Translation

Overview

Our company has been providing world-class translation to discerning Swiss companies and institutions for over twenty years, with an emphasis on customer care, responsiveness and value for money. In line with our English-language services, our approach to translation has moved into the Digital Age!

Calculating the cost

We calculate the cost of translation based on the source text, and the exact number of characters in the document – not by word or by line. This enables a very precise calculation. What’s more, we apply a sliding-scale of rates according to the volume of your text, which results in highly cost-effective solutions, especially for documents of more than a few pages.

Our rates are available on request.

Call us on 032 724 92 06 or e-mail us at translation@alphadoc.ch.

How we work

To achieve our objective of providing world-class translation, we hand-pick the best freelance professionals available. Apart from holding a diploma or degree, our translators are also highly experienced and of mother tongue in the target language. They all proof-read the text before delivery, and we organize spot-checks internally.

Our Translation Manager, Bernadette, handles all requests for support. She has over twenty years’ experience in this role in Switzerland, and previously was a Project Manager in the International Product Group of an American multinational in the UK. As a qualified translator, she can advise on the best way to approach translation tasks.

Where appropriate, we use a computer-assisted translation tool (Trados) to apply consistency and avoid the cost of translating repeated content, while ensuring terminology management.

Quality of source texts

It’s essential that the source text – the content supplied by the customer – be of high quality. This is particularly important when we consider terminology, and becomes even more critical if you want to use automated translation tools such as DeepL to produce a basic translation.

Even if the terminology is consistent in the source text, problems can arise if the text is ambiguous and/or badly written. This requires a lot more “thinking time” on the part of the translator, and there are often comments in the translation that need to be resolved, taking up your valuable time and impacting the deadline for publication.

We helped Autodesk to reduce the text of an American English user guide by 12 percent, thus reducing translation and publishing costs.

Localization and Internationalization

We have the know-how and experience to advise you on the localization or internationalization of your products and services. For software applications, in addition to the user information you provide to your customers, there is user-interface text and sometimes embedded help to be translated.

When translating software applications, we keep in mind the potential impact of translation (especially text expansion) on your user interface elements.

Content creation in English

Depending on your industry sector and your target audience, you have the option of creating your content in English, which has many advantages. Where appropriate, we use Global English to create technical or business documents.

Typography and layout

We can also improve the typography and layout of your Microsoft Word documents, before or after translation, if required.

European Languages

For the translation of European languages, we work with highly qualified and experienced freelance professionals who translate exclusively into their mother tongue. They are therefore sensitive to cultural and linguistic differences.

For large and/or complex translation projects, we have a UK-based partner.

Language pairs

We offer translation into and from:

  • German
  • French
  • English
  • Italian
  • Spanish

Other language pairs are offered, provided that either the source or target language is among those listed above.

Industry sectors

We have experience in the following sectors:

  • Life Sciences
  • Medical Technology
  • Finance
  • Food and Beverages
  • Information Technology
  • Air Traffic Control
  • Precious Metals

We also have several clients within the Swiss Confederation.

Asian Languages

For the translation of Asian languages, we work with freelance translators who are of mother tongue in the target language and are sensitive to cultural and linguistic factors.

For large and/or complex translation projects, we work with a UK-based company specialized in Asian languages.

Language pairs

We offer translation into Asian languages from the following source texts:

• French
• German
• English

Industry sectors

We have experience in the following sectors:

• Life Sciences
• Medical Technology
• Food and Beverages
• Precious Metals

Proof-reading

It’s essential to perform a quality-assurance step before publication, whether the document is to be printed or published online. All our translators perform a separate proof-read of the text before delivery.

We can of course perform a quality-assurance step on texts that you have translated using automated translation. (This applies only to European languages.)

This service can include proof-reading a PDF generated from the translated file. In this case, we use Adobe Acrobat Professional to annotate the file and indicate corrections. However, in this case the graphic designer or desktop publisher must transfer the changes to the source file – a long and costly process, with the inherent risk of misinterpretation.

We can now proof-read Adobe InDesign/InCopy source or translated files. This streamlines the process by avoiding the transfer of corrections from the annotated PDF by the graphic designer or desktop publisher.

Important

Even where the most professional and conscientious graphic designer (or desktop publisher) is performing the task, text can mysteriously disappear, so it’s strongly recommended to compare the approved translated file with the PDF or press-proof.

We have all experienced that “Oh, no!” moment when you receive the printed document and only then notice the errors that remain in the text. Spare yourself this agony!

Automated Translation

We can work with clients who wish to generate draft translations using tools such as DeepL or Google Translate. However, to achieve a professional result, the source text must be of very high quality. Even then, it’s necessary to check the vocabulary that the tool generates in a specific context.

The more lyrical and expressive your text, the less likely that automated translation will generate a draft that can be used as a basis for publication.

Important

Automated translation can’t resolve certain kinds of problems relating to sentence structure, repetition, verbosity, collocation, inconsistency or (obviously) the sequencing of information in sentences and paragraphs. Neither can it detect changes in style within a given text. 

DeepL isn’t aware of your house style, so it will choose the best match from its database, which may not be your preferred term. You will then have to edit the resulting text, which is time-consuming.

We can advise you on the best use of these technologies in achieving an appropriate level of quality for your content.