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How to get a translation

How to get a translation

How to get a translation of a document, when to get one and how much it costs.

How to order a translation

Provide adequate notice – Ideally three to four working days should be sufficient but allow longer for larger documents, rare languages and complex documents.

We use the Panacea Software System to book translation orders.

If you haven’t used Panacea before you can create an account when you visit the page.

Order a translation

If you're ordering a translation for an organisation you will need a purchase order number to complete the booking.

If you're an individual ordering a translation, the final outstanding payment is required in full before the translation is delivered.

If your documents are not available electronically you should download and complete the translation form, and bring it and your document to your appointment.  

We will need to see original documents for certified translations such as birth, marriage, death, education certificates and passports.

Temporary Change: COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has limited our ability to verify original documents. We've made a temporary change to allow for the absence of verification.

During this time, we'll provide you with a certificate rendering the translation an accurate translation of its original text and not the original content of the document.

Turn around times and cost

We will usually respond to your query within 24 hours, providing you with a job reference number and a quote if you have requested one.

The cost is calculated by the number of words in English and rarity of language you would like the document translated to. Some types of languages will attract a surcharge. A surcharge also applies to urgent translation requests.

The translation will be returned to you by email by the required deadline. Certified translations can be collected or sent by post.

Terms and conditions: Translation and Interpretation Service 

See our Translation and Interpreting Service terms and conditions (pdf, 231KB) (opens new window) .

Terms and conditions updated May 2020.

This update takes into account the changes to the Translation and Interpretation service because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Translations into British Sign Language (BSL)

To enquire about a British Sign Language (BSL) translation, please contact the team using the below contact details:
Email: TIS@bristol.gov.uk
Tel: 0117 903 6400

Large documents and orders for multiple languages

If you have a large translation or require translation in a number of languages, please talk to us so that we can arrange realistic deadlines and determine the appropriateness of translation.

Amendments

There are significant charges for amending translated materials – you should therefore only send a document to us for translation once you are sure it is the final copy.

If you also require a certified hard copy, please let us know at time of booking.

When should I get a translation?

You should consider translating material in the following circumstances:

  • To give the service user a copy of a document, for example assessment, contract, agreement or statement.
  • When a service user requests a translation.
  • To promote services and rights to non-English speaking communities.

When should I request translations to promote services?

  • When your service is undergoing a transformational change or a new service is introduced, it is important that you tell all service users, including non-English speakers.
  • If a service is provided in part of a city where there is known to be a high language need, such as St Paul's, Easton, Barton Hill, Lawrence Hill. Languages spoken in Bristol (pdf, 38 KB) (opens new window) (pdf, 39KB) (opens new window) . Contact us for estimates of BME demographics in different parts of the city.
  • If a service is underused by non-English speaking communities.
  • If a service is specifically targeting non-English communities, such as services for Deaf people.
  • When consulting with BME communities and the Deaf BSL community about their priorities.

Charges and cancellations

Find out more information on our charging and cancellation rates in our charging and cancellation policy (pdf, 342KB) (opens new window) .