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Jul 2, 2010

Xtreme tech!

For some time now I've been wanting to say a public thank you to a favorite client of mine. I have to use the indefinite article in the previous sentence, because I am blessed with some truly wonderful clients, both agencies and direct customers, each of whom is special in a unique way. Thinking of these people gives me a boost many times when my nerves are frayed from too much work, too many phone calls or the elements of chaos which can sometimes find their way into a less considered freelance lifestyle.

I have a bit of a reputation for technical competence, some of which is actually deserved. But there are a rare, few individuals that it is my privilege to know whose technical depth goes well beyond mine and whose extreme competence and greater generosity have enhanced my business and rescued me from some seemingly impossible technical messes.

Ben Pischner, the owner of tectranslate KG in Tübingen, Germany, stands out among the technical experts in the agency world. Time and again in the years I've worked with him, he has stepped in to save the day when Trados issues strike which baffle your average SDL support tech and most other "experts" with that platform. His creative approach to problems often involves programming custom macros on the fly to sort out appalling formatting issues like the horrible mess I described in my "Foolish Tools" post. His clients are most likely seldom aware of the amazing work he does behind the scenes to take some of the ugliest source source files I've seen and make them much "translator-friendlier". He is also extraordinarily attentive to the important details of compatibility in processes which involve a mix of translation environments. He has caught a number of flaws in my interoperability strategies over the years and contributed a lot to improving them or at least inspiring caution where due.

Just as outstanding as his technical skills are Ben's personal qualities. Arrows don't get much straighter than he, and the real concern he has expressed for end customer value and fairness in his dealings with translators on too many occasions to count over the years has given me absolute confidence that his company will always make its best effort to get things right and most likely succeed. And although his educational background would not lead one to suspect it, he's also one of the finest proofreaders I know in English, despite the fact he's a German.

For agencies in need of a partner in projects who can safely cover your back in technical matters, it would be hard to find a better man than Ben. And for translators without tails who like a personal touch, total integrity and a fun, competent team, tectranslate is an excellent agency to work with. This company punches far above its weight, and the care and skills of Ben and his staff, including their rigorous commitment to quality control and careful selection of resources, are the best guarantors of knockout quality for those in need of well-managed projects and top translations.

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