Established in Vienna back in 1973, today ASI is a premium Austrian language service provider. Find out more about our history.
In 1973, the agency was established as a branch of a London-based translation agency. Our then owner was granted the right to use the company name Translagency Ltd. for its translation services in return for payment of a licence fee. This achieved the desired success – due to the high demand, we were soon able to outsource half of the translation work to freelancers.
Two years later, we then parted company from Translagency Ltd. to strike out on our own. The translation office in Vienna was renamed Austria Sprachendienst. In the early 1980s, we acquired companies such as Hoffmann-La Roche, IBM and Schindler-Wertheim AG (now Schindler Österreich) as clients.
The agency’s offering was expanded under the direction of Sylvia-Anita Gratz. A network of translators, copy-editors and interpreters was formed, covering a growing number of languages and specialisations. This enabled us to better meet the needs of our clients and offer consulting, project management and quality assurance services at a premium level. We hired our first project managers with translation experience.
Inspired by a training course taken in the United States, we became Austria Sprachendienst International (ASI). A branch in Los Angeles/California existed for a time. Along with the many interesting contacts made, the most important acquisition was an Apple Macintosh Plus, which made ASI a pace-setter in Vienna. From this time onward, technology played a major role in translation and project management. At the end of the 1980s, we translated manuals for Microsoft and established a multitude of contacts to the IT sector in Austria, then still in its infancy.
The proximity to new technologies secured us many large orders from prestigious groups of companies. Our international expertise increasingly impressed Austrian clients as well. In 1995, the IT company Tandem commissioned us to translate its manuals for EQOS, an electronic trading system on the Vienna Stock Exchange. Other extensive projects followed in 1996, such as the translation of a monthly magazine for CorelDRAW and the electronic preparation of a sales manual for Schindler escalators and moving walks in multiple languages. Towards the end of the 1990s, we added multinational corporations to our client base, such as Frantschach (now Mondi) and OMV.
We were receiving a growing number of requests from our corporate clients for publications in the fields of PR, advertising and marketing – in other words, image-sensitive texts. To meet the high standards for these text types, ASI developed the concept of media translation for multilingual corporate communication. This form of translation is tailored to the cultural nuances of the target language and reads as if the text had been written in this language.
The growing volume of orders and more extensive portfolio of services called for faster and more efficient processes. At that time, there were still no suitable IT solutions for translation agencies on the market, so ASI programmed its own customised tool. Continuous system updates and the development of additional modules anticipated the sustained growth.
ASI fulfilled all of the requirements set out in European standard EN 15038 for provision of flawless translation services. The certification underpinned our professionalism, objectified the existing recognition in the market and reinforced our team’s dedication to quality and client satisfaction.
ASI’s strong growth necessitated an expansion of the team and adjustments to the structure. Having spent several years working as a legal translator for a major Vienna law firm, David came on board as the company’s deputy managing director.
The profile of ASI’s core competency in multilingual corporate communication was sharpened. A fast-growing client base benefited from our media translations. At this time, project management also became increasingly important for the market. Many multinational corporations were using multiple languages, both internally and externally, and media publications were being released at increasingly shorter intervals.
The long-planned restructuring of the sole proprietorship as ASI GmbH took place in a time of sustained strong growth. More and more corporate clients were entrusting us with image-driven business texts, including annual reports, PR texts and brochures, employee and customer magazines, websites and much more.
After Austrian Standard EN 15038 had been moved over to the ISO system, we were successfully recertified to the now applicable ISO 17100 standard for translation services. The global standard underlines the high quality of our work.
In January 2020, ASI became part of the European t’works Group of language service providers, adding the Vienna site to the Group’s presence in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and the Netherlands.
The future of our company lies in continuing on this path. With our exceptional linguistic expertise, smart project management and almost half a century of experience, we will continue to help international companies to be successful in their markets.