Consulting firms operate through the day and night. For most countries in the MENA region, Arabic is the official language, the studies that these consulting firms perform require the research to be done in multiple languages. This often requires live translation support from translators and agencies.
The EZ Support team received a high priority request for English to Arabic translation of an important document from a study that one of our clients was working on currently. With research still in progress, this assignment was extremely time critical as even the slightest of the delay could have put the whole study on hold.
The high standards of the translation quality required, extremely tight deadline and the need to understand the context of the study pushed the skills of the translators, quality team and operations team to test.
Seven Thousand Words, Fifteen Batches, Translated under 20 hours
With the study still in progress, it was required for the document to be in both the languages for it to proceed. This task demanded highly expertise in the domain as the study included specific terms used in official documentation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and familiarity with the Governmental institutions in the region, their functions & their responsibilities.
The operations team at ArabEasy was quick to take charge and agreed to work in parallel with the client team.
- As soon as the request came in, the EZ Support team kept in constant contact with the client and gained as much information as possible to tackle the assignment.
- The client team would be working around the clock and would be sending small batches of pages for translation.
- These batches also needed to be sent back immediately after translation for review, before the document progressed any further.
- A highly skilled translator from the EZ Quality Assurance team was appointed as the master translator, to look over the entire translation process and ensure the highest quality translation.
- A quick conversation was set up with the client to set expectations in terms of prerequisite knowledge for translation, deliverables and further support.
Hitting the bricks
Now, even the first step of assigning a translator to begin the process proved to be a challenge. The batches would come in at irregular intervals, had a varied number of pages, which made assigning resources for the assignment and minimizing turnaround time quite a hurdle.
This called for a new strategy to take on the translation assignment as assigning too few translators could result in delaying the process but having multiple translators on standby would be a waste of resources.
In addition, the need for high-quality translation meant that the only resources with high expertise in the domain were to be taken into consideration for the assignment. While multiple such resources could be reserved, minimizing the number of people was essential to maintain the integrity of the document, ensure coherence in text and avoid any ambiguity.
Another obstacle to clear with Arabic Translation is the visual orientation of the document. Arabic script is from Right to Left while the English script is from Left to right. Consequently, the formatting of the document needs to be inverted in the appropriate direction as per the convention.
To overcome these obstacles, the operations team set up a team of translators, proof-readers and visual graphics aid to work under the guidance and expertise of the master translator.
To reduce the total turnaround time, the operations team set up a job pool with live scheduling to keep track of all the translation batches, resources working on the assignment, and the individual status for every batch. This way, the utility of all the resources could be maximized while never engaging more resources than required.
This enabled the operations team to take complete control over the translation process and manage resources efficiently.
Now, a team of our highly skilled translators could work in parallel, on different batches of pages while the operations team helps them keep in sync with each other and the client team as well.
- After an initial round of translation of every batch of pages, they were handed over to the proofreading team who ensured that the translation was accurate and nothing was left out from the source document.
- The proof-readers, over multiple iterations, also unified the terms across the various batches that might have been translated differently but had the same meaning to be conveyed.
- After thorough proofreading, the visual graphics team took over the batches to ensure proper formatting of the content. The VG team accomplished multiple tasks like text formatting, alignment of elements, flipping graphs, illustrations etc.
- These small batches of pages, as soon as they were through the formatting stage, were sent to the master translator to review the translation and edit wherever necessary.
- The master translator reviewed all the batches one by one, ensured the accurate translation, made grammatical and stylistic corrections in the language and approved the overall quality of the translation.
- These translated batches, as soon as they are once through the cycle, were shared with the client.
- Some minute changes were implemented after the client team suggested edits and finally a consolidated version of the whole document was shared once the last batch of pages was translated.
- During the complete process, the EZ support team consistently provided transparent updates regarding the translation process while also asking for details and relevant information required for quality translation.
EZ Support team was active throughout the process, providing support wherever necessary, constantly managing multiple resources working on the different batches of pages, processing new batches, maintaining the job pool and ensuring that all of them work in a synchronized manner.
Beating the challenge
The utmost requirement of this assignment was to ensure the quality of translation while abiding by the tight time constraints set by the client.
ArabEasy followed through on this by providing immediate support, assigning the task to highly skilled professional translators, smart scheduling the process of translation and maintaining quality standards by constantly reviewing every stage over multiple iterations.
Despite having a highly critical task at hand, our team of professional native Arabic translators, proof-readers, quality assurance team, visual graphics aid, and operations support team handled the whole assignment dexterously.
Some of the valuable takeaways from the live translation assignment were – “How clear communication helps in achieving set expectations”, “How to schedule tasks on multiple levels with limited available resources to maximize utility” and “How good time management and clear processes can speed up any process”.
The critical nature of the assignment provided an opportunity to improve the capabilities of everyone involved in the process and provided valuable pointers to help streamline the standard process for translation assignment making it more efficient in terms of time and effort.