Translation and Transcription
Guidance for Services
This document provides an outline of how to have information, leaflets and documents translated
in alternative languages and formats.
What is Translation?
Translation is something written in another language
What is Transcription?
Transcription is an alternative way of communicating to other people by providing information in
different in preferred formats this could include Braille, Audio and Large print and CD
At the present time Stockton’s Black Minority Ethnic (BME) communities make up around 2.8% of
the borough’s population - roughly 6000 people (2001 Census). The majority of the BME
population speak, read and write English; however there are some first and second generation
members of the established BME community who may not be confident in communicating in
In addition to our established BME communities, the borough also has around 300 people seeking
asylum and a number of residents who have been granted refugee status. (Sourced from SBC
Asylum Support Team 21/09/06)
It’s estimated that there are over 70 nationalities represented in the borough including growing
communities from Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and various states of Africa. Some of the main languages
used include Urdu, French, Punjabi, Arabic, Farsi and Kurdish.
Also there are two million people in the UK with a sight problem. It is estimated that there are
1,800 people in the Borough with sight problems, many are not registered blind and some are
elderly and vulnerable.
There is now a legal duty to meet the information needs of your blind and partially sighted
customers following the implementation of Section 21 of the Disability Discrimination Act in
October 1999.It is essential that we provide information in an accessible way, using clear
language, an appropriate format and in a variety of languages.
In addition to accessible information being a key part of good quality services we are also required
by law to ensure that we provide equality of opportunity to all residents including those from
Black and Minority Ethnic communities and disabled people.
Any council document can be translated or transcribed to meet residents' needs. It is services’
responsibility to pay for their documents to be translated or transcribed
Useful tips to consider, when deciding whether to translate or transcribe information
It is important to see the translation or transcription as more than a simple operation of swapping
one word for another into the target language or format. The finished format, document, poster or
translation needs to be meaningful and useful to the customer.
1. What is the purpose of the translation or transcription?
E.g. information, publication, use in court, training
2. What translation or transcription is needed?
E.g. Urdu, French, Punjabi, Braille
3. Consider, would it be beneficial to have the document/s read or signed by an interpreter to
ensure the client fully understands what he/she is reading? This is sometimes a cheaper
option if the document is a one off. For example it would make more sense to have a
tenancy agreement translated in the given language, however it may be cheaper to have
read to the client by an interpreter
4. Carrying out an assessment of the need for a document to be translated in full, as against
a shortened version or summary.
5. Give consideration to the target audience, how they will be reached and the best format
for their needs, for example, audio information may in some cases be preferable to a
6. Ensuring the use of plain, grammatically correct and simple English in all documents that
7. Does the layout of the translation have to comply with any particular requirements? (You
can also seek further information from SBC graphics section)
E.g. facsimile of the original, page for page, PDF, E-mail, CD, Hard copy, word document
8. Are tables and graphical matter to be incorporated with the text?
E.g. figures, diagrams, equations, flow charts
9. Make provision for the proof reading of all documents for accuracy, readability and
appropriateness E.g. correct terminology, spell-check, structure and syntax
10. Recognising that translation should be seen as a supplement to interpreting and other
communication services, not a substitute.
11. When is the translation or transcription to be delivered?
Don't forget there is always a deadline for the submission of translations or transcription.
12. On what basis will the translation or transcription be charged?
E.g. target text length, source text length, time, lump sum.
13. Obtain 3 quotes, before contracting a company to carry out the work.
14. Will VAT apply to these charges?
15. If in doubt with any these issues, consult with the Diversity Team on -
email@example.com / (01642 528830)
How to get information translated or transcribed
Once services are confident that they need information translating in the various formats, the
next stage is to obtain three quotes from the recommended translation companies.
There are many companies offering translation and transcription services. A list is provided at the
end of this document. In the future, it’s possible that the council may enter into a contract with
one or more suppliers to help decide whether this is the right thing to do. The diversity team will
periodically seek feedback from the services on companies used.
Translation Company Contact
Name Address E-mail Telephone Website
Language Point Cassaton House firstname.lastname@example.org Bookings www.sunderland.gov.uk
Sunderland 43-49 Fawcett d.gov.uk 0191 566 1750
Sunderland 0191 566 1753
SR1 1R Fax
Brass House The Brass BTIS@birmingham.gov.uk 0121 303 0114 www.birmingham.gov.uk
Language House Centre Fax /brasshouse.bcc
Centre 50, Sheepcote 0121 303 4782
NERS NERS For bookings: 0191 2457313 www.refugee.org.uk
Interpreting 2 Edmond Road email@example.com Fax
and Translation West, 0191 2457314
Centre Newcastle upon For management issues: 0191 2457311
8 Thatch am firstname.lastname@example.org 0870 770 5260 http://www.prestigenetw
Prestige Business Village Fax ork.com/translation/cont
Network Caltrop 0870 770 5261 act/contact.htm
Translation Thatch am
Company RG19 4LW
Blind Voice UK 27 Yarm Road Manager 01642 Braille Transcription UK
also Known as Stockton on Christine.durnion@blindvoice. 803590/1 Ltd
Stockton Tees co.uk Fax PO Box 2386
Blinds people’s TS18 3NJ Project Officer 01642803591 Newcastle under Lyme
Voice Jill.email@example.com ST5 8XB
Braille Units 1 & 2 enquiries@brailletranscription Telephone: www.brailletranscriptionu
Transcription Building 103 uk.co.uk 01782 563383 k.co.uk
UK Campbell Road Fax: 01782
ST4 4DE Mobile: 07976
Everyday info@everydaylanguagesolutio Tel: 01642 www.everydaylanguages
Language ns.co.uk 603203 olutions.co.uk
Solutions Fax: 01642