Wordreference is another of those useful resources for translators and language workers. It offers a complete online dictionary in many languages, backed by a forum for the terms that don’t appear in its listings. It can often be lacking in technical terms, where a more robust term search might be more useful, but as a starting point for idiom and day-to-day terms used it can be very useful. As there is little context it can be hard to be certain of which meaning should be used, but overall it’s a very useful tool for a quick check.
There are a number of extremely useful resources for translators and anyone working with foreign languages. From dictionary lookups to entire gist translations, there are a range of advertising-funded options freely available to use. Well, at the cost of tracking your internet use, but free apart from that. Linguee is one of those. It is a service that combines bilingual texts, highlighting your search word in both languages, over a range of contexts.
You’re in search of a translation agency, one you can pick up the phone and pitch questions to at any time during the project. Ideally one you can meet in person before you begin. You’re based in London and you’d ideally start your search there. But how necessary is it to restrict your search to a 25 mile radius? Not at all, I’d suggest. You see, we often work with clients at either end of the country and have no trouble communicating by phone and email with the very occasional face-to-face to clarify project start/delivery issues.
It can be tough to sort the wheat from the chaff when it comes to comparing translation services found online. After all, anyone can throw up a website. That said, there are a few pointers that can help you to start to pick a suitable translation provider, be they agency or freelancer. Indemnity insurance. Providers such as Hiscox in the UK provide policies for language services. Real address, displayed prominently, along with landline phone number.