Questions and answers about translations and language courses


In order for a translation to be authenticated, or officially recognized, it is necessary that the translator or the translation agency be authorized and certified, and that it provide its own authentication, wherein it guarantees that the text in the target language corresponds in terms of content, length and meaning to the document in the source language. This authentication, in Switzerland, is recognized at the Cantonal level.

In order for the translated and authenticated document to be recognized nationally, a recognized notary must affix the translator’s signature. If, however, the document that is authenticated by the translator or by the translation agency and by the notary is to be recognized internationally, we must proceed with the apostille or legalization by the State Chancellery.
The certification process, in fact, entails two different authentication choices: the apostille statement, or the legalization via final certification by the diplomatic or consular representative.

The apostille is made in accordance with the Hague Convention of 1961, which Switzerland adhered to in 1970. The apostille is a certification that validates the authenticity of a public document for international use. The procedure is much more simple than a legalization, in that it dispenses with any additional attestation, whether in the country of origin or at the diplomatic or consular level. It therefore substitutes the legalization of the document carried out at the embassy of the Country in which the document will be used. Its validity is recognized only in Countries that adhere to the Convention and must be affixed by one of the Authorities identified in the Convention itself.

Legalization requires that all the official documents be legalized also by the appropriate diplomatic representative of the Country receiving your document. Moreover, it must also be stamped by the Clerk of the Court who recognizes the notary’s signature, before the document is sent to the Chancellery of the State for legalization.

For documents destined for countries that adhere to the Hague Convention, TI Traduce carries out its own recognized authentication, the notary authentication, the delivery of documents to the Chancellery of Bellinzona by post or courier, the apostille, and delivery to the client, by post or courier or in person.
As for documents destined for countries that do not adhere to the Hague Convention, TI Traduce carries out its own recognized authentication, the notary authentication, the authentication by the Clerk of the Court of Lugano, the delivery of documents to the Chancellery of Bellinzona by post or courier, the legalization, and delivery to the client, by post or courier or in person. The client will still have to personally go to the corresponding Consulate for final authentication.

TI Traduce can carry out the whole authentication process, up to legalization, within one day.

There are various ways to calculation the size of a job: by character, by word, by line or by Page. This is almost always based on a word count in Microsoft Word (in an open Microsoft Word document, click on ToolsWord Count).

By character

Characters are calculated with spaces included. If we calculate characters with spaces excluded, this would be the result: wordsthatareattachedtooneanotherandalmostillegible. One word is roughly equivalent to 6 characters (5 for the word + 1 space) if the text is in English – therefore a page of 1,500 characters is around 250 English words. An Italian word is equivalent to around 6.875 characters, according to AITI (Associazione Italiana Traduttori e Interpreti), and therefore there are around 218 words per page of 1,500 characters.

By word

The word count is the oldest and most widely used system in the world. Microsoft Word considers the following to be a word: that which is separated by a space, the end of a sentence, the end of a paragraph, or some types of punctuation. German words tend to be relatively long, while in English, for example, words are shorter. This means that a client cannot compare the cost of one translation in multiple languages based on the word count.
By line
This system does not penalize those languages that tend to have long words. However, it is imprecise because the final line of a paragraph may contain just one word, so systems were invented to count half lines. These methods were then replaced by the calculation of characters contained in a line, which, in turn, may vary according to language, but on average are about 55 characters, or 7 words, per line.

By Page

There are various types of pages when it comes to calculating the size of a translation: legal, journalistic, editorial, and university. In most cases, however, for translation purposes, a Page consists in 1,500 characters. One Page of 1,500 characters corresponds to approximately:

212-218 words in Italian

250 words in English

210 words in French

200 words in German

Group Course

When a class is held with two or more students, it is a group course. The advantage of a group course is that the participants can compare with one another, interacting in a constructive and stimulating manner with the native speaking teacher. For a successful group course, it is fundamental to be at a uniform level, which is verified by means of an excellent Placement Test. It is also important for there to be a balance between the issues to be discussed, the rhythm, the intensity and the workload at home. The ideal duration of a class should be between 60 and 90 minutes, so as to be able to address the scheduled topic with enough time and so as not to lose interest. The optimal maximum number of participants is 5-6.

Individual Course

The individual course allows you to make the most of your time. The student proceeds with learning the language according to his own rhythm and intensity, focusing on areas of difficultly and skimming over already understood concepts. This flexibility in schedule allows the student to take advantage of all the purchased lessons, without wasting time or money due to other unavoidable commitments. Another great advantage is the ability to select the content, or the lecture topics, as well as the areas of expertise; so one may request, for example, more of an emphasis on verbal lessons rather than on grammar.

There are different types of placement tests, which may also be found online. The ideal test should evaluate all areas (grammar, reading, listening and speaking). People are often at different levels depending on the discipline. For example, a computer expert might have more familiarity with a written text, but less when speaking on the phone, while someone who may have learned a language by moving to a certain place for a certain period of time, might have excellent comprehension, which is not always accompanied by perfect grammatical knowledge. In order to obtain a suitable evaluation, it is important to establish the purpose of the test ahead of time, as well as the reference scale and some parameters, such as, for example, in the case of a company course, the number of groups to be formed

CEFR is the acronym for the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. It was created in order to classify the degree of knowledge of a foreign European language into six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, in ascending order. A person at the A1 level can “survive”, being able to ask for food or drink and to ask for and give directions using extremely limited and basic language. The B1 level, these days, is considered the threshold level, or the level necessary, for example, in a university. The C2 level certifies full and complete mastery of the language, of its peculiarities and its expressive nuances. This classification system standardizes and provides a key for interpreting different scales and certificates.

A1 2-2,5 8-23 -20
A2 KET 3-3,5 24-56 20-40 246-380
B1 PET, BEC 1 4-5 57-86 40-60 381-540
B2 FCE, BEC 2 5,5-6,5 87-109 60-75 541-700
C1 CAE, BEC 3 7-8 110-120 75-90 701-910
C2 CPE 8,5-9,0 90- 911-990

There are between 6,000 and 7,000 languages in the world, spoken by over 6 billion people in 189 independent states. In theory it is possible to translate to and from all of these languages. The most used, however, are Chinese, Spanish, English, Arabic, Hindi, Bengali, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese and German. English is the 2nd most spoken language in the world.

It begins with reading the text to be translated. Certain terms are underlined so their translation can be checked, and the necessary research is made, both in terms of terminology and in terms of the cultural knowledge necessary for fully understanding the source text. If necessary, a glossary is created. Our translators are specialized in a specific field, so the research and study phases are streamlined thanks to experience and specialization.
This is followed by the translation of the text, sentence by sentence. And then, if the first version is similar to a draft, the translated text is looked over again and corrected. Then the text is printed and left to “rest”. After this, a review of one’s own translation is made, comparing the source text with the final version, and correcting any remaining imperfections.

This is a bold statement. No one knows a language perfectly. Moreover, a translator must master at least two languages in order to translate. It is necessary to have knowledge of translation techniques, and a lot of practice certainly does not hurt. We are happy to meet you and offer you a translation test.

It is estimated that a standard page contains around 250 words (depending on the language). A professional, on average, translates a standard page per hour. If this does not seem like much, you must remember that this time frame includes the research, the glossary, the formatting, the revision, the registration of the assignment and its invoicing.