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FAQs about Translation Services

Here you will find a collection of frequently asked questions about translations, translation services and translation prices.You will also find explanations of the procedures for the various types of translations as well as the form in which the text to be translated is best delivered to us so that we can handle your translation quickly and easily.

What does a professional translation cost?

Professional interpreting work and translations are highly specialised services. Trying to economise on them will usually end up in costing more, as either the results will simply not be good enough or corrections will have to be made. And they cost money! In terms of quality, the minimum than can be expected is: the text to be rendered precisely and in full, correct use of language and grammar. That means that for the reader of a translation the contents will be accurately reproduced and the text will be linguistically without error.

Translation work is usually charged per line. A line consists of 55 characters. The cost depends on the degree of difficulty of the original text and the work involved. Currently (January 2002), line rates range from Euro 1.53 to 1.96. For particular types of texts (advertising texts, packing lists, book texts) special agreements can be reached (e.g. per word, standard page, profit-sharing, royalties). For urgent, overnight or weekend work appropriate surcharges will apply.

For additional work, such as editing the original text, terminology, layout, proof-reading etc., an hourly rate is usually charged (about Euro 70.–). Any additional use of the translation will be charged extra. Special regulations apply in the case of certified translations (see the Claim for Fees Act 1975 as amended according to the Austrian Law Gazette No. 407/1997). Alternatively, certified translations for private individuals will be charged in line with the recommended rates of the OVGD (Official Gazette of the Austrian Legal Administrative Body of 5 August 1993).

The fact that the invoice is calculated on the basis of a translation which, at the time the estimate is made, does not yet exist, makes precise details difficult. What must be taken into consideration is the fact that translations – depending on the specific target language – can sometimes be longer than the original texts. In the following examples it is to be assumed that all the prices quoted are exclusive of VAT and not binding, they are merely a guide.

What do I need to do to have my website translated?

There is good reason we have dedicated an entire chapter to websites.Cost estimates for Word documents, Excel files, and even for texts on paper can usually be calculated fairly easily with the help of modern equipment (e.g. scanner).If a document is sent to us as a data file, we can provide a very accurate cost estimate on the same day.For websites, however, it is somewhat more complicated.Many customers send us a link to their website asking for a cost estimate and expect, rightly so, a prompt response.

However, the very nature of a website with its many functions and features make it very difficult for us to provide an accurate cost estimate.Due to the extremely wide variety of design possibilities for websites (from text-dominated, static HTML pages to graphically styled image sites using JAVA applets, animated GIF or FLASH movies, all the way to dynamic hi-tech sites, e.g. conventional web design combined with audio and video technology, or e-business sites with advanced database structures, e.g. online shop systems) it is not possible for us to provide a simple cost estimate for technical reasons.The time required to examine an entire website with all its graphics, links, databases, etc. is however significant and costly.

Since we would of course still like to be able to offer you a cost estimate quickly, easily and free of charge, we recommend the following procedure:Provide us with a text only file containing all the text from your entire website (including the text from any graphics) as a Word document or an ASCII file (text file).Your webmaster or your advertising agency/department should be able to provide all the texts in an appropriate format.This will allow us not only to quickly and accurately assess the scope of the project and the associated costs as well as to determine a precise time schedule, but it will also give the translator a good overview of the total amount of text to be translated, which helps to avoid possible sources of error (such as overlooked pages ).

Another problematic aspect of websites is that they generally impart a wide variety of information.As such they often combine different types of text (e.g. advertising texts and technical information for the company’s products, information for investors, balance sheet information, etc.).This variety poses a challenge as translators generally only focus on a certain area of expertise.Therefore, assigning the translation to only one translator is problematic.In most cases it is necessary to organize a team for the translation or to have the translation thoroughly proofread by translators who specialize in the various types of texts.One should also bear in mind that translators are not copywriters.We recommend contacting an advertising agency in the target country for websites that are strongly advertising-oriented. This is not to say that a translation is wrong or bad, but an advertising agency in the target country will simply have a better idea of how to best reach the intended target audience.A translation can only be made on the basis of the original text.If the translator deviates too much from the original, then it is no longer a translation.If they stick too closely to the original text, then the translation often sounds “strange” in the foreign language.It is often sufficient to ask the local branch of your company (if you have one) to make any necessary adaptations to the text.

By following this procedure you can ensure that you receive a quality translation that places your company in the right light and, last but not least, leads to higher turnover for you.

What do I need to do to have my image brochure translated?

This type of translation also includes transferring company slogans and headlines to a foreign language and even culture.The translator must recreate such texts in the foreign language.In doing so, they have to be sure to convey the right content, image and style of the text.Creating image brochures usually requires multiple discussions and revisions.For this reason, the line price is either higher than the normal price or a surcharge is agreed upon for the additional work.Slogans in a foreign language are charged separately (starting at € 360).These costs are for finding a slogan or the adaptation of a translation to the respective target culture, which means more creation than translation.Here again, particular consideration has to be given to copyright protection.
The cost for creating an image brochure with 12 A4 pages and 400 lines is approximately € 725 (plus 20% VAT.).

How much does it cost to have a script translated?

The original manuscript is about 130 pages long.The text contains both stage directions and dialogue with different line lengths and different amounts of text per page.Since it is not available electronically, the actual length of the script can only be estimated:Approximately 37 pages or 2,160 characters of stage direction plus approximately 95 or 1,100 characters of dialogue = 184,420 characters.Dividing by 55 characters (per line) gives us a total of 3,353 lines.The German text will be about 15% longer.Based on this a cost estimate is then created.

What is a certified translation?

A certified translation of an Austrian birth certificate with approximately 20 lines.A flat rate is usually charged.The cost is approximately € 50 to € 70 (plus 20% VAT.), depending on the size of the text to be translated.This includes the certification fee usually charged by the court interpreter.

How much does it cost to have a contract translated?

A rental contract with 5 pages.The price is calculated based on the number of lines in the target language. The line price for business texts starts at € 1.60 per line.5 pages are approximately 150 lines at € 1.60 = € 384 (plus 20% VAT.).
The client should not make any subsequent changes to the translation.On the one hand, doing so could result in errors in the contract, and on the other hand, copyright laws apply and any changes, deletions or edits may only be made with the consent of the translator.The copyright also provides for the naming of the translator in connection with the work.This law provides a different provision than the otherwise applicable provisions of the Austrian Civil Code (§ 1295 Austrian Civil Code, § 1324 Austrian Civil Code).In the case of a freelance or commercial translation, the liability shall be regulated in accordance with the Austrian Civil Code and the Austrian Commercial Code and in accordance with the laws governing liability for compensation of the specialist.
The client is responsible for ensuring the technical and linguistic correctness of the original text as they are responsible for errors resulting from flaws in the source texts.Professional translators will draw attention to errors that are subsequently discovered after the translation has been delivered.Stylistic improvements or the adaptation of specific terminology does not constitute a translation error.If translation errors are rectified by the translator/translation agency within a reasonable time, the client shall not be entitled to a price reduction.
DIN 2345 “translation contracts” deals with the organizational structure of translation contracts and contains requirements for the qualification of the translator, agreements between the client and translator, provision of information by the client, subcontracting and distribution of translation contracts, process accompanying documentation, etc. (April 1998, € 38.50 plus 20% VAT, available from the Austrian Standards Institute, Tel 01/213 00 805).This standard does not apply to interpreting services.
DIN 2345 provides for the possibility of registering with DIN CERTCO, however, this is not a certification.Earlier this year, the Austrian Standards Institute founded the Technical Standards Committee 239 “Services – Translation and Interpretation”, who are working to develop a standard that extends beyond the scope of DIN 2345.

Can your proofread a text that I translate myself?

Unfortunately we can only offer this service to publishing houses or businesses, but not to individuals.

Is it possible to only have parts of a text translated?

This is not a problem at all.Please clearly mark the passages in the original text that you wish to have translated.

Is the translation proofread again by another native speaker once it is finished?

Of course one of our translators gives the translation a “final read through” before approving it for the client.

How do I send you the text I want to have translated?

You can of course bring the text to us personally at Tomaschekstraße 30 during our office hours (Monday – Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. & Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.).The quicker way would be to send the document via e-mail.You can also send printed texts to us via courier service or normal mail.

How can I send you a text that is too large to be sent by e-mail?

You can either print the document and send it to us via courier service or normal mail or you can use one of the many free sites on the internet for transferring large amounts of data.If you have any questions about these data transfer services simply give us a call and we will be happy to help you.

How do I get my translated documents back?

Usually we send the texts back the same way we received them, i.e. either via e-mail or as a printed copy via courier service or normal mail.Simply let us know how you would like to have your documents sent.

Will my documents be kept confidential?

As a professional translation agency, you can be assured that your documents will be handled with the utmost confidentiality. Only our employees have access to your documents.

What is a standard line?

In accordance with the Austrian Printer’s Guild, a standard line is 55 characters (spaces, letters and punctuation marks).In most cases, the characters are counted automatically while typing and it is only necessary to divide the total number of characters by 55 to get the number of standard lines.As a rule, an actual line of text as it appears in a word document or on a typed page has slightly more than 55 characters (which of course depends a bit of the font and font size).

How is the price of a translation calculated?Is it based on the source text or target text?

The cost estimate is made with the help of the source text.Based on the original text and our experience as a professional translation agency we are able to estimate the approximate length of the target text.Thus the cost estimate and the price of the translation are based on the (predicted) target text.

Is the price different depending on whether or not you calculate it based on the source language or the target language?

There most certainly can be a difference in price depending on if it is calculated based on the source language or the target language.Some languages use fewer words than others to express the same content.

Why are some language combinations more expensive than others?

Since we work almost exclusively with native speakers in the target country, our pricing depends on the wage levels in the specific countries.

Why can’t you give me a cost estimate over the phone?

It would be unprofessional to give a cost estimate without seeing the document first.The price is based on the length and difficulty of the text and this is why we need to have the original text in order to provide an accurate cost estimate.

Do your prices already include VAT?

All our prices are exclusive VAT, thus the final price includes an additional 20% tax.

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