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Soget: translation under the banner of innovation
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[Soget is a pioneer of the translation field. We have always sought out the most ingenious solutions which, in many cases, contributed to writing the history of our profession, coining new terms and developing technologies later adopted by customers and the competition]


Visit our "historical portfolio" to access a number of projects dating back to our early years of business.

We started out in the distant 1970s: the boom experienced at that time by the engineering sector and an eager import/export market led to the need for manuals and technical documentation in foreign languages.
We were among the first to offer expert typists using the early electric typewriters, which we imported with different alphabets. These, flanked by our “paste-up” service (the precursor of DTP!), allowed us to combine typed texts with fully translated images and drawings.
This precision work required the use of erasing fluids (the early spell-check!), scissors and glue. In this way we got round the annoying problem of awkward footnotes and long captions, allowing us to create collages that, once photocopied, were identical to – if not better than – the original, in all the translated languages. Thanks to this system, the staff of a block of brand new offices in Bandar Abbas was able to read English and farsi  typescripts prepared by us.

Paste-up

In those years we also started offering our advertising customers what we called “associated products”, i.e. discounted packaging translations carried out by recuperating previously translated texts and photocomposing them in order to create labels for similar food products in languages then considered "strange", such as Arabic, Russian and Japanese. Indeed, we often had occasion to smile when potential customers would ask us if we provided such and such an associated product… Our corporate terminology was taking hold! Of course, these solutions pre-empted the current CAT systems by 20 years, as even back then we were able to offer considerable discounts for repetitive texts.

In the late '70s and early '80s , Soget – already a leader in its field – adopted the used of the IBM machine "ball heads", which allowed us to type using new characters and print characteristics such as italics, bold, etc. During that time, Soget purchased “composers”, fitted with memories and envisaged for quality prints of right-to-left scripts such as Arabic. Employing these technical resources and the best human resources, Soget was able to collaborate on international projects of repute, such as Jeddah airport (which attracted the attention of leading German companies, coordinated by Hochtief), the Al Jubail desalination plants (the feather in the Italian electromechanical industry's cap: Franco Tosi, Ansaldo and GIE) and the Pirelli-Sirti telephone exchanges in Libya, for which we translated tens of thousands of pages. For a long time we were the only agency in Italy capable of guaranteeing performance on such a large scale.

During the mid 1980s, Soget was acknowledged by the main IT magazines as being among the first to adopt the IBM XT – the first PC in history – as standard. With the use of WordStar, paper was replaced by floppy disks and we embarked on the adventure of multilingual word processing.

IBM XT

At that time we already felt the need for a network and, in close collaboration with the British company RAIR, we were able to use one of the first peer-to-peer solutions.

Towards the mid ’80s, we transferred over to the use of laser printers alone, and created a Desk Top Publishing department with operators specialising in the use of the main programmes – then making their first appearance – starting with Ventura Publisher, then Aldus PageMaker and, finally, Interleaf.

In 1991 we understood, over 20 years ahead of our competition, the need for a management program, and saw to its production. This was our most effective answer to our company's need to organise and manage international projects with medium and large-scale industries.

Soget has also created a number of Cyrillic, Greek, Polish, etc. fonts with the aim of publishing in all languages and alphabets. Thanks to this solution, Polish workers having to train on ISVOR FIAT documentation were able to read same correctly, using the special fonts we ourselves created.

New 500

It is around this time that we purchased our first workstations: Rank Xerox Documenters and Apollo stations.

In true pioneering style, towards the mid ’90s we started using ALP (Automated Language Processing), the earliest computer aided translation (CAT) system, and soon moved on to using IBM's first Translation Manager. At the same time we began developing tools to import different publishing formats and automatically create glossaries.

Towards the end of the 1990s, Soget adopted as standard the leading computer aided translation applications, guaranteeing compatibility with all the main CAT programmes. Our solutions currently allow us to operate on any XML, HTML, Word, PowerPoint or Excel file and on all the main publishing formats (Adobe FrameMaker, InDesign, Pagemaker, Interleaf, Ms-Publisher and Quark-Xpress).

As technical documentation now requires the inclusion of an increasing number of drawings, at the turn of the 21st century we developed a specific tool to work directly on original AutoCad files in DWG format, extracting, translating (using CAT systems) and reinserting texts directly.
Furthermore, we have also produced filters for the translation of digital products such as Flash and other multimedia files.

In our "Dig Deeper" article you can view one of our first Flash videos, describing Soget's strengths.

Today we boast partnerships with some of the most important multinationals specialising in translation technologies, DTP and printing, including: Adobe Systems Inc., Across Systems GmbH and SDL Trados.

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