Newsletter – April 2016

This Month’s Featured Video





Many companies assume that they can rely on overseas distributors or in-house native speakers to translate documentation or localize website content. That can work if done correctly, but usually the process isn’t. People don’t appreciate how difficult translations can be and how long the process can take, particularly for anything technical. And when the home office does not control the message, lots of problems can happen: sentences get deleted, added or rewritten; unknown claims get added that you may be liable for; words get misused or misunderstood; the same term can get translated in many ways or incorrectly; and your branding gets inconsistent and garbled. The best-practices role for qualified native speakers is to act as reviewers of the translations and consultants about in-house terminology, not to do the process themselves.

For the last 26 years Auerbach International Inc. has been translating the technical and marketing collateral of your industry into over 80 languages, with accuracy and effective cultural sensitivity. Over that time we’ve worked with dozens of well-known firms — such as Google, Twitter, Roche, Colgate, Home Depot, and the NBA Golden State Warriors.

Advantages of Auerbach International:

 Global marketing perspective emphasizing cultural acceptance.
 Industry-specialized language teams.
 Full menu of supporting services, including product name evaluations, page layout, audio dubbing, telephonic interpretation, and more.
 Available, super-fast delivery times.
 Award-winning personal service and client satisfaction.

Success Stories:

The NBA champion Golden State Warriors were playing a series of exhibition games in China against the L.A. Lakers in October 2013. The Lakers already had their website in Chinese, and the Warriors needed their own done well and done quickly. They turned to Auerbach International localize their team name, players’ names and website content in Chinese. That allowed the Warriors to generate pre- and post-game publicity and sales, both in China and among Chinese in the US. Read More

Language Bloopers:


Do computers / translations software do the translations?

Never! Computer translation programs do help professional translators. They can also be helpful where “lay” people just want to get the gist of a document. But a professional translation still needs to be reviewed by a speaker of that language. For example, a software–generated translation which we had to correct had rendered “a board meeting” into Chinese as “a collection of planks of wood.” An accurate rendering but not quite conveying the correct meaning. At Auerbach International, we use only skilled, native speakers in the translation and editing process to ensure top quality translation. Computers simply cannot get the nuances that a human native speaker can. Please see Machine Translation.

Bloopers #9

Many decades ago, a lady approached Pablo Picasso in a Paris park and asked him to do her portrait. He agreed, quickly drew her likeness, and requested $800. “How can you charge so much?,” she protested. “It took you only five minutes.” “Yes,” Picasso replied. “But it also took 25 years of practice.”

Most people assume that translations are like fast-food hamburgers:  Anyone can do it, you put in your order and it comes out fully cooked very quickly.  Only one element of that statement is true: Translations can be done quickly IF the right trained linguists are doing them.

As previous e-newsletters have stated, translations are a very difficult skill that requires knowledge of technical terminology in a huge variety of industries: IT, healthcare, law, agriculture, zoology, aerospace, dentistry, on-line gaming, education, HR, etc.

Highly accurate translations follow a three-step process:

  1. Initial pass by a professionally trained, native-speaking translator, with expertise in your industry terminology and usually with over ten years’ experience;
  2. Editing / Revising: Quality Assurance review by a second professionally trained translator of the same qualifications to ensure accurate nuances, vocabulary, sentence structure and acculturation to the target country; plus
  3. Proofreading for spelling, punctuation, grammar and formatting.

If a file contains graphics as in manuals, brochures and PowerPoints, extra steps are usually needed:

  1. Layout of the translations within the client’s provided source-file template; and
  2. Post-layout proofreading to ensure no dropped words, lines or captions.

As with Picasso, the skills to implement these projects with all languages working simultaneously — and to guarantee accuracy  — come with a (reasonable) price.

Non-technical websites, brochures, books, etc. can be done using lower-level qualified translators or just one professional translator for less expensive rates.

To some prospects, any price that is not similar to McDonald’s is too high. And presumably, they are satisfied with translation errors from amateurs or software programs that can damage a company’s image and prevent it from gaining revenue abroad. Interestingly, people will usually find the funds to re-do a critical job that was done badly.

Most of our clients, fortunately, want first-rate work done correctly the first time … and don’t want results such as at the Athens hotel above.

If you are in that category, please contact us for your next language project.

Blooper #7

If you are new to Auerbach International, you will receive our quick-read, informative and humorous e-newsletters on language or global marketing topics once or twice a month.


We usually present topics in depth – such as our recent series on Language Myths and Realities as well as Business Opportunities in Africa, an often overlooked market. At other times, such as now, we are pleased to present our Biweekly Bloopers followed by some quick reminders to grow your business.





The above translation is another example of slightly wrong word usage. Professional translators or your project manager will alert you when words or phrases in your files seem to have double or incorrect meanings. A translation is only as good as the original language in which it was written. And you certainly don’t want your translations going all over the place either.


Some Recent and Frequently Asked Questions:


Can you estimate what my translation would cost? It’s 25 pages.


Quick answer Probably not. Translation estimates are based on the number of words in your files and we cannot guess how many words are on one of your pages. If you can give us the word count, we can do a better estimate for you.

Rates also vary by your desired target language(s). We also discount for text repetitions: the first instance of a word or phrase is a full price; all subsequent uses, whether in your current file or from past projects, are discounted.


Clients sometimes overlook that their files contain charts, graphics or parts lists that need to be laid out after translation. For all of these reasons, it is best to send us your files first. Then we can give you more accurate price options, each with a delivery timeframe.


  1. My file is a book, biographies, artist profiles or a very simple website. Are your prices cheaper?


Quick answer: Probably yes. We offer two types of service:


  1. Professional: This is for most business texts, brochures, contracts, websites, manuals, PPTs, videos, etc. These contain technical or industry-specific vocabulary. They are best done by one or more translators with degrees in the art of translation, with many years’ professional experience, and who speak your industry terminology. Following our procedure, we will guarantee accuracy. Please submit your files for an quote.
  1. Qualified: This is for non-technical books, bios, articles, simple websites, retail or travel information, personal letters, etc. This service uses qualified and tested but not professionally trained translators. While accuracy is not guaranteed, the quality is usually extremely good and suffices for these types of projects. In this case, prices are a flat rate per word. Please inquire for your type of project.

Thank you. We look forward to serving you!

Blooper #8

Whether you have been with Auerbach International for many years or are recently joining us, we are pleased to present another of our Biweekly Bloopers.

As you can tell, the slight misuse of a word – even by people who profess to know English well – can have a very unintended meaning. This is another example of why it is best to rely on professionally trained linguists instead of on software, an office immigrant “who comes from there,” overseas agents or distributors. If you do choose to rely on them, it is best to ask your professional language service to back-translate their work into English, just to ensure that your firm is conveying no unintended (and comical) messages that can damage your image.

Additional Recent and Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to translate my website?

Quick answer: It depends.

First, the proper term for converting websites into other languages is Localization. That’s because translation is just one of the phases. Others could include laying out charts and graphics, internationalizing the text and engineering the code.

To obtain a quote for your website, we will need to know:

  1. which languages and/or countries you are targeting;
  2. your budget range, if available. We have various pricing options and will present one or two that come close.
  3. which links you do or don’t want localized. For example…
  • How many years of news or PR stories should we evaluate?
  • Should we include your product PDF brochures or website videos?
  • If so, all or just some?

Before we quote, we may need to have a five- to ten-minute phone conversation with you to clarify or discuss options. These can involve:

  1. Whether you want the full site, an abridged site or a summary site done.
  2. Payment methods from overseas on e-commerce or similar sites. The common methods here may not work from there.
  3. Whether you want us to use professionally trained translators (highest quality and for technical text) or qualified and tested translators (for simple sites and non-technical text).

The localization process (view video) itself can go very quickly: a few days for a simple site, around a week or two for a very complex site.

The biggest and first challenge is to determine with you or from your side what parts you want done.

If I localize my website, how will I understand the incoming responses? I don’t speak other languages.

Quick answer: No problem. We do, and we can empower you to also.

  1. For incoming written email responses, just send them to us. We will translate them into English, and translate your English replies into the target language.
  2. If you want to speak to your prospect, you can through our Instant telephonic Interpreting service 24/7. You simply call a provided toll-free number, enter your assigned access and PIN codes, and chose from a menu of 150 languages. Within seconds you will be connected to a telephonic interpreter through whom you can have a three-way conversation with your non-English prospect in another country … or in your office.

Use this service to make a sale, seal a deal or cultivate relationships. Please contact me to get set up, with no obligation to use it.

Bloopers #3

This is another example of how wrong wording can damage your brand… and why only professional linguists — not amateurs or students — are essential to convey your message, especially for business.


Our new mobile app carries special offers. Please download it at the Apple app store or on the Google play store. Simply type “Auerbach” in a search at either store and we come right up!

Need to create your own mobile app? By special arrangement for our own clients and prospects, our high-level technology partner can do it for you at half off for a limited time. Just contact us for a referral. And get your own app localized in any language to target your own global audience.

Useful Tip:

If your overseas distributors, agents or resellers are translating your information, it is very wise periodically to ask your language service to back-translate their version into English. Otherwise, how will you know what your global partners are really saying? How do you know whether they’ve added a claim or warranty for which you may be liable? With almost 25 years’ experience, we have seen that happen.

We’ve also seen them use wrong words (as in the Blooper above); insert regional terminology that is not “standard”, educated speech; and rewrite your copy in ways the home office does not approve of. All these examples reflect badly on your company. You’ve invested a lot to develop your global reputation. A minor extra investment in back-translations will help you maintain it properly.