HR Content Translations for Multinational Consumer Products Company

A global company engages Velior to translate content for transition to a new HR management system.

About the client

In spring 2008, Velior was selected by a large multinational consumer products company to provide translations for its employees across multiple offices and production facilities in Russia and other CIS countries. The client is one of the most successful companies in the world, with sky-high profits and excellent stock performance at the NYSE.

Project background

Velior was approached by a translation agency seeking high-quality single-language vendors (SLVs) for a new project initiated by the client in connection with implementation of a new HR management system. The new system was designed to improve people management and development throughout the entire organization, including the company’s affiliates in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine. Because of the large Russian-speaking workforce, the client placed great emphasis on the quality of Russian translation. Upon receiving translation samples from multiple Russian language vendors, the client chose Velior as the primary English to Russian translation vendor, since our sample fully matched their expectations in terms of quality and tone. By requesting the sample translations from multiple potential vendors, the client was able to make an informed decision, leading to a long-term win-win. All translation vendors have different quality policies and individual styles, and it is therefore important to select translators carefully in order to reduce in-house editing or end users’ complaints.

Project challenges

Since the project was to span two years, consistency could become a challenge. Ensuring that a particular translation is consistent is one thing, but doing the same in a project translated over two years is quite another.

A similar potential problem was linguists’ availability. It is easy to assemble a translation team for a one-time project, but how do you get the same people to work on a long-term project sent in batches over a period of time when those people are constantly pulled away to work on other translations?

Solutions

Velior tackled both challenges—consistency and availability—by relying on our in-house employees from the outset. This gave our project manager the freedom to plan the linguists’ schedules in a way that ensured that they always had capacity for this important project. Relying on freelance linguists would have been futile. Because we have little control over their availability, they would have likely been unavailable from time to time, forcing us to replace the team members occasionally. This would have been a disaster from the consistency standpoint. Using the in-house linguists was beneficial for consistency also because because we have full control over consistency. Whereas we can only guess about how freelancers do it, our linguists are trained to create a project-specific glossary during translation and editing and then check the translation against it with an automated QA program.

Project completion

The project began with translation of an extensive project-specific glossary that included over 4,000 words. The idea was to approve all important terms right from the start, so that all stakeholders could rely on this glossary as a backbone for future parts of the project. The client’s editors and subject matter experts reviewed the glossary carefully. Although this terminology required occasional updates as the project gained momentum and new context became available, it was crucial to establishing common ground between us and the client. We made it our job to follow the glossary diligently throughout the project.

“By working closely with the client’s editors and listening to their feedback carefully, we were able to exceed their expectations, because the translations were not only flawless from the linguistic standpoint, but also made a lot of sense from the subject area perspective.”

—Olga Yakushina

Editor, Velior

The first batch for translation included PowerPoint presentations designed to build awareness of the upcoming Human Resources (HR) policy changes among the company’s Russian workforce. We translated about 20,000 words in several presentations describing how the changes would affect the employees and management, and which tools were available to guide them through the transition process.

The next step was localizing the HR intranet pages supporting the new processes. Velior translated the graphic user interface (GUI) in XLS files as well as HTML help files—a total of 30,000 words. After the client’s editor had reviewed our translations, we checked the editor’s changes for consistency and tested the compiled HTML help files.

In early 2009, the client launched the next portion of the project: new HR policies and procedures (P&Ps). These documents explained the processes associated with the new HR management system. This batch included over 100 documents with a total word count of about 100,000 words. Velior delivered the translation in parts over a period of two months. This concluded the main phase of the project. With the employee education materials, intranet, and P&Ps translated, the client had the Russian versions of all content to support the transition process.

Follow-up phase

The project moved on to the update and maintenance phase, in which Velior’s main role was to update the existing translations whenever the client made changes. For example, the client updated the P&Ps routinely. With the help of the project’s translation memory which held all previous translations, updating the Russian translation was effortless.

Our editor also met with the client’s editors in Moscow, to discuss feedback and reach agreement on open issues.

Feedback

On multiple occasions throughout the project, including conference calls, the client confirmed that Velior met their quality expectations. The consistent and clear message conveyed by the Russian translations ensured that their workforce would be able to make the best use of the new system, with little or no resistance to change.

Summary

The client derived three main benefits from working with Velior:

  • Velior’s focus on reliability and integrity helped maintain a consistently high level of translation quality and customer satisfaction. Velior took pride in meeting the client’s deadlines and used the same translation team at all times. Our editor was always available to the client’s editors and the agency’s project managers whenever they needed help. When the client requested a native English speaker to provide Russian to English translations at a low rate, we honestly explained that we could not provide one at the rate requested, whereas by pretending to be able to provide a low-cost translation by a native speaker—a commonplace in this industry—we would have been able to secure a major piece of business.
  • With full-fledged translation, editing, and proofreading, our translation workflow ensured consistently high-quality translations. For each job, we used the translation memory and glossary to expedite the process and maintain consistency across all content types. For example, when a policy referred to an intranet page, we were able to use the approved Russian translation of that page to make sure that users would be able to find that page.
  • From the vendor selection process to testing the localized software and updating the existing translations, Velior demonstrated its commitment to high quality, proving to be the right choice. Our signature attention to detail was instrumental to maintaining quality over the two-year project time frame. Velior’s team worked diligently to understand the client’s new HR processes better, so that translated documents were free from mistranslations or vague instructions. We researched the applicable Russian laws to find the common terminology that the client’s Russian employees would expect to see in these materials. Velior was also challenged to unify the discrepancies resulting from the changes being made to the translation by the client’sdifferent editors: we scrutinized each individual change to make sure it was consistent with the rest of the materials.

For more information

For more information about Velior, please visit the About Velior page.

© 2011 Velior. This document is for informational purposes only. Velior makes no warranties, express or implied, in this document. This content can be reproduced only upon Velior’s express written permission. If reproduced by any means, the copy shall include a link to Velior and Velior’s website.

Category: Translation

Country: U.S.

Industry: Human Resources

Client: Confidential

Task: Translate software, help files, and HR P&Ps from English into Russian (almost 200,000 words)

Solution: Buying translation from English into Russian from Velior

Advantages:

  • Consistency of translations over a period of two years
  • High quality thanks to proven process and technology
  • Smooth process thanks to Velior's extensive experience