FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
If you set high standards for your translations, you’re in the right place — because we do, too. The principles below guide us and guarantee you will always receive thoroughly professional results.
We only translate into our native language, German. It’s the only way to ensure the quality that characterizes a successful translation — an error-free text in a clear and idiomatic style. For more information, read our blog entry on native speaker translations. Translating into a non-native language is normally only acceptable when the text is not intended for publication. For internal business communications, for instance, stylistic concerns may be secondary if the intent is simply to convey certain information.
We only offer translations for fields in which we possess the necessary subject matter expertise or in cases in which we can very quickly acquire the required background knowledge. Because specialized subjects demand more than just foreign language skills — subject matter knowledge is necessary to understand all the nuances of the original document and correctly transport their meaning into the target language.
To produce a good translation, meticulous quality assurance is a must. Of course we use automated spelling and grammar checkers. But we also employ specialized tools that are capable of verifying other aspects of a translation. We also check each other’s work for spelling, grammar, punctuation, omissions, meaning, idioms, and style — of course only upon receiving your permission to do so. We also make use of the DIN EN 15038:2006 standard for translation services to align our translation work with industry best practices. The proven methods in the standard include guidelines for quality management, project management, and individual steps in the translation workflow as well as recommendations regarding the skills required of professional translators and editors and their continuing education. You can learn more about the DIN EN 15038:2006 standard on our blog (in German) and in a brochure that we helped translate into German for the ADÜ-Nord from the English original by Chris Durban: “Translation — Buying a non-commodity. How translation standards can help buyers & sellers” (PDF).
Of course we do. Translation memory systems, also known as computer aided translation (CAT) tools, store translations in a database so they can be re-used later. These systems provide valuable assistance in translating technical documents that include terms, concepts, phrases, sentences, and even entire paragraphs that can repeat multiple times throughout a document. They are also useful for editing previously translated documents. We use these systems so that terms and sentences are always translated consistently across all of your documents and their corresponding versions. We now mainly use SDL Trados Studio 2019, but we’re also familiar with other tools such as MemoQ, Idiom Workbench, and Memsource. We use SDL Multiterm 2019 for terminology work.
You can play an active role in ensuring your translations turn out the way you want them to: First, make sure to plan enough time for the translation project so that a thorough job can be done. Next, provide us the text that needs to be translated together with any available reference materials. These may include internal company documents in your language or in German, glossaries, translations of previous versions of the document, or information resources on the internet. This will help us make sure we use your company’s terminology and stylistic guidelines consistently. It also helps us if we have someone within your company who we can contact in case we have any questions. Unexpected difficulties or uncertainties can come up during the translation process. These types of issues need to be clarified to ensure professional results. For additional tips, you may wish to have a look at the brochure, “Translation — Getting It Right” from the American Translators Association. And here is another customer information brochure by Chris Durban we helped translate into German for the ADÜ Nord: “Translation — Buying a non-commodity. How translation standards can help buyers & sellers” (PDF).