Translating success stories for the InvestEU website

Our company is delighted to have been selected as a translation subcontractor in the InvestEU project, funded by the European Commission. The project offers support for SMEs and entrepreneurs from all over Europe to help them turn their innovative and smart ideas into reality. We have translated various communication materials, factsheets and articles into all official EU languages.

However, I would now like to talk about the success stories that we have translated from the EU languages into English. The InvestEU website ( collects stories of successful SMEs and entrepreneurs from across Europe, showing how these SMEs became successful on receiving EU support for their businesses. The website is a great opportunity to showcase good examples for other SMEs and entrepreneurs and encourage them to apply for EU funds.

However, this project was special in that we received the stories for translation continuously, both singly and in batches, and the source language was always different. It could be Bulgarian, German, Spanish, Greek, etc. We had to make sure that our English translators were ready to start any time, since the turnaround time for a story was 48 hours.

Since every project story is country specific, we had to be very careful to ensure that the translations were culturally adapted to the original text.

The style of the translations is also of key importance, since the originals were written in a very simple and easy-to-read style. We had to avoid complicated and passive phrases.

We used native English speaker translators. For translations from the same source languages, we preferred to work with the same translators in order to ensure the same style throughout all the project stories. Each translation was proofread by a second native speaker translator. Following translation and proofreading, we conducted a 2-level quality assurance process. During this process, we had to harmonize the terminology and punctuation of all the translations, since a Bulgarian into English translator might use different terminology and punctuation than a German into English translator. It is the task of our Quality Assurance team to harmonize translations.

We also had to make the translations SEO friendly, since the stories are published on a website.

And now a few words about how challenging it is to translate local names or characteristics. One of the stories was about a ‘Mangalica farm’ in Hungary. ‘Mangalica’ is a type of pork in Hungary; however, the question arose whether everyone would understand ‘Mangalica’. How should we translate it into English? …. Well, if you want to know the result and read an interesting story about the success of a farm in Hungary, check it out at the InvestEU website. You will find other interesting projects there as well.

Finally, since every project showcased was unique in its own way, it was quite challenging to translate them. But at the same time, it was a great experience (and still it is, since the project is still ongoing), and we are glad that we are able to make a small contribution through our translations to the InvestEU campaign.