“Supertext” – for the right word in all languages
1. June 2017

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Since this year, the online text agency “Supertext” has been responsible for the Tour de Suisse translations.

Whenever possible, the Tour de Suisse communicates in the three languages German, French and English. Sometimes Italian is added. It is not unusual for things to happen quickly. Supertext has made provisions. “For each language, 5 to 7 freelancers work on the Tour de Suisse translations,” says marketing manager Fabio Schmuki. Especially for the commitment to the Swiss National Tour, translators with an affinity for sport were requested. In addition to the Tour de Suisse, the “Supertexters” also translate for the WTA Ladies Open tennis tournament in Biel and were on duty for the 2009 Ice Hockey World Championship. The freelancers are either from Switzerland or the neighbouring countries or, for English, from England. “In this way we can ensure that the peculiarities of the Swiss language are always correctly taken into account,” emphasizes Fabio Schmuki.

In addition to the Swiss idiosyncrasies, the Tour de Suisse also places great emphasis on the appropriate cycling jargon in its translations. “In cycling there are standing terms. A literal translation can completely change the message,” explains Jolanda van de Graaf, who heads the Media Office for the Tour de Suisse. “Thus, the royal stage is in English ‘queen stage’ and in French ‘étape reine’.” Outside the German-speaking world, cycling makes the king a queen in short. In the meantime, the translation teams have gradually internalised the technical terms used in cycling. Fabio Schmuki: “The learning curve is steep: with each assignment more formulations and idioms are clarified.”

From a technology start-up to a team of experts in text competence

Founded in 2005 as the first text agency on the Internet, Supertext was already one of the top 100 technology start-ups in Europe in 2008. Supertext today consists of 40 employees and has access to a network of over 900 freelance copywriters, translators and proofreaders. The customer base is broad-based. “From SMEs to large companies, across all industries,” says Fabio Schmuki.

The companies order and manage their text and translation orders online and benefit from state-of-the-art technology. This includes the so-called termbase. Here the customer can define fixed terms that have a recurring relevance in his translations. In addition, so-called translation memories store every translation unit ever created for the Tour de Suisse. “A fantastic thing,” said the TdS media chief. “This way we can make the best use of synergies.” Because passages that have already been translated once are suggested to the translator in the same way for the second job. This procedure increases the consistency and quality of the texts. At the same time, this reduces time and costs.

Speaking of costs: When uploading their document, every customer immediately sees the price, listed by delivery time. If the client has a week to do it, it becomes significantly cheaper. The online system is extremely popular with Tour de Suisse communicators because it is transparent, fast and secure.

Despite the great success of their own web-based development, those responsible at Supertext recognized early on that personal contact is also justified. “That’s why each customer is assigned a personal project manager who is available to answer any questions,” says Fabio Schmuki emphatically.

More about the online text agency Supertext can be found here.

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