02 Jun/15

Part II: How Can a Translation Engineer Help Me?

This four-part series looks at IT in the translation industry or, more specifically, what is known as translation engineering. Part I (IT Solutions for Your Translated Materials) considers the growing field of translation engineering against the backdrop of the industry as a whole, and looks at exactly what translation engineers do.

Let’s now look at the work of translation engineers in more detail. What solutions can they offer you beyond translation?

Formatting work

Problem: The client sends a PDF version of the text to be translated because the source environment of the original text was created in a specialist design tool (e.g. Adobe FrameMaker), which he/she assumes the translation service provider can’t work with. But PDF files can be unhelpful for translators since they’re not compatible with translation software (see “Translation memory” below).

Solution: Translation engineers provide two options to prepare the files: 1) Convert the PDF to a Word document that is compatible with translation software or 2) extract the text from the original source environment and import into the translation software therefore eliminating the need for PDF/Word document creation. Offering 1) or especially 2) saves the client a great deal of time and effort.

Desktop publishing

Problem: The client has a user-manual that he/she would like to have translated. It would be ideal to have the translation and design work completed by one supplier.

Solution: With desktop publishing capabilities, a client can receive a print-ready document (a brochure or user-manual, for example). An additional benefit is that at EVS Translations, the final version can be checked for linguistic accuracy in terms of line breaks, (the breakup of logical sentences and other layout issues that occur when a language has been translated). A desktop publisher without the necessary linguistic knowledge cannot guarantee the final quality. See Part III for translations that require work in InDesign.

Translation memory

Problem: The client has annual reports that were translated by two different translation service providers without translation memory software. This means that terms in the source language have been translated differently in each report and even within the same report. What’s more, because client-specific terminology has not been consistently adhered to, the brand message is lost.

Solution: Using translation software increases efficiency, consistency, speed and quality. When the same or similar words and sentences appear in a text, a translator can see the preferred translation and use this in the document. Translation engineers are essential to perform the work of importing and exporting files between programs and respond to any technical issues that arise. They also manage the translation memory by updating it with new terms and phrases as required by the client.

Subtitling & voiceover

Problem: The client wants to create a German version of its video promoting new products and services – there’s no script, but could you insert German subtitles? Is voiceover work possible?

Solution: Translation engineers create a time-coded file and prepare it for the translators. Voiceover work can be carried out using this time-coded file and clients are sent voice samples of artists. If the project is subtitles only, translation engineers will take the finished translation and then adjust it accordingly—some foreign language subtitles may require more time to be displayed (for example, Chinese) and other subtitles may need to be edited to meet time requirements of the video. The subtitles are then integrated into the video.

Website translation

Problem: We need a French version of our website.

Solution: Why do you want your website translated? Websites are unique and varied, so our expert in-house teams of translation engineers will look at each individual project and consider the best plan of action. For html or xml-based sites, the files can go straight into translation software for translation work to be carried out; other websites may require work to be carried out in a content management system.

Are you targeting a specific audience? Do you want to sell particular products? Do you want to have the site optimised for specific terminology? Does the new market in which you are operating has special terms for the products or services you are selling. This and a host of other questions should be asked before the translation is even started.

EVS Translations has teams of in-house translation engineers at each of its international offices. This means clients have the option of receiving a finished product, rather than just a translated text. It also means that what can potentially become a complicated project involving a large team (project manager, translators, proofreaders, translation engineers) becomes a streamlined process handled in-house with a team that is in direct communication.