Questions & answers:
Apostroph provides expert advice

This is where you will find answers to questions frequently asked about our language services and our company. The question you wanted to ask isn’t among them? Then don’t hesitate to get in touch with our customer service team.

Who is Apostroph?

With eight offices in Switzerland and Germany, we are the leading language service provider in German-speaking Europe. We have multiple certifications, speak 70 languages, employ 120 staff and have a network of 2,000 freelancers. Apostroph’s reference list includes around 5,000 names, ranging from SMEs to international corporations and from government agencies to NGOs. Apostroph embraces technological innovations, is socially committed, respectful when it comes to resources and forges strategic partnerships.

About Apostroph

Answers about translations

If the original is written in German, German is the source language. If this text is translated into French, French is the target language.

Yes, we rely exclusively on native-speaking professionals for all our services, whether for translation, copywriting or interpreting.

We translate into more than 70 languages. If you happen to be looking for a language combination which is not included in our offer, translating via a third language has proven its worth.

Find out more about languages

The size of orders you send by e-mail depends on the limitations of your server. You can send data of up to 200 MB via our myAPOSTROPH customer portal.

If you have the original image file, we can usually translate the text directly in the image. Otherwise, the translation will be delivered as a Word file.

Essentially, we accept all formats. Files that cannot be edited – including PDFs, for example – are converted. If you are unsure whether we can process your format, just ask us.

In technical jargon, editable files are also called open data. These include Word, Excel, PowerPoint, IDML, XLIFF, XML, HTML, RTF and many more. A PDF, on the other hand, cannot be edited and must be converted, but this could cause problems with formatting.

Thanks to our in-house expertise and sophisticated software solutions, we can process all formats. The most common are Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Visio, Adobe InDesign, XML, JSON, but also rare formats such as SGML or TMX.

Whether you want to translate web files or other content – on request, we can process your data directly from your editorial or content management system.

A PDF file is generally unsuitable because it cannot be edited. However, we can convert the PDF, although that could result in changes to the original formatting. If a conversion is not possible, the translation is typed directly into a Word file, which inevitably increases the workload.

Since a PDF file cannot be worked on directly, we convert it into a Word file for translation and then deliver your translation in this format.

An internal confirmation is a document in which the managing director of Apostroph Group confirms that the translation has been carried out by a professional translator working in his or her mother tongue and to the best of his/her knowledge and belief.

A certification (authentication) is a document that has been officially stamped and signed by a notary public. You can commission certified translations from Apostroph. This is always necessary if you have to present official documents in a foreign language – for example, if you are moving abroad.

Find out more about certified translations

Legalisation is the certification of an official document by a state chancellery. It’s also called supplementary attestation. Legalisation (as opposed to the apostille) is required for countries outside Switzerland that are NOT part of the Hague Agreement. Normally, the document owner must also go to the embassy in person with the legalisation and have it confirmed on site.

Find out more about certified translations

An apostille is required for official documents which, in addition to the usual notarisation, must also be certified by a state chancellery. This is also known as supplementary attestation. An apostille certificate is required for countries outside Switzerland that are part of the Hague Agreement.

Notarised and state (federal/cantonal, i.e. official) authentication/certification.

It is best to clarify with the authorities of your destination country what type of certification you need for your documents. As a rule, official documents require notarisation. For countries that are part of the Hague Agreement, an apostille is also required; for countries that are not part of the Hague Agreement, you also need legalisation.

Transcreation is a combination of translation and creation. It is primarily used for advertising and marketing texts. Freer translation, which is less tied to the source text, achieves an even greater emotional impact and strengthens credibility.

Find out more about transcreation

The scope, language combination, degree of difficulty and number of recurring text elements determine how long a language professional needs to complete a translation. To make a realistic suggestion, we analyse your text and then confirm a guaranteed delivery date. This approach has always worked and in the past has meant we are generally able to meet the desired deadlines. For particularly urgent texts, our express service is available around the clock, 365 days a year.

Generally speaking, translators can process up to eight standard pages per working day. Thanks to new technologies such as CAT tools (computer-assisted translation) and augmented translation technology, deadlines can be significantly shortened depending on the type of text, language combination and intended use. We can advise you on this.

Depending on the complexity and subject area of the text, experienced translators complete around eight standard pages a day. That’s about 240 standard lines or 2,400 words.

For faster delivery, a text can be distributed among two or more language professionals. The use of machine translation can also be considered on request; in this case, post-editing by language professionals may be required depending on the requirements and purpose of the translation.

Express deliveries are possible around the clock, 365 days a year.

Yes, we can. It is important to clarify whether you already have a connector or whether your texts exist as an XML or HTML file. Another option is to send us text in a format such as Word or Excel. If you are unsure, just ask us. We would be happy to advise you on connectors/interfaces. These allow texts to be exported directly from your content management system with just one click and imported again just as easily.

Yes, that’s possible, but an export from your system to ours would be better. That’s the only way we can take technological savings into account and ensure consistency in company terminology.

We would be happy to advise you on interfaces in person.

A glossary is a resource containing a client’s technical terms in at least two languages. Ideally in the form of an Excel file that lists all the languages in columns. Our technologists implement this list into the translation process and store it as a professional terminology database for you.

You are welcome to provide us with your glossary – ideally when you place the order. In addition to the terminology, we also adopt style specifications and the corporate language, which we incorporate into our translations.

Quality control is included in every translation.

You are welcome to request a free test translation or a style sample from us.

A localisation is a translation that does justice to the culture of the target market in terms of language and content. The process needs linguists who translate into their mother tongue and are familiar with the circumstances in their linguistic home. In addition, the layout, colour scheme, date, time and telephone number formats as well as symbols and graphics are adapted to the respective cultural area.

That’s possible. Please send us your font as a font file.

Apostroph only outsources assignments to tested and certified translators. In doing so, we pay attention to the required specialist expertise, such as pharmaceuticals, finance and marketing. The responsible project manager gives the particular job to the appropriate language professional along with the briefing. After an initial run-through, the translator checks and revises the translation before returning it to Apostroph, where the quality check is carried out.

Technology savings can be achieved by using repetitions within a text from previous translations. This is made possible by translation memory technology, which memorises passages and terms and suggests them when appropriate. This reduces the translators’ time and effort without compromising on quality. We pass on the resulting savings to you in the form of a discount.

Answers on the topic of machine translation

These providers offer little, if any, data security. In addition, public tools learn with all texts available, and of varied quality, which is why their output is also based on obviously incorrect translations. Generally speaking, terminology cannot be taken into account (and if it is, then only with a great deal of effort), and Google, DeepL & Co. are also unable to implement style specifications.

We are one of the leading suppliers in this field. With our proprietary company solution apoAI, we have a neural machine translation system which is capable of learning and which backs up all data in Switzerland in accordance with ISO 27001. Machine translations can be purchased in combination with post-editing services, as raw data or fully automated on a monthly subscription basis.

Answers about our text editing services

Proofreading checks grammar, spelling, hyphenation and punctuation. In contrast to re-reading, stylistic adjustments are also made. This includes unattractive repetitions, mistakes in sentence structure or unclear statements.

Re-reading means checking the final text with regard to grammar, spelling, hyphenation and punctuation. A text is then given final printing approval.

In comparative proofreading, a second professional native speaker checks grammar, spelling, hyphenation, punctuation and style. In addition, the translation is compared with the original text and adapted where necessary.

Comparative proofreading is always recommended when a translation is to be printed or published online. For example, for website texts, brochures, advertising campaigns or legally binding content such as contracts. Proofreading is a good idea if a translation or text has not yet been finalised and if – in addition to the correction of any grammar and spelling errors – stylistic adjustments are also to be made. During the re-reading process, the final text is read for errors only and is then ready for publication.

Desktop publishing (DTP) refers to the professional graphic editing of a document (layout). The end result is the creation of print-ready templates. We particularly recommend DTP for languages that do not use Latin characters such as Arabic, Thai and Chinese. We check that the texts are in the right place, that all characters are displayed correctly and that the hyphenation and reading direction are correct.

This is another term for desktop publishing, i.e. working on the layout.

As customer satisfaction is very important to us, we guarantee free follow-up or adaptation. This is also listed in our Terms and Conditions.

Answers about deadlines and prices

Translations are usually calculated according to the length of the text. The number of characters including spaces is decisive.

Express services are available at any time. We will discuss possible surcharges with you in advance.

Express orders are generally possible at any time, including at weekends or during public holidays. Put simply, we are there for you 365 days a year, 24/7.

We work in a completely different way to publicly accessible (free) translation tools that offer little or no data security. In addition, we operate at a completely different level in terms of quality, taking into account terminology, style specifications and country- and company-specific preferences. That is why we need to know the text in order to be able to calculate the price reliably.

You can pay on account.

Our standard procedure is to issue invoices as PDFs attached to e-mails. If you still receive invoices in paper form, we will change this immediately. Just drop us a quick line.

If something is unclear on your invoice or you think something is wrong, you can discuss it directly with your Apostroph contact.

Your personal contact at Apostroph will enter your new address and revise your invoices.

No problem. Just tell us which tool you use and name the contact person at your company.

Your contact at Apostroph will be happy to deal with your request and will make sure that your reference appears on future invoices.

We are currently in the process of upgrading our system so that it can also read payment slips with QR codes.

The Apostroph Group VAT number is located at the top right of the invoice, below the date.

If you have any questions about VAT, please talk to your project manager at Apostroph.

If you would rather not receive individual invoices, we can bill you monthly or on a project basis.

Let your single point of contact at Apostroph know the desired invoice and/or e-mail address, and he/she will then take all the necessary steps.

Answers on the topic of language technology

The translation memory (TM) stores a collection of translation segments just like in our own memories. With each new translation, sentences and passages are added to this memory. The benefit to you (once we have completed a number of your translations) is consistent terminology, savings on repetitions and faster turnaround times.

Find out more about translation technology

A CAT tool is a computer-aided translation tool that allows file-independent editing of the text in an editor. The advantage is that sentences and passages stored in the translation memory (TM) from previous translations are automatically retrieved and can flow into the translation. A digital glossary from Apostroph is also available. CAT tools enable translators to work faster and more efficiently, and ensure that the company’s terminology is consistently adhered to.

Find out more about translation technology

A terminology database (also known as a termbase) is a collection of technical terms from a company or industry in two or more languages. Apostroph makes this available to the translator on a server via a CAT tool.

Find out more about translation technology

We have a wide range of solutions for system connections. We establish a secure connection to all relevant CMS, editing systems, PIM, sourcing platforms and company-specific systems via apoCONNECTORS, API connections or hot folders. We also support other market-relevant tools. If you would like to find out more, please contact us.

Find out more about interfaces

Apostroph employs state-of-the-art technologies, but always uses them to offer added value. These include translation memories (TM) and terminology databases (TDB) with which we have decades of experience. On request, we can supplement your language management with apoAI, our state-of-the-art neural machine translation engine, which, in combination with the TMs and TDBs, delivers efficient, high-quality translations. In addition to our in-house apoAI development, which is hosted in Switzerland, we also work with other translation tools as well as client-specific CAT tools and translation management systems.

Because innovation plays a crucial role in our company, we are constantly developing new solutions to further optimise translation processes. This includes state-of-the-art translation management systems and interfaces to CMS, PIM, editorial or company-specific systems. On request – and where appropriate – we can also implement machine translation. With our apoAI, we offer outstanding translation quality, which enables lean or even fully automatic processes, thus making handling more efficient and cost-effective.

Find out more about optimising translation processes

Yes. Our translation technology specialists would be happy to advise you on the wide range of possible applications and explain the systems within translation technology.

Find out more about translation technology

Yes. Our translation technology team would be happy to explain how to integrate machine translation into your language management, the opportunities that machine translation offers and where its limits are.

Find out more about machine translation

Yes. Our team of specialists, consisting of solution architects and translation engineers, would be happy to provide you with comprehensive advice.

Find out more about process automation

We support our corporate clients in the creation and maintenance of terminology databases and translation memories and support them in all aspects of their IT infrastructure. If you would like to know more, we would be happy to give you detailed advice on how to optimise and expand your in-house language processes.

Find out more about language management consulting

ns.publish is an editing tool in which we maintain our own fully automated interface. You send us your texts with just one click, and we’ll send the translation back to you using the same tool. ns.publish is mainly used for the translation of annual reports and product catalogues.

Find out more about interfaces

Apostroph’s in-house IT department comprises software and translation engineers, solution architects, IT support and a Head of Translation Technology.

Answers about interpreting

Simultaneous interpreting is the verbal transmission of what is said into another language by specially trained interpreters and in real time. Simultaneous interpreting is essential, for example, at congresses with a large, international audience.

Find out more about interpreting

Consecutive interpreting is the non-simultaneous spoken translation of one language into another by a specially trained interpreter. Consecutive interpreting is used, for example, in interviews.

Find out more about interpreting

As the term suggests, this form of interpreting can be found at events such as symposia or conferences. Depending on the circumstances, simultaneous or consecutive interpreting may be used. In both cases, technical equipment such as an interpreter booth and headphones are necessary.

Find out more about interpreting

In whispered interpreting, the professional interpreter sits right next to the person and whispers the content into that person’s ear. This is the case, for example, at a discreet meeting between two heads of state.

Find out more about interpreting

The appropriate type of interpreting depends on the nature of the event, the number of participants and the time frame available. We would be happy to determine which type is suitable for your project.

Find out more about interpreting

Answers about how we work

You can send us the data by e-mail or via myAPOSTROPH. Thanks to SSL encryption, this is also suitable for transmitting confidential data.

Orders can be placed via our SSL-encrypted client and translation portal myAPOSTROPH or by e-mail. We also offer solutions for transferring large files.

Yes. Our customer and translation portal is called myAPOSTROPH and features a standardised order process, SSL encryption and a range of features to optimise your language management strategy.

Find out more about the myAPOSTROPH customer portal

We support customers in the four national languages as well as in English and – after consultation – also in a language of your choice.

Yes, of course. You are welcome to contact your project manager directly.

You can use the e-mail address of your personal project manager as usual. The project manager’s deputy will be informed, read and process your messages, and take the necessary steps.

We always work with single points of contact. These are well-trained project managers. They are your personal points of contact for day-to-day business, will deal with your enquiries and carefully handle assignments by employing freelancers and drawing on our in-house teams of specialists. The single point of contact always has a deputy.

We are aware that our translations and texts play a key role in shaping our customers’ communication. This is why we place high demands on quality, work in a performance-oriented and meticulous manner, but also with passion and enthusiasm. With our skill and commitment, with fairness and in a spirit of partnership, we lay the foundations for a long-term partnership. Innovation is key to us. This is why we are constantly developing new products, refining our processes and promoting linguistic intelligence. And we think about tomorrow by respecting the environment and making a social commitment.

We launched our myAPOSTROPH encrypted order platform back in 2010. It is also available as a custom version. We also have our own laboratory, where innovative products and concepts for digital language management are developed. As a result, our corporate and private customers benefit from state-of-the-art, proprietary software solutions.

Answers about our quality management

Apostroph has three quality labels. These include ISO 9001 for quality management, ISO 17100 for translation quality, and ISO 27001 for data and information security (ISMS).

In addition, our company has been awarded the ESG label (environmental, social, governance) by the globally active, independent consultancy, ERM.

All the language professionals who translate, proofread, re-read, edit, write copy and interpret for us are selected in line with the ISO 17100 standard. This process prescribes both a detailed approach to recruitment as well as constant quality monitoring and data updating.

At Apostroph, you have a guaranteed right to rectification. Significant complaints are rare, which is why we take them very seriously. After consulting quality management, we contact the customer representative to discuss the procedure. Of course, we can also provide a new translation, write a new text or make changes within the team on request.

Apostroph holds the following certificates: ISO 9001 for quality management, ISO 17100 for translation quality, and ISO 27001 for data and information security (ISMS).

Furthermore, in post-editing we work in compliance with the ISO 18587 standards.

Apostroph has three quality labels. These include ISO 9001 for quality management, ISO 17100 for translation quality, and ISO 27001 for data and information security (ISMS).

In addition, our company has been awarded the ESG label (environmental, social, governance) by the globally active, independent consultancy, ERM.

Quality assurance at Apostroph is carried out in accordance with the four-eye principle. The final quality check is carried out by our highly trained internal translation teams.

Generally speaking, we cultivate an open feedback culture, which is why every customer has the right to subsequent changes. If, however, a translation or a text does not meet your expectations, we will investigate the matter immediately. It’s important for us to know where the problems lie. Was it the internal communication, the style of writing, or the briefing? In such cases, we will of course be accommodating and always seek an amicable solution with the client representative. And so far we have always succeeded in doing so.

Our project management staff have first-class training and speak three or more languages. They receive ongoing training, personal coaching and keep abreast of the latest developments in the industry. As a result, they can offer professional advice and comprehensive support to corporate and private customers.

Our freelance linguists in the fields of translation and interpreting are qualified experts in their subject areas, and our language professionals in copywriting have wide-ranging industry knowledge, many years of experience and shine with eloquence.

All freelancers work exclusively in their native language, are dedicated and meet our high standards. In addition, we document all our services, continuously carry out review processes and ensure end-to-end quality and punctual delivery thanks to our established workflows.

Answers on the sensitive topic of information and data security

We do not use clouds. Your data is hosted in Switzerland and Apostroph treats it confidentially at all levels (we are ISO 27001 certified for information security). Our online portal myAPOSTROPH and website are SSL-encrypted (banking standard).

All in-house employees and freelancers at Apostroph Group have signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) that governs how data is handled, as well as a code of conduct. Our internal employees are also required to produce a clean criminal record. If required for a particular project, we can also have additional NDAs signed on request.

Confidentiality and discretion have been part of Apostroph’s philosophy ever since it was founded in 1994. All employees and freelancers are bound by a strict and explicit duty of confidentiality – even after employment ends. We also require everyone to submit an extract from their criminal record, which must be clean, before we enter into employment. Individual non-disclosure agreements for specific projects are possible at any time.

The ISO 27001 certificate for information security means that regular checks take place to verify that our processes are written down. This is complemented by live process checks, during which, among other things, our employees are interviewed in their day-to-day business. In addition, ISO 27001 ensures that any weaknesses are fully documented and corrected, and that ongoing training is provided to staff.

Answers about Apostroph

Apostroph Group has offices in Bern, Bremen, Hamburg, Lausanne, Lucerne, Munich and Zurich.

Unless otherwise requested, we generally serve our corporate customers from the location closest to them.

Yes. Apostroph is a global player. We have a global network of partners and work with agencies and freelancers all over the world. We also have offices in various major cities in German-speaking Europe.

Yes. We work with more than 2,000 qualified native-speaking linguists around the world who translate, write copy and interpret. This enables us not only to keep our promise of 70 languages, but also to cover a wide range of technical expertise.

Find out more about the Apostroph community

We offer the full range of language services. These range from specialist and marketing translations to transcreations, proofreading and post-editing, advertising copy and interpreting services. In addition, we can also advise you on language management and work with machine translations wherever appropriate.

All vacancies can be found under Career & community.

We always provide our corporate customers with a personal single point of contact. These are well-trained project managers who look after day-to-day business, while a key account manager assumes overall responsibility. We focus on comprehensive and personal support, open communication and fairness. Our work is characterised by an excellent understanding of quality and a high level of commitment. With these qualities, we lay the foundation for a long-term partnership that benefits both parties.

Find out more about how we work

The CEO of Apostroph Group is Philipp Meier. He manages the company throughout Germany, Austria and Switzerland. As Managing Director of Apostroph Switzerland, he is in charge of the national subsidiary together with COO Karin Heinzer-Achermann.

To the team

You can apply for one of the advertised vacancies by e-mail. Please get in touch with the contact listed there. Or send us an unsolicited application by e-mail with your dossier and letter of motivation to career@apostrophgroup.ch.

To the jobs

Sustainability is very important to Apostroph. This is demonstrated by our ESG label, which we were awarded by the renowned global consultancy ERM. It confirms that we are not only striving for “hard facts”, such as growth, but also value, and implement soft factors, such as ecological, social and community aspects. The ESG label stands for responsible action in environmental, social and governance areas.

Find out more about corporate social responsibility

We implement the ESG (environment, social, governance) label for environment, social and corporate governance at several levels. A few examples:
We use public transport for 98% of all customer meetings.
We are on the road to a paperless, digital office.
Everything – from paper and coffee capsules to ink cartridges – is recycled at all Apostroph locations.
We support a number of social projects and organisations as well as platforms that engage with innovative ideas for a better future. (For more information, see the “Social responsibility” section)
We promote a good working atmosphere and a pleasant working environment.
We treat employees as equals and with respect.
We value the work of our teams and that of our external partners.

Answers about freelancers

Our project managers usually inform you about a new job by e-mail. Since we only ask one person, we need a quick response. Log in to our order portal myFREELANCE and check the deadline, scope and topic of the order. There you can either accept or reject it. Once you have accepted and processed the order, you will return the text via the portal. No customer data is exchanged by e-mail. If you have any questions on the particular assignment, the contact person named on the order will be happy to help. After delivery, you can invoice your order with just two clicks. Payment is made automatically with a monthly invoice. You can also easily download these invoices from the portal.

We offer you a collaborative and personal cooperation with:

  • Continuous volume of orders
  • A user-friendly portal that makes order processing and invoicing easy
  • Assistance on working with the SDL Trados Studio CAT tool
  • Punctual payment once a month

We are always on the lookout for professional translators, proofreading and re-reading professionals, copywriters and subtitling cracks in a range of specialist areas, such as:

  • Travel and tourism
  • Luxury goods
  • Finance/business reports
  • Medicine
  • Law
  • Technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Insurance/federal occupational benefit plans
  • Business/economics

Anyone who fits our profile can register on our myFREELANCE portal.

You can register on our portal myFREELANCE.

Send us an up-to-date, clearly structured CV with information on your education, specialist areas, experience, knowledge of CAT tools and any interests, and provide two references if possible. Complete your documents with a copy of your language diploma and other relevant certificates. If you are resident in Switzerland, we also need an OASI certificate.

We are constantly expanding the list of countries. If your country is not yet listed, please select “Other”.

After you have registered with your contact details, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with a link. You can use this to provide further information (language combinations, services, specialist areas, fees) and then complete your application. If this doesn’t work, check that you have entered a correct email address and check your spam folder. If you’re still not receiving the email, please contact our vendor management team at freelance@apostrophgroup.ch.

No, they are not, but they facilitate and speed up the application process. Meaningful customer references also increase your chances of a positive response from us.

Make sure that the prices are entered with a point (and not with a comma). And don’t enter any currencies (CHF, EUR) or special characters ($, £) in the field.

Unfortunately not. Persons resident in Switzerland must produce an OASI certificate (proof of recognised self-employment from the Cantonal Compensation Office). If you are the owner of a GmbH (limited liability company), an extract from the commercial register is sufficient. An HR statement from an employer is not sufficient because it would not pay the OASI contributions for your self-employment.

In this case, please contact our vendor management team. We will be happy to help you.

We are one of the leading suppliers in this field. With our proprietary company solution apoAI, we have a neural machine translation system which is capable of learning and which backs up all data in Switzerland in accordance with ISO 27001. We also offer our customers post-editing services for the post-editing of machine translations.

These providers offer little, if any, data security. In addition, public tools learn with all texts available, and of varied quality, which is why their output is also based on obviously incorrect translations. Generally speaking, terminology cannot be taken into account (and if it is, then only with a great deal of effort), and Google, DeepL & Co. are also unable to implement style specifications.

Achieving goals together

  • Your projects in the best hands

    We work with single points of contact. As a result, you will be looked after by a highly experienced contact person who takes your needs into account and keeps you up to date at all times.
  • Certified security

    Both our information security and our quality management are ISO certified, which guarantees secure processes.
  • A spirit of partnership

    We have long-standing partnerships with many of our clients. In addition to quality, they appreciate our values such as reliability, transparency and fairness.