General questions about the industry What's the difference between translation, localization and globalization?
By translation we mean the conversion of the contents of any given language into another. Localization is the process of adapting the original contents to the linguistics and cultural system to the area of destination, obtained for example through the use of the currency of the Country or the conventional date format of that culture. Lastly, globalization is the designing of content suitable for a global audience, in which no elements pertaining to any specific culture are present. 
Why should I use a translation agency?
Translating does not simply mean rendering one language into another word by word.

For a translation to be carried out correctly, the source text must be comprehended, interpreted and its message must be translated into another language, while keeping in mind the type of text and who will be reading it. Each language reflects a culture, a history, a way of relating with others and specific knowledge of the world that the professional translator knows very well and is capable of blending into his/her work.

A professional translator does not only possess a very deep knowledge of the foreign language and its relative culture, but he/she also has excellent writing skills in his/her own native language and superlative knowledge of a specific field.

This is why an important translation should always be entrusted to a qualified translator who translates exclusively in their own mother tongue language and who knows how to correctly comprehend and transfer the message that you wish to communicate.

The objective of a translation is indeed that of creating a text that does not sound like a translation, but a brand new text written “ex novo” in the language of the reader.
Which is the best way to send a file to be translated?
Whenever possible, it is best to provide us with electronic versions of the texts to be translated and possibly in a format that is editable: Word, Excel, Indesign etc. The file may be sent via email with the relative instructions in the body of the email. For larger-scale files Athena Parthenos puts its own FTP area at your disposal, assigning customer credentials to each individual customer to upload and download their files.

In the case that an electronic version of the file should not be available and we would need to work with material on paper, this will have to be sent to us by courier or alternatively delivered to our premises by someone appointed by the customer. The material on paper must be comprised of clearly legible copies, in the case that original documents should not be available.
If a customer writes at 5 pm because they need a text translated that evening or for the following morning at 9 am, is the price still considered to be standard?
Generally, urgent documents are subject to an increase that is communicated to the customer in a timely manner. This increase is due to the fact that the project manager will have to find a provider who is available to work after hours and who, almost always, in turn will ask for an increase in his/her own fee.
When a customer sends a text to be translated, how can they be sure that the sensitive data present in their document will not be disclosed to third parties and that it will be processed with the strictest confidentiality?
All our providers sign a confidentiality contract with clauses that provide for “sanctions/penalties” of various kinds if any sensitive data present in the translation should be released. Furthermore, if it is not strictly necessary for the purpose of the translation, this information is removed (or blackened) when the text is sent to the translator. 
If a company has to translate its catalogue with a product description accompanied by tables and images, can your agency maintain the page layout? Would this be considered an additional service?
As we are a translation agency specialized in localization we have our own graphics and DTP department which deals with inserting the translations in place of the text in the original language and therefore maintains the layout of catalogues, brochures and any type of document that requires the intervention of a graphic designer. This operation represents an additional service that is added to the quote sent to the customer.
When a customer books the services of an interpreter but the event is cancelled at the last minute (same day as the interpretation), will the customer be billed for the entire amount stated in the quote?
Only In part. If the agency has contacted an interpreter who in turn has guaranteed his/her presence for that working day, should the service be cancelled on the same day, 50% of the amount stated in the quote will be billed to the customer.
If a customer requests interpreting services, do they have to supply the agency with information regarding the event, speakers, topic, etc.?
Yes, absolutely. Where interpreting is concerned, the more information provided to us, which in turn will be given to the interpreter, the better the job will turn out. It is always advisable to supply reference material regarding the topic of interpretation.
How must the customer prepare a manual in Indesign which will then be translated?
There are two valid alternatives:

The first and most simple, used by 99% of our customers because it has virtually no problems either before or after the translation, is to prepare single monolingual .indd files with only one layer.

The second more complex alternative, not often used because it is more problematic, but still remains valid, is to prepare one .indd file only containing all the languages, each one with its own layer, images included.
For particular languages such as Arabic, Hebrew or Chinese, can I copy and paste from a word format to a graphics format?
For particular languages, to copy and paste is not a solution because these languages have different spacing and intervals between words and are not the same as western languages.This is why the layout of these files is entrusted to graphic designers who also know the language.
How long do I have to wait to receive a quote?
All quotes are usually processed and sent to the customer within one working day. Some quotes may require a little longer based on factors such as quantity of material to be analysed and work flow complexity.
How long does it take to process an order?
Our goal is to process orders in the shortest time possible while still meeting/satisfying our customers' needs/requirements and offering a quality product.
Delivery times depend on several variables and these can be discussed and agreed upon on a case-by-case basis with the customer.
The main variables are:
* Source text length (calculated by word quantity/unit fee (standard page, by line, by word);
* Source text format (electronic or paper, editable or non-editable);
* type of translation ( whether or not there is CAT tool and translation memory support);
* Type of target text requested ( bilingual files or just target file with or without the need of any work by the graphics department);
* Language pairs;
* Technical time-lines with regards to any notarization/certification and/or legalization procedures (working days and times of the relevant offices);
* particular requirements discussed during the quotation phase.

The determination of a deadline will therefore be agreed upon on a case-by-case basis keeping in mind customer’s requests/requirements and all of the above-mentioned variables.