Frequently Asked Questions
There are a number of different ways in which translations may be invoiced. These vary according to the country in question. Whether the count is based on standard lines or words, the way translations are generally currently invoiced is using the MS Word counting tool, or that of the computer-assisted software used. This function calculates the words or characters that correspond to a certain number of full lines. When comparing prices, you, as the client, will need to consider whether the prices offered refer to the source or the target language, as the volume of text may vary depending on the language combination.
The widely held belief that anyone who can speak different languages can also translate is an erroneous one. The widely held belief that anyone who can speak different languages can also translate is an erroneous one. A professional translator will have studied at university, have received complementary technical training and be very experienced. Our translators undergo a strict selection process and are specialists in their corresponding disciplines. Furthermore, their work is subject to on-going quality control checks over a number of phases, where formal aspects, such as integrity, figures or format, and aspects of content, such as comprehension, style and the use of the correct terminology, are revised.
In a sector as large as translation, orientation is no easy task. There is a wide variety of translation service providers: these may be anything from freelance translators or small groups, language schools or temporary employment agencies, who offer translation work as an additional service, to specialised translation agencies. We recommend that, if possible, you visit the company in person to see its offices and meet its staff. Make sure they have the necessary infrastructure to take on your project with guarantees and that they can do the work efficiently. Find out how long the company has been in business, since experience in the sector is vital. Also take into account factors such as how you are treated, the professional advice you are given, or how long it took to offer you a price quotation. All of these aspects will help you get an idea of the professionalism and reliability of the service.
On a technical level, it is always better for a single company to manage the whole project in order to guarantee that the translation is as consistent as possible. Hence, if the content of the manuals is related, we recommend you contact a company that is capable of taking on all of the work. For large-scale projects, we collaborate with other companies in the sector, which enables us to offer you fast solutions. It is preferable to deal with a single party that can take on the tasks of coordinating between several providers than to have to oversee these tasks yourself.
Unless otherwise agreed, translations are done in Word format. We reproduce the format of the original text at no extra cost, provided this does not entail special layout tasks. We recommend that you send us the text electronically if the format is complex or if it includes graphic elements. We edit, overwrite and generate texts in the specific formats of a wide variety of applications, such as PowerPoint, PageMaker, FrameMaker, QuarkXpress, Excel, Access and others. If the client is undertaking the layout we can deliver continuous text without format attributes to facilitate the “copy and paste” process as much as possible.
Official translations are those that are done and certified by a sworn translator. Sworn translators are legally authorised to confirm that the translated text matches the original, similar to the work of a notary or technical expert. Sworn translators have to be appointed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or by the official organisations of Spain’s autonomous communities. Translators need to pass a specific exam or hold a specific university degree in translation to obtain the title of sworn translator. All of our sworn translators are properly registered and comply with all the formal requirements for their translations to be officially recognised and their signature to be certified.
Every text presents its own particular needs. This is also true for articles for publication in the printed press, whether journalistic, scientific, technical or informative in nature. These are texts that will be read by a large public, so they must meet the highest linguistical and technical standards. We offer different types of translation, depending on the needs of our clients. We translate everything from texts for in-house use to those that are going to be published. We can guarantee the best technical results in the case of technical or scientific publications, as we have a team of translators who specialise in a wide range of disciplines. Once the translation process itself has been completed and the respective quality control measures have been carried out, the document will be corrected by an experienced writer or journalist to ensure that the final version is clear, fluent, easy to read and enjoyable for the reader.
A translator and a translation company are two very different things. While a translator translates, a company is mainly responsible for the organisation and management of translation projects. You can go directly to a translator if you have the necessary infrastructure (for example, a translation department) to organise and correct translations, find and evaluate translators, analyse the needs of each project and set out the necessary guidelines to form teams for large-scale projects and manage your own terminology. If, however, this is not the case, or if a particular project is more than you can manage, the best thing to do is to entrust your translations to a specialised company that can meet your needs for translation from and into all languages, with the necessary experience and resources to be able to offer you professional solutions within the established deadlines.
The answer, as far as our regular projects are concerned, is no. Despite the fact that several different automatic translation systems have been developed in recent years, they have not been perfected to the point of giving a technically satisfactory result. These applications can translate simple texts or texts with very similar syntax, but the results are not good enough in the case of more complex texts. Natural languages have intrinsic characteristics that pose problems for automatic translation. For example, everybody has their own way of expressing themselves, and their expression is not always perfect. Language can also be used creatively to describe the world around us. It is constantly changing, and it is very difficult to follow the rapid developments in different areas of knowledge that become part of everyday language. For all of these reasons, it is extremely difficult to maintain an automatic translation system with current information processing technology. We follow the development of automatic translation with great interest and we carry out tests, particularly on its integration with computer-assisted translation or controlled language systems, so that we might offer it as a possible solution for specific projects.
Although systems aimed at rendering the translation process completely automatic have not yet offered satisfactory results, other programs have been successfully developed that make the translation process partially automatic. These are known as computer-assisted translation or CAT tools. They allow the user to create language databases called “translation memories” that contain translated text, divided into segments of syntactic units. These translation memories are particularly useful in texts with a high level of repetition, or for revising and updating existing documentation, as they allow the user to reuse text that has already been translated and to ensure consistent translation in large-scale projects. In addition, these programs make it possible to work with many different formats, such as PowerPoint, PageMaker, FrameMaker, QuarkXpress, HTML, etc. and provide the user with terminology management tools, among many other functions. We at Intertext hold the corresponding licences and work with Trados Translator’s Workbench and Déjà Vu by Atril.
Naturally, the texts we are given are passed on only to those people who are directly involved in the translation process. However, in addition to this, all of our internal and external staff are linked to our company by means of a contract that includes a confidentiality clause. If the information in question is particularly confidential, a specific confidentiality agreement can be prepared for the order. In this case, we guarantee the absolute anonymity of the client and will, on request, return all the documentation and the copies used in the course of the translation.
Yes, the same format of typeset documents can be used, together with the corresponding images and graphics. We require the document in electronic format and detailed information on the program and version used to create it, as well as the fonts used, if applicable. Our company can process and overwrite documents in practically all DTP formats (PowerPoint, InDesign, Interleaf, PageMaker, FrameMaker or QuarkXpress, html, xml to mention but a few), both for Mac and for PC.
In Spain, we generally issue invoices based on the number of words in the target text, in other words, the translation. The exact word count is only known when the translation is complete and the volume of the target text varies depending on the language combination. For this reason we apply a variable percentage to our quotes to limit, as far as possible, variations in the expected number of words. For some projects, we issue invoices subject to agreement and adaptation of the prices using the word count of the source text.
This practice is unthinkable when a professional service is being offered and is most definitely not the case with our company. Our clear objective when translating and correcting texts is to achieve the best possible result, both technically and linguistically. The style and register used must suit the intention of the text: this is our only criterion.
The term “localisation” covers more aspects than “translation”. It involves not only the linguistic adaptation of a text to the cultural peculiarities of a market, but also formal and content-related aspects. Generally speaking, complete projects such as computer programs, games, websites etc. are localised. Generally speaking, complete projects such as computer programs, games, websites etc. are localised.
We look at this issue pragmatically. We believe that the translations with which we are entrusted have a specific aim and that they are destined for a certain audience. Given that we are writing for that audience, we adapt to their needs. Consequently, more borrowed words are used in technical or scientific articles, as the use of certain terms in English as opposed to their equivalent in Spanish is usual among experts in certain fields and in specialised media. On the other hand, in an informative text or one that is aimed at a wider audience, we assume that the reader will have less specialised knowledge and we generally use equivalent terms in the target language.