A Journey to England...
Iverson has been actively partnering with SDL Desktop
Technology for several years for its computer-assisted
translation software. The translation memory software
we most commonly use, SDLX, is one of their key
I recently flew to their headquarters in England to
meet with their team and attend a certification training
class. I learned advanced tips and tricks about SDLX
that allowed us to improve our processes. In addition,
through one-on-one discussions with various development
and support staff, I had the opportunity to exchange
ideas about the future of the tools and enhancement
requests. This was extremely beneficial in helping
us stay on top of current and future developments in
the computer-assisted translation field.
I also took advantage of my time in London to do a
thrilling pilgrimage to the British Museum to see the
Stone which became a key metaphor to represent
our industry. The historical importance of the
stone is that it allowed researchers to decode the Egyptian
hieroglyphic text inscribed on it by using the Greek
translation which also appears on the stone. This laid
the foundation for our knowledge of ancient Egyptian
language and culture. Make sure to stop and pay your
respects to this great translation artifact if your
steps ever take you to London.
Submitted by: Hélène
Pielmeier, Director of Client Services
Preparing Documents for
Communication of business-critical information is the
goal of every company's documentation, regardless of
the language in which it is written. Any project
manager in the translation industry will tell you
that quality translation begins with quality source
documentation. Conciseness in the production of
English technical documentation results in documents
that are easier to understand, quicker to translate,
and whose lower word counts are more cost-effective.
While conciseness is considered a key standard in technical
writing, it is imperative to know when and where techniques
for shortening sentences and phrases should be employed.
For example, the elimination of articles, prepositions
or relative pronouns may result in fewer words, yet
can cause a translator extra work in determining the
function of a word. For example, the phrase "test
file" may mean "test this file" or it
may simply be a noun: "this is a test file".
Rather than cutting important syntactic clues, technical
writers might achieve conciseness through the following:
- Avoid synonyms for important parts and processes;
choose your operative terms and stick with them.
- Avoid long modifier chains; limit adjectives to
two or three per sentence.
- Avoid repeating the text from graphics and headings
in the body of the text.
Concise, unambiguous source text allows translators
to focus on the most important function of their job:
communicating the message. Rather than spend
time sorting out that "turn the wheel clockwise"
actually refers to the same process as a previously
mentioned command - "rotate the wheel to the right"
- translators can devote themselves solely to the accuracy,
consistency, and quality of the translation.
Submitted by: Leah Leone, Traffic Coordinator
Consistency: Why Does it
Matter and What Can You Do About it?
When we use translation memory on your projects, the
application calculates the percentage match between
sentences that require translation and existing sentences in
your translation memory. Each time you edit a sentence
in English, the match level with what we had already
translated for you decreases and translation costs increase.
Even the addition of a space, bolding a word or correcting
a spelling mistake is going to be interpreted as a different
sentence by our translation memory software.
Let's take an example: to calculate the impact on a
10,000-word document in which you edit just
10% of the sentences. If a sentence is on average 10
words long, that means 1,000 words would count as new.
If you translate this document into 5 languages with
an average cost of 30 cents per word, this represents
The direct impact of minimal changes on cost is often
under-estimated by authors whose natural tendency is
to always try and perfect the document. Our computer-assisted
translation partner, SDL Desktop Technology, developed
a new tool called SDLAuthorAssistant to assist authors
to leverage previously created content and compare it
to what they are writing while they are writing
the original English text.
SDLAuthorAssistant leverages an organization's existing
translation assets and applies them to the authoring
stage. It compares what is written in the original language
against content which has been previously written, translated
and stored in the translation memory. Forbidden terminology
can be blocked and poor language constructions highlighted.
By having access to the latest translation assets and
to rules concerning corporate writing styles, authors
can improve the quality and consistency of global content.
It can also help keep translation costs in check.
Please contact us if you would like more information
about SDLAuthorAssistant and how it can help you.
Submitted by: Hélène
Pielmeier, Director of Client Services
An Inside Look at Our Clients
Working in the translation industry is both fascinating
and stimulating. Every company is unique and every project
introduces new challenges and inspires our team to develop
long-term solutions to meet the translation needs
of our client. Here is an inside look at the work we
do with our clients.
Several of the clients that we work with are in the
manufacturing sector. Although these companies manufacture and/or
sell a variety of different products, they share
the common goal of promoting their product in international
markets with the use of translation. The type of work
we do for our manufacturing clients inclues includes
print and online product catalogs, instructions for
use, operators and maintenance manuals, websites and
brochures. Another facet of their translation needs
is for internal use, for example employee handbooks
and benefits information.
We even do work for people who go to work on airplanes
and boats! Specifically, we work with airlines and cruise
lines to translate their materials for their international
guests. The needs for these organizations include
menus, marketing materials and websites. For
more information on the work we have done in these industries,
please contact us.
Another area we work in is the medical device industry.
The needs for this industry are similar to manufacturing in
that translation is a part of the overall international
marketing strategy. In addition, a medical device client
may translate product documentation or labeling
to comply with regulations in overseas markets.
Other work for companies in the medical/ device
industry includes translating software that runs a device,
instructions for use, patient rights and regulation
documents and patents.
Additionally, we are involved in the K-12 education
market through a joint relationship with TransACT Communications,
Inc. For example, school districts translate documents
in order to comply with federal communications
regulations, such as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) act.
Translation is done for student handbooks, school-to-home
communications, report cards and parent newsletters.
For more information on the education market, visit
This is just a snippet of the type of work we
do at Iverson Language Associates, Inc. Our clients and
are companies and organizations that have an ongoing
need to communicate business-critical information. More
information can be found by visiting our website.
Submitted by: Molly Kreeger, Business Development
Coming up Next Quarter...
More interesting articles, plus biographical information
and photos of our two new employees, Frank
Manzullo, Business Development Manager
and Leah Wanta, Assistant Project
© 2005 Iverson Language Associates, Inc.