Different types of translation services in need today

The professional translation industry has dramatically evolved in recent years. There are a number of new terms that are used to describe the different translation services. Here are some of the common types of translation services offered by translation companies in South Africa and all around the world.

Technical translation service

Technical translation refers to translating instruction leaflets, user manuals, financial reports, internal notes, administrative terms and so on. These documents are intended for a very specific audience. However, in the broader sense, technical translation also refers to the ‘technical’ documentation from IT, electronics, engineering, industrial texts or general mechanics. This type of translation calls for the knowledge of specialized industry terms, which translation companies in South Africa are familiar with.

Financial Translation Service

Economic or financial translation services South Africa refer to translating documents related to the financial industry, including banks and stock exchanges. Documents can vary from annual reports or financial statements to financial packages and contracts.

Scientific Translation Service

This is a subgroup of technical translation, as the name may suggest. Scientific translation refers to translating documents related to science. These could vary from papers, booklets, presentations or study reports.

Judicial Translation

Often confused with legal or certified document translation services, judicial translation actually refers to the task of translation taken in a ‘court setting.’ Judicial translation means translating documents such as minutes of proceedings, letters, judgments by the court, expert opinions, minutes of interrogation sessions or depositions.

Legal Translation Service

As the name suggests, legal translation service refers to a wide range of documents belonging to the legal industry. These can include warrants, summons registration certificates, remittance drafts, corporate statutes or administrative texts. As well as technical documents such as texts for a judicial purpose, minutes of court proceedings, etc.

Juridical Translation Services

This type of translation service refers to legally-binding documents such as regulations, laws, decrees, general sales, and purchase conditions. It also includes:

  • Legally binding labor contracts
  • License and commercial contracts
  • Partnership agreements
  • Conventions and protocols
  • Insurance policies
  • International regulations
  • Bail assurance

The juridical translator needs to have a vast legal background along with his linguistic capabilities.

Certified Translation Service

Certified translation uses signature or authority to authenticate official translations. Documents that need legal validations fall under this category. Certified translators also work in courtrooms and may act in the capacity of legal experts. They also provide a translation of marital agreements, civil status documentation, deceases, divorce settlements, wills and so on.

Literary Translation Service

Probably the most difficult of all, literary translation is the translation and rendering of semantic content of the original text. There are many difficulties that translators may face in the process such as:

  1. Polysemic word play in the literary texts. A number of connotations can lie behind a word or phrase, which the writer has hinted at and the translator needs to render.
  2. Translating the author’s specific literary style in a unique way to express the same ideas.
  3. Working out the innate balance, rhythm and meter of the phrase in texts like poetry or pros.

Script Translation Service

Popular TV shows, movies and sitcoms are commonly dubbed into different languages for a worldwide audiences. For example, the Harry Potter series was dubbed into 15+ languages. Translating jokes, punch lines and catchy phrases in different languages can be a difficult task.

Website Translation Service

Translating website text or copy, web documents and subtitles for online. Many elements need to be translated and ‘localized’ for the specific audience i.e. address formats, currencies, etc. The translator should customize the content to accommodate a local audience. As the world is increasingly becoming more ‘globalized’, companies need to translate and localize their websites in multiple languages for different countries.

Multimedia Localization

Multimedia localization refers to the translation and localization of multimedia techniques, for instance: graphics, videos, GIFs, infographics, animations. As more and more organizations are producing multimedia content to increase their audience reach and engagement, localizing content is in high demand.  Content must be appropriate for the target cultures well as being  appealing to each individual region or country. A sometimes tricky task for the translators.


No matter what kind of translation you require, it is important to check the skill set and portfolio of the translation agency. Competent translation companies in South Africa will offer all these types of translation services.


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Author Bio

Shadab is a content marketing head and brand manager at AfroLingo. He aims at becoming the finest writer, translator and interpretation expert for regional African languages. AfroLingo is committed to being the finest African language translation company. The company offers competitive transcription and interpreting services in South Africa region.