Translating is much more than just translating words from one language into another.
Firstly, translators should understand both the contents and context of the text they are working on. This goes beyond mere vocabulary and word order. That is why our translators only translate into their native language AND they specialise in specific subjects. We do not ask translators who specialize in technical texts to also translate legal or medical texts. Marketing texts is another such field that requires a special kind of translator. Every subject or sector requires trained professionals who know the special requirements as regards the specific terminology and can translate this into what professional readers expect.
And because DOCTEC also employs technical editors, our translators can often get an answer to any technical questions in house, so that we don't always have to ask our customer. But if there is the slightest possibility of something being mistranslated, we will always consult our customers for their specific expertise.
Our main fields of expertise for translations are:
- Machine construction, and systems and equipment engineering (all sectors)
- Shipbuilding, Shipping, Offshore, Maritime
- Pharmaceutics and pharmaceutical technology
- Law (contracts, court decisions, correspondence, official declarations, etc.)
- Business (balance sheets, financial statements, contracts, etc.)
- Marketing (brochures, advertising, flyers, websites)
We are continually expanding our services, so feel free to consult us if your requirement does not seem to be covered by our current offering. We are also happy to send you details of reference projects at your request.
More work than you think?
We translate almost all languages. We have been translating all the major European languages (including all eastern European and Scandinavian languages) and Asian languages, including Chinese and Japanese, for many years.
Do you have text in a foreign language that you have written or translated yourself, and that you would like to have checked by a professional? Our translators enjoy doing this for you. They will also put their suggestions for changes as comments into your Word or PDF file.
In some situations a "simple" translation won't do. This is the case when the translated document is required for legal purposes in court, at a government institution or in another formal setting at home or abroad. Sworn translations can only be delivered by translators who have been sworn in by a court and are authorised to authenticate their translations by putting their stamp and signature under them. Sworn translations must be attached to a copy of the source text. This can be:
- a print-out of the scanned document,
- the original document, or
- an authenticated copy as provided by the official institution in question.
Examples of situations where sworn translations are often required:
- Diplomas and certificates (school diplomas, training certificates, work credentials, etc.)
- Shipping, Offshore, Shipbuilding, Maritime industry
- Deeds and certificates (birth certificate, wedding certificate, divorce certificate, etc.)
- Contracts, annual reports, trade register registrations
- Official statements and certificates (driving licences)
- Court decisions
Trados and Transit - A brief explanation
Translation memory systems can help you save time and money in the translation process. You may have heard of these systems before but below is a brief explanation for anyone interested.
Important: A Translation Memory system (TM system) does NOT mean that a computer does the translation. It is not Google Translate. The translator uses the TM system as a tool for the translation process, like you might use WORD to compile a text. WORD does not write any texts itself either, you still have to do that yourself. And that is the same for translators who use a TM system like TRADOS, TRANSIT or ACROSS. Translators do the translations themselves, but enter them in a translation memory system.
How does this save time and money?
Simply put: there is a database behind every TM system. This starts out as an empty database, which is gradually filled as more lines of translation are entered in it. A pair of sentences is thus created (i.e. a sentence in the source language and one in the language into which the text is translated). These pairs of sentences are stored in the translation memory (TM). If a sentence is repeated in the document, or is already in the database from a previous translation, the system will recognise this and suggest the existing translation to the translator. The translator can then decide whether the suggested translation fits the context. If it does, it can be taken over by a simple mouse click, after which the translator goes on to translate the next sentence. If it does not fit the current context, the translator will adjust the suggested translation or will translate the entire sentence again. Using a translation memory system means less typing for the translator, which saves time and money.
The eventual translation is saved in the translation memory for later reference. When translating a new document, the translator will open the translation memory with previous translations. Whenever a sentence is found in the new document that is similar to a sentence from a previous translation, the system will recognise it again and suggest this translation. The more documents have been translated, and the more similar these documents are, the bigger and fuller the translation memory will be and the more "translated" suggestions the system can generate. This means that the translator needs less time to translate a document, which eventually means that having a translation done costs you less.
What else can translation memory systems do?
The systems can be used to analyse files prior to translating them. The system will calculate accurately how many words still need to be translated, how many have already been translated, and how many sentences are repeated in the document. Based on this analysis, we will draw up a detailed quotation for you.
A further important advantage of translation memory systems is that they enable the use of terminology tools. What does that mean? Well, lots of words can be translated in many different ways, which may all be correct. However, for the reader's convenience it is often better if a word is always translated by the same word in the other language and some companies also have their own preferences as to which words should be used. An example is the German word "Ventilator" that can be translated into English by "fan", "ventilating fan", "ventilator", "cooling fan", "blower", to give just a few options. Once you have decided which option to use, let's say "fan", the word can be included in a list (the terminology list). This might be a list in Excel. The translator also opens this list in the translation system so that, whenever the word "Ventilator" is used in the German file, the system will suggest the translation "fan". This helps to ensure that certain words are always translated in the same way, even if there are several good alternatives.
Does the translator overwrite the original files?
No, the translator opens the original files in the translation memory system and translates the text using this system. To enable this to be done, the translation memory system will have to convert the original files, e.g. Word (DOC, DOCX, RTF) or InDesign (INDD), into files that the system can read with formatting codes or 'tags' (similar to XML files). Simply put: the text is changed into text without formatting information. The translator is mainly interested in the textual contents and not in how this is shown in the document, i.e. what font is used, what the font size is or what font colours are used. The translator should translate the textual contents without changing the formatting. The translation memory system blocks the formatting information so that the translator cannot change it. The translator only works with the textual information. After everything has been translated, the formatting information is joined together with the text again in order to restore the original file formatting and turn out a translated Word or InDesign file, or any other file format. The better the formatting of the original file, the nicer the translated file will look.
As these systems separate textual information from formatting information, PDFs can be problematic since they will first have to be changed back into a digitally legible file format like DOC or RTF, using text recognition software (several TM systems have an integrated feature for this, but they do not work so well yet). Optically, the converted document may look very similar to the original PDF, but the "real" formatting information will be absent, resulting in a very poorly formatted translated text that requires a lot of extra work to be done on it afterwards. See File formats for more information about this.
Just call us. And if you like, we can show you in more detail how we work with translation memory systems at your company or at ours.
We can translate all regular file formats
We can translate the following file formats directly in translation memory systems, basically without affecting their layout. But since we also have the corresponding software at our disposal, we can check the layout once the translation is ready and correct it if and as necessary.
- Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access
- Adobe: InDesign, Framemaker, Pagemaker, Illustrator
- Corel: Corel Draw, Ventura
- Broadvision: Interleaf, Quicksilver
- Quark: Quark Xpress
- Other formats: Text files (txt), html, xml, PDF, csv, etc.
We can also translate many other formats. Just ask us. We will always find a solution.
A note on PDFs: Of course we can also translate PDFs. However, two things are important here.
PDFs have to be converted into a Word file using a text recognition program which means that their original layout will be lost. The look of the converted file will often resemble the original version, but it is not suitable for use in a translation memory system, unless a lot of extra work is done on it either before or after translating. Of course this may lead to higher costs than if you were to make the original files available.
Translators may decide to not use a translation memory system, but write their translated text directly into a Word file without any formatting being done to it. This means that you will then not be able to benefit from repetitions and existing translations, something which might make the translation more expensive. However, if looks do not matter and you only need to know what is in the text, this may be a good option.
Although translation memory system producers claim that their systems can be used to directly translate PDFs, we find that, in practice, this does not work very well yet.
Therefore our advice is: always have the original files translated if and when possible.
Do you need a live translation by an interpreter, e.g. for a conference or presentation? Then please contact us. Interpreting is also part of our service offering.
Are your files too large to be sent by email?
We can set up access for our customers to our FTP servers to enable the smooth transfer of large files, e.g. InDesign, Quicksilver or Quark Express files. You simply upload the files that you want us to translate and download them again as soon as the job is finished.
Prices depend on the relevant language pairs. We are happy to email you our latest pricelist.
Would you like to know how much translating your text will cost? Contact our project managers for an offer free of any obligation. Or send us your files by email (preferably in the original file format - see PDF). We can also handle large data volumes. Please call us for further information.