‘Eight-step coaching model’ manual now translated into French and Italian

‘Eight-Step Coaching Model’ manual and ‘Pocket Guide’ available in English, French and Italian. An interesting business technical translation!

148 page manual is an excellent read.

For more details visit  or call OTD on 01527 570999 to see how the 8 Skill Coaching model can inspire your teams to achieve even more.

Using translation memory works best on technical translations

Translation memory (TM) works best on texts which are highly repetitive, such as technical translations i.e. technical manuals. If a TM system is used consistently on appropriate texts it can save translation time, increase consistency in quality and this is where cost savings can be applied. TM is also helpful for translating incremental changes to a previously translated document, for example minor changes in a new version of a user manual. TM is not considered appropriate for literary or creative texts for the simple reason that this form of language is more stylistic with little repetition in the language used.

Are certified translations required to support a due diligence process?

As global trade increases, our clients at TW Languages Ltd are experiencing a wide variation in legislative requirements from country to country. This has been reflected in a significant increase in the number of requests for certified translations as clients make them part of their due diligence process.  Documents have included business, technical and scientific translations relating to tenders, certificates, invoices and working practises, etc.

Each country has its own level of qualification for certified translators which means that they are only able to provide a service in that country. While TW Languages Ltd is recognised as a ‘sworn’ translation company in the UK, we also have systems and procedures in place so that we can arrange certification in other countries. Whenever notarisation is required, we have an excellent working relationship with Ken Wilcock, Notary in Manchester.

But is a certified translation really necessary in order to demonstrate due diligence?  We think so.

Since the purpose of each certification varies, it is therefore important to take an individual approach to each request. If you would like to see a few examples of  why certification should be part of a due diligence process and some of the challenges which clients have faced please send your email address to and we will be happy to share this information.

Our facts:

– TW Languages Ltd does not charge for UK certification as this is part of our translation and/or proofreading service.

– With our global team of ‘sworn’ translators, we can arrange for documents to be certified in most countries.

– Allow extra time for certified documents outside of the UK as original copies are required in the post.

For further information contact a member of the translation team at TW Languages.

Translation Project Manager keeping sane in a hectic schedule!

Emma Taylor, Senior Translation Project Manager at TW Languages manages to fit in the gym, raise money for charity, as well as, keeping sane in her hectic day in the office. Working with her translation project management team she takes the same winning approach in how she manages numerous multi-lingual projects for business, technical and scientific translations. She ensures the quality for each project is of the highest standard and deadlines are met.

Emma’s story:

After moving offices with TW Languages I decided to join the gym at The Heath Business and Technical Park. With the gym being on site it was an easy way to try and fit exercise around my busy work schedule as Senior Translation Project Manager at TW Languages. 

After catching the running bug and signing up to complete the Bupa Great Manchester Run in May this year I decided to raise money for a charity very close to my heart , St Ann’s Hospice. With a very close friend of mine experiencing their care and support when her mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011 her and her family have been fundraising ever since. St Ann’s Hospice requires £16,000 per day to keep their three sites open and as a team the family have raised just over £14,000 through various events, they are aiming to raise £16,000 by the end of next year!

After raising £632.99 as part of a team for the Manchester Run I donned my running shoes again last weekend for the Salford 10k and I’m pleased to say ‘improved my personal best’!)

To make a donation directly to St Anns Hospice please visit

A quick guide to working with translations

A quick guide to working with ‘translators’ written by Jack Porteous, UKTI London’s Language and Culture Adviser is a clear and simple guide to working with ‘translations’. He actually refers to ‘translators’ however as the UKTI helps UK-based exporters succeed globally, from a commercial basis the focus should be on business, technical and scientific translations, and generally in more than one language. I would suggest that translation service providers are more qualified to provide this service.

From a global perspective the translation industry has over 25,000 commercial language service providers with approx 45% of providers in Europe. There is the suggestion that 60% of the global market comprises of language service providers who have 2 to 5 employees, with 17% employing 6 to 10 employees.

Some of the differences between a translator as opposed to a translation service provider can be seen in that service providers produce multi-lingual translations; work within a wide range of market sectors; project manage to meet deadlines irrespective of any catastrophes along the way; have larger translation memory databases etc.

However, the common denominator for both translator and translation service provider is that both are providing a service to the client. All parties must have a clear understanding, trust and transparency in what work is being undertaken and the level of quality expected.

An overview of the article:

You’ve spent hours agonising over the minutiae of your marketing materials, days making your website word-perfect, and months producing the perfect sales brochure. Now you’re looking to export and need it all translating – so how can you guarantee that your translator gives a true representation of your company and products?

Trusting someone from outside of your company with such an integral part of your communications can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are my top tips for working with translators:

 1. You get what you pay for

2. Prepare your materials for translation

3. Communication, communication, communication

4. Who is it for?

5. Check and check again

Buying translation is far more complicated than buying a real, tangible product and it’s important to get it right. Botched translation can be expensive to put right, and the consequences of not getting it spot on first time can be much greater than you might think in terms of your reputation and your bottom line. You don’t want to get lost in translation, so make sure you are confident with your choice of translator and work with them to ensure the end product reflects the strength of your company and products.

Is Google translate being policed?

Is Google translate being policed? The answer is No. No one checks or reviews the results of the input of translation. Google translation database is built through crowdsourcing, anyone can add their interpretation of a translated text.

The overall concept of Google translate is excellent and an immediate tool to get the gist of a translation. But it can be ‘pot luck’ which languages produce more accurate translations, with no consistency in the results.

For business and technical translations it’s always recommended to use ‘human translation’ or at the very least get the translated text proofread. The translation of a website requires an extra level of quality as this is the ‘shop window’ of a business. To substantiate the comments above the following highlights a recent example of Google translate Russian to English text from an ‘Instructions for Use’ technical manual:


Human translation:         Do not turn power on

Google translation:         Do not include meals


What is included in the cost to translate a word?

What is included in the cost to translate a word? At least 10 activities!

Quoting for a job is fairly unique in the translation industry compared to other industries in that:

– Translation is based on ‘an actual cost per word’ and in some languages the cost can be based on per character, per line etc.
– There is a lower cost per word where translation CAT tools are used.
– Cost is associated with time hence business, website, technical and scientific translations take longer and therefore at a higher cost per word compared to general translation.

A quotation will give the fixed cost however the variable factor as to ‘what is included in the cost to translate a word’ can include at least 10 activities as listed below:

  1. Assessment & Analysis
  2. Translation Memory Software
  3. Format files
  4. Project Plan and team selection
  5. Communication, Selection and Administration
  6. Translation by native professional translator(s)
  7. Proofread by native professional proofreader(s)
  8. Checking in-house to the source material (list of activities)
  9. Re-checking in-house (list of activities)
  10. Sign-off, send to client before deadline


Is a work colleague the best person to translate the company’s website?

Just because a work colleague is fluent in a foreign language it doesn’t necessarily mean they can translate a document that’s fit for publication!

It can be a false economy to use work colleagues or friends to translate text for business, technical, scientific or website translations unless of course the individual is a qualified translator or highly experienced in translating.

Once a poor translation has been produced it’s time consuming and costly to improve the text. It will take a proof-reader plus editor to rewrite the material to bring the translation to an acceptable level, and it’s unlikely that the text will be of the same quality as a translation completed by a professional translator.

A recent example can be seen in a request we received from a Client to proofread a translation which their work colleague had translated. The proof-reader’s comments speak for themselves.

As far as proofing is concerned, it is hopeless, as the text is not really a text, plus the translated words were randomly translated, and do not relate to the client´s business.

The text needs more than a proof-reader. All I can suggest is a GOOD translator will use a proper TM (translation memory) for consistency. I know that re-writing such bad texts is worse than translating them.”

At least the Client requested that the text be proofread not all companies do this but assume the translation must be good because it was translated by a foreign speaker!


Great translation is down to excellent teamwork

Achieving a great technical and scientific translation is due to having an excellent translation team run by a highly skilled Translation Project Manager. The main consideration is that each project is unique, the Translation Project Manager takes this approach in carefully selecting the team of translators, proofreaders and checkers specific to the needs of the project. Communication is key, everyone will have the same goal and desire to produce a quality translation, delivered on time.

It’s the team that achieves the excellence; “The Whole is greater than the Sum of its parts”

And when we receive the following feedback everyone in the team gets to hear of it!

“I’m happy to confirm, that I have never seen before such a perfect translation from
English to German” 
Benno Wichert, Thermal Energy International (

“We are always very happy with your service – thanks for continuing to look after us” Jayne Fletcher, UPL Europe Limited

“Many thanks for all your help, I was so impressed with the speed and efficiency”  Elaine Shepherd (

“Thanks for your fast Service” Michael Fisahn-Reinhard, GlobeFuel Systems & Services GmbH 

“We arrived at a suitable agreement with our customer, your help with this was invaluable”  David Thorley, Fort Vale Engineering Ltd.

Let your Translation Company work harder and take the strain

How often do we say, “there’s never enough time in the day”?  We only ever get 24 hours so I’m also fond of saying, “work smarter and not harder”!

That’s just what we endeavour to do whenever we receive a request for translation at TW Languages; we take the strain from our client and take full responsibility for the project and its deadline, enabling you to ‘work smarter and not harder’.

Quote: “Many thanks for your help with these translations and for always keeping to schedule which really helps us here.” UPL Europe Ltd

A good example, and one of our strengths, is working on a complex technical translation required in multi-languages to meet an urgent deadline:

Project:      Our Client sent 1 x email with 1 x technical translation of an EU label required urgently in 11 languages.

Process:     TW Languages allocated 24 x personnel (translators, proof readers, checkers and a Project Manager) who worked on 1 x template. The Project Manager used their skills to ensure a collaborative approach within the team and utilised translation memory to enhance quality, etc.

Delivery:   Our Client received all of the translations within the agreed deadline each being a mirror image of the original, ready for publication.

Result:        1 x Happy Client!

A useful tool which helps us to find ‘a smarter way to work’ is Dropbox – excellent for transferring large files. We can send instructions on how to use this facility and provide help to upload files.

Multi-lingual website, technical translation and cost savings is an example of a successful complex multi-lingual website which includes technical translation, in three languages, together with translation cost savings of over 27%.

The success of this project was due to a number of reasons;  good working relationship between supplier and client; working towards the same aims and objectives; one point of contact for both parties and clear communication channels.

The overall project comprised of translating the website, technical documents, scripts, voice-overs etc., in all three languages. Over 120,000 words per language therefore after running the files through translation memory software we identified a high number of repetitions, which resulted in a cost saving for the client of 27%. Quite a saving for a large project!

The result is that Brelko have produced a complex website for the international market that is consistent in content and style and easy to navigate.

Technical translation highlights differences between EU countries

We have worked on numerous technical translations for agrochemical labels. It’s apparent that although EU countries are working towards the same legislation there are variances in how the chemicals are used within each country as evident from the translated labels we produced.

This has been highlighted in a recent project where a label for an agrochemical product was translated from 13 EU languages into English. The result was 13 different English labels for the same chemical product, each label highlighting the uses and requirements for each specific country.

Advantages of having all labels in one language is not only to highlight the differences between EU countries but also as a central controlled database so that each chemical can be easily accessible when future legislative changes are required to a product.