Software Firm Reaches English-speaking Clients By Localizing Its Website into Russian

Velior delivers excellent RU-EN translations after winning a tender arranged by a Russian software giant.

About the client

AdAstrA Research Group, Ltd. is a leading developer of real-time software for industrial process control. Established in 1992, the company focuses on developing Human-Machine Interface tools (SCADA/HMI). Their flagship SCADA/HMI product, TRACE MODE®, is an industry-leading solution recognized globally for innovation and high performance. The system is available in different languages and distributed across 30+ countries.

Project background

Since its inception in 1992, AdAstrA has been committed to expanding into global markets. From 2000 to 2005, they worked with a translation service company to translate marketing collateral and the corporate website. However, AdAstrA reached an impasse with this vendor, as low translation quality was becoming a roadblock to the company’s success. Because AdAstrA’s international business relies upon good translations, the company arranged a tender to find a more dependable vendor.

Velior participated in this new tender. Because we demonstrated the ability to provide high-quality translation into English and were comfortable with this challenging subject area, the decision-makers at AdAstrA chose Velior as the new translation vendor.

Project details

The first AdAstrA’s assignment was to translate 21 news articles from Russian into English for the company’s website. Some news spotlighted SCADA TRACE MODE in applications such as heat and power, oil and gas, mining, chemical, water treatment, ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy. Other news introduced new software features from the latest releases, such as automatic project logging and compliance with international standards. AdAstrA provided the materials in Microsoft Word format and expected the translations back in the same format, fully retaining the original formatting.

Before looking to Velior, we used another vendor’s services. Eventually, translation quality became an issue. We tried to discuss this issue with the translator directly and asked the vendor to let us talk to the translator, but they refused to do so

Evgeniya Vokach
Marketing Manager
AdAstrA Research Group, Ltd.

Project challenges

Short time frame. Due to an impasse with the previous outsourcing provider, AdAstrA had been postponing all translations for quite some time. By the time they contacted Velior, the company was far behind their publishing schedule, missing on the opportunities to reach out to prospective customers. AdAstrA could no longer wait and needed the translations as soon as possible.

High-quality translation into English.
A typical Russian to English translation has lower quality than an EN-RU translation. One reason is that RU-EN translations are often made by Russian translators with less-than-perfect command of English, whereas the industry standard is to use an English native speaker to translate into English. Availability of skilled English native speakers working in the RU-EN combination is limited, though. They also charge higher rates than an average Russian translator. As a result, many clients choose speed and price over quality.

Even though AdAstrA expected to pay the rate of a Russian translator that the company had paid to its previous vendor, they also expected high quality. This made AdAstrA’s assignment very challenging for Velior.

Difficult text.
The news articles featured a complex combination of difficult subject matter and marketing jargon. The news items explained industrial process-control technology using highly specialized terms. They also included references to software that were even more difficult to translate, because we were unable to see the graphical user interface (GUI) items in context. At the same time, marketing-speak meant the translations had to be perfect stylistically so that they could have an appropriate impact on prospective clients. Finding such a combination of skills in one translator is a challenge, since translators are normally proficient in one or more subject areas, but steer clear of marketing content. To translate the news items effectively, Velior had to assemble a translation team capable of both understanding the source text well and creating engaging marketing copy.

Solutions

It was important for Velior’s project manager to keep in mind these challenges so that our workflow would revolve around solving them.

Short time frame.Our standard approach to projects with quick turnaround is planning carefully to create a project schedule and closely following it. Essential to success of this project was also arranging work during the national holiday (May 1). To this end, the project manager confirmed overtime work with two employees, and included one extra day as a cushion to account for possible delays.

High-quality translation into English.
Velior prides itself on being able to deliver good English translations by non-native speakers. Although they are not 100% equivalent to translations by native speakers, they offer great value for the money. Our employees doing these translations have been learning English for over 20 years and have 10+ years of translation experience. Leveraging this unique capability, Velior provides Russian to English translations at a price affordable to any business—much lower than offered by American or Western European translation agencies.

Difficult text.
The complex combination of difficult subject matter and marketing jargon called for a unique approach to assembling a translation team. The right solution to this challenge was to divide the tasks between two linguists—the translator and the editor. The translator’s primary responsibility was rendering the original meaning correctly and using the appropriate terminology, whereas the editor was tasked with improving the translation style to create engaging copy for AdAstrA’s
potential clients.

Making the client’s glossary available to the translation team in a convenient format made it easy for them to find the approved terms and insert them into the translation.

Vitaliy Kubarev
Engineer, Velior

Project completion

This project involved four Velior employees. The project manager communicated with AdAstrA via email, created the project in our project management system, supervised the progress closely, and provided support to the rest of the team. Before translation began, our engineer prepared the source files for translation in our CAT (computer-aided translation) tool. He also converted the client’s glossary that came in AdAstrA’s proprietary format into the translation memory (TM) format, making it effortless for the team to access it.

The translator and the editor leveraged the CAT tool to work in a more productive manner. Among other benefits, this software increases the linguists’ performance by displaying the source and the target text next to each other within the same window, whereas translation in a text processor would require opening two separate documents and painstakingly finding the source text. The CAT tool also helped ensure consistency of similar phrases repeated across the project. For instance, many articles contained links to other news. By relying on the translation memory, our team could easily find how the referenced article had been translated a few hours or days ago and use the correct name in the link for consistency.

The translator was expected to provide accurate translation of complex technical concepts and terminology. Essential to his success was the knowledge gained during a previous Velior project in this subject area: translation of a user manual for industrial programmable controllers. The translator also researched this topic on the Internet extensively, which was a huge advantage for translation quality. He followed AdAstrA’s corporate glossary closely.

The next step was revision: the editor partially rewrote the translation to ensure the more engaging style expected of marketing collateral. The editor relied on Velior’s Style Guide to produce a translation that was 100% correct and looked professional. She also performed our standard quality assurance procedures, checking for common errors such as omitted numbers, inconsistencies, and untranslated words, as well as checking against the project glossary.

Summary

AdAstrA derived two main benefits from working with Velior:

  1. Deep understanding of, and ability to meet, AdAstrA’s expectations. Dividing the different tasks between the translator and the editor made it possible to address two different aspects of quality: accuracy and style. Velior was also able to meet the client’s tight deadline, realizing that publishing the news items quickly was important for AdAstrA.
  2. Streamlined workflow. Velior’s team worked in an organized manner, closely following the schedule. By focusing on his or her precisely defined task, each employee could make the best contribution to the overall result. The project manager was instrumental to ensuring a smooth process from start to finish.

Other advantages

Thanks to using a CAT tool, Velior delivered the translated files fully retaining the original formatting, which made publishing them on the web effortless.

Velior’s previous experience with this subject area was crucial to translation quality. The translator had an excellent understanding of the original.

Client’s feedback

AdAstra Research Group, Ltd. have been using Velior for our translation needs since April, 2006. During this period, we turned to Velior for text translation from Russian into English and English into Russian.

Until April, 2006, we had been using another vendor and had had to reject their service due to insufficient translation quality. With Velior, translation quality has always been to our standard. We used Velior for translation of various texts such as news for our corporate web-site, marketing and training content, as well as instructions. We have always been satisfied with the quality of translations delivered by Velior.
This language service provider also meets our other requirements. For example, Velior supports a huge variety of source text formats and ensures consistency with AdAstrA’s corporate glossary.

Another convenient aspect in our cooperation with Velior is the ability to pay for their services after the service delivery, which is based upon the trusted relationship we share. We also benefit from working with the same Project Manager who consistently manages our orders and has a good understanding of their context. In spite of the fact that we are located in different cities, we have no communication problems.

AdAstra Research Group, Ltd. is satisfied with our cooperation with Velior, and we are planning to use them for our translation needs in future.

Evgeniya Kushnareva
Chief Marketing Officer
AdAstrA Research Group, Ltd.

Click the image below to read the client’s testimonial in the original format.

AdAstra Research Group, Ltd.

 

 

Category: Marketing translation

Country: Russia

Industry: Software, industrial process control

Customer: AdAstrA Research Group, Ltd., Moscow, Russia

Task: Translate news and articles for the company's website (15,000 words)

Solution: Translation from Russian into English by Velior

Advantages:

  • Velior's experience with this subject area
  • High-quality translation into English
  • High dependability