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  • What's involved?
    1. I will ask for your project’s specifications*, to make sure I’m the right person for the job. If I’m not the right person, I will point you in the right direction by recommending a trusted colleague. 2. Once I have received the project specifications, I will start by researching around the subject-matter and by getting a feel for your business/sector, style, target audience and the purpose of the translation. 3. I may then come back to you with questions before I begin the translation itself, and as I am writing the translation. I like to have an open line of communication with my clients, as I strongly believe this will produce the best results. 4. I produce at least two drafts of my translations before editing and then proofreading the final copy. 5. I deliver the translation, on time, on budget and with zero worries. *By specifications I mean readership, purpose, deadline, price, subject-matter, source language and regional variation, format and volume.
  • How much will it cost?
    I offer competitive pricing based on the format, size, urgency and complexity of your requirements. My prices are usually based on CHF, EUR or USD per word of source text (the language your document is written in). Please contact me to discuss your project specifications.
  • How long will the translation take?
    I can translate around 2,000 words per day, on average. The exact lead time will depend on the particular job. I will discuss this with you.
  • What about confidentiality of my documents?
    Your data and documents are kept secure and confidential throughout the whole process, and will never be disclosed to third parties without your prior consent. Client confidentiality is one of the prerequisites of my professional code of conduct. Paper documents are stored in a locked cabinet at the end of each day, while their digital counterparts are stored on a password-protected computer secured by a firewall and disk encryption application and backed up regularly on an encrypted external drive to avoid data loss. I do not store customer data in the cloud, unless mutually agreed. Where storage or sharing in the cloud is mutually agreed, I use a secure encrypted service (Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 256-bit keys). I use a cross-cut shredder to dispose of any paper documents once the translation is complete.
  • Do you have a technical background?
    Yes. My technical background is solidly based in English, German and French. In Switzerland, I earned a Degree in Mechanics and in Renewable Energy Systems Engineering. I am also an MIT certified Technical Writer. As you might easily guess, a technical background is essential for accurate technical translations. A translator must know not only what the target readers of a technical document infer, but also what they take for granted, that is, the common knowledge of the target technical culture. The translator needs this knowledge to avoid the “trans-cultural” embarrassments too often seen in translations. Native fluency is not enough. There are no shortcuts to advanced technical education and experience. New, ambiguous or unexpected terminology often trip translators who lack a technical background, even if they have translated for years. Technical bilingual dictionaries and glossaries can mislead translators who do not know the field well enough to recognise the correct context or the use of new jargon not covered in the dictionary. Dictionaries and glossaries might be wrong or, if printed, hopelessly out of date, but it takes knowledge of the subject area to recognise this. The terminological accuracy of my translations is grounded in years of engineering study and work in both Switzerland and India. If your project involves new, complex technologies, you will need an experienced engineer who not only understands technical fields in general, but knows how to research new fields quickly and apply the new technology to your translation. I can find and read related documents written in German and French by specialists. Possessing a sound understanding of the concepts, I can choose the correct technical terminology. Only a translator with an extensive technical background can apply this method effectively.
  • Do you also provide editing services?
    Yes. However, before accepting an editing project I need to review the translated document. If a translation is poor, editing could take so much time, that it would be more cost-effective to retranslate the original document from scratch. It happens. I have seen it. A company goes to great lengths to partner with German or French speaking firms to sell its products there. The company needs to translate its manuals and other material either in advance or after the sale, for example to comply with the European Union requirements. The company chooses a translator who doesn’t meet all the prerequisites: native-fluency, technical background in both source and target language, attention to terminology accuracy and consistency, writing skills. Then the translation comes back with a comment from the partners along these lines: “We can’t use this translation” or, if the partners took the time to edit it, the translation is full of strikeouts and corrections still to be applied. The company needs to start over. But if the company had selected the right translator the first time, it wouldn’t need to pay twice for the same service. Eliminate the guesswork from your next translation project. Ask me and tap the full range of capabilities that will assure you of the best results possible: native-fluency, solid technical background in English, German and French, utmost attention to terminology accuracy and consistency, and solid writing skills.
  • How do I order your services?
    By e-mail. First, describe the project, and I will quote you a price range. For a firm price quote, I need to preview the documents to translate or edit. You may e-mail me the actual documents or a link (for example, if the project relates to a web site). Once we agree on the delivery date and the price, I will start as soon as I receive your purchase order. You will receive the translation by the deadline. Guaranteed. In 10+ years of translating, I have never missed a deadline.
Translating Engineer K. Isaac Technical German English Translator

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