Frequently Asked Questions

What is the course of a translation?

The typical course of a translation involves the following steps:

  • establishment of a quote: final and binding, both in terms of price and time, if the document to translate is provided to us in a common desktop file format, estimated in other cases;
  • planning: depending on the time of receipt of the agreement, addition of the request to the schedule;
  • pre-processing: checking, correcting, cleaning and improving of the document to be translated to set the correct language, remove the typographical and/or punctuation errors, unnecessary tabs, redundant spaces, chaotic indents etc. and apply the most appropriate formatting styles in order to be able to work on an as sound as possible source. If necessary, extraction of text strings of illustrations, text boxes, drawings, animations etc.. as well as from headers and footers. In the case of a non-desktop source document, these steps will be preceded and partly replaced by scanning and OCR (optical character recognition);
  • documentation: in the case of large projects, documentary research to feed the translation memory by using all possible resources (statutory or legislative texts, standards, directives, reference works, scientific and technical publications ...);
  • translation: translation of all the text strings using a CAT tool (see below);
  • proofreading: several runs of (cold) proofreading of the translation, first to compare it to the source to ensure accuracy and exhaustiveness, and then without the original text in order to optimize readability and fluidity of the text of the translation, and its proper adequacy with the target audience;
  • quality control: verification of the setting of the proper language, spelling and syntax checks, completeness check to ensure that the whole has been translated, consistency check with the appropriate terminology as well as throughout the text;
  • delivery: sending the translation, if necessary together with a report when inconsistencies or errors to be corrected were found in the original, and accounting (or billing) of the intervention;
  • post-processing: edition / correction of the TM of the CAT tool based on your feedback to improve the adequacy of subsequent interventions.

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What is a CAT tool?

C.A.T. stands for "Computer Aided Translation". CAT tools should not be confused with machine translation. To simplify, a CAT tool is an application that, while the translation proceeds, stores every TU (translation unit - part of translation, usually a sentence) into a database, called TM (translation memory), and for each new TU to handle consults this translation memory, in order to benefit from the recurrence of words, expressions and sentences in a document to ensure consistency of terminology and syntax throughout the translation. The translation is done by a human, but with the help of the "memory" of the machine.

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How is determined the unit rate of a translation?

The unit rate is determined by the language pair. When the source and/ or the target language belong to language groups resulting in a supplement, the applied rate is the one corresponding to the language with the highest supplement. This base rate can then be further increased for urgent execution and / or outside the working days and hours, and possibly for scanning and OCR (optical character recognition) of the original to be translated. All our rates are also linked to the evolution of the index of consumer prices by an annual adjustment.

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Why is there a difference in unit rate according to language groups?

This arises from the rules of supply and demand, because the translators in such languages AND experienced in the subject matter to be translated are fewer in our geographical area of activity.

These language groups are:

  1. European languages - Factor: 1.000
    • English
    • Spanish
    • French
    • Italian
    • Dutch
    • Portuguese
    • Catalan
  2. European Germanic languages, etc. - Factor: 1.167
    • Afrikaans
    • German
    • Basque
  3. Nordic, Slavic languages - Factor: 1.333
    • Belarusian
    • Bulgarian
    • Czech
    • Danish
    • Estonian
    • Finnish
    • Croatian
    • Hungarian
    • Armenian
    • Lithuanian
    • Latvian
    • Macedonian
    • Norwegian
    • Polish
    • Romanian
    • Russian
    • Slovak
    • Slovenian
    • Albanian
    • Serbian
    • Swedish
    • Ukrainian
  4. Rare European languages - Factor: 1.500
    • Greek
    • Persian
    • Hebrew
    • Maltese
    • Turkish
  5. Arabic, Asian languages - Factor: 1.667
    • Arabic
    • Hindi
    • Indonesian
    • Japanese
    • Korean
    • Latin
    • Vietnamese
    • Chinese

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What is the pricing approach of TEET?

When it comes to the pricing of language services, two approaches coexist in the market. The first approach is to define a relatively high basic rate, but allowing reductions for various degrees of repetition in the text to be translated. In the second approach, however, the defined basic rate already takes into account a general reduction based on the average degree of repetition found over the years. This basic rate is lower than the first, but applies "as it comes". This is the approach applied at TEET.

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How is the price of a translation calculated?

The price of a translation results from multiplying the unit rate (see above) and the volume, expressed in words. The word count is carried out on the source text if it is provided in a common desktop format, if not on the translated document. For a quote, if the document to translate is provided in a common desktop format, the quoted price is firm and final, otherwise it is an estimate which will be adapted according to the real volume of translated document.

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Which are the invoicing/payment modes offered by TEET?
  • Individuals: billing at delivery (*), cash payment;
  • Companies - initial order: see individuals;
  • Companies - lasting relationship: billing at the end of the month, payment after 30 days (end of the month).

(*): in case of a (first) request of a large volume, a deposit of 30% will be requested prior to launch the production.

In any case, our estimates and invoices clearly state the terms and conditions that apply, as well as our bank details (IBAN & BIC) to be used for payments.

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What is a normal turnaround time?

Typically, for a translation, an intervention at normal turnaround time is an intervention:

  • needing NO reorganization whatsoever of the planning of the jobs in progress for the same or above all for other clients;
  • that can be performed during normal working hours (Monday through Friday, excluding weekends and public holidays);
  • allowing a normal translation speed of +/- 350 words / hour (may vary depending on the field and the technical and/or lexical difficulty);
  • allowing a proofreading / quality control on the day following the completion of the translation process, whatever the ending time of translation, at a normal speed of +/- 1000 words / hour.

Example for a text of 1400 words:

  • L: delivered on a Monday (business day) before 4:00 p.m.;
  • D: beginning of the translation, production launched on Wednesday (business day), duration +/- 4 hours;
  • F: end of the translation, the same Wednesday, time irrelevant;
  • Pr: proofreading on Thursday (business day), duration +/- 1 ½ hours;
  • R: return on Thursday, before 12:00 a.m.

Our online estimate tool calculates, for information only, the normal execution time, in days.

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Why is there a supplement for urgent translations?

The supplement for urgent execution, applied in all areas of activity, is justified by the requirement to reorganize the current planning and the use of additional resources, so as to ensure in any circumstances to all of our clients the best quality in strict compliance with the deadlines.

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Does TEET apply a minimum fee, and why?

TEET applies indeed a minimum fee, which corresponds to one hour of work (see Tariff as of January 1, 2016 for the current amount).

Regardless of the duration of the translation intervention itself, each intervention requires annex administrative and accounting work (e.g. communication before, during, after, estimate, planning, follow-up, invoicing, payments, reminders, accounting records...). The margin generated by interventions on very short texts will not cover this administrative work.

The application of a minimum fee can be compared to the fixed "application fee" billed separately in other areas of activity.

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Does TEET award any discounts for volume?

We consider that any customer using our services on an on-going and repetitive basis, for volumes that contribute SIGNIFICANTLY to our annual turnover, and provided that there are no unpaid invoices, should be fairly rewarded. We therefore establish, by mutual consent with the client, a progressive "key account" discount subject to a comprehensive pricing framework communicated at the beginning of the year and valid for all requests delivered during the accounting year (which at TEET follows the calendar year from January 1 to December 31).

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On what types of files intervenes TEET?

TEET can intervene on a large number of media / files containing text. For standard desktop files (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) or web pages (HTML, xHTML, XML), our translation respects the exact same formatting of the original. For other media, where content can not be extracted computationally but needs to be reconstructed (eg. photocompositions, fax, photocopies, graphical scanning ...) and unless otherwise requested by you, the translation will be given only a minimal formatting.

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Does TEET also provide sworn translations?

A sworn translation is a translation certified by a sworn translator to be true to the original, by appending an apostille such as "certified translation (true to the original)" bearing his seal, signed and dated. A sworn translator is in fact an expert translator, minister of the law, with the official title of "expert translator and interpreter at the Court of Appeal" (or the Court of Cassation). This status is subject to a regular renewal.

In itself TEET does not have the status of sworn translator, and could not have it, but some of our staff have. So we can call on them to satisfy such requests.

A sworn translation is generally required for the translation of official documents asked by administrations (birth or marriage certificates, divorce judgments, identity cards, company statutes and balance sheets), for tenders, to obtain visas, or for an establishment abroad.

Practically, allow three to ten working days time: if the sending of documents is often possible electronically, the return can only be done by mail (or messenger).

Note however that as part of the European integration, an "European" version exists for a large number of documents issued by governments of the Member States (eg. excerpts and certificates of civil status). You just have to request the European version to the public administration (from a Member State) in question, which has the same legal and administrative value as the corresponding administrative documents issued in the requesting (European) country.

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