biuro tłumaczeń skrivanek

Unusual file formats in multilingual jobs

file formats

Multilingual projects are by definition more complex than simple source-to-target translations. The project manager has to manage the work of the whole team of translators and proofreaders, from finding the right people, through carefully planning their work to smoothly moving from one stage to the next (translation > proofreading > internal quality control), while keeping track of the agreed delivery deadlines. Sometimes the situation becomes even more complicated, when the client has their own preferences regarding the file format and the method of sending ready translations. That is exactly what happened in this case.

file formats

The client is a chain of retail outlets offering clothing and home products at attractive prices. As their focus is on continuous development, they are already present in several European countries and are becoming one of the most popular sellers of children’s clothing and a leading supplier of decorative items.

Before starting work with us, they had already developed a method of dealing with translations. Their solution was to create Excel files in which each column corresponded to a language, while the rows contained subsequent fragments of text to be translated (e.g. product descriptions). The situation was made more difficult by the fact that the source language was partly Polish and partly English, with some files having lines with a Polish source and the rest having an English source. The fact that the order often included a dozen or even several dozen such files did not help either.

It was crucial for they received translations in the same files and the same format, as this was a proven method that worked well for them. We had no choice but to develop a solution that would allow us to efficiently manage such projects and meet their expectations.

At Skrivanek, while we use a number of the latest tools and solutions available on the translation market, we were surprised to discover that none of them were an ideal solution for the requirements of this particular client. We soon came to the conclusion that as there were no ready-made solution, we had to create it ourselves. We got our IT department involved, who managed to develop a translation environment based on MS SharePoint. The assumption was to safely enable many translators to work on the files in parallel, allowing us to keep the translations in one place while being able to notify the next person in the translation process when the work had been completed by their predecessor, as well as preparing and sending the whole set of files from a given order back to the client.

We never hid the fact that before the first project we were both curious and concerned whether our solution would be up to the task in real life. After all, it is not every day that we create something from scratch for our clients as we usually use ready-made solutions available on the market.

Fortunately, when we received the first order came, everything worked smoothly and as planned. We received 14 files, which were simultaneously worked on by several translators with the possibility of translating into the target language from Polish and English at the same time, and after translation, all the content in the target language was ready for proofreading and internal quality control. The formatting, appearance and structure of the files remained intact, allowing the client to work in the way they chose. It was therefore not a surprise when the client confirmed the receipt of the files after the first project and announced that everything was fine. Nevertheless, we breathed a sigh of relief that everything had gone according to plan.

After this we established a permanent system, and now orders like this are just another part of our job. We even managed to streamline the process by allowing the client to add photos or other images and diagrams, which helps the translators and proofreaders significantly in understanding the context.

We are pleased, and maybe even a little proud, that we managed to prepare an original solution tailored to our client’s needs. Now if you are also struggling with translation projects having unusual assumptions or unique formats, or ones that are simply really complicated, we encourage you to contact us. While we cannot guarantee a solution to every problem, using our knowledge and experience we can certainly do everything to offer you a great solution!

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