Q: Why work with a professional translator specializing in your field of business?

Susanne Henke, medical and legal translator with 20+ years of international experience.A: Why is a technical translator so imperative for a technical text? Two words: specialized terminology. That is, each technical term has a precise meaning. If the translator fails to convey the precision of the term, the translation fails in its purpose. For example, “titrate the reagent at a rate of 10ml per minute” may require a translator who understands titration. Some languages, especially those from a culture with a scientific legacy, probably have an exact equivalent of the term. Other languages may not. In either case, it’s the translator’s job to convey the scientific meaning.

A non-scientific translator who lacks an understanding of titration might Google the term and attempt to render it literally. If the source text is English, the translator might use target-language terms such as “pour,” “measure,” and “analyze.” These, however, fail to convey the precise definition of the word.

Q:  Which languages do you offer and what distinguishes you from agencies that offer all languages?

A: My range of languages includes my native language, German, as well as English and French. Because of my qualifications, I was publicly appointed and sworn in for these languages. After studying translation and interpreting, I also worked for several years in the U.S., where I built up a network and perfected my language skills.

Languages offered: German | English | French

Consider whether you want to trust a supplier who claims to be able to supply all languages and all subject areas! With your firm’s reputation at stake and the potential for substantial financial settlements, you shouldn’t take any risks.

Even the much-cited networks of hundreds of native speakers should be treated with caution. How close can such an employment relationship be, under what conditions are texts translated into the foreign language, how qualified are the “translators” and do you even begin to know whom you place your trust in?

My areas of expertise can be found here. My qualifications are listed in detail on the About me page, you can see my references here. Instead of a pig in a poke, here you buy guaranteed quality from a person you trust. What else sets me apart? A passion for lifelong learning and the highest quality standards. Trust me and contact me today at office@susanne-henke.de.

Q: Why translate into any language other than English in the first place? Doesn’t everyone speak English nowadays?

A: We tend to think that English is understood around the world when, in reality, many people only have a very basic command of English. Translating your materials professionally is a smart business move. Translation may be required for your market. It makes people more likely to buy your products or services, and support costs go down as people can access information in their own language.

Q: How much will a professional translation set me back and can’t Google Translate do just as good a job?

A: You pay for the best product development and manufacturing. Your legal and administrative people are top-notch. You choose your advertising and marketing partners with utmost care. And then you pick the lowest bidder for your translations. There’s a good chance you’ve just made a costly mistake. 

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Free online translators are very popular—Google alone serves up more than a billion translations a day. It’s important, though, to understand what you get when you use any free machine translation service. You should also be aware that they store and use your data to learn. That’s fine for a public webpage for your family trip, but not for your company’s confidential material. For further information please refer to the blog post Automation Doesn’t Solve Everything: Six Things Your should Know About Machine Translation. Just remember: It’s your reputation on the line. Settling for anything less than a professional translator can ruin your reputation.


Translation blunder
Mark Twain was right: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

Q: Can you provide sworn (certified / notarized) translations and why is this important?

A: Yes, I can. In Germany, only translators publicly appointed and sworn in by a German court are authorised to carry out certified translations, accepted by virtually all authorities worldwide.

This stamps means that you can rely on me to provide sworn translations recognized by courts and authorities.

It is a prerequisite for sworn translators in Germany either to have passed a state examination or hold a university degree in translation sciences in their respective languages. Sworn translators declare their authorization to carry out certified translations by endorsing the translated document with the following notation:

As duly appointed and sworn translator for [language] by [court], I hereby certify that this is a true and complete translation of the certified copy/original of the English/German document presented to me.

Sworn translators endorse their certification with their name, signature, stamp and date. They are obligated to secrecy by law ( § 189 Sec. 4 German Judicial Systems Act) and must faithfully and dutifully transfer the spoken or written text into the respective other language. Certified translations into German are always complete translations of the source document, including crossed-out words or notations without direct reference to the document, if applicable. Fee stamps, stamps or seals are also translated. Extracts are not accepted by German authorities. Authorities in Germany may not accept translations by foreign translators even though they may be sworn in. It is also possible that a German authority does not accept such translation even if the German Consulate or German Embassy has accepted it. I therefore recommend that you entrust a translator publicly appointed and sworn in by a German court with your documents.

Q: How long will translation take?

A: A common question you hear in the translation industry is ‘how long will it take?’ Specific translation turnaround times depend on the number of words, the format, complexity and subject, among other things. You’re welcome to have me to take a look at your files for a quick assessment. Feel free to submit them by email or simply call me at +49 8274 997363. Rest assured that I will treat all inquiries with utmost confidentiality.

Q: Will turnaround times for follow-up jobs be shorter?

A: That depends. If the jobs are very much alike, turnaround times will become shorter over time. It is therefore well worth your time to invest into a lasting partnership with a technical translator you’ve come to trust.

Translation: Getting it right
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