Global Electronics Company Brings a New Product to the Russian Market

Toshiba brings Russian translations to the wide base of its Russian-speaking customers by contracting Velior to translate a digital projector user manual.

About the end client

The Tokyo-based Toshiba Corporation is a diversified manufacturer and marketer of advanced electronic and electrical products, spanning information and communications equipment and systems, Internet-based solutions and services, electronic components and materials, power systems, industrial and social infrastructure systems, and household appliances. The company is the world’s ninth-largest integrated manufacturer of electric and electronic equipment, with some 161,000 employees worldwide and consolidated annual sales of over US$53 billion.

Project background

Toshiba supplies its products to a variety of markets around the globe. These products should come complete with user documentation in the language of the target country. To ensure compliance and better user experience, Toshiba works with the top translation vendors in each country to which it exports products. The single most important vendor selection criterion is subject area knowledge. In the summer of 2006, Toshiba engaged Velior as a vendor of Russian translations (via Evermore translation agency).

Project details

The project consisted of translating a user manual for two versions of a Toshiba projector: with and without a built-in DVD-player. The manual included  Safety, Warranty, Disc Information, Operations, and Troubleshooting sections, with a total of 15,000 words (58 pages) to translate. The client requested piecemeal delivery.

Splitting the project into three batches with separate delivery of each batch was a challenge. Our extensive experience with such projects helped us tackle this challenge effectively, without a negative impact on quality.

Ekaterina Ilyushina
Account Manager, Velior

Project challenges

Subject area expertise:

The manual included several sections that called for different translation skills. Most sections required technical knowledge; that is, understanding of how the projector operates. Other sections, such as Warranty, called for a linguist specializing in legal translation—a completely different field. Yet another requirement was to make the translation sound natural so that the message was crystal clear to any Russian-speaking user. Meeting this requirement could directly influence consumers’ satisfaction and willingness to buy from Toshiba again.

Different time zones:

The client requested delivery in three batches, as they wanted to begin DTP of the translation in Adobe InDesign as soon as possible. With the delivery time set at 8:30 a.m., Taiwan time, this was another challenge for Velior. The time zone difference between our location and Taiwan meant we had to deliver at 3:30 a.m., our time.

Errors in the original text:

Because of Toshiba’s tight market launch schedule, they made a decision to speed things up by providing a draft, unedited version of the manual for translation. As a result, the original manual had a number of errors that made it difficult to understand.

Solutions

Finding solutions to the project challenges was crucial to meeting the client’s quality expectations on time and on budget.

Subject area expertise:

The key to high-quality translation was assembling the right translation team. Our project manager selected two translators. The first, a technical translator, translated the core of the manual, while the second, who specializes in legal translations, worked on the Warranty section. Splitting the translation did not result in discrepancies, since the two parts were quite different. Relying on a shared translation memory also made it easy to ensure consistency, because the two linguists could see each other’s translations in real time.

Different time zones:

Velior had to deliver ahead of the client’s schedule, which meant we had less time to work on the project than usual. To meet the deadlines, the project manager had the team work overtime by starting one hour earlier each day and finishing one hour later.

Errors in the original text:

The translation team corrected the errors found in the original text in order to ensure these would not make it into the translation. Where they could not make sense of the original at all, they added the issue to a list of queries to be sent to the client.

Project completion

The team included the project manager, two translators, an editor, and a proofreader. To ensure smooth workflow from day one, the project manager had the team follow a strict schedule, detailing each step, including file preparation for translation, translation, editing, proofreading, back-conversion of the translated files into the final format, and delivery. The project manager supervised the progress closely. Without proper planning and supervision, deadline and quality would likely have been compromised.

Velior converted the source files into the format supported by our translation software, which makes it much easier for translators to work on the translation compared to using a standard text processor for translation. Among other things, this software relieved the translators from having to format the translation, because it carried all formatting into the translation automatically.

The technical translator used the reference materials provided by the client and researched the information extensively to make sure the translation was accurate. Among other things, he referred to the old translation of a similar manual provided by Toshiba, to ensure consistency between the new and old translations. The second translator translated the Warranty section using standard Russian legal terminology. Both translators followed Velior’s linguistic best practices contained in our style guide.

Each translator edited his part of the translation, and then the editor revised the entire project.

As the final step, the proofreader checked the text for spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors.

Before delivering each batch, the project manager converted the translation back into its original format. Careful management helped Velior meet all Toshiba’s expectations in terms of schedule and quality.

Summary

Toshiba derived two main benefits from working with Velior:

  1. Extensive hands-on experience with user manual translation. Velior’s practical knowledge made it possible to produce an accurate Russian translation that met Russian documentation standards.
  2. Ability to work under a challenging schedule: We customized our usual workflow to be able to deliver the project in batches.

Other advantages:

A total of five people were working on this projectm, which made it unlikely that any errors would fall through the cracks.

The team followed the client’s instruction to refer to the previously translated user manual. This helped ensure consistency between the two products.

Although the original text—a draft version—was far from perfect, we made sure that those errors did not make it into the translation.

Velior saw that the different sections of the manual called for different subject area specializations—technical and legal—and assigned those sections to different translators. Using one and the same linguist for all sections could have compromised quality.

As we are satisfied with Velior’s translation, we will continue using their services for our existing and potential clients.

Tony Shen
Quality Manager, Evermore

Further cooperation

Toshiba and Evermore translation agency appreciated Velior’s efforts. Evermore continues using our services, and we have done over 100 projects for them so far.

About our partner

Founded in 1992, Evermore is a best-of-class professional translation company that receives wide recognition from its customers in all sectors. Committed to valuable customers, Evermore aspires to achieve the ultimate goal of providing customized translation services to meet customers’ stringent demands. They attribute achievements over the past decade to the sustaining effort of dedicated translation teamwork, plus the timely capture of market opportunities.

 

Category: Technical translation

Country: U.S., Japan, Taiwan

Industry: Consumer electronics

Customer: Toshiba

Task: Translate a user manual for a projector with a built-in DVD player (15,000 words)

Solution: Engaging Velior to provide translation from English into Russian

Advantages:

  • Velior's expertise in user manual translation
  • Ability to deliver on a short notice
  • Ability to use two translators specializing in different subject areas
  • Ability to use in-house translators for better supervision of the project