FREELANG Free Translation Help Service - FAQ for Users
There are situations in which you have to express yourself or understand something in a foreign language, but sometimes it's too difficult, or just impossible if you don't speak the language. Sometimes you have managed to translate a text but you struggle with a few words, or you need to have the translation checked. When dictionaries or automatic translators cannot do the job, and when your translation is not long enough to call in a professionnal translator, then the only solution is trying to find someone who would be able to help you.
Freelang's Translation Help Service was created for those situations. People who have a difficulty and need some help for a short translation can send their request to a translator. People who can speak at least two languages and who are willing to help can register themselves as translators.
It is a free and amateur service. Before sending a request, make sure you have read our terms of service.
Question: How does it work?
Answer: You can contact a translator on this page. You will be asked to select your source language and your target language, then you can choose a translator and send your request. You will received a reply by email (this is why it is so important that you give us a correct and valid email address, don't worry you won't get any spam from us).
Q. What kind of request can I send?
A. Please refer to our terms of service.
Q. How should I formulate my request?
A. You should keep in mind that you are talking to real persons, you are not using an automatic translator. It means that you have to tell your translator what your problem is, why you need this translation, and be polite. Just like in real life when you're asking for somebody's help, no more, no less.
Q. Is the length of the requests limited?
A. Yes, it is limited to 800 characters. We had to set a limit because people abused this service a lot. A user even got very angry at us because we refused to translate for free the 500 pages book he had written. I'm sure you can't believe it, but it did happen!!
Q. Can I send my request to several translators, to make sure I'll get a reply?
A. No, we don't allow users to send the same request (same text, same language) to several translators at the same time.
Q. I need to have something translated, but it's too long to be translated for free. Can you help me find a professional translator?
R. Yes, you can request a quotation online, and we will forward it to our professional translators.
Q. In how many days should I expect an answer?
A. It all depends on the translator's availability at the moment, the average should be about two or three days.
Q. How will I receive the answer?
A. By email, that's why you have to supply a valid email address when you fill in the form.
Q. For a new request, can I contact the same translator again, directly by email?
A. You can contact the same translator again but please fill in the request form on our website for each new request, please do not contact the translator directly by email. However, when you receive the translator's answer, you can of course reply directly by email to thank him or her.
Q. I have sent my request to a translator but I didn't get any answer, why?
A. Make sure you request respects Freelang's terms of service, and make sure you have read the translators' profiles before choosing one. If it does, you may also consider that the translator is not available. We try our best to keep the database fresh and alive, but there is always the possibility that the translator is having problems (computer crash, or personal problems) and he could not suspend or cancel his registration.
Q. What can I do if I didn't get an answer?
A. If the problem comes from your request, we suggest that you reformulate it and post it again. If you think the problem comes from the translator, you can contact another one, after one week. Or you can contact another translator before one week, but in this case please contact the first translator again, to warn him/her that you cancel your request.
Q. My translation is far more than 800 characters, what can I do?
A. You can split your request between two or three different translators. If it's really too long, you should consider calling in a professional translator.
Q. My translation is a matter of utmost emergency, what can I do?
A. We suggest that you post your question in our forum. If it's a common language, you will probably get a reply quickly.
Q. If I don't know what is the language used in a text, how can I contact a translator?
A. You can contact us, we will try to identify the language.
Q. I have a translation to do but you have no translator available for this language, can you help me?
A. We suggest that you post your question in our forum.
Q. I would like to have a word translated in as many languages as possible, is there a way to do it quickly?
A. You can check out the list of common words and expressions already translated in many languages, or ask for a new translation in our dedicated forum.
Q. My question is not listed, is there a human being behind this site?
A. Yes there is :-) If you have any question feel free to contact Beaumont, your webmaster, using our contact form or by email: webmaster at freelang.net
One last word
Unlike the several automatic translation services providing somewhat haphazard results, Freelang is based on services provided by real people, which can, of course, give rise to some intrinsic flaws, but also, and above all, to an extraordinary wealth of resources. Over the first 3 years of existence, we have received more than 25,000 requests, and approximately 800 translators have taken turns to reply to them, in 70 languages. Languages don't build barriers, but are treasures within each human being. Thank you to all those who help to prove this day after day...