Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which are the fields you specialize in?

Sprachwerkstatt Berlin specializes in all fields associated with the Green Economy, adjacent fields and related scientific disciplines. Can’t find your business here? We’d love to get to grips with your subjects. Just contact us about this.


2. What actually is the Green Economy?

The Green Economy is a continuously growing, future-oriented and also highly profitable economic sector; its products and services are meant to ensure a sustainable use of most diverse resources. And this is not only about “renewable energies” and “energy efficiency”. Meanwhile, the scope of the Green Energy has become much wider and nowadays includes fields like materials efficiency, building and architecture, “green (sustainable) design”, water resources management, traffic, logistics, investments and many other branches that consider up-to-date sustainable economic models.


3. Do you translate only texts on Green-Economy subjects?

Being a specialized language service provider, we cooperate mainly with clients working in the fields of technology and science and specializing in future-oriented “green topics” and sustainable business. Within this range of subjects, we translate a very wide spectrum of text types, ranging from operating manuals via technical papers to marketing brochures, contracts and websites.


4. Are all texts translated by native speakers of the target language?

At Sprachwerkstatt Berlin, all texts are translated and/or proofread or edited by native speakers.

5. How is the price of a translation job determined?

The price of a translation job depends on text amount and level of difficulty. The urgency of a translation job also has an impact on the final price. We will gladly provide you with a free no-obligation quote for any text you want to have translated.


6. Do you offer express translations?

The usual time for translating a text is about 8 to 10 pages per translator per day. In case of demanding texts in terms of context or language, translation may take more time for this number of pages. For larger texts, a certain period of time is required for a regular check of the translation, which is done by a second translator or editor. The amount of time needed for a translation can be generally reduced by involving several translators. A surcharge for express translation may become due. The surcharge for express or weekend translations may be between 25 and 100% of the respective basic price (price per line or package price) depending on urgency.

Do you have questions concerning your translation project and a possible schedule? Then please contact us to ensure that we can provide you with a free quotation based on your data.


7. Will all of my data and texts be treated confidentially?

Discretion, data protection and confidentiality with regard to the documents and information entrusted to us are of paramount importance to us. Of course, this also applies to our freelancers who are bound by contract to preserve confidentiality and secrecy. Thus, your data and documents will always be handled confidentially and with utmost care.


8. Can you also translate websites and software?

Yes. Of course, we also offer you to translate and completely localize your website and software.


9. Which formats can you handle?

We use common formats, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, HTML and XML. Should you prefer such formats as Open Office, Libre Office or other freeware applications, this will not pose a problem either. The same holds true for MAC-specific formats.
If your source text is available only on paper (hardcopy), we will help you along, too.
In case you need a transcript of an audio file (and possibly also a translation of the text), we can offer a solution for this as well.


10. Do you use machine translation?

No. Even though you may have heard or read something different: The results of fully automatic translations are still far from matching the common standards required for practical purposes. As a rule, they require time-consuming post processing which may cause the translation to be finally more expensive than a translation that was rendered by a “human translator” from the start.


11. What are translation memory systems?

Translation memory systems (TM) are stores of translations previously done. The TM system only stores what a translator enters or what is automatically entered during translation. A TM system, however, is definitely incapable of translating on its own. It is the purpose of TM systems to improve the consistency of a translator’s work. Thus, by means of a TM system, it can be ensured that certain technical terms are always translated in the same way.

Sprachwerkstatt Berlin, too, uses TM systems to be able to translate more efficiently and with terminological consistency, especially for major translation projects or follow-up jobs.


12. Can my texts always be translated by the same translator?

If your texts usually belong to the same topic, we will always try to commission the same translator so as to ensure maximum consistency. However, that may not be possible in any case.

If it turns out that a different translator has to do the job, we may provide him/her, of course, with translations preceding your current order to enable work based on already present texts. Use of TM systems will also help to format translations for the same client as consistently as possible.


13. How can you ensure high-quality translations?

Our specialized translators are required to prove relevant qualifications before they are entered into our database. Moreover, we examine them. Many of our language and text experts have graduated, besides their translation studies, from studies in other fields or even have professional experience in their respective special fields.


14. Can my in-house terminology be considered?

If you use a consistent in-house terminology for your documents, please let us know. Of course, we will instruct our translators in such a case to use your terminology in the translation. To this end, we need existent terminology lists in electronic form or, at least, on paper.

If you plan to establish in-house terminology, we are ready to support you in setting up a terminology management system or offer you other solutions.


15. Can you also provide certified translations?

Yes. In this case, we will charge translators who are sworn and authorized for the respective language with the translation of your documents. These translators are authorized to certify the completeness and correctness of translation and confirm this with their stamp.

Certified translations are often required if translations need to be acknowledged at court or public authorities (e.g. registry offices).


16. What is simultaneous interpretation?

During simultaneous interpretation, the interpreter transfers spoken text almost simultaneously (with minimum “phase lag”) into the target language. To this end, either a simultaneous interpreting system (mostly installed in an interpreting booth) is used or interpreting is done in a whisper directly next to the customer (“chuchotage”). Because of the enormous strain that simultaneous interpreting exerts on interpreters, two interpreters are employed at a time per language combination (e.g. German ↔ English) at almost all events requiring simultaneous interpretation. There is no other way of ensuring the quality required.


17. What is whispered simultaneous interpreting?

Whispered simultaneous interpreting is used for a single person or a very small group of persons. The interpreter speaks in a very low voice (“whispering”) in order not to disturb other persons present who do not need an interpreter. The interpreter sits or stands in most cases behind his customer or beside him to be able to use a low voice and yet to be understood.


18. What is consecutive interpreting?

This is a type of interpreting that is used mainly during talks, negotiations, interviews, tours and receptions, in particular, on a higher level, with the police and at court. Unlike simultaneous interpreting, this type of interpreting occurs with a time lag. While the speaker delivers his speech, the interpreter usually takes notes of it. As soon as the speaker pauses, the interpreter transfers the contents presented into the target language while making use of his notes and memory.


19. Which documents are needed for the preparation for an interpreting session?

For effectively preparing for an interpreting session, an interpreter usually needs the following documents and information.

  • Existing speech manuscripts (also preliminary ones) or key points
  • Lists of participants
  • Time schedules / agenda
  • Conference programs
  • Presentations (PowerPoint or the like)
  • Company promotional materials
  • Terminology lists (if available)

This list is just a selection. Possibly other data or documents may be necessary or helpful, too.


20. How quickly can I get a cost estimate?

If all of the information and data we need is present, you will get a quote from us within a few hours.


21. How can I pay my invoices?

  • By bank transfer
  • By PayPal transfer
  • Cash


22. Is there a minimum order value?

Yes. It is 25.00 EUR plus statutory value-added tax.