Consumer Products Company Improves HR with Russian Translations

Discussion of human resources

About the client

In 2008, Velior was selected to provide translations to a large multinational consumer products with 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 agency’s client who was implementing a new Human Resources (HR) platform.

The platform was designed to improve people management and development throughout the organization, including the company’s affiliates in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.

Because of the large Russian-speaking workforce, the client emphasized how important the quality of Russian translations was for their business.

The client reviewed translation samples from multiple language vendors and chose us as the primary English to Russian translation vendor. Our sample matched their expectations in terms of quality and tone of voice.

Project challenges

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

Linguists’ availability could have a negative effect on consistency as well. Whereas it’s easy to assemble a translation team for a one-time project, getting the same people to work on a project for two years straight is a challenge. They might be constantly pulled away to work on other translations.

Solutions

Velior tackled both challenges—consistency and availability—by relying on in-house employees. Our project manager scheduled linguists’ work time in a way that ensured that they always had capacity for this ongoing project.

Relying on freelance linguists would’ve likely been futile. Because we have little control over their availability, they would’ve been unavailable from time to time, leading to constant changes in the team lineup. This would’ve been a disaster from the consistency standpoint.

Counting on in-house linguists also gave us more control over consistency since our folks are trained to create a project-specific glossary during translation and check the translation against it with an automated QA program.

Project completion

Working on the glossary

The project began with translation of a project-specific glossary with over 4,000 words.

The idea was to have the client approve important terms from the get-go so that it could serve as a backbone for translation.

The client’s editors and subject matter experts reviewed the glossary carefully.

Although this terminology list 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.

I went to Moscow to meet the client’s editors in person and discuss what success would look like for this project. This helped us understand the client’s expectations on a whole new level.Roman Mironov
Owner, Velior

Translation of introductory materials

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-speaking workforce.

We translated about 20,000 words in several presentations describing how the changes would affect employees and the tools available to guide them through the transition process.

By working closely with the client’s editors and listening to their feedback carefully, we were able to produce translations that got better with each new batch.Olga Yakushina
Editor, Velior

Translation of the HR intranet

The next step was localizing the HR intranet system supporting the new processes.

We translated the graphic user interface (GUI) items and strings in XLS files, as well as the help pages in HTML format—a total of 30,000 words.

After the client’s review, we checked their edits for consistency and tested the compiled HTML help files.

Translation of policies and procedures

In early 2009, the client launched the next portion of the project: new policies and procedures (P&Ps) regulating HR processes.

This batch included over 100 documents with more than 100,000 words.

We delivered the translations over a period of two months.

Now that the materials designed to build awareness, the intranet, and the P&Ps were 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 where we updated existing translations whenever the client made changes to the original.

For example, the client updated the P&Ps routinely.

With the help of the project’s translation memory which held all the previous translations, updating the Russian translations was effortless.

How the client benefited from working with us

The client felt like a king.

The client could count on us for reliable delivery as we met their deadlines without fail and kept using the same translation team at all times.

Our editor was immediately available to the client’s editors and the agency’s project managers whenever they needed help.

Free sample translation

Providing a free test translation meant that the client could test our services without any risk and have peace of mind, thanks to a well-informed choice.

Honesty

When the client requested a native English speaker to provide Russian to English translations at a low rate, we honestly explained that we couldn’t provide one at the rate requested, even though this meant losing business.

High quality

With full-fledged translation, editing, and proofreading, our process ensured that the client received high-quality translations every time.

Velior’s team worked diligently to understand the client’s new HR processes better so that our work was free from mistranslations or vague instructions.

Consistency

Ensuring all translation batches were consistent with each other made the translated content much easier and enjoyable to use for the client’s employees.

For example, when a policy referred to an intranet page, we used the approved Russian translation of that page to make sure that users would be able to find it easily.

Velior also committed to unify the discrepancies resulting from the changes being made to the translation by different editors on the client’s side.

Thoughtful choice of terminology

We researched applicable Russian law and state standards (GOSTs) to find common terminology that the client’s Russian employees would expect in this kind of materials. As a result, the HR content sounded more natural to end users—as if it had been originally written in Russian.

Feedback

The client is happy with the Russian translations. Thank you!Project manager
Translation agency
(during a Skype team call with the client)

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 was making the best use of the new system, with little or no resistance to change.

You benefit from the experience we gained in this project and hundreds of other similarly complex undertakings by contacting us right away.

 

Category: Business translation

Country: U.S.

Industry: Human Resources

Client: Name and statement of work available upon request

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 delivered over a period of two years
  • High quality thanks to proven process and commitment to meeting the client’s expectations