How long will it take to translate? Does machine translation really work? Here are the answers to some often-asked question. If this doesn't answer your question, do not hesitate to contact us. We love nothing more than giving pointers regarding our trade.

  • Why not use straight Machine Translation?

    A very good question! Machine translation (MT) improved a lot in the recent years, but this created unexpected problems.

    MT output often feels unnatural: "a bit like Yoda the syntax sounds".  Improving on MT often means rewriting the complete sentence. But machine translation output is often quite alright. This in turn means that some dangerous misinterpretations generated by a machine will go undetected unless a human proofreads the translation.

    In agreement with the client, BabelOn-line can use MTPE (Machine Translation with human Post Editing). For each sentence, our SaaS AI selects the best machine translation amongst 6 engines and our linguists ensure that the output is correct. MTPE can be a very effective solution for some texts. We will be happy to guide you.

  • Why should I choose BabelOn-line? What is your USP?

    Our USP is Unbelievable quality and Service at this Price point

    Translations are becoming "commoditised": to increase margins, it could be tempting to assign projects to the first available, lowest bidding translator available on a translation platform.

    Babelon-line love tech and AIs. It helps us drive costs down. We are also proudly old school: we know that a good translation can only be produced by a skilled linguist. We carefully select a great translator for every job. Oh, and did we mention the ultra fast service?



  • How long does it take to translate a text?

    As a rule of thumb, an experienced translator will process between 2,000 and 2,500 words per day.

    Using MTPE (Machine Translation with human Post Editing), this can go up to 3 or 4,000 words.

    Our SaaS platform allows us to divide larger projects into smaller sub-projects; we can therefore have a team of translators working on the same project, keeping your preferred terminology  consistent. 


  • Which file formats can you handle?

    We work on all the classic formats: Word, PowerPoint, Excel, but also InDesign (as .idml) , WordPress,... 

    We can translate directly the following file formats:

    .doc, .docx, .dot, .dotx, .docm, .dotm, .rtf, .ppt, .pptx, .pot, .potx, .pptm, .potm, .xls, .xlsx, .xlt, .xltx, .xlsm, .xltm .asciidoc, .adoc, .asc .odt, .ods, or .odp .htm, .html .idml, .icml, .mif (version 8 and above only), .psd, .svg .sdlxliff .xml, .xhtm, .xhtml, Android .xml .xliff (1.2),.xliff (2.0), .xliff for Drupal/WordPress, mqxliff (MemoQ xliff), tmx .dita, .ditamap .md, .markdown .pdf (may need text extraction) .catkeys, .csv, DocBook (.dbk), .desktop, (Mozilla).DTD, .epub, (Joomla).ini, .json, .arb (import as JSON), .lang, .Plist, .po, .properties, (Java).properties, .rc, .resx, .srt (Windows-1252), .strings, .sbv, .sub (SubViewer only), .ts, .txt, .vtt, .wiki, .yaml .tag, .xtg

  • How do you quote projects?

    Like all translation agencies, we quote by the "source word' (ie. the number of words in the original text).

    The rate per word will depend on a number of factors: total word count of the project; text difficulty; format; language combinations; deadline.

    We will quote simple projects within a few hours.





  • What is the difference between translation and localisation?

    Translation consists in conveying the source text in the target language "without taking sides".

    Localisation aims to adapt the source text for the expected readership in the other language. This can be a change in tone, deciding wether use "tu" or "vous", adapting examples to a foreign context.

    Our translators will always be happy to flag up potential issues and help resolve them while translating. That part of what makes BabelOn-line special.






  • Can you maintain my text layout?

    We work by overwriting the original format, so structure of the translation will be identical to the original. 

    We can also offer DTP services for non-editable files (images, etc) or to recreate the exact layout of the original (i.e. with an InDesign document).