Skrivanek will be at tcworld 2016 – Tekom Annual Conference, Stuttgart November 8th-10th 2016

18 10 2016


Skrivanek’s Project Management Team Leader Jan Hirš will be representing the company at the tcworld conference in Stuttgart at the beginning of November. Jan has been working for various LSPs for almost 10 years and  has extensive experience in all aspects of the translation business. Most recently he has been appointed head of Skrivanek’s  International Project Management Center and Localization department providing language services to major companies and organizations worldwide.


If you would like to contact Jan prior to the event:

Phone: +420 739 391 791



See you in  Stuttgart!


Advancing Skrivanek’s Proofreading Expertise

3 10 2016

Committed to continuous professional development of its language service team members, Skrivanek offered specialized training for its proofreaders this year. Led by Dr. Tomas Svoboda, PhD, these sessions were held at the Institute of Translation Sciences at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague.

Proofreading is a mandatory componentspeakers-414560_1920
of translation, according to EN 15038 European standard and the ISO 17100 standard, which specifically delineate allthe required steps of the translation process. These include translation, check (revision by the translator), revision (proofreader), review (if required), proofreading (another proofreader, if included in the order), and final verification (by the project manager).

At Skrivanek, close attention is paid to these standards, but nuanced understanding of content is equally important at every stage, including proofreading, and this was a major topic dealt with in the training. Dr. Svoboda is a translator, interpreter, proofreader, editor, and an instructor of foreign languages and translation seminar teacher at Charles University, and he brought a rich perspective to his participants.

Issues unique to proofreading provided material for the bulk of the training, with Dr. Svoboda suggesting special strategy ideas, from the use of automated translation tools, to methods of focus on the material. High-level refinements that are critical to precision were analyzed, including controversial linguistic phenomena and differences in typographic requirements in different languages (such as apostrophes, accents, numbers, dates, quotation marks, etc.).

One of the most interesting discussions concerned the importance of deeply understanding the purpose of a document before undertaking its translation. Is the text for internal use, legislation, marketing? The style and level of quality are dictated by the purpose, and therefore thorough understanding is necessary in order to offer the correct final product at the appropriate price.

Fundamental project processes were thoroughly discussed as well; for instance, the essential preliminary step of gathering from the client as much background information as possible. This includes related reference materials, specific internal conventions and terminology that are used in the document(s), translation memory for use with CAT tools, and other supporting materials. Skrivanek’s policies emphasize client involvement at every stage of the translation process, in order to ensure the highest possible level of clarity and quality, and this training of our proofreaders strengthens our ability to accomplish this goal at that key step in QA.

Only 3% of all proofreading candidates that apply to Skrivanek are able to pass through our demanding selection process. It was these top-notch proofreaders who attained even higher levels of skill through our 2016 Prague training.

 J. McShulskis



Skrivanek will be at CTIP – Clinical Trials Innovation Programme, Hamburg June 27th-28th 2016

11 05 2016

Clinical Trials Innovation Programme

Skrivanek’s newly appointed Global Sales Manager Jaroslava Ouzka will be representing the company at 5th CTIP event in Hamburg towards the end of June. Jaroslava has been with Skrivanek over 10 years and  has extensive experience of all aspects of the translation business. Most recently she has headed Skrivanek’s  division providing language services to major European institutions such as the EU and European Parliament.

“The CTIP meetings are always an excellent opportunity to hear about new innovations and trends, exchange experiences and of course network with a range of professionals from around the world” “I’m really looking forward to a busy two days” said Jaroslava.

“Skrivanek has a division exclusively dedicated to Life Sciences and Medical translations with experts delivering top quality translations across the sector from packaging and product information through clinical trials and research findings to medical device manuals and marketing materials. We are proud to count companies such as Abbott, GE Healthcare, Siemens, Worldwide Clinical Trials and many others among our clients. We deliver high quality Life Sciences translations that allow clients to successfully communicate and compete in global markets. Our Life Sciences translators are among the best specialist linguists in their chosen field, and they are guided at all times by Skrivanek’s stringent quality assurance and best practice policies to ensure that all statutory, legal and moral obligations are met.”

So, as a leading supplier of translation services to clinical trials organizations worldwide Skrivanek regards the CTIP as a “don’t miss” event and although Hamburg is still some weeks away we would like to invite other attendees who would like the opportunity to meet Jaroslava and discuss how they might benefit from Skrivanek’s expertise to contact us as soon as possible to arrange an informal meeting. As we all know from experience schedules fill up quickly and time flies at such events!


If you would like to contact Jaroslava prior to the event:

Phone: +420 605 235 691



See you in  Hamburg!

J. Atkinson



High Volume, Short Notice, Quick Turnaround, Specialised Terminology- The Perfect Storm of Translation!

24 02 2016

As the market leader in Central and East European languages Skrivanek is often asked to deliver translation projects for clients worldwide which involve a large wordcount or urgent delivery these are usually coupled with a requirement for knowledge of specialized terminology. Skrivanek’s 20+ years experience and extensive resources means that we are able to take these things in our stride and deliver on time, on budget and to the highest quality standards. That’s what a leading LSP (Language Service Provider) does in its sleep right?


However, just once in a while the “perfect storm” develops of all the above factors at once plus short notice availability of the source documents and delivery on a rolling basis thrown into the mix just for good measure!

Skrivanek has successfully handled this potentially challenging scenario twice in recent years with the same international law firm as client; in 2014 translating into English from Slovak and in 2015 into English from Czech.

The documents concerned were intended for use in international commercial arbitration proceedings in the energy sector.

For this type of project the major task for the project manager is to set up teams of suitable linguists who are equipped to deal with legal documents which need to be part or fully translated often at short notice and to an exacting high standard as they will be put to immediate use by the client.

The project manager and linguists also need to be extremely flexible and aware of the client’s needs. Documents may be sent from various sources within the client’s organization, instructions and or deadlines may be changed during the translation process, extra documents added and of course the translated text  “ready to go” at the required time (or earlier 🙂 ).

In addition to the linguistic requirements a project of this type also involves being able to deal with documents delivered in a variety of formats; editable documents such as Word, more likely uneditable ones such as PDF or scanned documents plus the localization ( into the target language) of any graphics such as graphs, tables, PowerPoint presentations etc.   As a result having suitable DTP (desk top publishing) resources in place is equally as important as having high quality linguists. It may be a graph or chart not translated text which is crucial in court the next day!

Each of the projects involved many thousands of words, dozens of files and same day or next day delivery as the norm (only 10% of the documents for translation had a turnaround time of more than 2 days). Just to put this into perspective a single professional linguist can usually translate around 2,000 words per day which means that for this type of project a team of translators and reviewers are required (8 translators and 2 reviewers in this case). This is done in such a way as to ensure the highest quality standards are maintained.

As well as putting together a team of linguists these projects also involved extending our project management coverage to 7 days a week as the client was also working on and sending documents during the weekend.

The peak activity period for both of these projects was around 1 month.

Of course Skrivanek has had projects with bigger wordcounts (the 2013 1.5 million words from English into Slovak comes to mind 🙂 ) and with more specialized terminology requirements but put all the factors outlined above together and you need your team to be really on top of its game.

Were we successful? Here is the client’s feedback….

“We were exceptionally impressed by the Skrivanek team.  The group managed our extensive and lengthy project seamlessly. Always responsive and a pleasure to work with, they turned around work very quickly (often overnight), meeting all required deadlines as well as our client’s budget requirements. We certainly plan to use Skrivanek for any similar work we require in future, and we wholeheartedly recommend them for any comparable translation projects.”  

DW, Legal Assistant (at Client)

“Being able to handle this type of project is mainly down to long-term planning of both human and technological resources, identifying and training suitable resources in terms of project managers, linguists and DTP specialists and making sure such essentials as quality assurance procedures and the right technology are in place. In short having everything ready for when this type of project comes up” says Jan Hirs, Project Management Team Leader at Skrivanek IPMC.

As the Czech saying goes “winter will ask what you did in the summer” and to successfully survive the perfect translation storm you have to be well prepared!


Joe Atkinson

Key Account Manager

Skrivanek Translations

+44 20 3239 3256

Translators United-ATC Conference 2015!

20 10 2015

Just a few thoughts on the Association of Translators annual conference 2015 (aka the 2015 Language Industry Summit) which took place at the end of last month in Manchester. The organizers took a slight gamble with both the venue and location for this year’s event.


On both counts their gamble paid off, heading to the North of England for the first time ever encouraged many LSPs ( language service providers) from that part of the world to participate and the setting of Old Trafford could not be faulted, first class facilities and highly professional staff.

From my point of view as Skrivanek’s UK Account Manager it was a great opportunity to meet some of our UK based clients ”in the flesh”, thank them for their loyalty and gather very useful feedback for our production team.

Delegates came from a wide variety of backgrounds within the industry from representatives of the largest MLVs (multi language vendors) globally, through medium sized and smaller LSPs to self employed translators and those from an academic background. As always the presentations were relevant, based on industry experience and most importantly made sense to an audience which could easily identify with much of the content.

Innovations for this year were the ATC Language Industry Summit Awards which were the highlight of the Gala Dinner. The awards complete with nominations, presentations and trophies were announced in I would say a spirit of friendly rivalry. I’m sure they will become an annual institution.

So, the two days flew by all too quickly and it was soon time to pack up and head home. I called this piece “Translators (Manchester) United” as the atmosphere always seems to be so relaxed and supportive, participants were genuinely willing to share their views and experience whatever their background. If they happened to make a useful new contact or even a sale then that was a bonus. Given this year’s venue I think we can say that for two sunny days at the end of September at least translators really were united!

Joe Atkinson

Visiting the Client

7 10 2015

I don’t know whether you would agree that in these days of Skype calls, WebEx etc. personal visits to clients in most businesses have become less frequent. People tend to meet up at trade events during the year and the rest is taken care of electronically.

However, I was recently invited to visit a client in the UK for a face to face meeting and I found it a very good opportunity to fresh my memory on the dos and don’ts of such occasions. So here they are my Top Ten Tips for visiting the client.

Business Meeting

  1. If it has been a long running negotiation (in my case nearly a year) check back in your CRM system, mail folders etc. to refresh your memory on “how we got to here”, what has been sent to the client, their feedback etc. If you have a busy client portfolio the memory can play tricks!
  2. Do some research on the potential client, in most cases you don’t have to understand the science of their processes ( in this case biotech) but a basic knowledge of their products, history, location and other companies in the same group is a big advantage and may lead to further opportunities.
  3. In terms of presentations it goes without saying that they should be attractive and work well from a technical point of view. However, they should be tailored to your audience in terms of their level of knowledge. Try to anticipate their questions, it’s very impressive when you get it right almost like a mind reading trick!
  4. Leave yourself plenty of time for the meeting in terms of travel plans. A lot of time and possibly money has been invested up to this point and the last thing you want is to be looking at your watch 30mins into the meeting wondering if you will make it back to the airport in time.
  5. Book yourself somewhere comfortable if staying overnight. It doesn’t have to be the Ritz but a sleepless night, lack of hygiene or hunger should not get in the way of a successful meeting. Oh and don’t use being away from home as an excuse to over indulge in the local specialities, it’s a business trip!
  6. Make sure you have suitable takeaways to reinforce your presentations, company profiles, business cards (don’t forget to pack them!). Remember though it’s a fine line between getting your message across and loading your client down with bumf!
  7. An agenda is essential even it’s only in your head, of course ask your host in advance for input, check that you understand their requirements and present your preferred solution.
  8. Leave plenty of time for questions. This type of meeting is often as much an exchange of information as anything else. Try to see the client’s requirements through their eyes, on the other hand even at this stage it is a good idea to think about what the solution you are proposing would mean for you and your colleagues in practical terms.
  9. A small gift can be a nice gesture especially on international trips especially if it is edible and can be shared! Of course it should be clear that the gift is a token of goodwill and not an attempt at bribery!
  10. On your return to the office don’t forget to send a follow up thank you mail including all presentations and any other materials requested.

Joe Atkinson

Bookmarked for Life?

21 07 2015

blog pictureDuring last month’s LocWorld event in Berlin my company Skrivanek, in common with the other exhibitors, offered visitors to our stand a variety of freebies, giveaways call them what you will. As well as the standard pens, notepads, mints etc. we had a couple of new additions. The popularity of one of these newcomers got me thinking.

For those of you who don’t know LocWorld (formerly Localization World) is the industry event for all that is new in the translation and software localization world. It takes place three times a year across three continents. By its very nature the participants tend to be at the cutting edge of technology and anybody with a mobile device more than a year old had better keep it in their pocket ( no names being mentioned here 🙂 ).

So, what was this free gift that so attracted the interest of these state of the art delegates? The answer, a good old fashioned bookmark (a device for not losing your page in a book). Perhaps I should explain for younger readers that a “book” is a data storage device which consists of two thicker pieces of paper (“covers”) containing thinner pieces of paper on which text is printed (“pages”). The usual size of such a device is a few hundred pages, it is portable and does not require a signal or power source.

Admittedly the Skrivanek bookmarks were particularly attractive, with a magnet to hold the device in place and colorful artwork reminiscent of the Dutch artist Mondrian (or so I’m told 🙂 ). They moved like the proverbial hot cakes off our stand during the two days in Berlin and now presumably are to be found in the homes and offices of translators and localizers across the globe.

What could explain this unusual phenomenon?  I have a few theories; the bookmark is an attractive keepsake and could make an interesting talking point on social occasions or perhaps people will keep them to show their mystified grandchildren in years to come. However, the theory which personally gives me most comfort is as follows: after a hard day in the virtual, digital on line world and being loaded down with Kindles and tablets etc. the movers and shakers of the industry retire to the privacy of their own homes for a good read with a real live book and their Skrivanek bookmark of course!

Joe Atkinson