Translation, proofreading and standardising terminology
A day’s work at the FAU Language Service
The Language Service is responsible for translations into English at FAU, mainly for the University Administration, of texts and documents ranging from research reports, examination regulations and University magazine articles to entire websites. It has also recently started translating a limited range of documents free of charge for staff at the faculties.
‘Due to capacity restraints, we only translate documents that are important for the entire faculty, such as central websites,’ explains Susanne Jäckle, Head of the Language Service. Since the Language Service receives a large number of enquiries for translations, it’s important that the team is informed in advance if a translation project is very urgent. ‘We translate complex and long-term projects such as translations for creating final degree documents in English and also take on very urgent jobs, such as those that come from the Chancellor’s office. This means we have to plan well and manage our capacities accordingly,’ she explains.
‘It’s very important that terminology is always translated consistently.’
With this volume of translations, the team at the Language Service always has to keep one thing in mind. ‘Presenting the University professionally to the outside world means it’s important to translate central terminology consistently,’ says Susanne Jäckle. This is also important for international students. ‘If the name of a teaching unit or examination is always translated differently, it can be very confusing, especially for international students who aren’t very familiar with the German education system,’ she says. The Language Service uses special software that stores the source and target text in a database to manage English terminology and ensure it stays consistent. ‘This software has nothing to do with machine translation like that offered by Google or DeepL, though,’ assures Jäckle. Rather, the software means the Language Service can keep track of which English terms it has used in various texts in the past and continue using the same ones. In addition to translation, the Language Service is also responsible for English terminology management, in other words managing and standardising English terms.
‘We are always happy to be involved.’
To ensure consistent corporate wording in English at the University, the Language Service also provides the ‘Lookup’ glossary, which is accessible to the public. Terminology is added regularly. ‘The glossary is not intended to replace a dictionary. It only contains FAU-specific, university-related terminology. FAU staff and students are welcome to contact us if they would like terms to be added to the glossary. We’re always happy to be involved in the standardisation of English terminology,’ says Susanne Jäckle.
Did you know?
Students, doctoral candidates, and researchers can also use the paid translation and editing services offered by the Language Service. ‘We are only too happy to proofread research papers written in English by researchers before they are published,’ says Susanne Jäckle. ‘Since the price depends on the length, complexity and quality of the source text, we recommend that researchers send us their text in advance so that we can give them a quote,’ she advises.