FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW IS YOUR TRANSLATION DIFFERENT?
Unlock Your History provides much more than simple translation. We want you to really understand more about your ancestor. We do extra work so you can have the context about your document and so that the translation makes sense. See what we mean on our Translations page.
We also have decades of experience working with handwriting from previous centuries. Some people ask about just having software do their translation, but software still has a ways to go! A computer might do an adequate job in giving you an idea of what the words might be, but it's best for contemporary writing.
HOW LONG DO YOU TAKE?
We aim to give everyone a quote within 5 days. At that time, we can provide an estimate for how long it will take to create a full packet depending on the complexity and length of the translation. Usually we can deliver a translation within 3 weeks of payment.
WHAT LANGUAGES DO YOU TRANSLATE?
Currently we specialize in German and Germanic languages with a particular emphasis on handwritten documents, although we can easily do printed ones as well.
Specific languages include German, its dialects, as well as Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian and Icelandic. We also work with older English. This includes transcribing the old script into readable form, but also ‘translating’ unfamiliar words and phrases and the frequent parts in Latin.
We work with documents from the Middle Ages to modern times. The oldest (so far) was from 1497!
HOW DO I GET YOU MY FAMILY PAPERS?
The best way is to take a high resolution, color scan (300 dpi is great). Then upload a copy to our site. If you don't have your own scanner, a high-quality photo might work. Another option is to go to a store such as Staples or FedEx. Some libraries and genealogy societies might be able to help you as well.
We talk about the whole process under our How to Translate section.
DO YOU HAVE ANY FUN TIPS?
We're beginning to share some Tip Sheets & Keys. Click through to download a free guide.
Free Translation Guide