FAQ Wagner Bits and Words e.U.

Are we conversant with ALL specialities of medicine and do we know ALL terms in every speciality?

No, we do not. However, we know people in nearly every medical speciality who can help us. And we do our best.
Avis car rentals had a very apt slogan in the nineteen-sixties:

We’re small, but we try hard! We wouldn’t say we’re small, but the second part of the slogan is absolutely true as far as we are concerned. We do try very hard to deliver the best of quality. A fact that is evidenced by our clients’ satisfaction with our services ...

Can a translation or review be done very fast – let’s say within 24 hours?

Basically yes. But our translators are usually booked two weeks in advance. Therefore, such urgent jobs are expensive. As a rule we charge a fee of 50% for such translations. We know it’s quite a high additional fee but the translator has to accommodate the job into his schedule and then usually works at night or during weekends in order to keep the deadline.

We’d much rather deliver the job within the usual term of delivery. We are not interested in doing urgent jobs because high-quality work takes time. However, in emergencies we are willing to cooperate with the client.

Whether it’s diagnosis, therapy or medical technology: a precise, professional translation is of prime importance. We translate texts from all specialities of medicine, e.g. surgery, endoscopy, laparoscopy, gastroscopy, coloscopy, ureteroscopy, ureterorenoscopy, laryngoscopy, angioscopy, arthroscopy, cystoscopy, ENT, orthopaedics, dentistry, dental technology, laser technology, radiology, CT, MRI..

What should you be careful of when you issue a job order for a translation? In other words – how can we best work together?

The time frame: A good translator can translate 10 pages a day. However, it would not be advisable to assign a time period of 1 day for a 10-page text. Good translators are usually in great demand, but can accommodate urgent jobs if necessary. It would be sensible to calculate 1 week for the translator. This will provide him with the necessary time to clarify any questions he/she may have and deliver a professional job.

The format: If your text is to be delivered in a specific format it would be sensible to send us your original text in the format of your choice and draw the translator’s attention to the fact that the format should be retained.

The target public: Who is going to read your paper or text? If this cannot be discerned from the content, please inform the translator: Will the text read by students? Colleagues? Pharmaceutical representatives? The industry?

Pay attention to linguistic style when writing your text. Ensure your original text is absolutely accurate in terms of content, does not contain any inconsistencies, and is expressive of the style you would like the translator to use in the target language. For instance: When you are planning to hold a lecture for students at the university, your original should be worded accordingly. Do not expect the translator to use “simpler language” or “more academic language”. His command of the language would be such that he may well be able to do so but it would interfere with the contents of your lecture and may even alter it to some extent.

Does a client automatically appear as a “reference” when he/she assigns us a translation job?

Not at all. All of the clients mentioned in our list of references have given us their explicit written consent to being cited in this list. We simply wouldn’t have enough space to mention all clients who employ our services or have employed our services in the past (even WITH their written consent). You therefore have no cause for concern.  We would never speak to a dentist about other dentists we work for. Of course, it occasionally happens that a client comes to know of these things on his own because some clients mention our name in their acknowledgement.

As far as we our concerned, we are committed to secrecy.
The only thing we tell a client from a specific speciality is that we have worked for his/her speciality and are familiar with common terms used in his/her specific field of medicine.

How do we deal with translators who approach us through the Internet? Do we employ their services?

No we do not. When asked to provide a translation into Spanish we never work with translators from South America or Cuba. We receive many such applications through the Internet. When we deliver a translation that bears the name of our company or is being provided by our company, we must be able to rely on the colleague who is translating the text for us and also take legal steps against the colleague in case of trouble.

We all know this cannot be done easily when the translator resides in Cuba or Honduras. Therefore we do not work with such colleagues. We work with translators from Austria and, in exceptional cases from other countries, only if we have their postal addresses, first name, and if applicable VAT number and company details.

How is a job done at Medical Translation?

You send us your text and mention the target language of translation as well as your desired date of delivery. Any additional information such as your target journal of publication, regulations provided by your publisher/journal would be very helpful.

  • We will send you an offer stating the price (price per line plus estimated final price) and delivery date.
  • You give your written consent (e-mail).
  • In case we have questions while doing the translation the questions will be listed and sent to you. We do NOT discuss questions on the phone but handle these efficiently – in writing.
  • You receive the translation at the fixed deadline. If we anticipate any delay we clarify the issue with you by e-mail beforehand.
  • We are available for any queries you may have concerning the translation.
  • Any revision of the text that may become necessary because of your questions or our questions will be done free of cost. We then send you a revised version.
  • We are very grateful for your feedback because it will help us in future projects.

What about competition from translation programs?

We have tested many translation programmes. However, translation in medicine is very specialised work. A good translation – of the quality we are accustomed to providing – cannot be done by a computer. As every expert knows, experts are needed in every field. One may well say that an expert cannot be replaced by any gadget or person.

We do use translation programs that save our vocabulary or accelerate the work process. But we do not deliver translations directly from translation programmes.

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