Alphabet Systems periodically receives questions from potential clients. In order to aid our visitors in having access to the answers of those questions we have created the FAQ section in our web site, which will be updated regularly.

Question:
Are translators, engineers, and project managers permanent employees or outsourced contractors? How many permanent and how many outsourced contractors?

Answer:
Engineers and project managers are permanent employees. Translators are outsourced and Alphabet has a core team of 10 permanent translators per language, which have/are serving us on a continued basis, much of them for the last six (6) years.


Question:
How many total customers does Alphabet have now? How many have Alphabet had in total?

Answer:
We presently have 4 customers with projects WIP and in the past we have served more than 20 customers.


Question:
How many projects are ongoing currently? For how many customers?

Answer:
Presently we are running 8 multilanguage projects for 4 clients, one of them into 23 languages.


Question:
Is a full range of data delivery mechanisms available (ftp, http)?

Answer:
Yes both are available.


Question:
Will a client receive status reports on our project? What's the frequency and format?

Answer:
Real-time status reports can be accessed at any time via our web interface. Additional frequency and formats can be determined according to your preference. We would for example send a weekly status summary in writing. Additional project review telephone meetings are an option to include additional client and Alphabet representatives as well as the project leads.


Question:
Will Alphabet develop and maintain a terminology list specific to our project?

Answer:
Yes. If there is no existing terminology list we would create one and we would develop and maintain any existing list, which would be one of the project deliverables.


Question:
How are changes handled during the course of a project?

Answer:
It depends on the nature of the changes. We would be flexible to accommodate extra work and we have the ability to scale up to meet project demands. If it is necessary we would agree new project milestones in agreement with our client.


Question:
What is your company's area of specialisation?

Answer:
Within the general heading of software localization, our specialisation is the development of tools to enhance quality and processes. Some examples are as follows:

Harpo by Alphabet Systems: A preparation tool for a variety of file formats which require translation using Trados. It converts the source files to RTF format and adds the appropriate Trados tags to them. Text, which is not to be translated, will be tagged as such.

TMClean/TMProbe by Alphabet Systems: These tools work exclusively with Trados translation memories. They are used for maintenance and consistency purposes.

RCGloss/RCUpdate by Alphabet Systems: Work with RC Files. RCGloss generates translation memories and Multiterm glossaries for Trados - Glossaries and language consistency reports for linguistic reviews - Dictionaries for RCUpdate. These dictionaries contain all translations and coordinate/style information of the dialogs. RCUpdate uses this information to automatically translate the new .RC files and also update the coordinates of the dialogs decreasing the engineering work drastically. Files which are not fully translated will be automatically converted to .RTF with the translatable parts tagged appropriately.

UniGloss by Alphabet Systems: Similar to RCGloss but for a broader variety of file formats.


Question:
How does Alphabet qualify its translators?

Answer:
Before introducing new translators to a project we first test his/her skills by asking them to perform a sample translation, which is then reviewed by a peer translator. We also call the references and ask for a sample of any translation he/she did for that client. We check for grammar and style skills, terminology correctness, typos and rate the result within market standard categories.
If he/she is a member of our core team, at each project completion we assess the quality of the work as part of the QA process. Formal appraisals are conducted and a record is kept so we have an ongoing profile for each of the translators.


Question:
How do you assure project quality?

Answer:
Setting the project up for success from the outset is the start of the quality process. We make certain we understand the clients expectations and furthermore that we have the necessary instructions, glossaries, reference materials, source materials and tools in advance of project commencement. i.e. a localization kit.
There are QA measures for every task that Alphabet performs. We ensure that our QA steps are complimentary to any of those the client may have in place, as elements of QA are a joint responsibility.


Question:
Does Alphabet you have the necessary hardware and software to efficiently handle our work?

Answer:
Yes we are fully equipped.


Question:
What is Alphabet's record for delivering on time?

Answer:
80% of our projects are delivered before deadline and the remaining 20% are delivered on time.


Question:
What specialist technologies does Alphabet you use for translation, localisation, and quality assurance?

Answer:
Alphabet uses its own self-developed tools and procedures to prepare, produce and quality control each project. For specific requirements by a client, Alphabet, will work with the client required tool.


Question:
What mix of industry standard and in-house tools do you use?

Answer:
We use, primarily industry standard tools to manage our projects and integrate them with our own tools whenever we deem necessary.


Question:
How do you keep up with new technologies?

Answer:
Alphabet is always working with projects that require state-of-the-art technologies. So we follow closely what is brought into the market and will assess them on a need basis.