the translator had been more attentive when re-typing the original translation for proper certification, or if any among the Project Manager, Translator, or Quality Assurance (the issuing company talks of a QA step in their workflow) had thought to run a simple spell check. Moreover, in a document of eighty words, two errors such as these lend to the questioning of the translation’s validity entirely.

This next translation was of a document from Mexico. In this case, the translator had shamelessly changed the names of courses to something they were not thereby invalidating the translation as a whole. The customer was then asked to pay for a second translation, one that truly represented the source documents’ content. The coursework was for a program in agriculture.


Spanish error - originals

I truly wish I were fabricating this information; however, this is what the original translation company provided. For the life of me, I cannot even try to understand how a translator thought these translations of the coursework were alright to submit.  As can be seen below, the translations of Commercial Poultry Production, Temperate Climate Bovines, Basic Crops, and Growing Ornamental Plants are nowhere near being close to conveying the idea of an Agricultural Practicum, Horticulture, Artificial Insemination or Soils and Fertilizers (respectively).

Spanish Correction

This last example comes from the translation of a Doctoral diploma from France. In this instance, a French pronoun which refers to the physical diploma itself was left in place and does not have any meaning whatsoever in English. It should be noted that this translation was issued by the same company that completed the first example.

French Error and Correction

Additionally, I should add that that phrase, “pour en jouir avec les droits et prérogatives qui y sont attachés.” is a very common phrase and present on almost all degree-granting certificates from France and its translation; therefore, is equally as common.

In conclusion, it can now be observed that you truly do get what you pay for when it comes to translations. How much money can really be saved in ordering a translation based on low price when the resulting first translation is so poor that the document needs to be re-translated to be done properly? All three translations were certified translations done by companies and were accompanied by a certification statement. In researching the companies that issued the translations, both of them obscured their quality assurance workflows if they mentioned quality at all.


At Foreign Credits, we believe in transparency in our procedures. You can trust us to deliver the best possible translation because we have in place and adhere to a quality assurance policy in order to minimize errors. Aside from the procedural protocol in place, we also have two members of the staff who hold Master’s degrees in Language and Linguistics; in addition, all members of the translation staff have taught language for at least two years at either the secondary or post-secondary level. We know language. It’s our profession. It’s our passion.

Certified Translation, an overview

by Joseph 4. December 2014 12:22

What does it mean when a translation is certified? What types of documents need certification?

A certified translation is one that is accompanied by a statement from the translator or Language Service Provider stating that, to the best of the knowledge of the certifier, the translation is an accurate representation of the source document in the target language.

This can be verified in a few different ways. The first is based on the professional translator attesting to the validity by him or herself being completely conversant in both the source and target languages. The second is based on the project manager or coordinator attesting that the translation was performed by a translator conversant in both languages. Either type of certification is sufficient to be considered a certified translation; though, a certified translation may still be rejected if it has been discovered that the translation is not as certified and found to be unfaithful to the original.

Documents in need of certified translation are ones that have been issued by an official government or academic entity, such as certificates, diplomas, civil status papers, and health records. Other documents in need of certification are those of an official nature in which the accuracy of a translation could be a legal liability if incorrect. Examples of such documents include court documents and medical documents for pharmaceutical and biotechnology testing.

In all cases, certification of the translation should be expected. Notarization, however, is a different story. Not all certified translations need to be notarized, but notarization does lend verification that the translator or project manager who has certified the translation is who they say they are and that the certification is not fraudulent.

Moreover, it should be noted that the certification may not necessarily certify the accuracy of the translation, but merely certifies that the proper procedures for translation have been followed. In addition, the notarization only certifies that the identity of the certification’s signatory has been verified. The notarization, likewise, only certifies the identity of the signatory, not the accuracy of the translation.


For samples of certified translations, visit the certified translation website. For more information regarding these and many other types of services, please contact Foreign Credits, Inc. at

Foreign Credits Translations and Quality Processes

by Joseph 13. November 2014 12:11

“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”

–Benjamin Franklin

                At Foreign Credits, a workflow that focuses on quality is the heart of our business. While we are not certified to ISO 9001 or EN 15038 standards, we are compliant with and ascribe to their quality processes in order to ensure the highest possible quality in translated documents. While any freelance translator can produce quality translations, only Language Service Providers, like Foreign Credits, can deliver quality-assured translations from tested, well-established translators and third-party editors, unaffiliated with the original translator.


At Foreign Credits, we have established a basic quality assurance workflow that is the core of all projects.

 Basic Workflow

The above workflow has proven to ensure that our final delivered product is a true and accurate representation of the original document. We at Foreign Credits believe that this focus on quality adds value to our translations and sets us apart from other Language Service Providers who focus on providing low-cost translations while obscuring their quality processes. In addition, some providers charge extra for notarization; at Foreign Credits, all our certified translations are certified by our project managers or coordinators and come with notarization.

For further information, visit our Translations page or send an e-mail to

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