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German to Indonesian in 3 seconds

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Translations booked online quickly and easily – like hotel rooms. That is the vision of nativy, a Vienna-based translation agency. How does it work? Anja Drame of TermNet, the International Network for Terminology, has obtained a precise answer to this question.

Josef Brunner, born in 1977, got to know the translation market from a client’s perspective while he was still working in international sales. He was often asked for help when a translation was needed. A business administration graduate, he had studied for some time in Spain, France and the Netherlands and, in addition, had taught himself Russian. So friends and colleagues considered him a language expert.

But everything began to change when his boss showed him a text in Cyrillic script and asked him “what does this say?” Even though it did look like Russian, the text was in Macedonian. But his boss did not understand that.
Lack of understanding of foreign languages within companies, an obscure translation market and the complicated procedure of procuring translations often made his company – like so many others – hesitate to address multilingual communication needs.

“At the time I asked myself why it should be easier to make an online booking for a hotel room than for a good translation”, Brunner remembers. He was convinced that it was technically possible.

And so the idea was born. In 2011, together with a colleague and software developer, he founded nativy, a translation agency that offers good translations in a client-friendly way and at fair prices.
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nativy’s founders Brunner (right) and Kerschbaummayr

What sets nativy apart is a special order processing system that generates an offer for the client within seconds. Nothing could be easier: the client uploads the text to be translated, which is then automatically analysed and matched against a complex database of available translators. Additionally, the client can also specify when the translation should be finished. The offer is prepared almost instantly – complete with a price and delivery deadline. Now all the client has to do is choose, and it’s done!

Brunner wants the system to be fair to translators as well. “We regard our translators as our capital. Each and every one of them is an independent professional and must be treated as such. Price dumping and cutthroat competition for the cheapest translation is a trend that will peter itself out. Our translators set their own prices.”

Brunner knows that clients do appreciate this. “For us it is about offering value for money rather than just low prices”.
This distinguishes nativy from many other translation agencies, where the management usually dictates the prices in a “like it or lump it” attitude towards the translators.

With their concept nativy has so far registered more than 1300 qualified translators – including for less common languages such as Armenian, Indonesian or Marathi.

Precautions are also in place to protect the confidentiality of documents. “Simply put, we are not a marketplace where the client’s text is sent all over the place until a translator says, “I’ll do it”.
Only the translator who receives the job sees the text. And the translator can ask the client questions about the text in a separate chat room.

Brunner is not afraid that so much direct contact could mean eventually losing his clients to his translators. “As a client, you always have a choice – you can look for a translator yourself who happens to be available, negotiate the price with them and so forth. If I, as a client, engage a translation agency it is because I do not want to or cannot do that myself. When the client then needs to have a text translated to five, six or more languages, that question no longer arises anyway”.

Quality is important to Brunner. In September 2013 his company was certified for the second time by the Language Industry Certification System (LICS) in accordance with the European Standard EN15038. This standard defines quality criteria specifically for translation service providers.

Among others, it determines what training and experience the translators must have. All translators who wish to work for nativy must meet these requirements. “We communicate this very clearly. And we examine it carefully. Applicants who fail to meet these basic requirements will not be included in our database. Just being able to speak one or more foreign languages obviously does not make you a good translator. But we find out very soon when someone fails to meet the criteria.”

For Brunner the standard EN15038 is more than just a helpful, practical guideline for how to manage his business. For him it is also a clear competitive advantage. “Today there are so many translation agencies that are EN15038 certified. These are very simple quality requirements. If a business is not certified, then the client really has to ask, why not?”

Brunner does not accept the argument that clients are not willing to pay the higher cost resulting from the translation-plus-review principle. “That accounts for just 30% of the price. But in return the client has the assurance that the translation is indeed of high quality and that it will not embarrass them”.

Technologically, nativy is modeled after Microsoft. Project management in the cloud – is that the future? “We are probably the first agency where you can place an order in Microsoft Word 2013, that is, Office 365 – very clearly a global approach. It is still very new, and Microsoft itself has only just started with it and will continue evolving in this respect.”

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And nativy, too, will continue evolving. The next innovations are already on the drawing board. Josef Brunner does not want to give away too much yet. But if they are only half as innovative, we have every reason to remain excited.

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ECQA Certified Terminology Manager explanier in Webinar hosted by SDL

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Join us in a SDL webinar about the ECQA Certified Terminology Manager training program!

30.04.2012

TermNet member SDL is hosting a webinar about the training and certification program “ECQA Certified Terminology Manager”.

Join us for this webinar and learn more about this innovative and successful program!

Language: German

Date: 10. May 2012
10:00 – 11:00 CETS (Central European Summer Time – Amsterdam, Berlin, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna)

You can register for this webinar at: http://www.translationzone.com/de/events/translation-agency/may2012/2012-05-10-terminologiemanager-zertifizierung.asp

About ECQA Certified Terminology Manager – Basic

In the globalised knowledge and information societies, specialised language has become a prerequisite of any kind of efficient and effective communication, management and interoperability of technical systems and methodologies. Terminology and terminology management build an integral, high quality and quality-assuring part of the end products, services and tools in the fields of

  • INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION,
  • CLASSIFICATION & CATEGORISATION,
  • TRANSLATION & LOCALISATION.

The new job profile Certified Terminology Manager – Basic combines and bundles the various competences of professionals active in these areas.
ECQA Certified Terminology Manager – Basic is especially suited for professionals who work as

  • INFORMATION & COMMUNICATION PROFESSIONALS:
    ICT experts, information and knowledge managers, etc.
  • EXPERTS IN CLASSIFICATION & CATEGORIZATION:
    e-Business, Semantic Web, libraries and archives, etc.
  • LANGUAGE INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS:
    Translators, interpreters, localisers, technical writers, etc.

This certification can be regarded as specialized professional qualification.

For more information about the ECQA Certified Terminology Manager please visit:
http://www.termnet.org/english/products_service/ecqa_ctm-basic/index.php
or contact us termnet@termnet.org

Community interpreting, project management tools soon certified

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Some information by the Language Industry Certification System:

Until recently the Language Industry Certification System (LICS) has been known around the world mostly for being the first to have developed a certification scheme for the EN 15038. But this is not the only champion LICS has in store. More certification products for the language industry have been developed and will enter the market in short time. Among them are the certification of Community Interpreting Service Providers (based on the Canadian National Standard Guide for Community Interpreting Services, published by the Healthcare Interpretation Network (HIN), Project Management Tools for translators, and the LICS Translation Text Quality Certification (based on the metrics used in the industry standard for the automotive industry SAE-J2450).
More information: www.lics-certification.org.

Terminology country report: Turkey

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If you had asked me about terminology in Turkey one year back, I would probably have answered that there is not much going on in this country. It’s true, we have the occasional (however, I must say, very interested) participants at TSS. But else there was not much information coming out of the country that reached me.

But that was before I encountered TermTurk project (www.termturk.net). This project, sponsored by the EU-Turkey Dialog programme, is an eye-opener for me.TermTurk, TSS 2009

What’s it all about? Actually, it is meant as a beginning. A group of people got together to kick-start what they perceived as long overdue – the development of an elaborate and active terminology infrastructure in Turkey.

Surprisingly, there has not been much institutionalised research on terminology. Nor is there something like an information centre where interested groups or individuals can find what they need to know about it. It is surprising, because there is such a strong patronage: Kemal Mustafa Atatürk himself wrote a brochure to introduce Turkish geometry terminology. Atatürk, as we know was very dedicated to language planning in order to promote and facilitate nation-building processes in the new republic. Terminology is even explicitly mentioned in the country’s famous Anıtkabir – his mausoleum and museum in Ankara (something that my colleagues and I still marvel about because it such a pleasant feeling to see terminology being rewarded such public recognition).

So finally, TermTurk should achieve what is still lacking: an information and research centre at Hacettepe University in Ankara, closer ties with internation organizations and activities (e.g. in standardization and reserach), a national terminology policy, and networking, networking, networking of the many different and often isolated initiatives within Turkey.

And TermTurk is doing well in achieving these goals: Turkish standards institute is now actively participating in ISO/TC 37  standardization projects, a series of well-attended trainings, conferences and workshops foster dialogue and knowledge transfer, quality assurance and service certification (LICS) take root, training material is obtained, translated and produced at high speed.

TermTurk as a project will come to an end in November 2009. But the continuation of the achievements is already planned and prepared.

There is much to be expected from Turkey in the next years. And I, for my part, am quite proud to be at the core of the action from the very beginning.

What’s important and what is not for terminologists

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One topic is haunting me for quite a while now. There’s a lot of talk about quality assurance and certification. Is there really a need for it for terminology managers and translators?

Whenever I ask people I obviously get mixed responses. Most agree and find all these issues very important. But usually these are the ones who are involved in standards and other working groups so I am not sure if they are really representative for all the terminologists out there. 

There are also those who say of themselves they have no clue about all this and don’t care.  That there are other issues they find much more important. Or that, while they personally find it important, do not believe it will be successful in their country or region.

What do you find most important when you have to argue or prove to your managers or clients that what you are doing is important, state-of-the-art and worth every cent they spend on you?

I belong to the first group. I believe that certification schemas and the emphasizing of well-handled terminology management as an asset for quality assurance will ultimately strengthen our position.

Yes, it costs without guaranteeing reward but isn’t that so for all innovations?

What’s your opinion about this? Are you an innovator or rather wait until others have taken the lead?

A.

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