Technical Translation Services GmbH


ISO9001 / ISO17100

Fair word counts


Fairness-aware agencies and translators nowadays charge based on number of words by deploying CAT tools designed for quality improvement and reduced cost (on customer side). Well into the Nineties, most of them would charge by the translated line.


Customers and agencies agree on prices for source words and discounts for re-used words that are ‘recycled’ from a translation memory (TM). The advantage: costs can be fixed beforehand.

The CAT tools offer analysis features designed to exactly calculate the different word categories. Each segment (usually one sentence) is checked for matching segments in the TM.


Six Sigma in the translation process


What can you expect from your vendors, your partners?

Reliability, on-time delivery, fair prices and quality. The latter can be ascertained by ISO9001 certification as it has been the case for TTS GmbH since 2004.

ISO9001 requires documentation of quality management measures, and successfully audited companies receive a certificate proving that their processes and products or services comply with the standard. But have you ever asked yourself, what exactly is defined in the QM manual of your vendor?

If a mistake is detected in a service carried out by TTS, then we immediately correct the mistake and create a detailed QM report which may include, e.g. measures for avoiding the mistake in the future by adjusting processes or similar actions. Apart from carrying out QM, the management also has to define limits for the maximum number of deviations acceptable per time interval. Otherwise, creating QM reports may quickly become the main activity of a company. This is where Six Sigma may come into play.


Languages in the EU and the need for translation services

Predominant foreign and native languages in the EU 


German is the mother tongue of a scant 18 percent of EU citizens and therefore the dominant native language in the EU. In addition, more than 14 percent of Europeans speak German as a foreign language; in other words, a total of 32 percent of the EU's citizens speak German.

At 51 percent, English is the most spoken language in the EU (13 percent mother tongue, 38 percent foreign language). With 26 percent, French is widely spoken with German only in third place (12 percent mother tongue, 14 percent foreign language).

Rights of use and exploitation for translations – authors’ right

For many customers, it certainly won’t be common knowledge that they are not permitted to copy their own translated text or use it in any other way without first having the rights transferred to them by the translator. The German Urheberrecht or “authors' right” actually specifies that the right to the original text remains with the author but the right to its translation actually transfers to the translator. That means that neither the agency concerned nor you, the customer, have rights to translated documents such as handbooks, brochures etc.

A translator now has an authors’ right to a translated work. According to German law, this authors’ right is not transferrable. The much-quoted copyright does not exist in German law; it only applies to Anglo-American regions. Rights of use and exploitation are transferrable. These can be transferred as non-exclusive or sole rights. It is possible to pass on these rights to third parties.

And due to the fact that you then also pass on the documents again, you should be granted rights of exploitation in addition to rights of use and in such a way that you are free from all licence fees or any other fees or payments to the author.

Get in touch with us and we would be happy to send you the necessary contractual documents.

Calligraphic typography

Orthography is the study of spelling according to established rules in the used language and writing system. A spelling that does not comply with the standard rules is referred to as misspelling.

Typography is, strictly speaking, the art and craft of printing, where the movable types are assembled to form the desired text. In contrast to handwriting (chirography) and electronic texts, it refers to printed text and describes the overall design process by means of fonts and figures in print work and electronic media. It does not only comprise the arrangement of layouts and typefaces, but the sum of what you see. It is often referred to as calligraphic typography or typographic calligraphy

Using editorial systems


Nowadays, companies with a wide variety of products and complex documentation rely on professional editorial systems to keep track of the creation and management of product information. Editorial systems were first introduced in the early 1980s especially by newspaper and magazine publishers. About ten years ago numerous big companies started to implement systems of this kind for the creation of content (manuals, catalogues, brochures, websites) as well as for knowledge management on their intranet. Editorial systems typically separate content, data structure and design (layout) from each other and allow for access control and workflows. More generally, they are often referred to as Content Management Systems (CMS). Several TTS customers use e.g. SCHEMA ST4 where contents to be translated are transferred to us in MS Word or XML format. Upon translation, we return the documents in the original format, and the customers simply import them into their CMS.



In most systems, the pages are managed in some kind of file manager or web interface in order to edit them in a view editor. Editors may easily create or change contents.



PDF formats and their pitfalls


An increasing number of clients are opting for the practical PDF file format as the original for their translation files.

What in the first instance – and within the framework of this data file exchange still – appears as a flexible format independent of system and programme, in fact presents a lot of pitfalls for the translation branch. True, it is possible to copy the text from the PDF file into a different format – MS Word for example – but as is so often the case, the devil is in the details.