FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Miscellaneous

Is it possible to order a test translation free of charge?

We offer test translations of up to 500 words upon request. This generally entails translation of your text by two different translation teams, so you can select which version you prefer. This way, we can establish a pool of regular translators that fit your linguistic preferences. You only need to pay for one of these translations; the second is on us.

Do you offer express translations or an overnight service?

Urgent translations are a core of our services. For projects below 1000 words per language combination, we offer translations within 24 hours of ordering at no additional cost. For larger volumes of text, we charge 30% on top of the Basic* word price. If you are unsure as to whether your translation can be finished within the desired time, don’t hesitate to call us – we're always more than happy to help.

*wordprice for the Basic-level translation service (translation by a specialist translator without proofreading)

Do I need to pay to get a quote?

Quotes are non-binding and free of charge. During our business hours,you can expect to receive a quote within half an hour.

What happens when the translator asks contextual questions about the text?

When translators have questions about a text, they contact the project manager. The project manager then determines whether they can resolve the issue themselves with a little research, or if they must ask the client. Any other questions will of course be communicated at the same time, as far as possible.

Which documents do you need before you can start work on the translation project?

To begin a project, we just need the source text (that is, the text we are to translate from) and the language that you wish for the document to be translated into.

It is however always helpful when you can give us more information regarding precisely what you want and expect from your translation, so we can be sure to achieve this with your project.

What are your opening times?

Our offices are open Monday to Friday, from 7 am – 8 pm (CET). On request or by arrangement, we can also offer our services outside the usual business hours.

What are the differences between your Basic, Expert and Premium services?

Basic (2-eyes):

Quick and simple, without an additional proofreading stage. Translatedby an experienced specialist translator to the highest standard. Basic textsusually have few area-specific requirements.

 

Expert (4-eyes):

The text will be translated by one experienced specialist translator andthen proofread by a specialist proofreader. The four-eye-principle ensures challenging texts contain no errors and fit the specific requirements of the respective field for which they are destined. The proofreaders that check yourtranslations are all experts in their field, so you can be sure your translation is accurate and error free.

 

Premium (6-eyes):

Six eyes see more than four. Here, you have an expert team at your disposal, consisting of a specialist translator, proofreader and editor. The specialist editor will not only be an expert in the field of your translation, but also a resident of the target country. They are responsible for the accuracy of specialist and corporate language and style; it is their job to ensure that your message reaches your target audience just as you wish.

If you are at all unsure which service best suits your translation project, please don’t hesitate to give us a call – we are more than happy to help! 

 

Translation service

Do you also offer interpreting?

No, unfortunately we do not offer interpreting services.

Do you offer sound for videos in multiple languages?

Yes. We also offer dubbing, voice-overs and subtitling. We work together with our specialist audio partner, Voicedub, which has a network of trained speakers covering over 40 languages, all native speakers.

Do you also offer certified translations?

Yes. We also offer certified translations by chartered specialist translators. Please note that only the originals of certified documents are valid, so these must therefore be submitted by post. As a result, the delivery time needed for these translations is slightly longer (by one or two days).

I have a text that has already been translated. Do you also offer proofreading and editing services?

Yes, we also offer proofreading and editing services. Please note that for these, we require the source text as well as the translation.

Can you insert the translation directly into our corporate brochure?

Yes. On request, we can insert translations directly into a range of printed media, such as corporate brochures, product catalogues and trade journals; all we need from you is the source text in an editable format.

Do you also translate websites?

Yes. Depending on the contentmanagement system (CMS), we usually use an API (application programming interface) for website translations. This is an interface that works within your usual system environment. Using this interface, you can export source text and import translated text directly without needing to reform at anything. Alternatively, you can install a plugin that enables us to export your webcontent quickly and easily and deliver your translation in the correct format, so that in just a few minutes, you have the text exactly where it belongs. We would be more than happy to discuss any questions or queries you may have about this service.

Another option is to have our translators work on your website content directly within the CMS.

Which languages do you offer?

https://www.toptranslation.com/en/languages

If you require a translation into another language, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we are sure to find a suitably qualified specialist translator for you. For rarer languages, there are of course not always translators for every language combination; it is however possible in some circumstances to use languages such as English or German as bridge languages.This translation can then be used as the source text to translate into the desired target language.

What is the difference between a specialist translator, proofreader and editor?

Each specialist translator has an academic translation qualification, as well as many years of professional experience. They also only translate texts into their native language, and only if they have the appropriate knowledge and experience.

Each specialist proofreader must also hold an academic translation qualification and have several years of experience as a translator. They compare the source text with the translation and check for completeness and consistency. They also check spelling, grammar and punctuation. When a translation is carried out this way (i.e. worked on by two independent translators), this satisfies the ISO 17100 international quality norm standard and the European DIN EN 15038 norm standard.

Each specialist editor in the Toptranslation database has both a recognised degree and more than five years of experience in their field. They know area-specific terminology inside out, as well as common practices regarding wording and style. They take care of the last stage of work on your translation and adapt the text to best fit its purpose and target audience.

What is the difference between the four and six-eye principles?

To satisfy the ISO 17100 international quality standard and the European DIN EN 15038 norm standard, a text must not only be translated, but also proofread and corrected by a second independent language expert. The proofreader compares the source and target texts, checks the translation for completeness and corrects any grammar, spelling or punctuation mistakes. As a result, we call this level of service (our Expert service) the four-eye principle.

The six-eye principle (our Premium service) involves the text being worked on by a third translator. This translator must have several years of relevant experience in their field and extensive knowledge of specialist terminology and related requirements. The editor adapts a translation to the target country and audience, making stylistic corrections and ensuring that the text meets the client’s precise needs and expectations. 

Processing time and delivery times

Is it possible to speed up the translation process?

To speed up the translation of larger texts, it’s often advisable to split the work between several translators specialised in the field, who can work on the project simultaneously. The text will finally undergo additional editing to ensure uniform style in the final document.

If you contact us in advance of a larger project, we can notify our team of specialist translators in good time and “book” them for your order – that way, they can plan in the time for your project, before taking on any others.

Can I rely on my translation being delivered on time?

Absolutely: punctuality and reliability belong to our core values, and delivering your translated documents on time is our utmost priority. In the exceptional case that a translation project should be delayed, due to a translator falling ill for example, we will do our best to find a replacement as quickly as possible, so that you will still receive your documents on time.

Can I trust that my translation will be delivered at the desired time?

To ensure that we deliver your translation by the deadline, we start work as soon as you accept our quote. When setting your deadline, please bear in mind that a professional translator can translate up to 8-10 standard pages per day, and please allow sufficient time for additional services such as proofreading, editing or layout design.

If you are unsure whether your desired delivery time is realistic, don't hesitate to give us a call or send us an e-mail. Our multilingual team will be delighted to help.

How long will it take to receive a quote and what kind of reaction times should I expect?

During our business hours, you can expect to receive a free, non-binding quote within half an hour. We reply to e-mails within an hour.

How quickly can you deliver my translation?

A professional translator can translate up to 8-10 standard pages per day. For larger, time-sensitive orders, the translation can be divided among several translators. In such cases, the translation can be reviewed by an individual editor, to ensure consistent style and terminology.

If you require your translation by a certain time, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us. We can always find a solution. 

How many words can you translate per day?

A professional translator can translate around 8 standard pages per day. Depending on the source language, a standard page usually contains around 250 words.

When a larger document needs to be translated, it is sometimes advisable to split the translation between several translators, who can all work on the project at the same time. If you would like more information about this service, please don’t hesitate to call or send us an e-mail, so we can discuss the details with you personally and find the best solution for your project.

Technology

Is it possible for you to translate directly in a Content Management System (CMS)?

Yes, we can also translate directly within your website's CMS. This saves you time and money, as all the translations are automatically kept where you want them. Depending on the kind of CMS, we work with a range of APIs and plugins that allow us to export website content quickly and easily and as a result, to deliver the translation in the correct format. This means you can import the translation to where you want it in just a few minutes. We'll be happy to discuss any questions you may have about this service.

Can I track the progress of my translation?

You can check the status of your translation request or project (ongoing or finished) through your personal client dashboard, which you can access at home or on the move (e.g. on your smartphone or tablet). The letters ‘https’ at the beginning of the website URL stands for the 256-bit SSL encryption our site uses; this is the same level of encryption as is used for online banking. For this reason, it's far more secure to upload and download content, or to communicate with your account manager directly within our system, instead of by e-mail, etc. You don’t need to install anything, or use any specific type of software, licence or training. It’s also free! When you place your first order, we set up the dashboard to suit your personal preferences and all you need to do is to save a bookmark in your browser.

Can I also send requests by e-mail?

Certainly! To send a translation request by e-mail you can either write toour e-mail address, clients@toptranslation.com, or you can use the requestform (https://www.toptranslation.com/en/dashboard/orders/new) on our website.

Can you provide an interface to work with our system?

Yes. We do all that we can to ensure your translation project runs as smoothly as possible. Should you require a translation from a specialist system such as SAP, or from a Content Management System (CMS), we can supply an API, allowing you to export source text and import translated text directly within your system. This avoids multiple reformating of documents and means that the translations are inserted exactly where you want them. For a website, this means the translations will all be in the right place, with the text and font size adapted to the layout as necessary. All that remains for you to do is to activate the webpage. 

Do you have a terminology database for your clients?

We are more than happy to create an individual terminology database for your company; you have the option to create and manage the database yourself, or we can take care of all of this for you.

What is the difference between a terminology tool and a translation memory tool?

A terminology database works more like a glossary that holds translations of terms and phrases. Once created, it must be populated with entries and updated regularly.

A translation memory saves source texts and their translations in the background,recognising repetitions automatically and highlighting these during the translation process. This means that the entries don’t need to be created manually.

The two can be used separately but work best in combination.

What is a translation memory tool?

A translation memory is a text database that saves each translated text segment and recognises any repetitions in a document. Segments can be anything from paragraphs to sentences, to parts of a sentence. The tool not only recognises identical repetitions (100% matches), but also similar segments of text – these are called fuzzy matches.

Translation memories are made up of translation units comprised of the source and target languages.

What are the advantages of using the dashboard?

 Your personal dashboard is web based and securely accessible wherever you are; it requires no installations and is protected by 256-bit SSL encryption – the same level of security as used for online banking. From here, you can manage all of your translation projects and check their status at any time. There is no additional cost for the creation and use of your basic dashboard.

 

Here is an overview of the various functions offered by the dashboard:

 

  •   Document uploads for quote requests
  •   Downloading of finished documents
  •   Downloading of translations (individually or groups of documents as .zip files)
  •   Downloading of receipts
  •   Comparison, downloading and acceptance of quotes
  •   Creation of new translation projects
  •   Management of current and finished projects
  •   Direct contact with your personal Toptranslation Account Manager
  •   Ability to review translations received and quality of project management service
  •   Ability to leave comments concerning particular documents/projects to optimise collaboration
  •   Creation and management of cost centres (e.g. your internal SAP cost centre or other systems, such as  Ariba or DATEV)
  •   Cost centre analyses according to volume of invoices (graphs and/or tables)
  •   Dashboard personalisation (e.g. add your company logo and employee photos)
  •   In-house glossary management
  •   Management of your company structure and employees in our system

Costs and billing

Do you offer both word and line prices?

As the word count per line can vary so much from one language to another, we only offer word prices for our translation services.

Can you send me the invoice by post?

Of course! We’re more than happy to send invoices by post. Should you prefer not to receive printed invoices, simply let us know and we will send them by e-mail only.

Why doesn't your website have a quote calculator?

There quested delivery date: We offer a reduction on non-urgent projects and charge an additional fee for express orders. To ensure each quote fits your needs as far as possible, we never use quote calculators. All our quotes are free and non-binding, and almost always delivered within 30 minutes during business hours.

Which payment methods do you offer?

You can pay by bank transfer, online bank transfer, cheque or PayPal.

Can I get a discount for repetitions across documents (including from previous orders)?

When certain phrases or blocks of text are repeated within or across source documents, this will be recognised and discounted from the quoted translation price. Our translation memory system (TMS) displays previously translated text for the translator to use, saving them time.

Upon request, our TMS can be used for all of your translations. This means all your translations are saved in a database, so the system can ‘remember’ previously translated segments if they come up again. The more translations are saved in the translation memory, the more effective the translation process for your company; using a TMS can reduce the cost of a translation by as much as 65%.

For customers with a framework contract, use of this systemis free; there is just a small, one-time charge for setting up the TMS.

How can I reduce the cost of a translation?

Planning sufficient time for your translation automatically reduces the price of an order: we offer a reduction of 5% on non-urgent translations. Moreover, if you send us your source text in an open format, we can analyse it and check for repetitions with our translation software. We can then offer a discount that reflects the number of repetitions, which can reduce your costs by up to 65%.

When and how will my invoice be sent?

You will receive your invoice at the end of your project by post or e-mail– whichever you prefer. 

Is there a discount for non-urgent translations?

Yes – we offer a 5% discount in such cases.

Experience and references

Do you also offer translations for fields and sectors not explicitly mentioned on your site?

Yes. We recommend our clients to always send a source text along with any translation request to us, so that we can return a detailed quote suited to your needs. We also warmly welcome telephone enquiries – our multilingual team will be more than happy to help.

Can you show us specimen translations that you have completed for other clients in the past?

Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with any specimen translations, as all source texts and translations are subject to data protection laws. We are more than happy to provide references of similar translation projects, upon request.

Do your translators have specific experience in the field our company works in?

Not only do our translators have recognised university degrees in translation and many years of professional experience, they also have area-specific experience.

This is the key difference between translators and specialist translators. Our specialist translators have mastered area-specific technical terms, common practices and technical relationships.

You can find an overview of the main fields we specialise in here: (https://www.toptranslation.com/en/sectors). We also offer translations for fields not listed. Simply send us your source text or give us a call. Our multilingual customer service team is more than happy to answer any queries you may have.

Do your translators have specific experience in the field our company works in?

Not only do our translators have recognised university degrees in translation and many years of professional experience, they also have area-specific experience.

This is the key difference between translators and specialist translators. Our specialist translators have mastered area-specific technical terms, common practices and technical relationships.

You can find an overview of the main fields we specialise in here: (Link to branch page!). We also offer translations for fields not listed. Simply send us your source text or give us a call. Our multilingual customer service team is more than happy to answer any queries you may have.

How much experience do your specialist translators have?

Each of our specialist translators has a recognised university degree and many years of professional experience. We also have qualified experts who we ask to translate particularly complex orders. Complex medical texts, for example, are only translated by qualified medical experts, while complicated legal documents are only translated by experienced solicitors.

Quality and security

Does Toptranslation have Quality Management System (QMS) certification?

We assure the quality of our services in accordance with ISO 9001. Our quality manager is a certified ISO 9001 auditor and ensures that all company operations follow this norm. We are also ISO 17100 / DIN EN 15038 certified; this is the European norm for translation service companies and the new international standard.

Can I have a part in the selection of translators who work for your company?

You can indeed. On request, we can organise a personalised testtranslation for you using two preselected translation teams, allowing you to choose at the end the translation style you prefer. We can then assemble a translator pool for you, who will always be used for your orders.

Can you guarantee consistency in the translations I order from you?

In order to ensure as much consistency as possible in your translations, we try where possible to always use the same translators for your orders. On request, we can also create a translator pool for you, and only these selected translators will be hired to work on your projects.

For all of your projects, you will have a dedicated project manager at your disposal, who will be happy to answer any questions about your translation project.

Will I be appointed a fixed contact person for my translation projects with you?

Yes. From quote preparation to delivery, you will have your own personal qualified project manager, with direct telephone contact, for the duration of your translation project. Our project managers have also studied translation themselves, so they are well qualified to field any queries you might have.

What kind of information is important to ensure I receive the best quality translation?

 

All translations are completed by qualified and experienced specialist translators who translate only into their native language. There are however certain details you can give us about your project that can help us ensure you receive the precise translation you want:

  •          What is the purpose of your translation?

While a translation for a business report or corporate brochure might indeed require proofreading by a second translator, this is usually not necessary for simple correspondence, such as e-mails. Is the source text for a website, a trade fair document, a contract or business correspondence? We offer translation services for all purposes, distinguishing between 3 service levels: Basic, Expert and Premium (https://www.toptranslation.com/en/language-services/technical-translations).

  •          What is the target audience of your translation?

A web-text for a young audience follows different conventions to a specialist article for an academic audience or a legal document destined only to be read by lawyers. Telling us the target audience for your translation helps us to ensure the appropriate tone is communicated.

  •         Which country is your translation going to be read in?

An American audience expects a different style to a British one, even though both speak English – just as South American Spanish differs from European Spanish, and Parisian French differs from the French used in Québec.

  •         Should we translate the text closely to the original or more freely? 

Texts such as instructions and legal contracts must of course be translated very closely to the source document, whereas translations of advertising texts can deviate more from the source text. There are some cases where the amount of leeway is less clear. That's why it's very helpful for us if you are able to indicate how close you wish the translation to be to the source text.

  •         Can you supply any reference documents? 

If you have any documents – terminology lists, glossaries. etc. – that we can use as references, this can be very helpful for the consistent translation of specialist terms, product names or abbreviations. You can also help us by letting us know if we need to translate proper names, titles, etc.

  •            If you leave your phone number with us, we can call you back to discuss any questions regarding your project quickly and easily.
  •         To make sure that we can begin work on your translation as soon as possible, it's important that the source text we receive from you is final. If you need to make changes to a document, it's better if you wait for these changes to have been made before you send us the file.
  •         Please plan enough time for your translation and request a realistic delivery date. A professional translator can usually translate up to 8-10 standard pages per day; for this volume, a day for proofreading and another for editing would also need to be planned in.

Lastly, please send us your feedback on your translation! What were you pleased with and what could we improve next time?

Who handles my translation request? Do I have a personal contact person?

Yes. For the duration of your translation project, from quote preparation to delivery, you will have your own personal qualified projectmanager, with direct telephone contact. Our project managers have studied translation themselves, so they are perfectly qualified to advise you on any queries.

How does Toptranslation handle confidential documents?

The confidentiality and security of your documents and data are our utmost priority. When you upload your data via our request form (https://www.toptranslation.com/en/dashboard/orders/new), all communication between web servers is secured with 256-bit SSL encryption.

The documents used during the course of your order are saved on our web servers for the duration of the project. You can also set individual deadlines for specific documents and data to be deleted.

Customer-related data is saved in an additionally secured database. Access to this database is limited by individual login data.

Project managers in charge of your projects can download one or all of the documents related to your order over a connection secured with 256-bit SSL encryption.

The hard drives in the computers our employees use are also secured (with Truecrypt and AES), so saved documents and data can only be accessed following prior authentication. 

How do you make sure that my translation is free of errors?

All texts are translated by qualified translators that are nativespeakers of the target language. We only work with translators with degree qualifications and many years of professional experience. The quality of their translations is verified according to the ISO 17100 and DIN EN 15038 standards.This means that each translation is proofread by a second, independent translator, not only for spelling, punctuation and grammar, but also for completeness and consistency with the source text. For very complex orders, we offer the 'six-eye principle' – this is our premium service, which includes editing by a third language expert.

How do you select the specialist translators that work for Toptranslation?

As there is currently no authoritative description of what qualifies as a professional translator, Toptranslation has developed a three-stage selection process to ensure the quality of the translators we hire. Our minimum requirements are both a degree in translation studies and several years of professional experience. In addition, each specialist translator must have sound references, and must demonstrate their skills with test translations. We continually monitor and review the performance of our translators – looking not only at the quality of the translations, but also at factors such as reliability, punctuality and initiative. Just 8% of applicants make it through our selection process and into the Toptranslation specialist translator database.

Our words open borders

We look forward to your projects!

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