Translation

Translation is the interpreting of the meaning of a text and the subsequent production of an equivalent text, likewise called a “translation,” that communicates the same message in another language.

  • Translation around a Third Language
    In some cases it may be difficult to locate the exact translator you are looking for if your assignment involves an extremely unusual language pair (e.g. translation from Greek to Hindi). However, it is not impossible to process these translations. It may be necessary to pivot the translation process around a third language (often English).
  • Machine Translation
    On the internet you may have come across simple translation services, where all you have to do is copy your text into one window, press a button, and you receive your translation in another window. This process is called machine translation. The computer will attempt to analyse the grammar and vocabulary of the entered source text and recreate it in the target language.
  • CAT
    A second, but completely different way to involve a computer in the translation process is called CAT (Computer-Aided Translation). In this case the human translator translates the text as usual, but in a different software environment, which will aid him whenever he comes across a phrase he has translated before (or one that is similar to one he has translated before) and present him with the translation choices he made the first time.CAT systems usually also involve term base support, i.e. the translator may use a glossary prepared either by himself, by a different translator or the customer. The software will recognise terms from this termlist in the source text and will propose their listed translations to the translator during the translation process.Both these functions will help in creating a translation that is more coherent and more in line with other similar translations that have been made before. If your text is a very technical one and you need specific terms to be translated with specific terms in the target language, then it can be extremely helpful if you can provide us with a glossary of terms you want us to use, or with other texts from the same domain that you have had translated before and you are content with so that we can extract the terminology from them.

Interpreting

Language interpreting or interpretation is the intellectual activity of facilitating oral and sign-language communication, either simultaneously or consecutively, between two or more users of different languages.

  • Consecutive Interpreting
    In consecutive interpreting, the interpreter speaks after the source-language speaker has finished speaking. The speech is divided into segments, and the CI interpreter sits or stands beside the source-language speaker, listening and taking notes as the speaker progresses through the message. When the speaker pauses or finishes speaking, the interpreter then renders the entire message in the target language.
  • Simultaneous Interpreting
    In simultaneous interpretation, the interpreter renders the message in the target-language as quickly as he or she can formulate it from the source language, while the source-language speaker continuously speaks; sitting in a sound-proof booth, the SI interpreter speaks into a microphone, while clearly seeing and hearing the source-language speaker via earphones. The simultaneous interpretation is rendered to the target-language listeners via their earphones.
  • Chuchotage Interpreting
    In whispered interpreting (chuchotage, in French), the interpreter sits or stands next to the small target-language audience whilst whispering a simultaneous interpretation of the matter to hand; this method requires no equipment. Chuchotage is used in circumstances where the majority of a group speaks the source language, and a minority (ideally no more than three persons) do not speak it.

Languages

  • Language Identification
    Although you will probably have a rather certain idea of what language you want us to translate your text into, the source text, in some cases, may not be so easy for you to pinpoint. This is not necessarily restricted to uncommon exotic scripts (for example whether the text you received from India is written in Urdu or in Punjabi), but some European languages (for example Spanish and Portuguese) may look very much alike as well. To be on the safe side, send us your text and we will quickly determine what language it is.
  • Source Language / Target Language
    When dealing with translations you may come across the terms “source language” and “target language” (as well as “source text” and “target text”). These refer to the text to be translated and its language (source) and to the translation to be produced and its language (target). It may seem obvious to you into what language you want the translation to be processed (often, but by no means always, this is English), but you can avoid misunderstandings by clarifying exactly what you are looking for.

File Formats

Documents to be translated can be saved in many different formats. We are able to handle just about everything, but it might save you some trouble to know what you are dealing with. Once you give this some thought it might even be the case that you find you want your translations back in a different format from the original source text you sent us. Common file types include (but are in no way restricted to):

  • Text
    .doc Microsoft Word (up to 2003)
    .docx Microsoft Word (2007)
    .txt plain ASCII text file
    .wps Microsoft Works
    .wri Microsoft Write
    .rtf Rich Text Format
    .pdf Adobe Portable Document Format
    .djvu scanned documents, with or without text layer
    .html browser readable Internet pages
  • Presentations
    .ppt Microsoft PowerPoint (up to 2003)
    .pptx Microsoft PowerPoint (2007)
  • Spreadsheet
    .xls Microsoft Excel (up to 2003)
    .xlsx Microsoft Excel (2007)
  • Images
    .jpg compressed image format
    .gif Graphics Interchange Format (may be animated, may be transparent)
    .tif Tagged Image File Format (may contain more than one page)
    .bmp uncompressed Bitmap Image File Format

We are able to process any of the above (and more), and will usually deliver in the format we are provided with. If, however, you provide us with a scanned original document (say as .pdf or as .jpg) and wish to further work with the translated version we provide it will be much more useful if we deliver a processable text document (e.g. MS Word .doc). If, however, you wish to print the files we send back to you without processing them further, it might be more useful for you if you receive a format you can easily print out without thinking about page formats, borders, etc. and just print it (e.g. .pdf). This may also be preferable if you need a text in writing you do not have fonts for and cannot easily display on your computer. If short texts are to be translated in uncommon writing (e.g. a Chinese tattoo), it might even be easier to send back an image of the text, as .jpg or similar.

  • Display Filetypes
    It is always helpful to be aware of what file types you are actually dealing with. In its standard setup, however, Microsoft Windows will usually hide the extensions of the most common file types. This means that you will, for example, not be able to see easily whether your file is in the old MS Word format (e.g. “Document.doc”) or in the new Word 2008 format (“Document.docx”) as the icons are very similar.In order to be able to see file type extensions in MS Windows Vista open any folder, enter the “Organize” menu, Select the “Format and Search Options”, click on the second tab, labelled “View” and untick the box labelled “Hide extensions for known file types”. In MS Windows XP open any folder and select “Folder Options” from the “Tools” menu, select the “View” tab and untick the box labelled “Hide extensions for known file types”.

Post Processing

  • Proofreading
    The translator is not the only person involved in the translation process. Even the best translator may make small mistakes one makes oneself and it it always difficult to locate mistakes one makes themselves. For this reason all translations are revised by a second translator, a proofreader.
  • DTP (Desk-Top Publishing)
    When translating a simple business letter or a certificate the translator will always try, as well as possible, to mimic the layout of your original document. If, however, more is involved, your files may need to go through DTP (desk-top publishing). This applies to most material with graphic design that is to be printed (e.g. flyers, posters, etc.) and also most of what is to be published on the internet.

Word Count

We normally base our prices on the number of words that are to be translated. Although this may seem unusual, this provides for a much more exact pricing system and enables us to be as competitive as possible.

In some cases, for example in East Asian languages, and especially in handwriting, counting may be difficult to do automatically or even to estimate, but in a typical, English language MS Word document, for example, it is very easy to determine the number of words. In the “File” menu select “Properties” and then proceed to the “Statistics” tab. The new MS Word 2007 automatically displays the number of words in the bottom left corner. If you can provide us with the number of words in your document, your quote will be more exact and much quicker. If you are not able to do this, just send us your file and we will examine it in detail.