Machine Manuals Translation and Project Management

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  • Machine Manuals Translation and Project Management

    Background Information

    Client’s Industry


    Type of Product

    Highly technical translations of machine and product manuals

    Type of Project

    Translation, translation memory management, desktop publishing

    Languages Involved

    Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Polish, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish

    Volume of work

    About 5,000 to 10,000+ words per document

    Time frame

    Ongoing since 2015

    Project Brief

    The world leader in secondary packaging solutions (the Client) has built stretch wrapping machines, case erectors, shrink wrap machines, palletizers, and pallet-load conveyors since the early 1970s. With over 65,000 worldwide machine placements and 150 US and foreign patents, the Client’s highly technical machine manuals need to be available in a number of languages depending on customer needs. After working with other companies to consolidate company-wide translation planning and implement Simplified Technical English (STE) for the writing of new manuals, the Client was still spending a significant amount of time reviewing and formatting other vendors’ submissions. After experiencing work with Paragon and benefitting from our project managers’ meticulous attention to detail and our experienced formatting team, the Client has reaped even more cost savings and is able to continue to expand its global sales footprint.

    The Problem

    The Client’s 175 global sales and service support offices are actively engaged in selling new and used machines to manufacturers and packagers all over the planet. The manuals for the use and maintenance of the Client’s products ensure that their customers and their employees use the machines properly and safely. Because of the highly technical nature of the manuals, there is no room for error in translation and the Client’s number one concern is linguistic quality. To this end, they have implemented the use of STE to make the manuals as clear as possible and have consolidated translation purchasing to ensure consistency. In addition, Translation Memories (TMs) are leveraged to their fullest benefit. Despite this significant progress, the Client still faced a number of language-related challenges. First, many customers in target markets around the world purchase used machines for which there are only PDF scans of the manuals available. This adds time to translation, and without proper project management, can seriously affect TM quality, the localization of diagrams and other images, and the overall formatting of the document. Even where existing, editable formats (like Microsoft Word documents) are available, translation vendors would return work without being properly laid out, which meant extra work in the final stages for the Client. They needed a vendor who could return to them the same quality of translation but with supreme attention to formatting their complex manuals.

    The Solution

    From the first manual Paragon submitted, the Client knew that they had found the right translation vendor. Paragon’s first steps were auditing and correcting mistakes in previous TMs and identifying the Client’s major pain points in their global operations, especially the excessive time spent reviewing former vendors’ submissions. While other vendors submitted unformatted documents, Paragon insists that all of our final translations look like the original source but feel as though they originated in the target language. We are able to handle all of the Client’s scanned PDFs of older manuals, localizing and formatting diagrams, while providing structural reviews of the dozens of pages that comprise the manuals. The Client appreciates our attention to detail, which not only builds their trust in Paragon’s commitment to quality, but saves them time, and therefore money, as well. 

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