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Frequently Asked Questions & Help for our Customers

On this overview page we would like to provide you with the answers to frequently asked questions. Should you still have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone or e-mail!

Our main focus is our customers and our interpreters and translators. Therefore we give everything to make the communication between you, our linguists and us as easy as possible. You can find all answers to frequently asked questions here. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us via mail or phone.

You can find the FAQ for our linguists here.



Costs and delivery



What shipping costs apply?


Shipping costs vary depending on the product selected. A technical translation will be sent to you by e-mail, so no shipping costs apply. Certified translations are sent by registered mail. The costs for this vary depending on whether you have chosen standard or express delivery. You can see the shipping costs during the ordering process in the step "Delivery options".

What payment options does lingoking offer?


At lingoking you can pay conveniently by PayPal, credit card and on account. This guarantees fast and secure processing and enables you to use the lingoking service quickly and easily.

When will I receive my translation?


lingoking offers you several options: "Standard delivery" takes 3 to 5 working days. "Express delivery" means that the translator completes the translation within 2 to 3 working days. Certified translations are then handed over to the German postal service and it takes about 2 more working days until you receive your translation. Your personal login area will provide you with the tracking number for tracking purposes. Please note that we have no influence on the delivery time from the time the translation is handed over to Deutsche Post.

Why do I have to give my tax number?


In Germany the invoice must include the tax number for correctness. All business customers therefore have to give their tax number/value added tax registration number. Companies in the EU give either their tax number or value added tax registration number. Companies from third countries give their tax number.



Quality



How can I be certain that the translator or interpreter is suitable for my job?


Translators and interpreters who apply to work for lingoking apply on the basis of specific “skills” that they have. We check these skills thoroughly. For example, all of our language service providers have a qualification from an ATA-certified university or college, or have many years of professional experience. If we consider a language service provider to be suitable, their skills are accredited.

Given that only accredited language service providers have access to the online marketplace and only language service providers with relevant skills receive notification of a new job, you need have no concern that the translator/interpreter may not be suitable for your job.

What is the position on quality and confidentiality?


Quality is the number one priority for lingoking! We work exclusively in accordance with the criteria set out in DIN EN ISO 17100. In addition, we have developed our own in-house quality initiative in close cooperation with professional interpreters, universities and associations, which provides you with the guarantee of reliability, trust and the highest quality. Every lingoking translator has to supply evidence of a recognised qualification and is thoroughly checked. A stringent non-disclosure agreement also has to be signed.

Does lingoking offer a quality guarantee?


All lingoking translators have completed qualifications to become translators and have many years of professional experience. We are therefore in a position to ensure that our translations are of a high quality. If there should be any problems with a translation nevertheless, all you need do is simply get in touch with our project managers. We shall do everything to sort out the problem as quickly as possible. Under our quality initiative you may also get a reduction in the fee of up to 100% if the translation was not satisfactory.

In which cases does it make sense to order a translation with proofreading included as well?


A specialist translation which has been proofread by a second native speaker specialist translator ensures the highest quality of translation. It is always sensible to order proofreading if the translated texts are to be published (e.g. websites, marketing materials, PR texts) or have a legal basis, e.g. with contracts.



Questions about interpreting services



What is the difference between consecutive and simultaneous interpreting?


Simultaneous Interpreting

In the case of simultaneous interpreting, the speaker’s speech is translated almost at the same time. ‘Simultaneous’ in this case refers to the simultaneous practice of two exercises: listening to the words spoken in the source language and speaking these words in the target language. The brief interval between the speaker’s words and the interpreter’s is described in the terminology as Décalage (French for shift). Simultaneous interpreting is very mentally demanding and requires an extremely high level of concentration even from experienced, professional interpreters. (Further information on this issue can be found under the answer to the next question Why do I require two interpreters for simultaneous interpretation?)

Areas of application for simultaneous interpreters:

  • Multilingual events
  • Conferences
  • Meetings
  • Negotiations
  • Press conferences, etc.

The advantages of simultaneous interpreting:

  • Time-saving due to the simultaneous transfer of spoken information
  • Good for the listener, since interpreting technology allows for undisturbed acoustics from the speakers or participants via the interpreters
  • Any number of listeners can be accommodated (for simultaneous listening) since the interpretation can be followed via any number of headphones
  • The option of interpretation into several languages at once
  • A high level of professionalism
  • Lively and dynamic discussions possible
  • Professional acoustic conditions for interpreters and listeners

The disadvantages of simultaneous interpreting:

  • If any, higher costs due to necessary equipment and presence of two interpreters per language combination (for assignments lasting more than 30 minutes)
  • Technology-based approach for groups of 3 or more participants
  • Fixed booths not suitable for every situation (e.g. Factory tours)
  • Sufficient space for interpreting booths which must offer a view of the event

Consecutive Interpreting

Consecutive interpreting is the oldest form of interpreting in the history of the practice. The important distinguishing feature of simultaneous interpreting is the delayed interpretation of the words spoken. With the aid of special note-taking technology, the interpreter makes notes on the words spoken during the presentation and then interprets these notes into the target language. Target-language consecutive interpreting is characterized by streamlining content and exceptional structuring of the speech. This takes the burden off the listener and the additional time that the consecutive interpreting makes use of is kept to within reasonable limits.

Areas of application for consecutive interpreters:

  • Auspicious occasions, e.g. toasts or welcome speeches.
  • Events with high-ranking levels of protocol such as bilateral meetings of heads of state and governing leaders.
  • Cultural events, e.g. author’s readings, film premières
  • Training courses

The advantages of consecutive interpreting:

  • The listeners or parties – e.g. in the case of negotiations – have more time to take in what has been said. In this way, the content of what has been said often has a more profound effect on the listener
  • No technical equipment is necessary
  • More affordable (in comparison with simultaneous interpreting)

Disadvantages of consecutive interpreting:

  • Due to the delayed transfer of information, the event and speaking time is extended

When and which interpreting technology is required?


The technology used for interpreting assignments depends on the number of participants and style of interpreting. Unlike simultaneous interpreting, consecutive interpreting does not require the support of technical equipment.

When it comes to technical equipment, there are three principle options available for simultaneous interpreting:

  1. Simultaneous interpreting in an interpreting booth (for approx. 15 participants): For this purpose, one or several soundproof booths are installed in the back of the function room which are mostly occupied by two or three interpreters. Simultaneous interpreters work together in small teams due to the high mental (concentration) and physical (voice) demands of their work and swap at regular intervals and support one another in the case of possible difficulties (for example, an off-duty interpreter can alert technicians to disturbances with sound quality). The interpreter listens to the speaker via headphones and interprets the spoken words into a microphone. The interpreted words are then received by the listeners via headphones. Interpreting booths must meet certain standards with regard to soundproofing, size and ventilation (ISO 2603 for fixed booths, ISO 4043 for mobile booths). Attention should also be paid to ensure that booths are positioned so that all interpreters have an unimpeded view of all projection screens and the speaker.

  2. Chuchotage with personal guidance system (for approx. 3 to 15 participants): For events with smaller numbers of participants or if conditions do not allow for interpreting booths – e.g. outdoors – simultaneous interpreting with a personal guidance system is recommended. In this scenario, the interpreter stands directly next to the speaker and interprets quietly into the microphone for the personal guidance system, whose signal is transmitted to the listeners through headphones via mobile transfer technology. This style of interpreting is particularly suitable for smaller group tours or factory tours, amongst other things.

  3. Chuchotage without personal guidance system (for a maximum of 2 to 3 participants): Chuchotage without a personal guidance system is suitable for a maximum of 2 to 3 participants who receive simultaneous interpretation. Attention should be paid to the fact that the listeners must sit or stand directly next to the interpreter.

Why do I require two interpreters for simultaneous interpreting?


Simultaneous interpreting is considered to be the most refined craft in the world of interpreting. This is because simultaneous interpreting is the most mentally demanding form of interpreting and requires the highest levels of concentration. In order to be able to interpret with full efficiency, no interpreter should interpret for longer than 30 minutes at a time. The professional view is that a maximum of 40 minutes of simultaneous interpretation is reasonable per individual interpreter.

For an interpreting assignment which lasts longer than half an hour, two simultaneous interpreters must be employed to take turns every 30 minutes. This method has been approved worldwide and guarantees you, the customer, the highest quality when it comes to interpreting.

What can I, the client, do to ensure that the interpreting assignment runs as smoothly as possible?


As our customer, you can look forward to a comprehensive all-round service from lingoking. lingoking’s experienced project managers will take the burden off you, the organiser, meaning you can use the extra time to focus on the important aspects of your event that aren’t related to interpreting.

There are a few easy things you can do to ensure that the interpreting assignment is a success. You can do this by ...

  • booking your interpreter(s) well ahead of time.
  • submitting preparatory training material for the interpreter(s).

For interpreting, it’s important to remember: Only that which has been properly understood can be correctly interpreted. For this reason, our interpreters like to work on the content and relevant terminology for the event in advance.

By providing interpreters with preparatory documents well ahead of time, you, the client, can ensure that the interpreting goes as smoothly as possible – after all, it’s in your own interests too!

Preparatory materials include any documents relating to the interpreting assignment involved in the event. This includes, for example:

  • Event agenda
  • Specific terminology (lists) for your company/your products
  • PowerPoint presentations
  • Conference and press maps
  • Press releases
  • Other documents (e.g. contracts) referred to during the event
  • Information regarding the infrastructure of the location (arrival, parking information, etc.)
  • Requests for usage rights (e.g. audio and video recordings)

How long does it take for an order to be prepared for an interpreting assignment?


The placement time varies according to the location of the assignment and the required language combination. As a general rule we can normally organise an interpreter at the location for our customers within 24 hours.

Can I book an interpreter at short notice?


Our interpreters can be booked at very short notice, less than 24 hours in advance.

For long-term assignments, we recommend you book lingoking interpreters early in advance.

lingoking does its utmost to ensure that interpreters’ travel and assignment costs are kept as low as possible for its customers. The earlier you decide to hire a lingoking interpreter, the sooner our project managers can begin planning and therefore keep travel and assignment costs low. Furthermore, a longer waiting period increases the likelihood of finding the best-qualified interpreter for the job. This is because the best interpreters are often requested far in advance, especially in the case of specific subject areas or unusual language combinations. For interpreting assignments with popular language combinations, we recommend you book one or ideally two weeks in advance. For larger assignments with several language combinations and technical equipment - also abroad - we recommend you book four to six weeks in advance.



Telephone interpreting



For whom is the lingoking telephone interpreting service suitable?


Small and medium-sized companies: The organisation of international correspondence, meetings and conferences is child’s play with lingoking voice. Use our interpreting service for your foreign language customer support, for planning business trips or for international cooperation and sales talks.

Hospitals and doctors: Our interpreting service is available quickly and directly and can provide valuable assistance when you are dealing with medical emergencies. Admission and discharge interviews and visits to patients or consultations with patients who speak a foreign language can also be greatly assisted with the lingoking telephone interpreting service.

Lawyers and public authorities: The lingoking telephone interpreting service is an uncomplicated alternative to conventional interpreting services. Use lingoking voice, for example, for legal consultations or in court proceedings involving customers who speak a foreign language, for filling in applications or for youth welfare office meetings involving parents who speak a foreign language.

Private individuals and travellers: Well equipped when on the move: Use our telephone interpreting service for emergencies when abroad, e.g. in case of a car breakdown or a medical emergency. Our service can also be of assistance for making travel plans.

How long does it take before a telephone interpreter phones me back?


The amount of time depends on the language combination you require. For languages that are available immediately – meaning all the most common European languages – you can expect to be called back within 20 minutes at the most, and for all other languages we will normally provide a telephone interpreter within 24 hours on normal working days.

What does the lingoking telephone interpreting service cost?


You will find an overview of the fees for the lingoking telephone interpreting service here.



lingoking login area



What is the difference between business and private customers?


If you create a job in the name of a company, you are a business customer. But if you create a job for private use, you are a private customer. This differentiation is important for us for billing purposes after completion of the job.

Why do I only see the names of the language service providers in anonymised form?


Security and privacy are of utmost importance to us here at lingoking, therefore we also aim to protect the privacy and data of our service providers.

Why is it required to enter my time zone during the registration process?


To make sure that times are displayed properly for you and our language service providers, for example the delivery date or starting date for a project, it is necessary to enter your time zone during registration.

NOTE: The appointment times for interpreting services are always displayed as the local time of the location of the appointment.

When ordering a text translation, the delivery date is always displayed according to your time zone. This is also the case when collecting offers, for the time period available for language service providers to submit an offer as well as for the period of validity for the offers submitted by language service providers.

As a consequence, the times that you see may be different from those seen by the language service provider if he/she lives in a different time zone.



Other questions



Can I choose the same translator/interpreter every time?


If you wish to have the same translator or interpreter for subsequent jobs as well, it can be arranged. In this case, please get in touch with our project management team.

What is an apostille?


According to the German Federal Foreign Office, German documents are often only recognised by the authorities of another country if the genuineness of the document or its legal relevance has been proved in special procedures. Depending on the country concerned, this is done by means of an apostille or a legalisation.

What is official certification?


Where documents or certificates issued in another country need to be presented to German authorities or courts, for example, a sworn translation of the documents is normally required. To become a court sworn translator, the translator has to provide a court with evidence of their professional and language qualifications in order to ensure that the translations are of the highest possible standard of quality. With their signature and stamp, the sworn translator attests to the correctness of the translation and its accuracy compared to the original.

In many cases this procedure is also sufficient for the presentation of German documents in other countries.

When do I need an apostille and when do I need a legalisation?


You need an apostille if the country in which you wish to present your documents is affiliated to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legislation of Foreign Public Documents dated 15 October 1961.

You need a legalisation if the country in which you wish to present your documents is not affiliated to the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legislation of Foreign Public Documents dated 15 October 1961.

What must I bear in mind when ordering a certified translation?


Certified translations for use in Germany may only be completed by a sworn translator authorised to carry out such work in Germany.

Different regulations apply depending on the country in which the translation is required. Please enquire at the authorities in question beforehand to ascertain the necessary requirements for this translation.

Please indicate the country in which the document is required when ordering a certified translation from lingoking. This information must be given so that a suitable sworn translator can be tasked with the work.

What language combinations does lingoking offer for its language services?


In principle, translations and interpreting services can be provided for every conceivable language combination.

A (technical) error has occurred, what do I do?


Please send us a message with a precise description of the problem and one or several screenshots. It is also helpful if you send your browser data to us. You can find this information here. Please send this information to support at lingoking.com.

We will try to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.