Folio Online - Award Winning Language Services Provider in South Africa

Award-Winning Translation & Interpreting Services 

Folio Online Group

Award-Winning Translation & Interpreting Services 

Services include: Translations, Editing, Proofreading & Localisation, Interpreting, Voice-overs & Voice Direction, Transcription, Subtitles, Copywriting, SEO

Founded in 1988, the Folio Group has grown from a tiny start-up into the major-league language service provider that it is today. This is largely driven by our reputation for reliability, technical expertise, fast turnaround and meticulous accuracy. Folio is recognised around the world for its expertise in sourcing and providing African languages, as well as numerous Asian, European, North & South American languages.

 Folio is committed to delivering award-winning service and deeply appreciates the recognition we have received thus far.

Many thanks to the Common Sense Advisory for including the Folio Group in its ranking of the Top 5 Language Service Providers in Africa for ten consecutive years.

Recognition by The Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry via their Exporter of the Year Award for the SSME category is an achievement of which we are all very proud. The award, which we have received three times, acknowledges “notable achievements in the export field”, based on performance criteria including product improvement, community involvement and job creation as well as a creative and innovative approach to exporting into difficult markets.

Folio Online Services



Our team of trained and experienced translators use the latest translation technology to deliver accurate and meaningful translations in over 120 languages.

Editing and Proof Reading

Editing, Proofreading & Localisation

To ensure that texts are accurate and appropriate for their intended audience, our hawk-eyed editors will fix typos, spelling and grammatical errors, and localise language where needed.



In addition to our remote medical interpreting service (InterTel), our skilled interpreters specialise in simultaneous and consecutive interpreting, both in person and remotely. We also offer SASL (South African Sign-Language) interpreting.

voice acting

Voice-overs & Voice Direction

We have a large number of talented voice-over artists on our books, as well as professional voice directors who work in-studio to ensure that scripts don’t fall flat on delivery.



If you want to keep a written record of important meetings and proceedings, simply supply us with an audio or video recording, and we will give it to you in black and white.



Subtitling is all about timing and trimming, so whether it’s a documentary or advertisement, we make sure all dialogue and sound effects are accurately reflected on screen.



Crafting copy that is clear and catchy is an art – and it is one we have mastered. With a solid background in marketing, our copywriters can create campaigns from concept through to completion.



Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, so we make it our mission to set up your site’s content and keywords to rank high and reach all the right people.


Recognition and awards

CSA Africa Language Award 2010
CSA Africa Language Award 2011
CSA Africa Language Award 2012
CSA Africa Language Award 2013
CSA Africa Language Award 2014
CSA Africa Language Award 2015 Top 5
CSA Africa Language Award 2016 Top 5
CSA Africa Language Award 2017 Top 3
CSA Africa Language Award 2018 Top 3
CSA Africa Language Award 2019 Top 3
CSA Africa Language Award 2010
CSA Africa Language Award 2010
Cultural Affairs Award 2018/2019
Gerald Wolman Award for Excellence in Business

We translate into and from the following 120+ languages

(please note this list may change at any time without prior warning)

  • Acholi
  • Afrikaans
  • Akan
  • Amharic
  • Ateso
  • Bambara
  • Bemba
  • Cape Verdean Creole
  • Chichewa
  • Damara (Nama)
  • Dinka
  • Ewondo
  • Fanagalo
  • Fula
  • Hausa
  • Herero
  • Igbo
  • Kakwa
  • Kalenjin
  • Kamba
  • Kasem
  • Kikongo
  • Kikuyu (Gikuyu)
  • Kinyarwanda
  • Kirundi
  • Kituba
  • Krio
  • Lingala
  • Luganda (Ganda)
  • Luo (Dholuo)
  • Maay (MaayMaay)
  • Malagasy
  • Mandinka (Mandingo)
  • Mauritian Creole
  • Nankam
  • Nama (Damara)
  • Ndebele (South Africa)
  • Nigerian Pidgin
  • Nuer
  • Nyakausa
  • Nyanja
  • Oromo
  • Oshiwambo
  • Pulaar
  • Runyankole
  • Sepedi (North Sotho)
  • Sesotho (South Sotho: South Africa & Lesotho)
  • Setswana (Tswana)
  • Sheng
  • Shona
  • Silozi
  • Siswati (Swazi)
  • Somali
  • Soninke
  • South African Sign Language (SASL)
  • Sukuma
  • Swahili
  • Tigrinya
  • Tonga
  • Tsonga
  • Twi
  • Venda
  • Wolof
  • Xhosa
  • Yao
  • Yoruba
  • Zulu

  • Albanian
  • Bulgarian
  • Byelorussian
  • Catalan
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Estonian
  • Finnish
  • French
  • Gaelic
  • Georgian
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hungarian
  • Icelandic
  • Italian
  • Latin
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Maltese
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Serbian
  • Slovak
  • Slovene
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Ukrainian
  • Yiddish

(Because of the sheer volume of Asian languages we chose to only add those for which we receive frequent requests)

  • Arabic
  • Azerbaijani
  • Bengali
  • Burmese
  • Cantonese (Chinese)
  • Cebuano
  • Gujarati
  • Hebrew
  • Hindi
  • Ilocano
  • Indonesian
  • Japanese
  • Kazakh
  • Khmer
  • Korean
  • Malay
  • Malayalam
  • Mandarin (Chinese: Traditional & Simplified)
  • Marathi
  • Persian (Farsi)
  • Sinhalese
  • Tagalog (Filipino)
  • Tamil
  • Telugu
  • Thai
  • Turkish
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese

  • French (Canada)
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Spanish (Latin America)
  • Haitian Creole

Membership of the global community of translators, interpreters, LSPs and business experts is a vital source of support and expertise. We believe in strength through partnership and enjoy sharing our goals and passion for languages with like-minded individuals and associations around the world.

Our local and international network includes:

Contact Us/Get Quote

Your inquiries are our first priority. Feel free to contact us and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

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SA’s Top Language Services Company

Folio Online Services

Folio Online - Services - Translations


At Folio, we thrive on the challenge of facilitating cross-cultural communication for our clients. For nearly three decades, we have delivered professional translation services, building experience, networks and systems along the way. Our language specialists are committed to providing top-quality and consistent translation services on time.


Folio Online Services Transcriptions


Transcribing is a laborious task if you lack the necessary experience and equipment. Not only that, but it needs to be done in a quiet environment without too many interruptions. This is why outsourcing transcriptions makes sense, freeing up secretarial staff to continue with their normal duties.


Folio Online Services Voice-Overs


Markets and minds are increasingly reached via audio and audiovisual (AV) broadcasts these days as digital content replaces print media.

Folio’s Voices department introduces clients to talented actors and voice-over artists in many different languages. We offer a comprehensive, end-to-end service so as to ensure successful productions that meet international standards of professionalism.


Folio Online Services Editing Proofreading

Editing & Proofreading

Any company that takes pride in its professional image will go to great lengths to ensure that all written material, whether it be for a website, brochure or blog, is 100% free of spelling or grammatical errors.


Folio Online Services Localisation


The richness of cultural diversity means that words, expressions and idioms can carry completely different meanings in different regions. Localisation services ensure that a message in its entirety will not be offensive to, or cause misunderstanding by, the target market.



Folio is well-positioned to meet the language service needs of the film industry. Filmmakers from Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood have discovered that Cape Town is a fantastic destination to shoot films in studio and on location. Moreover, the South African movie industry is growing in stature with a burgeoning demand for language services.


Folio Online Services Copywriting


Our skills in copywriting and translating for advertising and marketing are in frequent demand. From concept right through to implementation, Folio can source copywriters with the right background for your project. Offering a wealth of commercial experience, our copywriters are on call to help you achieve your advertising and marketing goals.



Folio Online Services Interpreting


The demand for qualified, professional interpreters has grown exponentially during recent years. South Africa has evolved into a major conference destination boasting international conference centres in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. Smaller conference venues are to be found in many scenic locations throughout the country.

Folio’s team of independent interpreters has expanded to meet the needs of the conference industry, offering the full spectrum of interpreting services in 37 languages, including South African Sign Language (SASL).


Search Engine Optimisation

Your website deserves to appear at the top of the rankings when potential clients are trying to find your business. SEO copywriting is the process whereby your website’s text is aligned to the key search terms for your industry, resulting in top performance in the Google rankings.   


About Folio Online

About Us

Past Perfect

Founded in 1988, the Folio Group has grown from a tiny start-up into the major-league language service provider that it is today. This is largely driven by our reputation for reliability, technical expertise, fast turnaround and meticulous accuracy. Folio is recognised around the world for its expertise in sourcing and providing African languages, as well as numerous Asian, European, North & South American languages.

Since 1988, Folio has delivered translations and an evolving range of sophisticated language services that meet top international standards. Milestones along the way include:

Creative startup: Philip Zietsman leaves the world of academia to start Folio Translation Consultants in Cape Town, specialising in English > Afrikaans translations.

Early growth phase: Rapid response to demand for Portuguese and French translations, mainly for clients wanting to communicate with the former Portuguese colonies and Francophone countries in Africa. Professional language practitioners come on board to assist with a burgeoning workload.

Responding to an enormous challenge: South Africa enters its new dispensation in 1994, with a constitution that proclaims no less than 11 official languages. Folio rises to the challenge of translating into all these languages and more. Folio takes advantage of its position at the tip of Africa, meeting the need for the provision of translations into the dominant languages of the African continent, including Swahili, Amharic, Igbo and Yoruba.

Turn of the century: The launch of Folio Online in 2000, the international arm of the group, which caters to offshore clients. Training of translators in the use of CAT (computer-assisted translation) tools commences. Folio establishes itself as the go-to LSP for African languages.

Early 21st century: An expansion phase, in which the Folio Group grows from strength to strength. Folio InterTel is launched in 2010 and the voice-over department becomes a one-stop shop for sophisticated audio services. The Folio Group takes its place as one of the top five translation and language services consultancies in Africa with more than 120 languages on the list.


Folio has been recognised over the years for notable achievements in the language industry including product improvement, community involvement and job creation as well as a creative and innovative approach to exporting into challenging markets. The Cape Chamber of Commerce & Industry recognised Folio as Exporter of the Year in the SSME category on three separate occasions, and also presented us with the Gerald Wolman Award for Excellence in Doing Business in Africa. Other accolades include The Western Cape Cultural Affairs Award for 2018/2019, and Common Sense Advisory’s Top 5 Language Service Providers in Africa for 10 consecutive years and counting.

CSA Top 3 Award 2019
CSA Top 3 Award 2019
CSA Top 3 Award 2018
CSA Top 3 Award 2017
CSA Top 5 Award 2016
CSA Top 5 Award 2015
CSA Top 5 Award 2014
CSA Top 5 Award 2013
CSA Top 5 Award 2012
CSA Top 5 Award 2011
CSA Top 5 Award 2010
Cultural Affairs Award 2018 / 2019
Gerald Wolman Award for Excellence in doing Business in Africa

Corporate Culture

The motto on the South African coat of arms is in the ancient Khoisan language of the /Xam people: !ke e: /xarra //ke. It means “diverse people unite”. It refers to the necessity of unity between thought and action. On a collective scale it calls for the nation to unite in a common sense of belonging and national pride – unity in diversity.

At Folio we strive to realise this noble ideal by facilitating communication between speakers of many different languages.

The staff members of Folio and our many associates around the world are united by our love for language and communication. It informs everything we do and although the language services industry is a serious business, with its emphasis on accuracy in the face of continuous and very tight deadlines, we enjoy a good few laughs along the way.

Folio is committed to meeting international standards of excellence across all our services. We constantly fight for the legitimacy of our industry by emphasising the importance of accredited training and certification to those who wish to work in this field.

The erroneous notion that just about any bilingual person can be a translator or interpreter undermines the value of professional language practitioners and the significance of the work we do. Over the years we have committed much time, energy and many resources to educating our practitioners about the importance of professional skills development.

Folio supports a wide range of initiatives that create awareness of environmental and water conservation and green energy alternatives. At our office we use solar power, an atmospheric water generator and grey water. Furthermore we contribute to cultural, health, animal welfare and educational programmes.

Click here to read more about Folio's Sponsorships and Charities


Membership of the global community of translators, interpreters, LSPs and business experts is a vital source of support and expertise. We believe in strength through partnership and enjoy sharing our goals and passion for languages with like-minded individuals and associations around the world.

Our local and international network includes:

Folio Faces

Folio Faces

Philip Zietsman
Captain Folio

Managing Director:
Folio Group

Johan Botha
Professor FixIT

Folio Online

Henk Hagen
Mr Meticulous

Senior Manager:
Folio Online

Monica Trickett
Lady Abacus

Accounts Manager:
Folio Group

Simon Hill
The Scrutiniser

Project Manager: Folio Translation Consultants

Alyssa Eksteen
The Silent Operator

Senior Project Manager:
Folio Online

Janet Pillay
Madame Calculus

Finance Department:
Folio Group

Herman Botha
The Formulator

Senior Project Manager:
Folio Translation Consultants

Lize Spies
Lady Vernacular

Senior Project Manager:
Folio Online

Raquel Sánchez Herrero
Señora Correctora

Project Manager:
Folio Online

Kaylin Ahnie

Project Manager:
Folio Online

Sharon Konna
Dame Dust Buster

Executive Assistant
Folio Online

One of the Top Translation Companies in South Africa

Folio Online &
Folio Translation Consultants

Folio Online Contact

Contact Number

+27 (0)21 426 2727
+27 (0)21 426 2729

Folio Online Contact

Fax Number

+27 (0)21 424 0162


Street Address

Unit 2, 10 Pepper Street, Cape Town 8001 South Africa

Postal Address

PO Box 16136, Vlaeberg 8018 South Africa

Social Media




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Folio Translation Consultants (South Africa)

Simon Hill:

Folio Online (International)

Johan Botha:

Work with Us

We’re always looking for talented language specialists to join our team. Translators, interpreters, copywriters, editors, proofreaders, SEO writers, transcribers and DTP specialists – we would love to hear from you. Please e-mail a current CV to Herman Botha at

Voice-over artists are invited to submit a CV and a short voice clip in mp3 format of about one minute in duration
to Lize Spies at


Voice Over Agency

Folio Online Voices


Searching may take a few seconds.

Our interactive voice bank allows you to explore sample recordings from some of our top voice-over artists and actors. Our stable of talent is growing all the time, enabling us to find the perfect voice and style for your specific needs.

Sample recordings can be arranged for clients who would like to hear clips of specific scripts in advance of making final selections. Alternatively we can arrange for certain voice artists to provide sample recordings in different moods, such as serious, dramatic or comic.

If you would like to be added to our database of voice-over artists, please complete the form below and attach a recent sample clip.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)




Please contact Lize Spies at
for more information or for assistance in sourcing a particular language or voice artist.

Telephonic Interpreting




Folio InterTel breaks through the language barrier by means of instant telephonic interpreting – the first and only service of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa. Our aim is to help all South Africans as well as our foreign visitors to communicate effectively with medical professionals and other service providers and officials. 

InterTel is a sophisticated instant telephonic interpreting service in which live interpreters can be contacted at the touch of a button in order to streamline communication between English and non-English speakers.

Launched by a division of the Folio Group in 2011, InterTel’s primary focus is to address the need for professional medical interpreting in South Africa. Teams of experienced interpreters, mother-tongue speakers of many different languages and proficient in English, are available to interpret patient-doctor conversations. Without a doubt, clarifying cross-cultural communication between patients and doctors can save lives.

Folio has grown InterTel into a formidable operation using 99 dedicated telephone lines and providing access to skilled interpreters in 39 languages. Please note, this is not an automated, computerised form of language translation. Interpreters are not in a call centre, but are situated remotely, using their own cellphones. 

InterTel functions on a tried-and-tested platform, gaining the confidence of many hospitals and clinics throughout South Africa. The 11 official languages of South Africa, in addition to a further 27 African, European and Asian languages are incorporated into the InterTel service.

The Folio Group is a corporate member of IMIA (International Medical Interpreters Association), which provides training in all aspects of medical interpreting including terminology, accuracy and attitude.

We ensure that all our interpreters have the necessary psychological understanding, insight and compassion needed to assist non-English speakers in navigating sensitive conversations around personal issues regarding medical conditions or other emergencies. 

A recent addition to the InterTel service is on-site interpretation for the deaf using SASL (South African Sign Language).

Access to experienced telephonic interpreters in 3 simple steps:

  1. Phone Folio InterTel via a mobile or landline as the conversation with a non-English speaking patient or customer is about to begin.
  2. Follow voice prompts to select the required language and instantly connect to a professional medical interpreter who is fluent in the chosen language.
  3. The patient and interpreter converse and the interpreter conveys word-for-word information to the medical professional in English.

All calls are recorded for quality purposes only. Confidentiality is paramount and is strictly maintained. There are no hidden costs and no monthly subscription fees – the customer, i.e. hospital, clinic or medical practice, is billed only for the calls that have been made.

Roll out

South Africa’s own multilingual landscape, coupled with the ever-increasing number of foreign tourists, expat workers and refugees who come to South Africa, present a unique challenge when it comes to communication.

Accordingly, InterTel will soon be extended to other sectors. Instant telephonic interpretation can facilitate communication in court proceedings and at refugee centres, airports, border posts and police stations. InterTel can be rolled out to hotels, businesses and retailers throughout Southern Africa.




South African languages

  • Afrikaans
  • English
  • Ndebele
  • SA Sign Language (SASL)
  • Sepedi
  • Sesotho
  • Setswana
  • Siswati
  • Tsonga
  • Venda
  • Xhosa
  • Zulu

African languages

  • Amharic
  • Bemba
  • Chichewa/Nyanja
  • Igbo
  • Kirundi
  • Lari
  • Lingala
  • Luo
  • Malagasy
  • Oromo
  • Shona
  • Somali
  • Swahili
  • Tonga
  • Tshiluba
  • Yoruba
  • Turkana

Middle Eastern & Asian languages

  • Arabic
  • Japanese
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Thai

European languages

  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish


Translation Agency Reviews

Our client base spans the entire economic spectrum, demonstrating that all sectors need specialist language services from time to time.
We are simultaneously proud of, and humbled by, their feedback over the years.