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Esprit d'ICD

A newsletter published by International Communic ation by Design, Inc.

Selecting the Right Translation Vendor

SPRING 2007 Vol.6 No.2

Selecting the right vendor for your translation project is essential to its success. When evaluating translation agencies, ask these questions so that you can choose the right agency for your needs.

In This Issue Selecting a Translation Vendor South Korea Free- 2 Trade Agreement Neighbors Bulgaria and Romania join 2 the EU

Features Web Definitions: Wiki


Catherine's Column


Employee Profile


International Puzzler


ICD on the Road


ICD Travel Tip Dry ice Take your Antarctica expedition from November through March. The continent, the coldest and driest on earth, is considered a desert. Enjoy glaciers and mountains, as well as penguins, orcas, and whales.

How long has the agency been in business, and can it provide references? Always check the client references that a firm gives you. How long has the agency been translating for your industry? Each industry has its own vocabulary, and you want a firm that is comfortable with yours. What services does the agency offer? Some agencies offer desktop publishing services; others do not. Think of services you may need in the future and ask if the agency provides them. Into what languages does the agency translate? Be sure the agency you choose has certified translators in all of the target languages you need. How experienced are the agency’s project managers? Find out the project manager’s translation memory skills and whether he or she can handle complex projects. What quality control processes does the agency employ? Ask about measures to help ensure the quality of your translation before you receive it and your role in quality control. What are the agency’s average turnarounds on projects? Most translators can translate between 2,000 and 3,000 words per day, but many variables may come into play. Weigh average turnaround times against quality and experience. How does the agency handle client changes on documentation that has already been translated? Some agencies implement minor changes free of charge. Charges may apply for numerous or stylistic charges.

What is the agency’s policy regarding translation memory databases? Usually, your translation memory should be available to you free of charge, but it’s best to ensure that any requirements are part of your contract. How many translators does the agency have on site, and how long have they worked with the agency? The number of in-house translators an agency employs may not be relevant, especially if only a few translators are available for the target languages you need. What types of tests must translators pass before they can work for the agency? The quality of your translation can vary significantly if the translators are not accredited by the American Translators Association (ATA).

When deciding which agency to use, trust your instincts. If you have doubts during the interview process, look for another firm. Translation projects are often time consuming, but by doing the research, you can save time and money. You just have to know the right questions to ask.

Neighbors Bulgaria and Romania join the EU

South Korea FreeTrade Agreement On April 1, 2007, the U.S. and South Korea concluded negotiations on a bilateral free trade agreement. According to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the agreement—if ratified— represents the largest FTA the U.S. has negotiated in 15 years and exceeds the scope of NAFTA.


The two most recent countries to join the European Union (Jan. 1, 2007) are Bulgaria and its northern neighbor, Romania, each bordering the Black Sea. Bulgaria, slightly larger in size than Tennessee, has approximately 7.3 million inhabitants. Romania has approximately twice the amount of UKRAINE land as Bulgaria (more comparable to the size of Oregon) and is Romania populated with over 22 million. HU NG A

If ratified by Congress and the South Korean national assembly, the United States–Korea Free Trade Agreement, also known as KORUS, allows for almost 95% of U.S. consumer and industrial products to be duty free within three years. It also opens the automobile market in South Korean to U.S. cars and encourages use of U.S. yarns and fabrics in textiles imported from South Korea. Other provisions improve trade in telecommunications and pharmaceuticals and help protect intellectual property rights and the environment.

Also on the Balkan Peninsula, Romania, like Both countries boast Bulgaria, sprang from natural resources Thracian roots as well as of timber, coal, and SERBIA BLACK Dacian tribes. In the sixth Bulgaria SEA arable land. Over century, the various tribes Sofia 80 percent of the united to form Romania. Bulgarian population TURKEY The country’s strong ties GREECE speaks Bulgarian, to the Roman culture are with less than 20 apparent in both the name percent speaking Turkish and other languages. of the country and in is language, Romanian, Languages used in Romania are the official which inherited many of its traits from Latin. language, Romania, as well as Hungarian and Like Bulgaria, Romania was ruled by the German. The two also share the same three Ottoman Empire until the 16th century when primary export partners—Italy, Turkey, and Michael the Brave liberated the country. Germany—as well as the same three top import partners, Italy, Germany, and Russia. As early as the 18th century, Romania had begun to embrace capitalism and began Lying between Asia and Europe, Bulgaria has exporting goods to European trade partners. a rich history dating back to its formation in Long a country of principalities, Romania took the 9th century when over 40 different tribes its official name as a nation state in 1862. It roamed its lands. In 863, Christianity was remained primarily a constitutional monarchy proclaimed the official state religion, but in the until at the end of World War II, when the 15th century, when Bulgaria became part of the country was taken over by communist rule. In Ottoman Empire, many Bulgarians converted December 1989, Romania once again returned to Islam. Bulgarian historians have attributed to democratic rule. Romanian culture is marked Bulgaria’s current low population to violence by its multi-ethnic background. Romanians are and emigration during that time period. Recent proud of their long history of folklore as well as publicity by Bulgarian authorities opposed to their strong ties to the early Roman culture. Turkey’s attempts to join the EU demonstrates Sources: The CIA World Factbook; Embassy of the Republic of long-held animosity dating back over centuries. Bulgaria; Embassy of Romania Bucharest


In April 2007, the Washington Times reported that with South Korea’s “nearly 50 million consumers”, KORUS would be advantageous to such U.S. industries as agriculture and banking. The New York Times also claims approval would give the U.S. a “badly needed lift to its trade policy”. One U.S. legislator, Senator Max Baucus of Montana, wants to withhold ratification until South Korea removes its ban on U.S. beef exports after a case of mad cow disease in U.S. beef in 2003. Proponents of KORUS also cite the current imbalance of trade in U.S. automobile exports to South Korea. According to the Washington Post, U.S. firms exported about 4,000 cars to South Korea in 2006, while 800,000 South Korean automobiles were imported to the U.S. the same year.

A Bulgarian national liberation movement began early in the 19th century and continued until April 1877 when Russia, assisted by Bulgarian volunteers, declared war on Turkey. In 1878, Bulgaria was once again declared an independent state and its regions were united in 1885. The country retained a monarchy until 1944 when it was invaded by the Soviet Union. Long caught between eastern and western cultures, the process of Europeanization in Bulgaria’s educational system and in the areas of science, literature and art began to take hold in Bulgaria after its liberation 1878 and continues to this day as evidenced by the country’s MOL. recent joining with the EU.


“A piece of server software that allows users to freely create and edit Web page content using any Web browser. Wiki supports hyperlinks and has a simple text syntax for creating new pages and crosslinks between internal pages on the fly.” “A website that allows visitors to add, remove, edit and change content, typically without the need for registration. It also allows for linking among any number of pages. This ease of interaction and operation makes a wiki an effective tool for mass collaborative authoring.”



Catherine's Column

New Rules Affect U.S. Travelers With air travel regulations becoming increasingly complicated, the “checklist” that international business travelers use before Catherine they board a flight continues to Deschamps-Potter grow. In January 2007, the U.S. Vice-President State Department added another Sales & Marketing requirement to the list when it implemented the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, or WHTI.

substitute a new PASS card, which is being developed by the U.S. government, in lieu of other documentation.

For U.S. citizens traveling within the 50 states or to and from a U.S. territory, WHTI does not apply. But U.S. citizens who travel by air between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda are now required to present a valid passport, Air NEXUS Card, U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document, or Alien Registration Card. In 2008, you may also be able to

If you are an international business traveler, you will want to take extra measures during the transition period to help ensure that your travel plans run smoothly and with minimum interruption. Until the new high-tech PASS cards become available, make sure you have the appropriate documentation, generally a U.S. passport, when traveling anywhere outside the United States.

Suggested International Films

Over 74 million Americans now hold U.S. passports and, since WHTI went into force, the State Department has processed record numbers of additional passports. In the three months leading up to WHTI, 51 percent more passports were processed than the same period of the previous year. To handle the increased demand, the department has hired more than 200 additional passport adjudicators and expanded its operating hours.

ICD employee PROFILE


(2004 France) In June 1940, a widow and her two children flee into the forest after the Germans invade Paris.

Wings of Desire (1987 German)

An angel falls in love with a beautiful, lonely trapeze artist. He must decide whether to give up true love or lose his wings forever.


(2002 China)


Gerhard, a native of Weiden, Germany, is a free-lance Englishto-German translator. Prior to joining ICD, Gerhard taught German for a number of years at Penn State University, Georgetown University, and the Catholic University of America and also served as an English instructor with City Colleges of Chicago for members of the U.S. military abroad. He has also worked as a German language instructor for private language schools, where he occasionally translated documents. Today, most of Gerhard’s translation work is in the areas of engineering, IT, printing and publishing, construction, automation, science and technology, and – growing out of a personal hobby and passion – gastronomy and cooking. When he’s not working, he likes to travel. For the past nine years, Gerhard has not missed an American Translators Association (ATA) annual conference. Gerhard holds an advanced degree (English and German) from the University of Regensburg and an MA (German) from Penn State University. He lives with his wife and daughter in Manassas, Virginia.

Told in flashbacks, Hero is the story of one man who seeks to save the most powerful warlord in China from three assassins.


Interesting terms used by EU officials

Rendezvous clause A clause used in EU legal texts to highlight an issue on which EU leaders cannot reach agreement and to indicate that they will come back to the subject t a later date. The decision is made official, but the legal text includes a “rendezvous clause”. 3

ICD International Puzzler


ICD on the Road

Which little-used European language became an official EU language on January 1, 2007?

E-mail your answer to The first correct entrant will win a $50 gift certificate! Good luck! Last issue’s puzzler

What does the gold circle in the African Union emblem represent? answer

The gold circle symbolizes Africa’s wealth and bright future.


Michael McKeon of GOJO Industries. Congratulations, Michael!

Society for Technical Communication (STC) Booth #211 May 13-16, 2007 Minneapolis Convention Center Minneapolis, MN

National Restaurant Association (NRA) May 19-22, 2007 McCormick Place Chicago, IL

Esprit d'ICD is published three times per year by International Communication by Design, Inc.

American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) Booth #1430 June 4-6, 2007 Georgia World Conference Center Atlanta, GA

NXTcomm June 18-21, 2007 McCormick Place Chicago, IL

American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Booth #250 June 24-27, 2007 Orange County Convention Center Orlando, FL

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Volume 6, Number 2

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Translating Your Company into a Global Success

ICD Newsletter - Spring 2007  

International Communication by Design's newsletter for Spring 2007.