Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Since we began in 2011, we have been able to offer translation to and from Spanish, French, and Russian. As of today, we can also provide services in four other languages. See our language pairs tab for more information.
Forword is proud of the diversity of organizations for which we have provided translations. These include HIV/AIDS clinics, hunger outreach campaigns, NYC-based museums, public health funds, performance arts organizations, cancer research organizations, and international coalitions.
Anyone! Nonprofits (those with 501(c)(3) status) are eligible for free translations and the most affordable rate. Small businesses are also eligible for free translations and an affordable rate. Individuals, community groups, and other businesses are not eligible for free translations, but can submit projects for translation any time.
You may not realize the potential of translating your materials into another language. Milutin Milankovich, an amateur climatologist, solved the mystery of how and why ice ages formed, but his work went virtually unnoticed for twenty-eight years because it was written in Serbian! Don’t rely just on door-knocking to get the word out about your organization — make sure your neighbors know who you are and what you do for them by speaking their language.
Nonprofits often have materials that are only in English but serve many different people whose preferred language is not English. They also do not often have the budgets to pay for large translation projects, and they may use their bilingual staff as a substitute, but if they are not professional translators, it can show through in an unfortunate way. We try to solve these problems by offering nonprofits an opportunity to get a translation for free or very little cost.

Small businesses face a similar problem. A restaurant located in Brighton Beach will attract more business by having a menu in Russian in addition to one in English. A clothing boutique in Florida will bring more people into their store by placing an online advertisement in Spanish.
If you marvel at the likes of Google Translate, you’re not alone. We agree that machine translation is amazing. But it’s imperfect, to say the least. Although internet translations do the job in a pinch, even the best ones cannot account for certain intricacies of language. Even a simple paragraph will often have multiple mistranslations. Try copying this paragraph into Google Translate, getting the result in Spanish, copying that paragraph, and translating it back. You’ll get something similar back, but different enough to look unprofessional.

Furthermore, the best machine translators do not simply look up words in an e-dictionary — they mimic humans as they translate things. Google Translate knows that “World Series” refers to baseball not by the words that are used in the phrase, but by human people using it and translating it. Without qualified human translators working to render text between two languages, there would be no Google Translate to begin with! You can improve this tool in many ways, one of which is letting us translate documents for you.
Many of our clients ask how we are able to provide free or low-cost services without ourselves being a nonprofit. Forword’s business strategy is a form of a cross-subsidy model. In normal cross-subsidy models, one product is priced lower than its cost to the seller (say, a $1 hamburger), so as to attract business, while another, related product’s price (say, $5 french fries) is high enough to offset the losses of the first product.

At Forword, the products are the same — translation services — so it is not a traditional cross-subsidy model. The cross-subsidy comes into play when we provide free translations for organizations with few needs, while charging a modest fee to organizations with many needs (who likely have funds allocated for translation services already).
You could, but you’d be spending way more than you need to. Large companies can afford to spend thousands of dollars on translation services – small businesses and nonprofits cannot. Although most firms have a “standard” rate and a “technical” rate, both rates are very high whether the item to be translated is a legal document for the UN or a brochure for an health awareness campaign.

We believe that as the world becomes “flatter,” demand for translation services will go up, and there should be options other than expensive firms. Because we specialize in nonprofits and small businesses, we can help many different organizations while still maintaining a focused knowledge of the most common subjects found in these areas. We translate similar things a lot.
Our translators have all been rigorously tested in their native and target languages to ensure mastery of both source and target languages. In addition, reviewers check every translation. Editors will further tweak the document for grammar, style, and punctuation. This means that the final document will be examined by at least three people, including a native speaker of each language and an editing professional. The combination of superior quality and the best price gives us a demonstrable advantage over freelancer and large companies.
Yes; we provide interpretation services in our primary languages in the New York City area. If you need a qualified interpreter for your event, please contact us.