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Case Study: Translation and DTP of Health & Safety Manual Into 10 Languages

health and safety client-case study

BACKGROUND

Recent changes in provincial legislation made it a requirement for all employees whose jobs involve working at heights to obtain accredited training. Our client, the IHSA (Infrastructure Health & Safety Association) is a leader in health and safety education, and through skills-based training, auditing, and evaluation, they provide safety solutions to those who perform high-risk activities, including working at heights.

Being one of the major providers of this (now mandatory) accredited training, IHSA decided to have their manuals translated into various languages in order to reach a wider audience. wintranslation won the contract to work as IHSA’s translation services provider.

The materials requiring translation were training manuals and documents intended for those working at heights in the fields of: construction, tower repair, building/window maintenance, and roofing amongst others. wintranslation was tasked with translating a 142-page manual into 10 languages, with a total of over 310,000 words to be translated into:

THE CHALLENGES

 

Maintaining Accuracy with Industry-Specific Terminology

While the material involved with this project was relatively straightforward and easy-to-understand, there were also industry-specific technical terms and concepts that required special treatment. The challenge was to ensure that the integrity of the terminology was preserved, while fully translating the meaning into each respective language. Our team worked to ensure that our translators understood what these industry-specific terms meant to the full extent before they started translating them.

 

Maintaining Consistency across Various Languages

wintranslation had to ensure that consistency was maintained across all files and languages. This is no small feat for over 300,000 words and 10 languages! We had to ensure that all the translators were using the same level and style of language, and that all were able to fully utilize the proper translation tools.

 

Quick Turn-Around Last-Minute Additions

Another challenge arose during the project when additional words for translation were added. Our project managers worked with our translators and revisers to ensure that everything was completed on time despite the unexpected  increase in word-count. Small changes and last-minute edits were done in-house to ensure that the final product was delivered on time with the highest of quality

sample page translation

click here to see this sample page in all 10 languages

 

OUR SOLUTIONS

 

Translator Selection

A crucial part of the process was translator section. We made sure to recruit translators who had experience in the health and safety industries and felt confident dealing with industry terminology. We also made sure the revisers selected for the project had experience in the field.

 

Terminology Management

An important part of all our translation projects is terminology management. Before starting the project, using term extraction tools (memoQ) one of our terminologists went through the English manuals and extracted all industry-specific terms and acronyms which may need further explanation or background. Once the extraction was completed, the terms and their definitions were compiled to create a multilingual term base. This term base was created for each language and shared with all translators and revisers involved in the project. The terminology database will be updated and maintained for the client for any future projects.

 

Multi-Step Process

Step One: Translation: To assure that the final product was of the highest quality, we used our standard multi-step process to ensure that the translations were accurate and that nothing was missed. Step one started with the client sending us the original files in InDesign. Since translators can’t work in InDesign, our project managers prepared the files for translation in Trados Studio. Packages including files for translation, terminology, reference materials and style guides were send to translators.

Step Two: Editing: After the translations were completed, the second step was to send the translated files to our revisers to edit and verify that everything was correct.

Step Three: QA: Once the translated material passed the editing step, our project managers took the files and did a Quality Assurance (QA) verification in Trados Studio. This was to ensure that there were no tag-related or other errors introduced during translation and editing and also to verify that all terminology used was consistent throughout.

Step Four: DTP: Once verified, the files were then exported back to the original format (InDesign). However, at this point, the files are in a “raw” format and required some extra formatting in order to preserve the initial layout. This was due to the fact that some languages take up more space than the others, some require special fonts, different style definitions and sometimes even different InDesign versions.

The InDesign files also had many images with text inside them, which were un-editable and therefore had to be recreated in Photoshop by our DTP professionals. To reduce the time spent on image recreation, wintranslation’s DTP specialists set up an automated process in Photoshop, saving time and money for our client.

Step Five: Final Revision: After the DTP step, the files were saved as low resolution PDFs and send to editors again for a quick, final revision. This is an important step which allows editors to see the text and images in the final format—the same format which the end users—in order to make final changes if necessary.

 

BENEFITS OF OUR PROCESS

Our process of careful translator selection, terminology management, and utilization of appropriate tools provided many benefits to the project and our client, including:

  • Ensuring term consistency throughout the complete translation process by combing through the term base at the outset. The term base acted as an additional QA step to verify that the terms were translated correctly.
  • Saving time by using translation tools and efficient methods to localize images.
  • Cost savings by using translation memory tools to leverage translation.
  • Creating a translation memory for any future projects. This will allow us to save time, money and also maintain consistency in the future.
  • Reducing file management by having everything available in one package.
  • Using a multi-step process to ensure the highest quality translation and DTP services.

Challenges to Anticipate when Undertaking a Website Translation

You have done your research and recognize the numerous benefits of having your website translated into another language, or multiple languages. Whether you are a small home-based business, or a large scale company, you have realized that incorporating new languages into your online presence will help you reach out to new markets, expand in existing ones, along with various other benefits.

So now that you have made the decision to undertake a website translation. You might be wondering: What’s next? What are some things I can anticipate throughout this process?

To help make the process smoother for you–using a recent case study as an example–wintranslationTM has compiled a list of possible challenges to anticipate and tips on how to prepare for them.

 

Client Background

Our client in this case was a leading supplier of standby power generators and temperature control equipment with offices across the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada. They chose to partner with wintranslation to have their full website translated into French.

 

Challenges to Anticipate and Tips to Prepare for Them

 

Challenge #1: Languages are of Different Lengths

Something that most people might not know is that different languages translate into varying lengths of text. In this case, for example, we were dealing with an English to French translation and as a written language, French is almost always longer than the English. This difference in length will often lead to slight differences in layout between the original webpage and the one which has been translated.

Example from this case:

Compare the original text in English (top) to the much longer translated text in French (bottom). You can see how the difference in length affected the layout in this case!

Example3_EN

 

Example3_FRC

Tips:

  • Since your translation may be longer or shorter than the original, make sure that your template allows for some room for adjustment.
  • Keep in mind that your new translated website may not look identical to your original language—but this is an accepted fact for translations. Our project managers will work with you to make sure that your website is as consistent as possible throughout all your languages.

Challenge #2: Not All CMS’s are the same

The design/layout proved to be a challenge in this case, as the CMS that the client was using was specialized, and not compatible with plug-ins which normally would have aided in translation. While time-consuming, our project managers were able to work-around this by manually copying and pasting the text in and out of most of the site.

 

Tips:

  • Before undertaking your website translation, make sure you know what the CMS of your website is. If you are generally not familiar with websites, make sure you have access to the company/developer who designed your website. A translation company will need more than just the website address in order to translate your website.
  • To help expedite the process, make sure to know in advance whether you will be importing the text for translation yourself, or if you need us to do it for you.
  • Most CMS based websites have plugins which allow localization specialists to export the text and import it back. However, if your website uses a unique CMS, make sure that your developer is able to export and import the text from the database. If this is not possible, our engineers will be more than happy to check your CMS and provide you with customized solutions.*
  • If you were translating into right-to-left languages such as Arabic and Hebrew, make sure your website CMS supports bi-directional format.

* To avoid any unexpected costs from popping up during the process, before commencing our work, we will provide you with a customized quote based on the CMS you are using. On top of that, our project managers will work closely with you to come up with solutions and test everything as we go.

 

Challenge #3: Underestimating Word Count

In this case (as is often the case), the client underestimated the word count required for translation. The final word count ended up being almost double what was provided to us at the start of the project! Fortunately, even with unexpected events, we are always willing to work with clients to ensure that projects are completed by the deadline.

 

Tips:

  • How have you estimated the word count? Make sure you are counting correctly! You should try and overestimate because there are always things that show up un-translated at the end. If you are not sure how to estimate, ask the translation company to provide you with an accurate estimate. Be advised that in order to do this, they will need more than just a link to your website.
  • Don’t forget to include text from any images requiring translation into your word count!

 

Challenge #4: Details Are Often Overlooked

In our experience working on website translations, there are often details which are overlooked. Here are some tips for you to consider to make sure nothing is missed, from beginning to end:

 

Tips:

  • Check if you have un-editable images that you may need localized, as they won’t be exported with the text.
  • It’s easy to miss pages or toggles, so you should leave extra time after the proposed deadline to troubleshoot any issues.
  • Expect to require site testing by the translator to make sure everything displays correctly on the screen.

How Our Approach Works

How did wintranslation manage this project in an accurate, professional, and efficient manner?

 

Time and Cost Efficiency

  • By using a translation tool like memoQ we were able to save our client a few hundred dollars for this project, and reduce the delivery time by a few days. memoQ allows us to create translation memories, so once a sentence is translated, it will be saved and reused again and again, saving time and money!

 

Consistency

  • We also used the memoQ translation tool to keep everything consistent. This is especially important when translating a sentence multiple times to ensure it is being translated consistently. There are many ways to translate a specific phrase and memoQ helps translators ensure that they use the same translation every time.

 

Research and Technical Terminology Management

  • We put in a lot of extra research when it came to technical terminology. Our translators checked multiple sources of reputable companies and associations in the same field to make sure it was the correct, and current terminology.

 

Utilization of a Specialized Team

  • We made sure the team working on this project was specialized for the language being translated (French). We used a team of two different translators: the first to do the translation, and the second to edit and revise everything. In addition to that, the project manager assigned to this project was fluent in French and was able to expedite the entire process and ensure quality control.

 

We Work with our Clients to come up with Solutions

  • We worked with the client in this case to navigate a specialized CMS in order to come up with the final product.
  • We will work with our client throughout the process to make sure that no details are missed.
  • Keep in mind that we will ask you all the right questions before getting started! This will to help prevent any problems during the process and also will help ensure deadlines, and budgets are met!

With these tips in mind, you can feel confident getting ready to initiate your website translation!

For a free quote for your project, fill out wintranslation’s free quote request form.

 

Related Services:

Background

A Canadian international agency, specialized in aviation, selected wintranslation™ as its French translation partner to deliver highly technical aviation e-learning courseware consisting of more than 230,000 words.

The Challenge

  • The modules that were translated are for aviation regulation purposes, are highly complex, and require very specialized subject area knowledge. It was therefore critically important that the terminology be correct and consistent.
  • Significant time had to be allocated for term extraction and research.
  • The resulting terminology data had to be easily accessible and retrievable in the translation process. There was some reference material available from the client but they were in PDF format which is time consuming for translators to access since it is read-only and the search function is limited.
  • A quality assurance process had to be in place once the terminology was approved to ensure translators followed the approved terminology consistently.

The Solution

Phase 1: Working with source documents to extract key terms

  • Converted the source PDF documents into editable format.
  • The terminologist  identified the core technical terms, terms  unique to the client, and other terms that  needed to be communicated consistently using the following process:
    • Using a term extraction engine to do the initial round of term extraction, 9260 term candidates were extracted.
    • Out of the 9260 terms, the majority were considered “noise” and therefore eliminated.
    • Reviewed terms with at least 30 occurrences; also included those that were very pertinent but appeared less frequently.
    • In the end, 300 terms were documented into a terminology database.
  • The terminologist researched the extracted terms using the context provided in the source documents as well as referencing official glossaries from sources such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
  • Selected the data categories to ensure the translators and editors had enough information on the client’s specified terms and language. Common data categories include Part of Speech, Definition, etc.

Below is an example of a term entry:

English term airworthiness directive
French term consigne de navigabilité
ID 109
Definition A regulatory notice sent out by the FAA to the registered owner of an aircraft informing the owner of a condition that prevents the aircraft from continuing to meet its conditions for airworthiness. Airworthiness Directives (AD notes) are to be complied with within the required time limit, and the fact of compliance, the date of compliance, and the method of compliance are recorded in the aircraft’s maintenance records.
Definition Source http://aviationglossary.com/aircraft-terms-definition/airworthiness-directive/
Part of Speech noun
Context The Minimum Equipment List (MEL) must not deviate from the Aircraft Flight Manual Limitations, Emergency Procedures or with Airworthiness Directives.
Context Source http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/civilaviation/publications/tp9155-appendices-appendixf-5194.ht

Phase 2: Working with client-provided reference material to leverage past terminology

After wintranslation submitted the translated terminology database, the client reviewed it. Being a long-term aviation industry expert and employee of the agency, the project manager realized that certain highly relevant reference materials had not been provided to wintranslation. We then arranged to obtain the reference materials in PDF format and:

  • Converted PDF files into editable format.
  • Aligned translations – we used an alignment process where we paired up the English terms and the French equivalents and created a database based on the pairings.
  • The final output was a searchable, electronic bilingual database of original source words and approved translations in French.


Figure 1: Translation alignment of reference material to create a terminology database.

Phase 3: Combining term entries from source documents and reference material

We combined the terms extracted from the source documents with the terms from the reference material and created a set of central terminology entries. The exported data was then sent to the client and went through revision and final approval.

The final approved terminology data was then imported into a project translation memory which was distributed to the translators.

Phase 4: Quality assurance of compliance of terminology usage

Once a client approves the terminology it is still critical to ensure  translators use it and do not deviate using their own translations. For this phase we used a quality assurance feature available in the translation software. Subsequently, deviations from the approved term list were corrected through the coordination between the project manager and translators.

The Benefit

  • By successfully applying terminology management processes, wintranslation  ensured that the client specific terms were researched and documented accurately and consistently.
  • Translation cost was reduced by identifying the main key terms and the translation team was able to easily maintain consistency in their translations by using the same terminology list.
  • Number of revisions and  editors assigned to this project were reduced and kept to a minimum since the main key terms were already correctly utilized by the translators.
  • Approved database can be used for future projects, helping the client keep costs low and improve the translation turnaround time.

The technical accuracy of the aviation training manuals were ensured and confirmed through a review by subject area experts from the client. The full 230,000 words were translated and edited in three months and the manuals were delivered by the deadline.

Background

A Canadian international agency, specialized in aviation, selected wintranslation as its French translation partner to deliver highly technical aviation e-learning courseware consisting of more than 230,000 words.

The Challenge

The client provided the documents for translation in PDF format. This includes two different subject fields, each one containing two student binders, consisting of eight to 18 modules. In total, the client provided wintranslation with 44 PDF files and 1,285 pages of documents to be translated.

Translating PDF files directly is not an impossible mission, but it is a very laborious and time consuming process. Consequently, translators’ efficiency and consistency is very low in such situations.

The Solution

File formatting
wintranslation’s project manager assigned to this project worked with three different desktop publishing (DTP) teams in order to convert the PDF files into editable Microsoft Word files – a format that allowed translators to work faster and keep the design and the content consistent throughout the entire project.
Terminology
During the same phase, an experienced terminology professional extracted the key terms from all the files and built the project terminology.  Read more about the terminology challenge.

Consistency
To maximize consistency, wintranslation leverages translation technologies that enable the use of terminology databases and translated content (translation memories). Each document is translated, revised and proofread by separate individuals, so that all potential issues (such as mistranslations and typographical errors) are corrected before releasing the final version of a document. For this project, wintranslation used memoQ.

Translation and editing:
For this project, wintranslation employed an in-house full time translator, two freelance translators, two editors and one reviewer.

The Benefit

The full 230,000 words were translated and edited in three months and the manuals were delivered by the deadline.

CrossOver Manual translation into 9 languages

Ross Video designs, markets, manufactures and supports a wide range of innovative products for use in broadcast, distribution, live event and production applications. We worked on their version 1.0 CrossOver Manual in Word format in 2008 and since version 2.0, we have been working in FrameMaker format. Version 3.0 CrossOver Manuals were finalized in 2010.

The Manual was translated into Simplified Chinese, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese and Russian.

wintranslation’s methodology developed for this project has helped the client save on cost and has also maintained consistent translations with previous versions.

  1. Prepared the latest TM based on previous versions: The proofreading and QA changes were entered into the typeset FrameMaker files rather than the translated TagEditor files, so the latest TM was generated from the final typeset FrameMaker files of version 2.0.
  2. Used Context TM to leverage the version 2.0 translations into new files.
  3. Worked on the prepared files with the translations leveraged.
    • Translation: translated the prepared bilingual .ttx files for version 3.0, the output was translated .ttx files
    • Typesetting: converted the translated .ttx files back to .mif format through S-Tagger for FrameMaker and typeset them in FrameMaker, the output was typeset .fm files and PDFs
    • Entered proofread changes: entered the proofed changes into the FrameMaker working files. Applied the conditional texts to each book based on the client’s requirements and createed PDFs for QA
    • Final QA: There was lots of conditional text, so the PDFs were sent to the translation teams to make sure these parts were handled properly.
    • Finalizing: entered the QA changes into the working files and finalized all languages, the delivery format was FrameMaker files and PDFs.

Scotiabank is one of North America’s leading financial institutions, and Canada’s most international bank.
We work with marketing, multicultural banking, mortgage sales and many other departments within Scotiabank to provide translation and adaptation for languages such as Chinese, Urdu, Spanish, French, Tagalog and Punjabi.

We worked with their IT team to successfully create a user interface in Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Spanish for their Automatic Bank Machines across Canada.

Since the English screens were created through a proprietary tool, the programming team at Scotiabank couldn’t provide the source files for localization into Chinese and Spanish. So, wintranslation received several hundred image files (BPM), each representing a different ABM screen and our engineers have manually recreated each string into Chinese and Spanish mirroring the English text.

I love the one-stop convenience. I did not hire you based on your size. You proved yourself and built trust over time. You have that ‘can-do’ attitude and entrepreneurial spirit.

Kevin Stewart, Director of Multicultural Banking at Scotiabank