FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I be sure that you work with good translators?
A: Unfortunately, unlike the medical, legal or teaching profession, the translation profession as such is not regulated. Anyone who likes can label themselves a translator.
At Hansson Übersetzungen GmbH, we work exclusively with experienced translators who each have several years of consistent translation work in a particular sector. It’s also important that our translators have professional indemnity insurance and are members of a professional body. This could for example, be the ITI in the UK (Institute of Translators and Interpreters), the North American ATA or the Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer e.V. (BDÜ, German Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators). This ensures that our customers receive the highest degree of quality.

Q: Is it really possible for a translation agency to offer “all languages”?
A: No single translation agency can offer “all languages” - such a claim is a disqualification in itself. Nobody knows exactly just how many languages are spoken worldwide. In Europe alone, there are over 30 minority languages, each spoken by 100,000 people or even less, such as Sorbian in the Lausitz area (Germany), the Rhaeto-Romance languages in Switzerland. Our range of services covers all official languages in Western and Eastern Europe, as well as the most important Asian languages such as Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, Korean or Arabic.

Q: Is a translation agency really capable of covering “all sectors”?
A: We believe that the term “all sectors” is an exaggerated claim and that accepting any text from any sector in any language combination lacks credibility.
We have specialised in the general fields of technology and business because those are the areas in which we can offer our customers high-quality specialist translations. Acceptance of translations extending to other sectors is subject to special agreement, inasmuch as we must first ascertain whether we can accept the order. Should we decline an order, we don’t see this as a sign of weakness, but rather as a confirmation of our professional commitment to customers.

Q: Which sectors are your translators specialised in?
A: All experienced translators with whom we have been working for a longer period have specialist expertise in specific sectors such as mechanical engineering, software localization, medical engineering, finance, business correspondence, contracts, etc. Expecting any translator to accept any translation could range from the unrealistic to the irresponsible. We maintain an extensive database consisting of several hundreds of experienced translators, that have been so carefully chosen that we can almost always find a suitable translator with the required technical qualification in the language combination required.

Q: How can I best transmit my texts for translation?
A: Generally texts are simply sent as E-mail attachments. Naturally you can also send us your text on a conventional data carrier (CD-ROM, DVD, USB stick, SD card).

Q: Which applications do you support?
A: We process texts with the applications from MS Office 2003 and 2010 (doc, docx, xls, xlsx, ppt, pptx). Apart from that, we can also process html files, as well as PDF files that can be scanned into Word.

Q: On average, how long does it take for an A4 size page to be translated?
A: The time required for translating a single page cannot be predicted with total accuracy because several factors play a part here, such as the required language combination. Which is the relevant specialized sector? Is reference material available containing similar vocabulary? Do glossaries exist for the subject? Is the text available as a flawless file suitable for word processing, or will a barely-legible fax first have to be typed?
Usually, for a translation of three standard pages (i.e. 90 standard lines), next-day delivery is feasible, subject to our receiving the order before noon and the language combination being one of the more popular ones.
Following our checking of the text, we will always give you a definite date for delivery, together with our order confirmation.

Q: How are translators’ services charged?
A: In several countries, fees are based on the target text, i.e. the volume of standard lines in the target text is definitive. However, there are some differences in certain countries where the basis of calculation is the source text word count. In Germany, fees are based on the number of standard lines in the translation.

Q: What’s a standard line?
A: A standard line consists of 55 keystrokes (including empty spaces, punctuation marks etc.). Example: If a translation consists of exactly 5,500 keystrokes, these amount to 100 standard lines to be billed (5,500 / 55 = 100).

Q: Can I expect a German source text of 2,500 lines to translate into approximately the same volume of target text?
A: Bearing in mind different translation combinations, our experience shows that this is not always the case. When translating from German into a Romanic language (e.g. French, Italian or Spanish), the number of words often increases as the structure of the target language differs from the structure of the source language.

Q: What is your general experience?
A: For our most popular language combinations, there are figures available based on our experience over the years. For instance, the index for German-French is around 1.25 - e.g. 1,000 lines of German text translate into approximately 1,250 lines of French text. This figure is 1.15 for translations from German into Spanish while for German-English it is about 1.00. This index helps us to provide you with a rough estimate of the final price prior to translating.

Q: Can I be sure of receiving a flawless translation that has been localised for the target country?
A: Only a translator who is a native speaker or a person who has been living abroad for several years understands the subtle differences of a language. For this reason, every translation we accept is completed or checked by a native speaker. We also attach great importance to the fact that that our translators keep up-to-date with changes occurring is their mother tongue by reading newspapers, visiting their home country regularly or otherwise using their mother tongue on a daily basis as far as possible.

Q: In our company, we are currently working on a comprehensive documentation for a machine tool. Having had this documentation translated, updates will subsequently become necessary which in turn require translating. How can we be sure that our standard terminology will be used consistently for all future translations?
A: In the case of larger projects and for regular clients, we create internal glossaries/terminology lists. In close cooperation with you, the client, these are expanded and updated on an ongoing basis e.g. by visiting you or using your technology. These terminology lists are customer-specific which means that they cannot and must not be used for other clients.

Q: Our Research Department often requires reports to be translated into several languages. In view of the confidential nature of these documents, is secrecy guaranteed?
A: There are several security procedures in place to ensure confidentiality. Firstly, we sign a contract with all our contractors including a non-disclosure agreement. Secondly, a non-disclosure agreement is also signed between our client and ourselves.