U.S. Healthcare Organization Makes Russian Translations Available to Local Russian Community

About the end client

The National Kidney Foundation, a major voluntary health organization, seeks to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of organs for transplantation.

Project background

The U.S. is a multinational country, with the population growing explosively due to immigration. While complying with state laws, many immigrant communities remain committed to the culture of their homeland. Some of the patients served by the National Kidney Foundation know only their native language, such as Korean, Italian, or Russian. To ensure that it reaches all communities effectively, the NKF is committed to making patient education materials available in a wide variety of languages.

One of the translation projects at the NKF was a series of booklets for chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients, with Russian as one of the translation languages. The NKF engaged Velior to provide a 23,000-word translation within ten business days (via a multi-language translation agency).

Project details

Velior received seven booklets for translation, including “Diabetes and CKD,” “High Blood Pressure and CKD,” and “Dining Out With Confidence: A Guide for Patients With Kidney Disease.” The NKF originally created these booklets in Adobe InDesign, a professional desktop publishing environment that is not suitable for translation, leaving the NKF with two options:

  • provide Velior with the InDesign files to have us complete both translation and DTP; or
  • export the text from the InDesign files into an intermediate format, such as IDML or Microsoft Word files, and then insert the translated text back into the InDesign files and do DTP on their end.

The Foundation  chose the second option, because doing DTP in-house made more sense to them, as they wanted to be make the translated booklets appear consistent across all languages. Velior received seven Microsoft Word files with the exported text for translation.

Even though the change of course in the middle of the project was very challenging, we were able to adapt as required.

Ekaterina Ilyushina
Account Manager, Velior

Project challenge

Assembling the right translation team was key to successful completion of the project. The booklets explained medical conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, anemia, and heart diseases related to CKD, and used specialized terminology, such as glomerular filtration, creatinine, and angiotensin converting enzyme. At the same time, the translations were supposed to be very easy to read and understand, as they were intended for people without any medical background. This skill set—specialist knowledge and good writing skills—is very difficult to find in a single translator.


To make sure we met both requirements, Velior combined a translator specializing in medical translation with an editor capable of making the translation sound natural and easy to understand.

Because the client made changes to the original text after translation, we had yet another challenge to tackle. I had to compare the old original against the new text and then make the change to our translation by marking it in the PDF files that came after DTP.

Olga Yakushina
Editor, Velior

Project completion

Our team included a project manager, a medical translator, an editor, and a proofreader. Since post-DTP proofreading is not included in the translation rate, the client ordered it as a separate service from us.

The project involved translating over 23,000 words (100 pages of text) within ten business days. The client requested that we deliver the translation in batches, so that they could start DTP immediately. Batch delivery is often detrimental to quality, since the translation team cannot make changes to the already delivered files if they decide to change a term in the entire project. To reduce this negative impact, Velior paid special attention to terminology from the outset by making a glossary of frequent terms.

Changes in the middle of the project

Halfway through the project, the NKF decided that they wanted faster delivery, reducing the turnaround to seven business days. While we were prepared to do whatever it took to meet the new deadline, we also realized that time pressure would lead to cutting corners. We honestly explained that we could not translate three of the booklets (8,000 words) with our standard quality, and the client assigned them to another vendor. We agreed to proofread those booklets after DTP to reduce the inconsistencies that would invariably result from splitting the work between two vendors.

By strictly following the project schedule, Velior’s translator and editor were able to complete their work on time and efficiently. The translator found and used a variety of reliable reference materials to produce an accurate translation using the most common Russian terminology. The editor’s main job was to ensure that the translation was appropriate for the target audience—CKD patients. She also checked the translation for accuracy as well as spelling, punctuation, and grammar mistakes. Both the translator and the editor used an automated quality assurance tool to check the text against a list of common errors.

Post-DTP proofreading and changes to the translation after delivery

Shortly after delivery, Velior received the Russian PDF files after DTP for proofreading. Our main task was to revise the translation once again—now in context—as well as to check it for formatting issues. The second task was to update these files with the changes that the client had made to the originals after translation. Our proofreader had to find the changes in the original PDFs and mark the changes required in the Russian PDF files accordingly. The proofreader also checked the three booklets translated by the other vendor.


The NKF derived two main benefits from working with Velior:

  1. Ability to assemble the right team. Instead of blindly assigning the job to whoever was available, Velior considered the project carefully and realized it required a unique skill set. This realization helped us make the right choices team-wise and meet the client’s expectations in terms of quality.
  2. High flexibility. Velior was able to adapt to the change of course halfway through the project. We honestly told the client we could not meet the new deadline without compromising quality, despite the inconvenience and unexpected loss of profit this meant for us.

Other advantages

By doing extensive quality assurance, our team ensured the translation was 100% correct and could not harm patients.

The project involved an unusual challenge: updating the translations based on the changes that we had to locate ourselves in the updated original files—and we stepped up to the plate.


Category: Medical translation

Country: U.S.

Industry: Healthcare

Client: National Kidney Foundation

Task: Translation of booklets for patients, post-DTP proofreading (15,000 words)

Solution: Translation from English into Russian and proofreading by Velior


  • Velior's experience in medical translations
  • High translation quality thanks to several levels of quality assurance
  • Ability to adapt to the new deadline in the middle of the project