Welsh Translation Service

Translation Unit Guidelines

The Translation Unit exists to help other departments at the University by providing translations from English into Welsh and vice versa in order to ensure Swansea University’s compliance with the 1993 Welsh Language Act and the 2011 Welsh Language Measure. We aim to provide a prompt and professional service. However, we are a small unit whose workload is increasing.

Due to its increasing workload and to ensure high standards, the Translation Unit is unable to guarantee the return of any work, however short, on the same working day.


The service is free of charge for Academic and Administrative Departments within the University, unless the work in question is for externally funded projects/events/material. Where work is being externally funded, the Translation Unit will be happy to provide details of external translators with whom those requesting the translation can liaise directly. Projects that are externally funded should consider the cost of translation when applying for funding, and include that cost in their application.

  • When working on any project where bilingualism is needed – which is increasingly the case as the Welsh Language Scheme is implemented – this should be considered beforehand and time allocated for translation and proofreading during preparation for the project. If the text is several thousand words this could be a matter of weeks rather than days. Please contact the Unit in advance to discuss any work which may require translation; we are a busy unit but will always do our best to try to meet your translation needs. Please remember that we only provide a translation service; marketing, design, and copywriting are different skills, and if you are using an external company to assist in producing a document which is intended to be bilingual, you should select a company which has the ability and the experience to work bilingually.  Attempting to 'retro-fit' a translation to a design which is already signed off is not the same thing as producing a bilingual document from the outset.
  • Adequate warning must be given. The Translation Unit is a production office, constantly working on translations for other departments and schools. In all probability the Unit will already have many thousands of words to translate before your work for translation reaches the translator. This must be borne in mind when requesting a translation and a reasonable and realistic timescale agreed upon with the Unit. We understand that everybody works to tight  deadlines but please bear in mind when sending work that the Unit is constantly endeavouring to meet other demands for translation. Advance warning means that we can make every effort to allocate a slot to do the work.
  • We will aim to translate and return short pieces of text of fewer than 500 words within 3 working days, but this also depends on the Unit’s workload at the time.
  • It should also be remembered that the Translators try to plan their work on a weekly basis so it may not be possible to agree on a completion date for work straight away.
  • Please make sure that only finalised text is sent to be translated. If we send you a translation and there is a subsequent change in the original English text, please do not attempt to change the Welsh unless you are a competent Welsh speaker. Translating is a skill and the change might not be as straightforward as it seems.
  • Work for translation should be submitted in Word format via the Unit's online request form on Sharepoint.


The Translation Unit accepts no responsibility for work which is not returned for proofreading before printing. Things could go awry when designing the work in the desired format, so sending the final document to be checked is an essential part of the process. You can help to avoid, or mitigate, problems by ensuring that, when using an external company for design, copywriting, or production purposes for a bilingual document, you select a company which is able to work bilingually from the outset. Work should be re-sent to the Translation Unit to be proofread, especially if it is to be published, and enough time needs to be given to check the work thoroughly. PLEASE REMEMBER: if it needs to be proofread in English, it needs to be proofread in Welsh.

Short Translation Requests

Short translation requests (up to 60 words) should be sent to office@bla-translation.co.uk.

Simultaneous Translation

The unit provides Simultaneous Translation services for meetings, conferences and events, subject to availability. Please contact translation@swansea.ac.uk to organise simultaneous translation or call 01792 513077.

Student Work

Students are permitted to submit work and/or sit examinations through the medium of Welsh in any subject. Please see the Academic Guide for details (Assessment and Progress, Examinations in Welsh).