A large international translation agency, with which we have cooperated since 2007, outsourced a long-term ongoing project to us. It involves translation of high volumes from English into Russian for a department of education in the US. The documents for translation include monthly school menus, letters, notices, information about schools and their admissions priorities and programmes, programme attendance standards, parent handbooks, handouts and student learning performance assessments.
The project is notorious for its very high volumes and tight deadlines. On several occasions, we had to work at full capacity, translating up to 200,000 words in the span of 4-6 days. However, given that the end client is a governmental institution in the area of education, the quality of the translation is of paramount importance.
It is well known that a professional translator can translate a maximum of 2,500 words a day at high quality.
With a project like this, we needed to involve up to 30 translators. We also needed to review those large volumes of text and make sure it was consistent. Since the text was very repetitive, the use of CAT tools was essential. But with this alone, it would not be possible to guarantee consistency due to very tight deadlines and the fact that so many translators were working on the project simultaneously.
With 300 tested and dedicated freelance linguists on board, we are not afraid of large volumes. On the contrary, we welcome new challenges which allow us to grow.
Several tasks included translation of a dozen files containing up to 200,000 words, which we needed to translate and proofread within 4-6 days.
To guarantee consistency, we selected pieces of text which were similar across the files, and gave each piece to one translator. For this first stage we needed only 3-4 translators and one day’s work. One proofreader reviewed the translation, receiving the updates during the day. By the end of the day, we had a translation memory ready to be used in CAT tools with the proofread translation of the most common segments of text. This memory was used by all other translators who started their work on the second day. Several proofreaders reviewed the translation, which they received in parts. Finally, on the last day our QA manager received all proofread translations and analysed them using specialist QA tools. The tools allow us to spot spelling and grammar errors, numeric mismatches, and inconsistent translation of identical phrases. Since the translation was checked by more than one proofreader, there were inevitably inconsistencies, which the QA manager was able to rectify.
Another helpful tool was our project management application, which allows us to automatically pass documents from translator to proofreader and then to QA manager without losing time.
Thanks to the automation of our work process, and our well-organised teamwork, we managed to deliver the translation on time while still maintaining high quality.