Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

In which languages does KERN provide translation and interpreting services?

KERN provides translation and interpreting services in all world languages. You can find an overview of all of our languages in our language overview.

Do KERN's translators translate into their native language?

Yes, since our foundation, KERN has kept to the principle of only allowing qualified native speakers to translate into the target language. Similarly, only native speakers edit and proofread the translations.

What is whispered interpreting?

Simultaneous, conference or negotiation interpreting for a single person, which is interpreted quietly, so as not to have a negative impact on the general proceedings.

What is simultaneous interpreting?

In simultaneous interpreting, the interpreter interprets simultaneously and continuously into the target language, using either simultaneous interpreting equipment in a booth or directly by whispering. In order to guarantee a high level of understanding during the precious interpreting time, the simultaneous interpreter must prepare carefully. Conference interpreting can be either simultaneous or consecutive.

What is consecutive interpreting?

This is a form of interpreting used mainly for meetings or negotiations, particularly at a high level and in court. Longer or shorter passages of text are interpreted with a time delay, i.e. the interpreter makes notes during the presentation and then produces the text in the target language.

Which documents are needed for preparation when interpreters are employed?

To help the interpreter prepare a topic in the run-up to a conference, the interpreters ideally need the following documents:

  • Speakers' manuscripts
  • Agenda and schedule
  • Lists of participants, if applicable
  • Company brochures
  • Company terminology lists

Find more information about project preparation: here

One of my colleagues can speak a foreign language fluently. Can he/she translate texts for our company too?

That may be possible. However, not everyone who can speak a foreign language is necessarily able to produce skilled translations. Being able to translate needs more than just the ability to speak a language or a long stay abroad. Translators and interpreters not only need a talent for languages, but are also mediators between cultures. Professional specialist translators have excellent linguistic training, are specialized in specific areas and only translate texts into their native language, so that they can reproduce all aspects of the original text in the translation with the necessary feel for the language.

How is the price of a translation decided?

The prices of a translation depend on the size and difficulty of the text. If applicable, the urgency of the translation is another aspect that plays a role in determining the price. KERN will gladly provide you with a non-binding, free quote, for example via our online form.

Does KERN offer express translations?

KERN can work on all kinds of documents, regardless of the size, format and deadline. The standard processing time for a translation is approx. 8-10 pages per translator per day. The time taken to complete a project can be reduced by increasing the number of translators involved in the project, with a surcharge if necessary.

The express surcharge for express and weekend translations amounts to 25-100% of the respective price per line or lump sum price, depending on the urgency of the translation. KERN would be happy to check your specifically required deadline on the basis of a project. Please contact KERN AG to arrange an appointment via our .

Are the documents to be translated handled confidentially?

All the documents and information which you make accessible to KERN during our partnership will, of course, be treated as confidential. KERN takes all the necessary and appropriate measures to prevent third parties from becoming aware of this information or these documents and/or making use of these documents and information. On request, KERN is happy to sign a confidentiality agreement with you.

How does KERN deliver the translations?

The translated documents can be delivered as a printout, a zip file, a CD-ROM or as a direct transfer of data via email or an FTP server. We also create and store a backup copy of all the files.

Do you have the Across Language Server and want to work with us via crossGrid? Translations using Across can be uploaded directly to your Across server as a crossGrid package or sent to you by email as a GRU file.

What is meant by preparation and post-processing of files?

In order to use translation memory systems, the files that are to be translated must be appropriately prepared, so that the system can process the files whilst the text is being translated. The files must also be post-processed, so that KERN can deliver these files in a format that is readable for you.

How can I place an order with KERN?

To make it easier to place orders, KERN has developed a portal called clicktranslate™ in the field of process management for translation services. On the website www.clicktranslate.net, the portal is available for your use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Of course; you can also contact  KERN  by email, fax or post. Or look for your  language team  at a KERN Office. KERN looks forward to your visit! 

Can KERN translate websites and software?

Yes, KERN would be happy to take on the translation or full localization of your website or software. Further information can be found here

Which file formats can KERN work with?

KERN supports all established file formats. As well as MS Word for Windows, KERN works with and delivers texts in PowerPoint, Excel, Acrobat, QuarkXpress, Photoshop, InDesign, FrameMaker, Pagemaker, Interleaf, Illustrator or other formats, irrespective of the platform: Windows, Mac OS, UNIX. When placing your order, you simply have to tell the project manager your desired format and KERN AG will deliver the text in the format of your choice (with a possible surcharge where required).

Can PDF files be translated?

The Portable Document Format (PDF is a cross-platform file format, which can be used to reproduce electronic documents, regardless of the original application programme, but which cannot be directly edited. A PDF file cannot be worked on without drastic conversion work and/or reproduction efforts. Extracting text from a PDF file or converting PDF files using OCR software is sometimes possible, but this does not keep the formatting, and the textual alignment can be lost for files with a complex structure. 

Does KERN use machine translations?

No. The results gained by completely automatic translation processes are still incomplete.The results gained by completely automatic translation processes are still incomplete. It is impossible to achieve an optimal translation result without the involvement of a human translator.

Does KERN use translation memory systems?

KERN uses translation memory systems, which simplify the translation process, as after the initial translation work, the saved sentences form the basis for future translations. This not only results in better translations but also guarantees stylistic and terminological uniformity within a text and between texts. The speed of the translation can also be increased. Another advantage is the development of a client-specific database, which can be  used for further translations for the same client. 

A translation memory is only effective, however, when the data has been appropriately prepared, the translation memory is regularly maintained and corrections have been adopted into the translation memory. This is the only way of obtaining a consistent and up-to-date database  of pairs of segments for future use.

KERN uses all established translation memory systems, including:

  • Across Language Server
  • Alchemy Catalyst
  • Anaphraseus
  • Déjà Vu
  • Fluency Translation Suite
  • Fluency TM & Term Server
  • MadCap Lingo
  • MemoQ
  • MetaTexis
  • OmegaT
  • Ontram
  • Poedit
  • SDL WorldServer
  • SDL Trados Studio
  • SDL Passolo
  • STAR Transit
  • Visual Localize
  • Wordfast

Which texts are suitable for the use of translation memory systems?

In order to use a translation memory system, it is essential that the text to be translated is available in a machine-readable format.

The use of translation memory systems can be particularly successful for the translation of texts which require frequent updates. These include websites which have to be partially updated every day and software which often has to be updated once or twice a year. It is also a good idea to use translation memory systems when the texts that are to be translated have a high level of repetition, with phrasing which comes up again and again (e.g. in instruction manuals, technical handbooks), or a high level of repetition and similarities with regard to other texts, so that the translation of a text and saving it in a translation memory form the basis for the translation of subsequent, similar texts (e.g. in documentation concerning different types of product produced by a single manufacturer or similar products produced by different manufacturers).

Why should a translator only translate texts into his/her native language?

A translator can only reproduce all the aspects of the original text in his specialist area with the necessary feel for the language when translating into his/her native language.

Does KERN produce certified translations?

Yes. KERN employs sworn and authorized translators for this, who attest to the completeness and accuracy of their translation with a stamp. Translations must be certified in order to be recognized by public authorities and in court.

Does KERN have sworn/authorized translators or interpreters?

Yes, KERN has translators and interpreters who are authorized to translate and certify documents and/or interpret for public authorities and in court. They have sworn a general oath that entitles them to do so. The conditions for this authorization are different from one state to another, a prerequisite, however, is a professional qualification as a translator or an interpreter or a qualification gained from a special aptitude test.