Informatik Translations

Quality German-to-English IT Document Translations • Specialized Subject Areas Welcome


Why Use Informatik?

When you have Informatik translate your IT documentation, rest assured that your final product will be a accurate, well-written reflection in English of your original German text. Your final document will be completely correct, be very readable and make complete sense to your target audience, whether it be your own employees and colleagues, your customers or some other external party.

Such quality will not be the case if you trust your translation to an agency or worse, use machine translation for your documentation.

And poorly translated text, especially customer-facing text such as that in a website, user guide, white paper or book, may at best subject you to embarrassment and may also lead to a loss of customers, loss of reputation and/or legal consequences.

Following are a few good reasons why you should have Informatik handle your IT document translation instead of using machine translation or an agency. In addition, the last section of this page contains links to related articles by the American Translators Association.

Advantages Over Machine Translation

Although MT can indeed be a quick, cost-effective solution to find out the gist of a piece of text, it leaves much to be desired when it comes to translating a professional document which will be seen and used by others, especially your customers, and brings the following disadvantages:

  • Lack of accuracy - For reasons including MT's inability to determine context, the following errors are common when machine translation is used:
    • Incorrect translations of terms.
    • Multiple translations of the same term.
    • No translation at all (MT simply places original German word in English text).
  • Style - In a nutshell, a machine translation will always read like a machine translation, since MT essentially translates on a word-by-word, not context, basis. Compare two translations of this source text, one by a well-known MT application and one by Informatik:

Source text
Der Freigabeprozess seitens ABC Softwareentwicklung erfolgt sp├Ątestens innerhalb von drei Werktagen.

Machine translation
The approval process on the part of ABC software development takes place within three working days at the latest.

Informatik translation
The ABC Softwareentwicklung release process will take at the most three working days to complete.

  • In addition to vastly improved style, also note the error in the machine translation (Softwareentwicklung should not be translated, as it's part of the German company name). In addition, the word "approval", although strictly correct, may be the wrong choice of words (see bullet list item below).

  • Company-specific terminology - Even a "correct" MT translation might be wrong when it comes to your own company. Does your U.S. subsidiary call its Rechenzentrum a computer center, data center or data processing center? Is its Geschäftsführer a managing director, general manager or CEO?

Advantages Over An Agency

Although an agency will provide a better quality translation than MT, that quality can still be lacking when it comes to highly technical, specialized documents, such as those in the field of IT. Should you choose to hire an agency to take on your IT translation projects, you run a number of risks which will affect the quality of your document:

  • Your project could be assigned to a translator who has no experience/knowledge in your area of specialization - even the project manager you work with probably doesn't have any experience with your area of specialization.
  • Your project could be assigned to more than one translator, who might each use a different translation for a key term, any or all of which could be incorrect.
  • You'll never work directly with the translator(s) who worked on your project, meaning any feedback you have will first go through the project manager, and may well be handled by a translator different from the one who completed the original translation.

Other Informatik Advantages

Specialized tools and formats: Informatik has experience with specialized tools and can start working on your translation RIGHT NOW, even if your documentation is only available in HTML, PHP or some other non-document format, requires a specialized tool like Oxygen, LaTeX, Astah, OmegaT or an IDE, or is on some system like GitHub which requires command line access.

IT background and mentality: Informatik is owned by Roland Galibert, who's an experienced, degreed software developer who keeps up with the latest trends and is an IT professional just like you. He knows exactly what you need and how you talk and is ready to jump into your project immediately.

And you'll get all this at a cost equal or lower than that of an agency.

Related ATA Articles

The American Translators Association ( www.atanet.org) offers many valuable resources to companies and individuals who have questions about finding the right translation provider, including the following articles:

  • Machine Translation: Article describes when and when not to use machine translation, and also points out your data may not be handled confidentially depending on which MT service you use. Article also includes the ATA's Position Paper on Machine Translation: A Clear Approach to a Complex Topic.
  • How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Free Online Translation Tools: In addition to valuable dos and don'ts, the article also notes reservations by the U.S. Department of Justice and even Google about machine translation.
  • Why Should I Hire a Professional?: The article stresses that the translator you hire should also be a specialist in your specific field and offers other guidelines on hiring a translation provider.