NPO Engages Russian-speaking Conference Participants Better

Velior delivers high customer value by helping the CEELI Institute prepare materials for its international conference on short notice.

About the client

The CEELI Institute is an independent, not-for-profit, international provider of post-graduate, professional legal education headquartered in Prague. Its mission is to develop an international professional community of reformers committed to the rule of law. The Institute’s contributors include Microsoft, Pfizer, ExxonMobil, and the World Bank.

Project background

In March 2007, the CEELI Institute was going to host an international conference for the intellectual property and industrial design communites. The Institute prepared the handout materials for the participants in English. Since the CEELI Institute expected a group of Russian-speakers  to attend the conference, it urgently needed to have these materials translated into Russian. The Institute found a dependable translation vendor in Velior, engaging us via another translation agency.

Project details

Velior received 22 files for translation, including 18 Microsoft Word files and 4 PDFs. The client expected us to deliver all translated files with the formatting identical to that of the original. The handouts included over 100,000 words (about 400 printed pages), covering topics such as industrial design, intellectual property, patents, case law, and copyright.

Project challenges

Splitting the project between two translators

With any rush translation, the main challenge is to break the project into pieces so that several translators can work on it simultaneously. One translator is often not enough in such scenarios.

Parallel workflow steps

Regular translation projects follow an established process, with all steps, such as translation, editing, DTP, and proofreading, beginning after the previous step has been fully completed. With this project, however, time pressure made this approach useless, since waiting for one step to be completed would not leave time for the remaining steps.

Choosing translators and editor for difficult subject area

Another challenge was associated with the subject area of this translation. The conference materials were a combination of legal documents, case studies, and history book excerpts. This combination made choosing the right translation team difficult.

Solutions

Keeping these challenges in mind, Velior’s project manager designed a workflow that ensured that the team closely followed the schedule and met the tight deadline.

Splitting the project between two translators

We split the translation between two translators, each having to handle about 50,000 words in 22 business days. To avoid terminology and style discrepancies—a commonplace when more than one translator is involved—Velior relied on our usual tools and processes. Essential to achieving consistency between the two translators’ work was the translation memory software that makes it possible for each translator to see their partners’ translations almost instantaneously. Another important tool was the glossary created and maintained throughout the project. The team used this glossary to correct any terminology discrepancies in the final translation. Finally, Velior had the translation revised by an editor whose main task was to ensure consistency.

Parallel workflow steps

To handle the large volume and piecemeal delivery also requested by the client, Velior made the two main workflow steps—translation and editing—run in parallel. We split the original text into batches. As soon as each translator completed the current batch, the editor would start revising it, and the translator would move on to the next one.

Choosing translators and editor for difficult subject area

For one of the two translators, Velior used an in-house employee specializing in legal translations. He teamed up with a trusted freelance linguist who was also well-versed in this subject area. Complete with an in-house editor, a DTP specialist, and a proofreader, the project team had the expertise critical to success of this translation.

Despite the short time frame, we provided our usual quality of translation to the CEELI Institute by employing a workflow with two steps running in parallel. While I was editing the first batch, the translators were already working on the next ones.

Olga Yakushina
Editor, Velior

Project completion

Under the project manager’s close supervision, the team followed the schedule and met quality expectations. The translation memory technology helped improve performance dramatically, while also saving time. By leveraging its advantages, the translators were able to translate terminology and similar phrases consistently across all 22 files. They also used the project glossary extensively, adding terms to it along the way, debating the best translations, and then adhering to those agreed-upon translations. The editor revised each translated batch, eliminating mistranslations, inaccuracies, and style issues, while closely watching consistency. She also used an automated QA tool to eliminate problems such as omitted numbers and to check terminology against the glossary.

The next step was DTP. The 18 Microsoft Word files required little effort, because they had very basic formatting. The 4 PDFs were more challenging, though. Before translation began, our DTP specialist re-created the formatting of these 4 files in Microsoft Word so that the translators could translate these files easily. After translation had been completed, he adjusted the which had expanded when translated into Russian, to make sure the four Microsoft Word files we produced matched the original PDFs closely.

Finally, our proofreader checked the files after DTP for formatting issues as well as any leftover spelling, punctuation, or grammar errors.

Velior delivered the translation on time. By doing so, we exceeded the client’s expectations, since the client never really believed we would meet this tight deadline.

Summary

The CEELI Institute derived two main benefits from working with Velior:

  1. Thorough planning. As with any other job, Velior’s project manager created a precise schedule. She assigned the workflow activities to the appropriate team members. As the project advanced, she ensured that the team was following the schedule. This approach was essential to making timely delivery possible.
  2. Streamlined workflow. Thanks to having an established process and distributing roles within the team, each team member was doing what they were most productive at doing. Despite making translation and editing run in parallel, inconsistency was not an issue. Under overall supervision by the project manager, the team delivered exemplary results.

Other advantages

The translation memory and glossary were instrumental to ensuring consistency.

By following our internal Style Guide, the editor ensured a unified style.

Overall, by working with a dependable translation vendor, the CEELI Institute received high-quality translation on time and under budget.

 

Category: Business translation

Country: Czech Republic

Industry: Intellectual property

Client: CEELI Institute

Task: Translate  conference materials (over 100,000 words = 400 printed pages) from English into Russian

Solution: Buying EN-RU translation from Velior

Advantages:

  • Very quick turnaround
  • High translation quality
  • Terminology consistency despite splitting the project between two translators