Frequently Asked Questions

Which languages do you translate?

Which languages do you translate?

We work with translators of most languages both from and into English. The most common languages are:

  • Albanian
  • Amharic
  • Arabic
  • Bahasa
  • Bengali
  • Bulgarian
  • Burmese
  • Chinese
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dari
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Estonian
  • Farsi
  • Finnish
  • Flemish
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • German
  • Greek
  • Gujarati
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Icelandic
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Kazakh
  • Korean
  • Kurdish
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Macedonian
  • Malay
  • Maltese
  • Marathi
  • Mirpuri
  • Nepalese
  • Norwegian
  • Pashto
  • Persian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Punjabi
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Samoan
  • Serbian
  • Shona
  • Sinhala
  • Slovakian
  • Slovenian
  • Somali
  • Sorani
  • Swahili
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Tagalog
  • Tamil
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Ukrainian
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese
  • Welsh
  • Zulu
Do I need a translator or an interpreter?

Do I need a translator or an interpreter?

Translators deal with written text, interpreters deal with the spoken word. We specialise in top-quality written translations (such as financial translations, marketing translation, legal translations), audio transcriptions, multilingual voiceovers, subtitling and typesetting services all done by professional (human!) linguists. We don’t provide interpreting services, but can recommend a suitable partner for your interpreting needs. Please contact us on +44 (0) 115 9705633.

Why should I pay for translations if I can get them for free on the Internet or use automatic translation software?

Why should I pay for translations if I can get them for free on the Internet or use automatic translation software?

Free machine translation can sometimes be useful. Using machine translation will provide a level of comprehension of up to approximately 40 percent for a reader unfamiliar with the source language, giving him/her a “gist” of the contents of the document or webpage, which will in a few cases be all that is required.

However, the purpose of most translations is to communicate ideas and information accurately and to provide much more than just a “gist” of the meaning. For this professional translation is still absolutely essential.

I need a professional translation. What's the difference between translations for-publication and for-information?

I need a professional translation. What's the difference between translations for-publication and for-information?

For-publication is the service required when you’re sending or presenting documents to a client, to senior management in your own company, or whenever else you really need to give a good impression. “For-publication” translations are clear, well-written, idiomatic and stylish and make up the majority of our translation work.

For-information translation, which for the English-speaking world is a draft translation into English, is suitable for situations when you need to know what a document means but don’t require it in perfect English. Our translators produce a translation which is accurate but unpolished. Because the document will not undergo our usual final proofreading stage, we can offer special discounts off our price-list charges. Please note however, some types of text, particularly technical texts, are unsuitable for “for-information” translation.

There is a third type of professional human translation Creative copywriting. Put simply, this is similar to advertising copywriting, but in a foreign language.

If you are unsure which service you require, please send us your text and we will advise you about the translation options available, or call us for more information on +44 (0) 115 9705633.

Why should I have my website professionally translated?

Why should I have my website professionally translated?

By offering alternative language versions on your website, you can take advantage of the huge online markets in other major world languages. The most important of these are the German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, and increasingly, Chinese online markets.

Recent research into internet usage has shown that visitors to a website are three times more likely to buy from a site if it is in their own language. But the readability of the text is also extremely important – visitors are much more likely to read to the bottom of a webpage in their own language if it is clear, well-written and stylish. This can only be achieved with a professionally-produced translation.

The value of goods and services sourced direct from the internet is increasing rapidly year-on-year and organisations that open themselves up to international opportunities will have an increasing competitive advantage.

Why should I choose AST? How can I be sure of the quality of the translation?

Why should I choose AST? How can I be sure of the quality of the translation?

  1. Our reputation: please take a look at the high profile clients we work with.
  2. Our quality assurance procedures
  3. Our people: We always use native-speaker translators of the target language who are specialists in the relevant subject matter. Our translators come from numerous disciplines but all have professionalism, attention to detail and ‘flair’ in common.

Our project managers are all graduate linguists who recognise our reputation is based on our providing consistently top-quality translations.

In summary, we will work with you to ensure your translation is carried out to your complete satisfaction and delivered promptly in the correct format.

How long will the translation take?

How long will the translation take?

Every translation is different and the time required to translate different texts of similar length can vary greatly. To put it simply, turnaround times depend on the difficulty of the text and our current capacity for the specific language combination. As a general rule, we can translate 1500 – 2500 words per language per day, which normally allows enough time for project management and proofreading.

Send us your enquiry via email, indicating your required deadline, with an exact time of day if appropriate, or give us a call on +44 (0) 115 9705633. We’ll usually respond within one hour, either confirming delivery by your requested deadline, or suggesting an earliest achievable turnaround time.

How much do you charge?

How much do you charge?

For detailed pricing please email us the text and we will send you an all-inclusive final quotation.

How do I pay?

How do I pay?

Generally we will set up a credit account with you. We usually ask new clients to pay a deposit with their first order. Payments can also be made via Paypal or Moneybookers.

We accept payments in Pounds sterling, Euros or Dollars.

How do I know my documents will be kept confidential?

How do I know my documents will be kept confidential?

AST has established procedures for ensuring that sensitive documentation in our charge remains confidential. Our employees are contractually bound to confidentiality in their dealings with our clients’ business information and our translators sign a general non-disclosure agreement before working with us. Upon request, we will also sign project-specific NDAs.

To request a copy of our confidentiality policy contact office@astls.co.uk

Will my personal details be stored securely?

Will my personal details be stored securely?

Yes. Your contact details will be securely held on our database and no third party will ever be given access to them. Please read our privacy statement here.

To request a copy of our confidentiality policy contact office@astls.co.uk

What’s the history of AST?

What’s the history of AST?

The company was founded by Andrew Schlich in 1995. Following graduation from Oxford University, Andrew spent a number of years working in industrial exports in the UK and Germany before spotting an opportunity to provide top-quality translations into English via modem transfer (at that time a new technology!) to clients based in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Much has changed since those early days. To read more visit our about page.

I need AST's Company registration number and VAT number.

I need AST's Company registration number and VAT number.

AST Language Services Ltd is registered in the UK with company no. is 3918642 and VAT no. 648211249.

How do I register to receive freelance work from AST?

How do I register to receive freelance work from AST?

We welcome contact from professional translators of all language combinations. Priority will be given to applicants with a higher degree (MA or equivalent) in translation studies, accreditation with one of the translator associations, and/or with at least three years experience as a staff or freelance translator. Please visit our Job Opportunities page.