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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action




Date: 04/08/2010 Location: Prague, Czech Republic Description: Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev shake hands as they exchange the signed new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START II) at Prague Castle in Prague, April 8. Obama is facing Republican opposition in his push to have the treaty ratified © Reuters


The Translating Division of the Office of Language Services provides translation services to the Department of State, the White House, and other U.S. Government agencies. Much of this work is handled by permanent staff, but we also have an extensive roster of contract translators. The Office of Language Services (LS) contracts for translation and related services in virtually every language used in international diplomacy.

The Translating Division assists the U.S. Government with the written record of diplomacy: correspondence, treaties, reports, speeches, course materials, briefing slides, biographical sketches, conference agenda, media items, laws, and forms. The team of staff translators, assisted by a corps of vetted contractors, offer their services in some 140 language combinations. LS translators work closely with negotiators when certifying that foreign language versions of treaties and international agreements have the same meaning as the English—a painstaking process that requires attention to nuance and the ability to separate linguistic issues from policy differences. Typically, several rounds of certification are needed to achieve substantive conformity.

Today’s translation project may also be a website, a set of subtitles, a desk-top published brochure, an imbedded .pdf image, a handwritten sworn statement, or an audio transcript. Helping the Translating Division cope with the demands of new formats is a team of Translation Project Managers who coordinate each assignment, from initial intake to final delivery, and who will help with all your logistical concerns.

-09/15/15   Request for Translation Service
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