Beautiful TranslationsPar Shane Hartford | 15 November 2019
At TradOnline, we love to take on new challenges! So, when a new clients in the textiles industry knocked on our door with very precise specifications in hand, we welcomed them with open arms!
Description of client’s needs:
The client required the translation of Excel-formatted product sheets from French into five different languages: English, Spanish, Italian, German, and Dutch. The sheets are sent each day in the middle of the afternoon to be returned the before end-of-business the following day.
What was so particular about this project? The client was highly dissatisfied with their previous translation provider, yet they wanted to recover the, at times erroneous or just poorly translated, translation memory in order to reduce translations costs. There was also the issue of short lead times precipitated by the client’s need to publish the translations to their website almost immediately after delivery, as well as an already fixed budget.
How does TradOnline manage this type of request?
Firstly, the client’s dedicated project manager took a global overview of the project, asking multiple questions in order to choose the best teams of translators:
- Who is the target audience?
- What style is the client looking for within this sector of activity (textiles), and specifically for their brand? Afterall, translations must remain within the bounds of the selected communication strategy.
- What countries are the clients targeting, specifically for their English and Dutch translations? The same translator may not be as best suited for the United Kingdom or the United States, when it comes to English, or the Netherlands and Flemish Belgium, for Dutch.
We’ve been involved in translating within the textile industry for years and have quantifiable experience when it comes to project management, so the idea of treating this kind of request didn’t make us sweat at all!
Challenges presented by the project:
With this type of request, meaning daily translation needs, the biggest challenge is ensuring the translators remain available for the long term. Indeed, it’s a badge of honour for us to be able to offer the same translators across projects to ensure consistent style and terminology, yet booking translators for daily projects, thereby limiting their availability to take on other projects, isn’t always easy, and we had to find a solution to make assigning the translators fast, fluid, and perpetual (including when certain translators were unavailable).
It should be noted that for this sector, terminology is crucially important. From one client to another, the terms may vary, and translators may often use one, while the client prefers another. It’s a normal part of the process because translators sometimes require a bit more information from the client about product descriptions to better understand and thus better translate.
To illustrate our point, here’s a little extract of a product description that we might receive:
Example of descriptions to translate: “Pull avec détails tressés et pompons”
Translator’s question: Are the tassels (pompons) all over the sweater (pull) or only on the pleated (tressés) details?
Client’s response: They’re only on the pleated details
Communication with the client is clearly extremely important.
Solutions proposed by TradOnline:
To respond to this request by the client, we implemented the following solutions:
- Setting up of an FTP server to partially automate the transfer of translation files;
- Revision of old translation memories by our expert translators to harmonize inconsistencies;
- Setting up of a team of 3-4 translators per language with a translation schedule established months ahead of time. The client was able to choose translators following translation tests we offered to have completed;
- All of the translators chosen for the project are native, professional, and experts in the fields of fashion and textiles;
- Implementation of a translation memory and creation of a glossary using our CAT tool- memoQ – with a shared file between the translators and client for any questions that may arrive. Thus, the client can add any additional elements to answer the translators question or even add a visual when necessary.
The TradOnline plus: Being able to set up a close collaboration with all stakeholders in a project: the client, project managers, translators, and developers. Communication is key, as the saying goes, in out collaborations. TradOnline constantly listens and strives to respond to our clients and their needs. And this translates to listening to feedback, sharing it with our experts, and working together to find whatever modifications need to be made to our processes, style guides, translations memories and glossaries.