Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between translating and interpreting?
Interpreting means the oral transfer of spoken text from a source language into a target language.
Translating means the written transfer of a text from a source language into a target language.

Why does the translation take so long?
The time needed to complete a translation depends on the quality, difficulty and length of the source text.
As a rule of thumb, one could say: 1 A4 page of average text length means approximately +/- 2 hours total time needed to complete the translation. What also must be taken into account is that in most cases it will take some days before the translator can start translating your text, as she or he must first complete other translations by certain deadlines.

Why does the translation cost so much?
In principle, the price of a translation depends on the length of the source text. In Austria, the price of translations is usually calculated on the basis of standard lines: 1 standard line = 55 characters, including spaces. The more specialist knowledge is required for a translation, the higher the price per standard line will be.
A flat fee for the time needed to complete the translation is often charged for short translations because of the proportionately higher amount of administrative time required to complete the translation.

I know German. Can I do the translation myself?/Can I do my own interpretation?
No! Knowledge of two languages is not sufficient to be able to translate/interpret. Likewise, it is not sufficient to have two hands to be able to play the piano. Put in other words: Would you run a star-rated restaurant just because you know how to cook?
Professional translators and interpreters have the required skills and use special techniques that they have ideally acquired in a university degree programme of translation studies.

What is a certified translation?
A certified translation features the certification and the stamp and signature of a generally sworn and court-certified interpreter and is used for submission to court or authorities. Only specially trained, tested and certified translators are allowed to prepare certified translations (see “What is a court interpreter?”)

What is a court interpreter?
The full term is “generally sworn and court-certified interpreter”. Court interpreters are authorised to interpret before court and authorities and to make certified translations. This authorisation is obtained by passing an examination and is valid for five years. It is possible to renew the authorisation for another five years by providing evidence of regular work as an interpreter and translator for courts and authorities and completion of further training. The strict examination, professional activities and constant continued professional development ensure the high quality of the work of court interpreters.

I did the translation myself. Can you certify it with your stamp?
Under certain circumstances, yes. That is, if the translation is reviewed and edited by me. However, in most cases this is more time-consuming and thus more expensive than a professional translation done by me (see “I know German. Can I do the translation myself?”).