+49 (0)7153/4065050
deutschenglishfranzösisch
Patricia Roh - kiwitext

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about my services and translation as a profession are listed below. If you have any other questions, please just ask! Simply call me or send me an email.

How do I know a translator is qualified?

As the professional title of ‘translator’ is not legally protected, theoretically anyone can offer their services as a translator – even untrained and inadequately qualified persons! The criteria for selecting a qualified translator would usually be a university degree (German Diplom, B.A., M.A.) or a state examination as a translator or interpreter, membership in the BDÜ (Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators) or many years of professional experience as a translator. Officially certified translations can only be provided by translators who have been publically appointed and sworn by their regional court. The official title varies from region to region in Germany.

I have a meeting tomorrow with my business partner from England. Can you translate for me?

No. You are looking for an interpreter, not a translator. Translators deal with written texts, interpreters work with spoken words. The training for these two professions is very different. I work as a translator and do not offer interpreting services. However, if you need an interpreter, I will gladly recommend colleagues from my professional network.

Do you also translate into English and French?

In most cases, no. I work according to the mother tongue principle, which in my case means that I translate from English and French into my native language, German. Exceptions are texts of a fairly general nature, such as letters, correspondence or CVs. These types of text I also translate into English, but not into French. Here, too, I can gladly recommend experienced and qualified colleagues.

Do you translate contracts and court judgements?

No. Translators usually specialise in just a few professional fields. I primarily translate texts relating to IT, technology and marketing, as these are the fields in which I have the necessary knowledge. In the area of law, I only translate basic official documents and certificates. I do not translate complex legal texts such as contracts, expert reports or court judgements. For these types of text I can recommend colleagues who specialise in law.

Why do you need to see the text before you can quote me a price?

Translating, editing and proofreading are services which are always individually tailored to the source text. It is therefore necessary for me to assess the workload and the difficulty of the text in order to be able to quote a price. Ideally, to realistically estimate the scope of work required for the translation or proofreading, I need to see the text in question. Failing this, I at least require a representative excerpt and information on the total length of the text in words or lines.

What is the usual procedure if I want something translated?

After receiving your enquiry, I’ll quote you a price at no obligation. Only after you have agreed to accept this offer will I begin to work on the text. If you have reference material or background information, please send them to me before I begin to work on the text. If I have any questions or need to clarify something, I will contact you during the project. As the final step, I proofread all of the texts again before sending you the final version. If you have any requests for changes, I will be happy to incorporate them. After you have approved the translation I will send you the invoice.

Can you translate texts within graphics?

Yes, of course. Depending on whether they are pixel- or vector-based graphics, I work with the Adobe® programmes InDesign® or Photoshop®. To do this I will simply require the original file, for example in JPG, PSD or EPS format.

Why do you need reference materials?

Already existing translations, glossaries, terminology databases and translation memories help me to work on your texts in a way which is consistent and complementary to your previous corporate texts. Reference texts, style guides or previous versions of a current text will also help to improve the quality of the translation. If you have access to such reference materials, please make them available to me before I begin to work on your project.

How do you ensure that wordings and technical terms are consistent over multiple projects?

To guarantee consistent wordings for a customer over multiple projects, I create project- and customer-specific glossaries and translation memories for every job. These are useful for subsequent projects with the same customer and I continuously update them, incorporating any customer feedback. For example, if you provide feedback, I can ensure that any changes to a translation are taken into account in all subsequent jobs.

For an officially certified translation do you require the original documents?

As a rule, a certified copy of the document is sufficient because I do not certify the document itself, but rather the accuracy and completeness of the translation. It is important, however, that the document you provide is complete and 100% legible. The certified translation states whether the original document or a copy was presented for the translation.

How will I be given a certified translation?

With the standard certification phrase, my stamp and my signature I confirm the accuracy and completeness of my translation. For this reason I can only send the document by post and not by email. You also have the option of picking up the certified translation from me in person, but please by appointment only! In this case you can also bring along the original document for confirmation.

I need a certified copy. Can you do this?

No, unfortunately not. I am only permitted to certify the translation of official documents and certificates in the German and English languages. For certified copies of your document, please contact the respective authority.

Why do I need a proofreader or editor? Microsoft® Word has an integrated spelling and grammar check!

That’s true. The spelling and grammar function provided by Microsoft® Word is very useful and I use it myself in my daily work. However, this function is merely a computer programme and does not have a natural feel for language or style. Blatant spelling or grammar errors are usually found quite easily – but context-related errors or mistakes in meaning are more complex and not so easily spotted. This is where I get to work and look at the text very closely!

Can’t translations now be done by computers?

Translation programmes cannot select the appropriate words for a particular context, let alone produce stylistic nuances. This requires careful consideration of the intended target group and the purpose of the text. For this reason they can never replace a qualified translator! Translators work with so-called CAT tools (computer-aided translation programmes), for example translation memory systems or terminology management software. However, these programmes only assist a translator and help to make their work a little easier. They cannot replace translators.