What does a translator do?

As opposed to oral 'interpretation', the written activity is called 'translating'. Nowadays translators use a number of technical tools for their demanding work: modern communication and information technologies, the internet, specialised software, etc. And yet, all these tools can only support translators in what they do, not do their job for them. Translating from one language to another still takes place exclusively in the translators' heads and thanks to their command of languages, their feeling for register and style, and verbal creativity. Precision, reliability and a meticulous streak are just some of the characteristics of a good translator.


The more the translator knows about the purpose of the translation, the better he or she can adapt the style, format, etc. to your individual requirements. Should you have an established terminology it is advisable to make it available to the translator together with the text to be translated, to guarantee the consistency of the terminology.

Please bear in mind:

  • Translators are experts when it comes to transferring texts from one language to another. They cannot and, indeed, must not make any decisions concerning the content, such as editing the text or correcting the author's mistakes.
  • Translators cannot replace professional copy-writers. If the translation is to be used for advertising purposes, we strongly recommend that the text be checked by advertising professionals to determine whether or not it is suitable for the intended target group, and edited if necessary.
  • All our translations are proof-read. Still, mistakes can occur. This is often the case during layouting when the software used does not contain settings for different languages. For publications it is therefore a must to have translations proofread again after layouting.
  • Translating takes time. Just how much depends on a variety of factors. To ensure that your projects are completed on time it is important to inform us of your plans as early as possible. We will be happy to give you a cost and time estimate and reserve the translator(s) for the relevant period. This guarantees that your texts will be translated quickly and that the translation is carried out by the translator whose specialisation best suits your purpose.

Ministry of External Affairs, New Delhi

„We would like to record our deep appreciation for the Simultaneous Interpretation services provided by the Vienna Interpreting and Translating Agency (VITA) during the Summit Meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the Group of Fifteen which was held in New Delhi from March 25-30, 1994. The services provided were of an uniformly high standard, and facilitated the smooth conduct of the Summit proceedings."