High Volume, Short Notice, Quick Turnaround, Specialised Terminology- The Perfect Storm of Translation!

24 02 2016

As the market leader in Central and East European languages Skrivanek is often asked to deliver translation projects for clients worldwide which involve a large wordcount or urgent delivery these are usually coupled with a requirement for knowledge of specialized terminology. Skrivanek’s 20+ years experience and extensive resources means that we are able to take these things in our stride and deliver on time, on budget and to the highest quality standards. That’s what a leading LSP (Language Service Provider) does in its sleep right?

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However, just once in a while the “perfect storm” develops of all the above factors at once plus short notice availability of the source documents and delivery on a rolling basis thrown into the mix just for good measure!

Skrivanek has successfully handled this potentially challenging scenario twice in recent years with the same international law firm as client; in 2014 translating into English from Slovak and in 2015 into English from Czech.

The documents concerned were intended for use in international commercial arbitration proceedings in the energy sector.

For this type of project the major task for the project manager is to set up teams of suitable linguists who are equipped to deal with legal documents which need to be part or fully translated often at short notice and to an exacting high standard as they will be put to immediate use by the client.

The project manager and linguists also need to be extremely flexible and aware of the client’s needs. Documents may be sent from various sources within the client’s organization, instructions and or deadlines may be changed during the translation process, extra documents added and of course the translated text  “ready to go” at the required time (or earlier 🙂 ).

In addition to the linguistic requirements a project of this type also involves being able to deal with documents delivered in a variety of formats; editable documents such as Word, more likely uneditable ones such as PDF or scanned documents plus the localization ( into the target language) of any graphics such as graphs, tables, PowerPoint presentations etc.   As a result having suitable DTP (desk top publishing) resources in place is equally as important as having high quality linguists. It may be a graph or chart not translated text which is crucial in court the next day!

Each of the projects involved many thousands of words, dozens of files and same day or next day delivery as the norm (only 10% of the documents for translation had a turnaround time of more than 2 days). Just to put this into perspective a single professional linguist can usually translate around 2,000 words per day which means that for this type of project a team of translators and reviewers are required (8 translators and 2 reviewers in this case). This is done in such a way as to ensure the highest quality standards are maintained.

As well as putting together a team of linguists these projects also involved extending our project management coverage to 7 days a week as the client was also working on and sending documents during the weekend.

The peak activity period for both of these projects was around 1 month.

Of course Skrivanek has had projects with bigger wordcounts (the 2013 1.5 million words from English into Slovak comes to mind 🙂 ) and with more specialized terminology requirements but put all the factors outlined above together and you need your team to be really on top of its game.

Were we successful? Here is the client’s feedback….

“We were exceptionally impressed by the Skrivanek team.  The group managed our extensive and lengthy project seamlessly. Always responsive and a pleasure to work with, they turned around work very quickly (often overnight), meeting all required deadlines as well as our client’s budget requirements. We certainly plan to use Skrivanek for any similar work we require in future, and we wholeheartedly recommend them for any comparable translation projects.”  

DW, Legal Assistant (at Client)

“Being able to handle this type of project is mainly down to long-term planning of both human and technological resources, identifying and training suitable resources in terms of project managers, linguists and DTP specialists and making sure such essentials as quality assurance procedures and the right technology are in place. In short having everything ready for when this type of project comes up” says Jan Hirs, Project Management Team Leader at Skrivanek IPMC.

As the Czech saying goes “winter will ask what you did in the summer” and to successfully survive the perfect translation storm you have to be well prepared!

 

Joe Atkinson

Key Account Manager

Skrivanek Translations

+44 20 3239 3256

joe.atkinson@skrivanek.com

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