The Modern Translation Industry

Our clients are often surprised when they learn about the size and scope of our company.  Far from being a small hobby job, translation is a thriving industry filled with professionals.  For a great run down on how modern translation agencies operate, we highly recommend this piece from Inc.:

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A Link Between Language and CSR

AZ World is busy translating a few Corporate Social Responsibility Reports.  We stumbled across this article that outlines an interesting link between language and corporate responsibility.

Another interesting note is that culture can be just as important as language in CSR.  We’ve discussed before the similar link in the translation industry.  Our best translators are not only bilingual but also bicultural.  Read more about that here.

Check out the Harvard Business Working Knowledge article here:


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The Translation Order and Payment Process

It is standard practice in the translation business, like in all industries, for Purchase Orders or Proposals to be created and approved before contract work commences.  It is also expected that once projects are approved, work done will be paid for.

At AZ World the process is as follows.  We receive the file to be translated and then we do an analysis of the file using that clients translation memory.  We then create a PO, or if it is our first project with this client, a Proposal.  Only once that PO has been formally approved do we begin to work on the file.  Once the file has been completed, it is delivered to the client along with a Net 30 invoice.

Our process protects us and our translators from miscommunication and other unforeseen circumstances.  AZ World follows the same process with our translators too, and we always pay our translators within an agreed upon timeline, even if the client has not yet paid their invoice.  It is not our translators’ problem if the client hasn’t paid yet, it is the agency’s problem.  Our translators do quality work and deserve to be treated right by this agency; so that’s what we do.

Other translation agencies do not conform to these best practices.  They have been known to not formally approve PO’s and often do not pay their translators until 6 months after work has been completed.  AZ World prides itself on paying translators promptly and maintaining good productive relationships with service providers and clients.

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We are at PDAC 2014!

More than 80% of the work we do at AZ World is mining related.  This includes feasibility studies, environmental studies, technical reports, mining software, mining equipment, mining contracts and web sites for mining companies or companies that service the mining industry. We think PDAC is the best place to talk to clients and find new ones.

AZ World has created a name in the industry as a translation company specialized in the mining industry and this is shown by the fact that currently Barrick, Goldcorp, Kinross and KGHM are among our over 70 mining clients.

Today I would like to share some of the questions that I was often asked as I walked the stands yesterday,

You are not an engineer, how do you know the terminology?

You’re right; I am not an engineer but I am a translator that has engineers, lawyers, geologist, and other specialists as editors, that has extensive terminological databases, that works with translators trained to work for the mining industry, and that uses the most advanced software available to translators today.

How long does it take you to translate a report?

Well, it depends on things such as the format, the terminology, the number of repetitions in the document, and if we have a database of terminology available for that subject.  A general rule of thumb is that a translator’s output is around 2000 words per day.

How much do you charge?

Before we provide a quote we like to see the document. A Word, Excel or Powerpoint document is always cheaper to translate than a PDF because a PDF requires more formatting prior to translating than a ready to edit Word document.  We are always happy to provide free quotes, available at

And remember there is a reason why we count over 70 mining companies as clients, if you are not one of them, send us a note and we will be happy to assist you.

Make sure to seek out Ana Maria Zuniga over the next few days!

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An Important Consideration in Website Translation

We’ve considered the benefits of website translation in previous blog posts.  Today we will outline a potential pitfall.

A common request we hear after translating a website or a part of a website into French is to “make it shorter.”  This is because French text is, on average, 20% longer than English.  That means that the same passage, paragraph or sentence will take up 20% more space in French than in English.  Any web designer will tell you that managing “white space” and minimizing the amount of text on a website are keys to effective presentation.  This is something that needs to be considered when planning to translate your website.

The French cannot really be shortened once translated, or rather, the translator cannot shorten it.  The translator’s job is to accurately and effectively translate the material, once that is done, they cannot simply shorten the material.  The words are what they are, they cannot be shortened just like we can’t simply shorten words like in English.

There are a couple reasons for this, one is simply that words in French are longer.  ”River” in French is “rivière”, which is about 30% longer.  The other reason is the use of “de” or “of” in French nouns. “Information technology” is “technologie de l’information” in French, this addition of “de” accounts for much of the increase in length in French.  It is also not possible to simply remove “de”, it simply wouldn’t make sense.

Keep this fact in mind when planning on translating your website into French.  Allow for extra room in the English version or rewrite your copy in French so that it is shorter.  AZ World has extensive experience in dealing with these challenges and is always ready to take on your project.

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Machine Translation Used for Spanish Version of

Turns out that the Spanish version of the new website relied on Machine Translation for translation.  We’ve blogged previously about the risks and costs associated with relying on machine translation.  Check out some of those for our take.

Alexandra Petri at the Washington Post does a great job of examining this latest round.  Read her take on it here:

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Translation Memory Explained

As we’ve discussed on this blog before translation is a complex process. Languages grow out of cultures and so even related tongues like English and French or German and Dutch can be separated by vast cultural gaps that a simple word-by-word literal translation does not convey. Anyone who has spent time trying to decipher poorly translated instructions on a toy or a bookshelf will tell you that quick and easy online translation programs often just don’t cut the cake.

Proper translation requires the work of a linguist who understands the nuance of both the languages involved. They need to be able to look at a sentence and not just substitute the words but to understand what the writer was trying to convey, and then express that in the grammar and syntax of the target language. It remains, however, a time consuming process. It takes many hours of work to rewrite a book or a manual, even for a trained and practiced translator. Given this problem, properly translating a work into multiple languages is often simply not cost effective. This is where the Translation Memory, or TM, has its time to shine.

Simply put, a Translation Memory is a program which handles the more repetitive parts of the translation work and allows the translator to spend their time and effort more efficiently. They work by first breaking the document, known as the source text, into contextual pieces, or segments. Segments can range from individual words to full sentences and once divided these segments are checked against a database of common phrases in the source language. The Translation Memory matches each of the segments in the source text to the database and rates them from 0% to 100% matched. When a 100% match occurs, the program will automatically substitute the segment in question with its established translation. Segments with a match rating between around 70% and 99% are tagged as fuzzy matches and are presented to the translator as suggested translations. Segments with a rating outside of that window are not considered accurate and are ignored by the program.

As well as searching for segments which match its database, the Translation Memory also looks for repeated phrases which it does not recognize. When the translator arrives at these phrases and translates them, the TM saves the translation into its database and uses it to translate the repeated phrase throughout the source text. In this way, the program begins to learn how to better translate the work in question and the process of translation accelerates with the Translation Memory doing more and more of the work involved. The translated segments are saved within the TM’s database for use in future works, ensuring that all the languages involved are kept up to date.

Translation Memories are highly beneficial for the translator and their client. By allowing the translator to work faster, they can deliver their finished produce to the client much sooner and, therefore, at a lower price than a translator who had worked unassisted. As such, Translation Memories offer to prospective clients a third option which is both cost effective for their business and assures the quality of a professional translation.

AZ World uses translation memories for all of our clients, and is proud to provide a more cost-effective product.  Request a quote at

Written by: Aaron Fenney
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December 13, 2013

Vancouver, BC – AZ World President Ana María Zúniga announced today that AZ World Translation and Interpretation was among the top ten finalists for the Small Business BC Best Company Award.  For the past few two weeks AZ World had been collecting votes in order to move on in the annual awards process.

The team at AZ World is proud to have moved on and is grateful for the support the community has demonstrated for us.  The semi-finalists were chosen based on the number of votes received and the entire AZ World team is overwhelmed that so many people think AZ World deserving of this honour.

AZ World Translation and Interpretation Inc. is a full-service translation and interpretation agency and is largely recognized for helping businesses across the Americas to overcome cultural, linguistic and economic barriers at an international level. Services include translating documents and websites, transcribing to audio and video, as well as interpreting in person, on the phone, and via web conferencing.



AZ World Translation and Interpretation Inc
Phone: 604.351.3615


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13 de diciembre de 2013

Vancouver, BC – La presidenta de AZ World, Ana María Zúñiga, anunció el día de hoy que AZ World Translation and Interpretation es una de los diez finalistas al Premio a la Mejor Compañía de BC en la categoría de Pequeñas Empresas.  Durante las pasadas semanas, AZ World ha estado recolectando votos para avanzar en el proceso anual de los premios.

El equipo de AZ World se enorgullece de haber avanzado a la siguiente etapa y agradece el apoyo que la comunidad le ha mostrado.  Los semifinalistas fueron escogidos en función del número de votos recibidos, y todo el equipo de AZ World está conmovido de saber que tanta gente piensa que AZ World merece este honor.

AZ World Translation and Interpretation Inc. es una agencia que ofrece un servicio completo de traducción e interpretación, y que es ampliamente reconocida por ayudar a los negocios en toda América a superar las barreras culturales, lingüísticas y económicas a un nivel internacional. Los servicios que ofrece incluyen la traducción de documentos y sitios web, la transcripción de audio y de video, así como la interpretación en persona, por teléfono o por conferencia a través de la web.



AZ World Translation and Interpretation Inc
Teléfono: 604.351.3615
Correo electrónico:

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AZ World est annoncé semi-finaliste pour le SBBC Best Company Award.

AZ World est annoncé semi-finaliste pour le SBBC Best Company Award.

Le 13 décembre 2013,

Vancouver, Colombie-Britannique – La présidente d’AZ World, Ana María Zúniga, a annoncé aujourd’hui que AZ World Translation & Interpretation figure désormais dans le top dix des finalistes pour le SBBC Best Company Award. Depuis les dernières semaines, AZ World a accumulé les votes avec pour pari de cheminer dans le processus annuel de récompenses.

L’équipe d’AZ World est fière de ce cheminement et est reconnaissante du support démontré par notre communauté. Les semi-finalistes furent choisis selon le nombre de votes reçus et l’équipe entière d’AZ World est submergée par l’émotion à l’idée que tant de personnes croient qu’AZ World mérite cet honneur.

AZ World est une agence offrant un service complet de traduction ainsi que d’interprétation. Elle est largement reconnue pour son aide aux entreprises à surpasser les barrières culturelles, linguistiques et économiques à un niveau international; et ce à l’échelle des Amériques. Nos services incluent notamment la traduction de documents et sites Web, la transcription de l’audio et vidéo, ainsi que de l’interprétation en personne, par téléphone, et par Web conférence.

Contactez-nous :

AZ World Translation and Interpretation Inc.
Téléphone: 604.351.3615


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Headquarters AZ World Translation Services Inc.
704 Maurelle Court North Vancouver , British Columbia , V7R 2M1 Canada