biuro tłumaczeń skrivanek

Translation into one language using two alphabets


Opening a new branch requires a lot of preparation, including the development of instructions for future employees. When entering a new foreign market, it becomes essential to prepare a significant package of legal, reference and training materials in the language of that country. This situation becomes even more complicated if the country has more than one official language, or when the official language may be written in different alphabets.


The client is a chain of outlets based around industrial goods, small household appliances and textiles. The outlets were initially established in small towns, but over time and with their growing popularity, new outlets began to open in shopping malls in larger cities. Currently, they have branches in many European countries and continues to expand by opening new ones.

We received a request from them to urgently translate a package of files with almost 85,000 words into Bosnian. We always check what the translation materials are about each time so that we can match the translator to the subject of the text, which improves the quality of the translation. We could see that this was information for store employees. Since we were aware that both Latin and Cyrillic alphabet users may work at the outlets, we asked the client about their alphabetic preference. This question was a big surprise for them, which is understandable since using several ways of writing one language is not very common, but after consulting the local employees, it turned out that both versions would be needed, and the short lead time remained the same…

The Project Manager considered several methods, but it was found impossible to divide the material between two translators in such a way as to prepare both versions at the same time since both versions had to be identical. After another consultation with the client, it was determined that they needed the version in the Latin alphabet quicker. We decided to divide the project into two stages. First, we would translate into the Latin alphabet, after which we would start working on the texts in Cyrillic based on the current translation, changing only the alphabet.

Thanks to the division of the project into two phases, the client successively received the texts they needed, while we could be sure that the consistency of the vocabulary was maintained by commissioning the material to one native speaker of the Bosnian language. As a result, the client had both language versions ready in less than 30 working days, which is a satisfactory result considering the target material comprised almost 200,000 words.

We are also pleased that, thanks to our thorough check of the files and the interview with the client before starting the order, they avoided the problem of getting texts in an inadequate language version. At Skrivanek, we want to provide our clients with services of the highest quality, meaning that we inform about such language nuances and, if necessary, advise the client of the best solution in a given situation.

Are you planning to expand your business into other countries? Are you wondering what the difference is between Irish and Irish English? Or maybe you would like to know why, when preparing materials for the Ukrainian market, it is also worth considering a translation into Russian? If the answer to any of these questions is yes! or if you would like to consult our language specialists, then contact us. We are always happy to deal with your questions and to suggest good solutions.

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