Our services

Beacon Languages


Interpreting is the verbal translation between two languages.

We send interpreters to appointments to help patients/clients with little or no English communicate with the service provider (our customer, doctor or social worker, or whoever has requested the interpreter). All of our interpreters are freelance.

We provide face-to-face interpreting for all types of appointments including NHS, legal, social services, counselling and advisory services and many more. Face to face interpreting is our most commonly requested service.

We also provide telephone interpreting which can be used for shorter appointments, or to make brief communication with your patients/clients when face to face interpreting is not necessary.

Quotes are available on request

Working with interpreters

Interpreting is the facilitating of oral communication, either simultaneously or consecutively, between users of different languages.

Interpreters are only permitted to interpret for the client and service provider and must not express, or be asked to express, an opinion on any situation they interpret in.

They should not add to nor omit anything they have been asked to interpret.

An interpreter may intervene if there is a risk that a mis-understanding could occur as a result of cultural differences. This should be done by explaining the issue to the client and/or service provider as appropriate.

Interpreters are bound by confidentiality and must not talk about what they have heard in any appointment to anyone. All of our linguists have signed a confidentiality agreement.

We need an interpreter booking form for every appointment, even follow-up appointments that a customer has arranged with an interpreter. The interpreter is not permitted to attend the appointment until they have had notification from Beacon Languages.


Translation is the written conversion of a text from one language into another.

Translation services are available into and out of English and from any other language. The charge depends on the number of words to be translated, and is always based on the number of English words. You can send your document to us and we’ll prepare a quote. Otherwise, please call us.

Unlike other agencies, we don’t charge more for urgent jobs, layout of documents or for translating to/from non-Roman text or rarer languages.

We will only have your document translated by one, UK based, translator. This ensures consistency of writing style. Documents that have been translated by more than one person stick out like a sore thumb!

All of our translators are native speakers.

We don’t use machine translation!! Machine translation is getting better, but it’s not as good as using a human. Machine translation doesn’t always respect different word orders and structures of various languages, and can’t translate text with the appropriate tone and feeling. It’s OK if you just want to get the gist of what something is about, but must not be used for translating documents.

Here are some examples of machine translation getting it wrong…

Location Machine translation
At a zoo in Budapest PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty
On a hotel menu The Manager has Personally Passed All the Water Served Here
Car rental brochure, Tokyo When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor."
Belgrade hotel elevator To move the cabin, push button for wishing floor. If the cabin should enter more persons, each one should press a number of wishing floor. Driving is then going alphabetically by national order


  • Local colleges
  • Local Hospitals
  • Personal Social Services (PSS)
  • Mental Health Service
  • Local Councils
  • Open College Network
  • Community Organisations

Language barriers

When two people cannot understand one another, they experience a language barrier. Language barriers occur when a breakdown in language and communication happens at either the sender side or the receiver side of a message. A language barrier can occur within a language or between speakers of different languages.

The Effects of Language Barriers
  • It limits the capacity of individuals to learn from their environment due to the lack of comprehension and ability to communicate.
  • It stifles the free flow of information due to the difficulties of communicating differing ideas, and thus individuals miss out on new knowledge.
  • It hinders relationships as it prevents individuals from being able to fully express their personality and form bonds with others. The individual may feel isolated from the rest of the population. It can cause discrimination and separation of groups.
  • It can cause intense frustration for all parties involved. A person may feel inadequate, shameful and sad for not being able to understand and share simple ideas. People who are not able to speak English may be frustrated at the missed opportunities, embarrassing mistakes, serious consequences and negative attitudes from others. Also, an English speaking person may be frustrated with someone else for not knowing the language. This frustration can manifest in the form of hostility, avoidance or resentment.

Solution to language barrier problems

  • A bit of gesturing
  • Some encouraging body language
  • A lot of patience
  • Smile and be friendly
  • Learn the language
  • Translation of information leaflets
  • Use of interpreters