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May 8, 2009

Amper Translation Service: high information density

I'm a sucker for blue, so even if I didn't like Carl Carter's site I would probably like it. The web site for his company, Amper Translation Service, represents an interesting approach to design and an attempt to pack a lot of information in a little space. The content is very good: Carl knows his business, does it well and is refreshingly articulate, and that is reflected in the way he presents his services on the site. But the need to scroll on most pages bothers me a bit; it gives me a bit of a claustrophobic feeling at times. The site might benefit from a more open design that ditches the scrolling field. And the use of frames - something I used to be very fond of for my own web site - has the disadvantage that one cannot bookmark pages of particular value for fast reference.

And there are a lot of good resources here. Links to dictionaries, articles and all kinds of other useful stuff. When I rummage around the site I keep discovering more useful links or other things that I wish I had known about earlier. That's one of the real highlights of the site and make it worth a leisurely browse. I love the calming colors and tasteful graphics, and I have returned to the site time and again in the year and a half or so that I've known Carl, because I find it useful and learn from it even if the navigation drives me a bit batty at times.

In my experience, this is also a highly professional small agency, the sort I prefer to work with. The company profile is similar to many other agency clients that I prefer: personal in approach, competent, scrupulously honest and concerned with adding real value in its role as an intermediary. There are only a few editors that I really respect for checking German to English translations and Carl is one of them. He's British, and my opinion (based on experience) of most British editors checking American texts is one that cannot be expressed in polite company, but he's a refreshing exception and has even taught me a thing or two about American grammar. Fancy that. In any case, our collaboration on patent abstracts has been a great pleasure. No compromise on quality and absolute, friendly courtesy is a combination that will score with me every time.

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