Background to the Translation Network (TTN)

Translating is one of the natural skills of the Swiss. Four language groups have lived in harmony in Switzerland for centuries and developed a talent suddenly worth millions on the global market. Sound knowledge of languages and competence in producing multi-lingual documents has become an important export commodity.

Demand for translations, exploding with computer networks spanning the world, has for some time been covered by translators from low-wage countries. Bad experience and expensive misinterpretations enforced a radical re-think. Quality and a sound background in language education are suddenly in demand world-wide. Consequently, an ever increasing volume of translation work is being handled on the Swiss turntable.

The client monitors the production stages
The client selects the appropriate file under www.ttn.ch and clicks on the required languages. The TTN agent immediately produces a quotation and offers seven deadlines for the client's selection. When the client clicks on the required deadline, the agent accepts responsibility for the order. He passes the files to be translated automatically through all production and checking stages and finally sends the ready-to-print translations to the client. All production deadlines are automatically calculated and monitored electronically. Translations are not produced and checked by computer programs but solely by qualified translators. The client can monitor the progress of the work directly on the Internet. Omissions and delays are immediately caught up by translation managers and corrected. Thanks to the artificial intelligence of the TTN agent, the production times are drastically reduced and the quality of translations significantly improved thanks to standard checking procedures.

The TTN agent immediately produces a quotation and offers seven deadlines for the client's selection.

Open production resources
Certain information kept strictly secret at all other translation agencies, is openly disclosed at the TTN network. Names, addresses and qualifications of all collaborators are made known to all Internet users. The client can make enquiries about all details relating to professional experience and CV of the production team and can be reassured that his work is only handled by qualified translators with a university education.
Translators' qualifications are stored in a database accessible through the Web. Freelance translators and agencies register their working languages and special subjects on this database. The translator search machine helps to find the required language combinations, software knowledge and other details on the basis of various other criteria.

A translation manager is allocated to each client when he places the first order. This new occupation created with the Web can be compared to that of a stockbroker in a bank. A translation manager knows the translation business on the Internet. He brokes into clients' translation orders and negotiates the best conditions for all partners. He knows all the ins and outs of multi-language documents and foreign scripts and puts together production and checking teams to suit the client's requirements. He configures the TTN agent to achieve optimum circulation of orders within the selected teams. The team's performance is regularly discussed with the clients and the resources stored in the translator database is currently updated. The openness of the system allows the client's own checking and production stages to be tied in within the work. Translators and experts from the client's company can be integrated within the automated production process: their time is reserved by the agent in advance and they have unrestricted access to the company's own translation archives and dictionaries.

To ensure loyalty in spite of disclosure of production resources, TTN offers a wide range of services which individual translators or competitors cannot cover for technical reasons. Even the best translator can only produce mediocre results without reference to reliable translation archives and the company's own dictionaries. TTN makes the necessary translation aids available on the Internet and controls the rights of access to client's data.

Translation tools on the Internet
Correctly kept translation archives represent the translators' valuable working capital. The terminology built up within a company and its specific formulations which shape the company's culture, marketing and production must be managed and made available.

All orders flowing through TTN are automatically indexed. A search machine immediately finds blocks of texts which have already been translated. Translators and proof-readers surf through client's files and copy existing text elements from several text windows. Automatic archives accumulate the translation know-how and more accurate and elegant formulations are added with each new entry.

Communicating with another language group sometimes takes years to learn and needs refining all the time. Successful quotations, advertising slogans which truly hit the mark, and legally safe contract elements provide the raw material for acceptance in the foreign language marketplace. A company's foreign language communications are at a standstill without reliable translation archives. The same mistakes and misunderstandings are repeated again and again, mutual understanding is enormously difficult.

The watch industry uses 50,000 different components and it takes approx. 30,000 components to build cars; the telecommunications industry uses as many as 150,000 terms. A translator working on a specific technical text is faced with the problem that certain equivalent groups of words simply do not exist in other languages. Searching for the correct terminology takes up 50% of the time required to do the work. Therefore, it is crucial to store the results of this expensive work in a company's own dictionary.

Each company has a dictionary on the Translation Network which is currently extended and supplemented. This dictionary helps translators in their search for accurate technical expressions. Researched terms are systematically stored and made available to everyone concerned. The translator manager controls the right of access and ensures that a company's own terms are kept secret.

During the initial phase, all languages of the European Union will be offered on www.ttn.ch. The software will be sold under sales and production licences in all areas where the major languages are spoken. A world-wide network comprising all of the world's major trading languages is to be built up by the year 2005.


Further information available from:

TTN Translation Network
Martin Bächtold
18, bd des Philosophes
1205 Geneva
Tel. 022 328 84 63 
Email: ttn@ttn.ch
Internet: www.ttn.ch