Frequently Asked Questions
The most common questions that I am asked are answered here. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, just get in touch and ask – I’m always happy to talk.
Do you translate from English into French/Spanish?
No. The vast majority of qualified translators in the UK translate only into their own native language. This is because, beyond terminology and the most basic concrete nouns, meanings and nuances never overlap perfectly between languages. Translation requires complete mastery of the target language, not just in terms of vocabulary and grammar, but of nuance, connotation and historical context as well, in order to select the very best translation for any word or phrase. This total, intuitive fluency is much more readily available in language or languages that we have spoken from birth. If you need a good English-Spanish or English-French translator, have a look at the directories of qualified linguists held by the CIoL and the ITI, or let me know – I may be able to recommend someone.
How soon can I expect my translation?
The turnaround time I am able to offer will depend on my availability and on the length and complexity of your project. I am often able to be flexible and if you have a tight deadline, just let me know and I will do my best to get you there. When I send you a quotation, I will give you a fixed date of delivery, so you will always know when to expect the finished work. For more information, please read my complete Terms of Service.
Do you charge a rush fee?
I do not routinely charge a rush fee, that is, I don’t ask my clients to pay me extra just to make me translate faster. I work swiftly but thoughtfully for all of my clients, and I won’t accept a project if I don’t feel I have time to do it justice. However, I do offer a Weekend Express service, which is exclusively for projects that really need to be turned around between Friday and Monday. For this there is a 25% surcharge. Texts must be no more than 8000 words in length, and you must send all source materials to me by 3 pm (UK time) on the Friday.
What payment methods do you accept?
Once I have delivered the finished work to you, I will send you an invoice to be paid within 30 days. The easiest and most efficient way to pay from is by electronic transfer, and you will find Tinta Viva’s account details, including IBAN and SWIFT codes for international transfers, on your invoice. I also accept payment through PayPal. For full information on payment and delivery, please see my Terms of Service.
Can I pay in advance?
If you prefer to pay in advance, then yes, of course! Unfortunately I am unable to take credit card payments.
Do I need to pay VAT?
Tinta Viva is VAT-registered and so by law I need to charge standard rate VAT (currently 20%) above my own prices.
If you are based outside of the United Kingdom, you will need to check the specific VAT regulations for your country. Usually, if you are registered for VAT in another EU country, or based outside the EU entirely, then I will not need to add VAT to the cost of your translation. VAT-registered clients in the EU may be responsible for accounting for VAT under the reverse-charge mechanism, while non-EU clients are outside the scope of VAT altogether. However, individuals and non-VAT registered companies outside the UK but within the EU must generally be charged VAT at the standard UK rate. I will work out the VAT applicable when I send you a quotation for your project, so you will be able to see the full cost to you before I begin work.
Can you certify my translation?
In the UK, unlike in some civil law jurisdictions, there is no such thing as a ‘sworn translator’. For most purposes, for example university admissions, a ‘certified translation’ is one that is accompanied by a written statement signed by the translator confirming his or her identity and qualifications and stating that the translation is true, accurate and completed to the best of the translator’s ability. I am happy to self-certify translations on request for no additional charge. As a fully qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (MITI), I am entitled to affix the Institute’s seal to the certification which, in practice, almost always fulfils the requirements of the requesting institution. This incurrs a small additional charge.
A ‘notarised translation’ (also sometimes called a ‘sworn translation’) is similar, but in this case the translation is taken to a solicitor or notary public, in front of whom the translator swears as to the accuracy of the translation and signs the declaration. The notary will also confirm the identity of the translator before signing and stamping the translation. It is important to bear in mind that a notary can only confirm that the translator is who he or she claims to be; not the accuracy or quality of the translation itself. Having your translation notarised will entail an additional charge to cover the notary’s fee and my time.
It is always best to check whether you need a certified or notarised translation, because in many cases the extra expense of having the translation notarised will not be necessary.
Do you have professional indemnity insurance?
Of course. Every project I take on is covered by my insurance up to a value of £500,000, with the exception of clients in the United States and Canada (if that’s you, please see my Terms of Service for information on liability). If you require a higher level of cover, please contact me to discuss your requirements.
How do you keep my data safe?
Safeguarding both your personal data and the confidentiality and security of the information with which you entrust me is something I take very seriously. I take a number of measures to protect your data and your documents as effectively as possible, including file and email encryption. You can read my Privacy and Data Security Policy here, and if there are any further precautions specific to your project that you would like me to take, please just let me know.
Do you have a social responsibility policy?
As a very small business, Tinta Viva doesn’t have a formal CSR programme or shiny brochure, but I take my values very seriously and this is reflected in how I run the business. I believe that the work we do says a lot about who we are, and it is important to me to do good work. This means two things: firstly, that I will do everything I can to ensure that the work I deliver to you is excellent in every way; secondly, that I will endeavour to ensure that Tinta Viva Translation has only positive impacts on our planet and all of its inhabitants.
Tinta Viva needs only very limited physical resources, but I take care to ensure that everything I use, from printer paper to the many cups of coffee I consume over the course of my day, is responsibly sourced, produced and disposed of, and I’ll always take the environmentally-friendly version if one is available. I like to keep the paper throughput of my office to a minimum and so prefer to communicate by email if possible.
I love working on projects relating to the environment, to human rights, to international development and to urban policy because these are subjects that I have always been passionate about. Registered charities and non-profit organisations working in all fields can benefit from Tinta Viva’s Non-profit Discount, reducing the standard rate by 10%.
There are certain kinds of projects that I will not take on for ethical reasons, and you can read more about this in my Terms of Service.
I also run a pro bono programme and take on a number of assignments free of charge every year, so please get in touch if you’d like to apply.