Translation FAQ

Translation FAQ

The world of translation often comes with its own insider language and processes. We’re on a mission to demystify that and ensure every client understands how our translation services work. Below is a list of some of our frequently asked questions when it comes to translation. If you have more questions, feel free to contact us directly.

Table of Contents



Q.1 What is the difference between interpretation and translation?

“Interpretation” is the real-time process of communication support across multiple languages. “Translation” describes the transformation of the content of static assets from an existing source language into target languages. This could include but is not limited to document or website translation, captioning videos in multiple languages, or multilingual voiceover work. Live captioning services in English are available through our ASL department. Head to our article “What Is The Difference Between Translation And Interpreting?” for more information.

Q.2 What does “source and target language” mean?

The source language is the original language of the document submitted for translation. The target language is the language that you would like the document to be translated into.

Q.3 What does TEP mean?

TEP stands for translation, editing, and proofreading. Learn more about this process and LUNA’s ISO 9001 and 17100 standards certifications here.

Q.4 What does DTP mean?

DTP stands for desktop publishing. This is the process of matching the original document’s formatting in the translated document using a desktop publishing software such as InDesign, Word, Excel, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc. The final result is a camera-ready document ready to print or publish online without further editing or formatting.

Q.5 What does localization mean and why is this important?

Localization is the process of translating and writing content in a way that resonates with an audience from a specific geographic location. For example, Spanish for speakers from Spain will have a different vocabulary than Spanish for speakers from Mexico, even though both speak Spanish. For businesses and organizations to effectively communicate in a new market, localization is key to ensure their message carries the same cultural equivalence in the target language.

Q.6 What does it mean to use formal or informal verb conjugation in another language?

Many languages use different levels of formality when addressing someone based on relationships, seniority, rank, or as a show of respect. LUNA’s Translation Team can help you determine which option will serve your translation goals best.


Project submission

Q.1 What do I need to prepare before I submit a project for translation?

Please have editable files or clear images (PDF is preferred, if an image is being submitted, but we can work in any format). If you’re sending .png, .jpg, or other image files, please be sure that all information is clearly visible.

For business and nonprofit related projects, please include existing termbases, glossaries, translation style guides (or notes on branding, audience, and usage), and any current, translated materials for use as reference.

Q.2 How do I submit a translation project?

Projects can be submitted here or via email to Existing and new LUNA clients can also request a login for our secure project management system.

Q.3 What is the best way for me to send over large files for translation?

Our team can accept large files via any file transfer service such as Dropbox, Hightail, and WeTransfer as well as directly to our project management system with a client login.

Q.4 If I’m working through LUNA’s project management system, how do I submit and monitor projects?

For information on how to submit and monitor projects, please review our step-by-step video tutorial.


Pricing and the quoting process

Q.1 Can we reduce the cost by eliminating an editor? What are the pros and cons of this approach?

Depending on the scope of work and your in-house resources, eliminating the editor can reduce costs. While cost savings can be realized with translation-only services, conducting editing with your own in-house can add to the costs and overall timeline of the project completion. The editing process is so critical that it is specifically outlined in the ISO 17100 standard as a requirement for a translation project. To ensure the highest quality translation results, we highly recommend maintaining the standard of using two editors.

Q.2 How do I reduce the cost of a translation project?

Costs of translation projects can be reduced through volume discounts, and reducing project management time by providing editable documents and tracking changes for any feedback provided. More options may be available depending on the nature of your project. Please reach out to us at for more information.

Q.3 What details are taken into consideration when quoting a translation project?

A quote for pricing and turnaround time for a translation project will take into account source and target language pairings, file format (for example, editable files take less time to translate than the recreation of non-editable files), and formatting or design needs. If video or voiceover work is needed for the project, LUNA will take into account subtitling time, voice and accent preferences, gender preferences, and revision cycles. We recommend providing director’s notes to guide the voice talent and reduce the number of revisions needed.

Q.4 Is there a project minimum fee?

Yes. Most small projects carry a minimum fee. Please reach out to us for specific cost estimates for your projects.



Invoicing and payments

Q.1 What do I need to know about invoicing?

Most projects are invoiced within 30 days of project completion. Depending on the request and project scope of work, payment may be required in advance. The invoicing cycle is monthly and multiple projects may be grouped together on monthly invoices.

Q.2 What if I need to prepay the work before it’s completed?

Please feel free to request an invoice in advance and we’ll be glad to accommodate.

Q.3 What do you need to send an invoice?

Please include the invoicing contact name, email, and phone number along with the complete company name and mailing address.

Q.4 How can I pay for my project if I’m an individual?

You’re welcome to use this PayPal link, or call our office at (317)341-4137 to pay by credit card over the phone.

Q.5 How can I pay for my project if my request is on behalf of a company?

If your company requires purchase orders, we’re happy to provide an estimate for this purpose and can send the invoice directly to your accounts payable team. We are also able to accept credit card payments and ACH payments.


Project management expectations

Q.1 How quickly can you turnaround a translation project?

Translation project turnaround times depend on the source file type and length, the source and target languages, and the target translation formatting requirements. On average, professional human translators can complete approximately 2,000 words of translation per business day and edit 3,000-4,000 words per business day. Project management time may also be integrated into an estimated turnaround time. Our team will always provide an accurate estimated time of project delivery and we highly suggest utilizing those estimates for planning of project completion on your end.

Q.2 Can I review the translation internally and share feedback?

Absolutely! Translation is part art and part science. This is why our team recommends providing a style guide, glossary, and termbase, which can inform word choice and save on the cost and time of updating files.

Q.3 Can I monitor the progress for my projects?

All clients with a login to our project management system can see the progress of their projects in the system. For large projects, our team may also be able to provide you with appropriate updates or progress reports. Please connect with your account manager directly if you have special timing needs for parts of your project.



Quality assurance

Q.1 How can I assure a translation is accurate?

 LUNA follows translation best practice by using qualified, professional, human translators and editors for ALL projects- big and small. Our processes follow the ISO 17100 standard.

Q.2 What is the difference between “stylistic preferences” and “incorrect translation”?

A material mistranslation occurs when a translator omits or incorrectly translates content. For example, if the sentence “I have a cat” is translated in the target language as “I have a dog.” A stylistic preference occurs when there are multiple ways to translate a sentence and all are grammatically, contextually, and culturally correct, though one may be preferred by the client over another. For example, the sentence “He used a different vocabulary,” could be translated in the target language as, “He used different words.”

Q.3 My organization isn’t working with ISO standards. Why should I care about ISO 9001 and 17100 standards certification?

ISO is an international standards organization that seeks to standardize best practices and drives continual improvements to processes and quality assurance measures. The ISO 9001 and 17100 standards we follow demonstrate our commitment to both the quality of our work and the experience for our clients.

Q.4 How can I be sure the document my designer laid out is accurate in my target languages?

Our team can provide post-layout review services if your designer is creating the layout in the target languages. We can also handle the design work for you directly with access to the editable source files.

Q.5 How do I make sure that our brand preferences (tone, perspective, special vocabulary, etc.) are taken into consideration in the translated materials?

Providing a style guide, glossary, and termbase is a key step in ensuring your brand representation in the target languages is successful. If you don’t currently have these reference materials, we can help you develop them. Contact us for more information.

Q.6 Do you provide certified translation and/or certificates of translation?

Yes, we provide both certified translation and certificates of translation. Certified translations vary by language and availability of certifications. A certificate of translation, attesting to the quality and qualifications of the translator, is always available upon request and automatically included in personal document deliveries.

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