Aluminium translations in demand

After an intense “nickel” period at the end of 2019, during which we translated some one million words into 15 languages in six weeks for the Nickel Institute, now another chemical element is keeping us busy.

This spring, we started working on translations for two aluminium-related organisations almost simultaneously. The Sustainable Bauxite Mining Guidelines will soon be available online in Indonesian, Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese, while the Sustainable Bauxite Residue Management Guidance will be published in Arabic, French, Chinese and Brazilian Portuguese on the website of the International Aluminium Institute. We delivered over 210,000 words in the scope of these projects.

The sustainability NGO Aluminium Stewardship Initiative contacted us with a request to translate the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Forum brochures for them. The Brazilian Portuguese and Latin-American language versions are already available to be downloaded. Translations of the ASI Performance and Chain of Custody Standards into the same languages will follow shortly. The total wordcount of these translated documents amounts to some 345,000 words.

Given that we’ve also been translating articles, position papers, sustainability reports and other documents for the European Aluminium Association since 2014, it’s fair to say that when it comes to aluminium translations, we’re in our element.

Feel free to reach out if we can also assist you with our translation services. The topic doesn’t have to be related to the periodic table!
Contact me at anita@eurideastranslation.com, and I’ll be glad to send you a quote.

Transport, mobility and sustainability translations – topics close to our heart

transport_mobility_translations

This year has seen many changes in European public transport, with initiatives like Germany’s 9 Euro ticket experiment and completely free public transport in Malta from 1 October.
It comes therefore as no surprise that our customers have turned to us for numerous translation projects related to mobility, sustainability, urban development and public transport infrastructure.

European Mobility Week, the European Commission’s flagship awareness-raising campaign on sustainable urban mobility, is run every September by three city networks Eurocities, ICLEI and Polis, together with national coordinators and local campaigners from across Europe. We’ve been providing translation services to Eurocities since 2008 and to ICLEI and Polis since 2010. Moreover, for the third consecutive year we’ve translated the campaign’s Thematic Guidelines from English into all the official languages of the European Union.

The other large-scale mobility project we’ve been involved in is EfficienCE, a cooperation project funded by the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE programme that is aimed at reducing the carbon footprint in the region. The project is led by the City of Leipzig, and managed by Rupprecht Consult. We’ve translated five transnational handbooks for the deployment of energy-efficient public transport infrastructure technologies from English into German, Slovenian, Italian, Czech and Polish.
These publications were created in InDesign, so the services we provided also extended to multilingual typesetting. The versions in the various languages are to be published on the project website.

EU-funded projects and documents revolving around sustainability and innovation are always popular with our colleagues and translators.
If you’re looking for a reliable translation partner for a similar project of yours, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Feel free to contact me at anita@eurideastranslation.com so we can discuss the details for a quote.

Medical: when translation is a matter of life or death

We talk a lot about how to save translations costs and how to meet the seemingly impossible translation deadlines of authorities. However, there are certain fields where neither price nor turnaround time is more important than accuracy. With translations for the medical and pharmaceutical industry, whether they are intended for the health authorities, professionals or patients, there is no room for errors.

How to achieve this

  • Qualified translators with relevant medical, pharma, or bio-sciences background and experience: Eurideas has strict selection criteria and processes that enable us to work with the best translators in each field.
  • Extensive quality control: Each document is translated by a native speaker translator, checked by another translator, and then goes through a two-step quality check. This means the watchful eye of at least three separate persons.
  • Top-notch technology: Translation memory tools, terminology databases and glossaries are crucial for effective and consistent work, and there are plenty of other software solutions that allow us to provide additional services like multilingual typesetting or digitisation.

Typical documents we can help you with are labels, packaging, product information, manuals, patient brochures, summaries of product characteristics (SmPC), regulatory submission dossiers, toxicology reports, data sheets, instructions for use (IFUs), informed consent forms, clinical research, scientific papers, certificates, and veterinary documents.
Beyond standard translation, we also offer certified translation of these files.

Most of our medical projects are translations from English into some or all the official languages of the European Union, plus Icelandic and Norwegian, but we can cover a lot more languages: in 2021 we delivered translations to clients in 194 language pairs.

If this is something that sounds relevant or intriguing to you, feel free to reach out to me at anita@eurideastranslation.com for a quote or for further information.
The beginning of the year is always a good time to have a look around and try new translation partners. Check our Welcome Offer here.

Written by Anita Salát, Business Development Manager

Spotlight on health translations

Actually the last two years have seemed like one long health awareness period. Our health is something we’ve started to look at differently. No wonder that health-related translations now represent a larger share of our projects than before.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, November is Men’s Health Awareness Month, and you could go on with the list… actually the last two years have seemed like one long health awareness period. Our health is something we’ve started to look at differently.

No wonder that health-related translations now represent a larger share of our projects than before.
Beyond COVID-related documents, here are four examples of recent assignments:

  • This is the second year that we’ve translated various materials into 11 languages for the Personalised Medicine Awareness Month campaign of ECPC, the largest European non-profit cancer patients’ association.

  • We continuously assist Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe, an international non-profit association, with translation and typesetting services to lead the global movement for environmentally-responsible health care. Measuring and reducing plastic in the healthcare sector, and sustainable food contact materials in the European healthcare system, are just two of the recently published papers we worked on.

  • Translations for the VAC-PACT project (Vaccination Confidence – Patients’ and Professionals’ Awareness, Communication and Trust) kept us busy this August and September. This EU-funded project is designed to improve vaccine uptake and confidence, and provides patients with chronic diseases, health professionals, and supporting communities, with tailored information in all the official languages of the European Union. Factsheets, quick guides, e-learning materials, videos, and the project website are all translated and published in local languages.

  • The Health Policy Partnership, a specialist health policy research organisation, has been working with us since mid-2020. As a result of our cooperation, a policy toolkit and a clinical toolkit on fragility fractures, a handbook on heart failure care, and a leaflet on heart valve disease, have all been translated into several languages. Beyond translation, we also took care of the layouting of these informative publications in InDesign.

If you have similar translation or multilingual typesetting needs, feel free to contact us.
We are always happy to welcome new clients and interesting projects – not only in the health field!
Check out our Special Offer here, or contact me directly at anita@eurideastranslation.com.

Written by Anita SalátBusiness Development Manager

Questions I heard at ABIM 2021 Basel – Here are the answers

It`s always very useful for me to attend industry-related conferences, not only to meet business partners in person, but also to learn about the regulatory requirements and relevant updates that affect the industry.

Translation needs and challenges of the biocontrol sector

Translation needs and challenges of the biocontrol sector

It`s always very useful for me to attend industry-related conferences, not only to meet existing and potential business partners in person, but also to learn about the regulatory requirements and relevant updates that affect the industry.

Recently I was in Basel at ABIM2021, the Annual Biocontrol Industry Meeting. The agenda and the set-up of the event offered a great opportunity for networking and I could talk to many participants about their translation needs and challenges. I’ve made a short summary about the three most common concerns I heard from companies and the possible solutions we offer.

  1. Quality issues: This was the number one concern I heard. My overall impression was that companies are quite reluctant to outsource their translation tasks due to their bad experience with translation agencies. However, in many cases it’s not possible to do this task inhouse, so they are trying out different language service suppliers.

    Our solution: With a solid client base of 700 companies from the chemical industry and with more than 5 million translated words in the last two years, we make sure that the translations that we do comply with EU and international regulatory requirements.

  2. Short deadlines: The final versions of SPCs need to be translated within five working days. In the case of 24 languages this is almost mission impossible and most translation agencies can’t cope with this task. The issue is the same in the case of registration dossiers.

    Our solution: Over the years we have developed a method that makes it possible to deliver translations of the highest quality into 24 languages, regardless of the length of the document. We have a huge translator pool specialised in chemicals and regulatory affairs. In addition, we can generate the translations in .xml format, so our partners can also save time and they don’t need to upload the language versions manually.

  3. High costs: Companies spend huge amounts on chemical translations, and they may even often have to retranslate the same documents due to quality issues.

    Our solution: We try to motivate our partners to work with us in the long term. We build a translation memory for every partner and give a 60-80% discount on the repetitions and TM matches. This way not only will the translations be cheaper as time goes on but also the quality will be more consistent.

Written by Kristina Bitvai-Aeberhard, Managing Director of Eurideas

“This is where we can help!”-webinars on how to host a Zoom event with simultaneous interpretation confidently

We could all talk for hours about the challenges we’ve faced since the pandemic struck in 2020. However, new opportunities have also opened up, so why not focus on them instead? Online or remote simultaneous interpretation is one of the good things that have come into our lives.

In the old days interpretation meant that you met the interpreters in person; they were present at the event, working from a booth or sitting next to you and whispering into your ear, depending on what type of interpretation you required.
Beside the numerous benefits of such personal meetings and onsite events, simultaneous interpretation used to impose a huge financial burden on the organiser company due to the high cost of technical equipment (booths, headsets, microphones), the travel and accommodation cost of speakers and interpreters, catering, room rental, and many other fees.

Under the present circumstances we’re compelled to meet virtually.
Is it better than a face-to-face event? No.
Can you do it in a professional way? Yes.
Can you save money on your events with interpretation? Definitely.

With online interpretation you not only save on travel (both time and expense), but online platforms enabling simultaneous interpretation are also available at a significantly lower cost than technical equipment for a traditional event.
On the other hand, you’re on your own here, you have no technician to help you, and you will need someone at your organisation to learn how to host online events with simultaneous interpretation.

We’ve noticed that our clients are not comfortable in this situation. Smaller organisations have no dedicated staff to deal with the technical aspects of online meetings, so the Office Manager or someone from the Communications Department need to learn these new skills. The majority of these meetings are held on the ZOOM Meetings platform, which we’re familiar with, so we thought “This is where we can help!”, and organised a series of webinars for our partners.

Initially we planned two webinars – and in the end we held four due to high demand. During this webinar we discussed what type of licence you need to host a ZOOM event with simultaneous interpretation, what the technical requirements are, and what settings you need to pay attention to.
Through a simulated event the participants could experience what it’s like to be in the role of an interpreter, how audio channels work, and why relay interpretation is still a challenge in ZOOM Meetings.

We have compiled a guidebook and collected tips and tricks that could be useful for our partners when they organise online simultaneous interpreting in ZOOM Meetings. To those wishing to practise, we provided a licence for 24 hours so they had a chance to practise what we had covered in the webinar.

The feedback we received was amazing! New and long-term partners alike were grateful for the initiative and confirmed that the knowledge we had shared would be invaluable for their work in the future.

“Thank you so much for this very clear and useful presentation!” (Independent Retail Europe)
“Many thanks for an excellent webinar.” (Teagasc Ashtown Food Research Centre)

Special thanks to Kata Miklós (DTP and IT Manager) for introducing the webinar participants to the essentials of ZOOM interpretation, to our marketing communications manager, Csilla Dömötör, for the idea of the webinar, and to all our partners attending and contributing with great questions.

When you’re planning an online event with interpreters on Zoom, but you’ve never done it before and find it too challenging, feel free to contact our project managers.

Our interpreters have experience in remote simultaneous interpreting (RSI), so they can support all your online meetings and conferences in more than 50 languages. They are familiar with the most common online platforms that are used for online events (not only with Zoom but also with others, like MS Teams). You can find more details about our interpretation services here.

If you are a new client, we are pleased to offer a 7% discount on all interpretation and translation services until 30 April. Click and check the details of our SPRING2021 special offer here.  

Do you speak “agro”?

Providing translation services for a complex sector like agriculture might be tricky and difficult for agencies without specialised translators and proper terminology databases. Before joining the language services industry, for many years I had worked for agricultural companies.

Challenges of translation in agriculture and in agro-industry

Providing translation services for a complex sector like agriculture might be tricky and difficult for agencies without specialised translators and proper terminology databases. Before joining the language services industry, for many years I had worked for agricultural companies. Recently I’ve contacted my old colleagues and managers to get to know more about their personal experiences about translation and interpretation services: what challenges they have to face and what expectations they have in terms of agro-translations.
Here is a summary of what I have learned about their insights, needs and expectations:

Translating agriculture-related texts is not only about perfect language knowledge, it requires complex knowledge of different fields

“We have to comply with all legal and registration standards – follow strict timelines, use digital forms in different file formats in different languages.”
EMEA registration manager of a crop protection company

“Mutual recognition, REACH, ECHA, DG SANCO (DG SANTE), BVL, CTGB, ANSES, bio-dossiers, ANNEX1, trial reports, SDS, label, SPC. I’m responsible for 23 countries… this means almost two dozen languages. Give me someone who can simplify my work.”
Registration and field trial coordinator, EMEA

Authorisation documents for placing products on the market and using them, product labels, safety data sheets, product leaflets, or online product databases, etc. should follow a common jargon that complies with all the rules and should follow the local professional vocabulary…when the translation of these docs are split between different translation agencies, it usually ends up in ‘word-chaos’.”
Product manager for field crop pesticides

Translating agricultural-related documents encompasses a specialised language combining biology, chemicals, or life sciences, as well as the registration information needed for trading in different countries, and legislation knowledge required for the contracts, statements and permits necessary to move products to market. Materials are provided in different file formats and are handed-in/provided on different platforms.


Local translators specialised in agriculture – is it a myth?

“It’s crucial to choose competent interpreters when you organise an international conference or multilingual field events in the agriculture industry. I wish I could work with a specialised language service agency that can provide us with translation experts for all EMEA languages…Native agro translation professionals wanted. “
Regional PR and Event manager at an market-leading agro-machinery company

“If our promotional texts in brochures or our websites uses the wrong local terminology, the farmers think we don’t understand the market and their needs…we make them laugh instead of make them believe our messages and buy.”
Communication expert at a seed breeding company

Field crops and horticulture, animal nutrition, fertilisers and pesticides production, pest control, chemical or biological crop protection, seed and plant breeding – so many fields, so many special terms. Translators or interpreters should have the know-how in each particular field and they have to be experts in the terminology of the sector as there is no room for translation error.

Some of my former colleagues have highlighted that long-term cooperation with a specialised translation partner allows them to build a terminology database for technical jargon for processes, weeds, diseases, species, machine parts, and accessories, – it’s a huge help. When they can find a confident interpreter for a language pair, they call him/her regularly for onsite or online meetings or events.

In global or regional positions the key challenge is to find a trustworthy and professional service provider with multilingual solutions – it’s a lot easier to find an agro-translation expert for traditional language pairs like English-German, or English-French, than someone (a native speaker!) who translates from Croatian to Spanish, or Polish to Chinese.


Translation or adaptation?

Product presentations, landing pages or brand videos are usually created in English by our global marketing team. The local versions (text translations, subtitles, voiceovers) are passed to global advertising agencies…when I get the translated version for a final check I usually have to re-translate every fifth sentence because end-users might misunderstand the messages due to the wrong expressions or non-agro-related wording.”
Marketing coordinator at a fertiliser distribution company

In the case of sales or marketing texts, translation may not be the right service. Messages need to be adapted not only to the language but also to the social needs of local customers. Cultural context, local agro traditions and practices and associations can be the key to local business success.


When it comes to translation in the agricultural sector, it’s best to surround yourself with specialists. Working with a specialised agency means that you do not need to find one single translator who knows all these fields like the back of his or her hand. You can have your pool of local translators with language experts in each field and for all target languages. Long-term cooperation with the right translation partner allows you to build a terminology database to make your communication more consistent, whether it is translated documents or interpretation at an online event.

Maybe you have your regular translator for English-to-German label translations. But what about the remaining 22 languages of the European Union? What if it’s a sales brochure, and requires layout work as well? And how about less common language pairs like Croatian-to-Spanish or Polish-to-Chinese? Challenges for you, regular business for us… A professional translation agency with many satisfied partners from the agro-sector can make your daily work easier and can contribute to your business success.

Finding one agency to cover all the countries your organisation operates in is not a myth! 😊 Feel free to contact us via our website form or at translation@eurideastranslation.com and our colleagues will be happy to assist you.

Written by Csilla Dömötör, marketing communication manager, Eurideas Language Experts

Great expectations: 1 million words, 15 languages, 6 weeks

Nickel REACH Consortia, created by the Nickel Institute to help companies manage their EU REACH and CLP obligations, contacted us with a translation assignment at the end of last year. They had a long list of English chemical documents (exposure scenarios in particular) their members needed in 15 different European languages. The consortia were planning to coordinate the translation activity for their member companies to avoid double work and to ensure the translation quality meets the professional requirements of relevant authorities.

This was a classic chemical project, with far more files and a shorter deadline than usual: almost 1 million words had to be translated into a total of 15 languages in 6 weeks.

What does the client think of this project?

„We worked with Eurideas to provide translations of technical documents into several EU languages. These documents inform downstream users of chemicals in the EU how to handle them safely. Translations were required to be of very high quality, in a well-structured format, and delivered within short timeframes.

Eurideas met the brief, with professional translation skills, expertise in dealing with such technical documentation, and provided a very competitive offer. They also demonstrated good customer service by creating a memory bank of translated phrases to reduce future translation costs for us or members of our organisation. We were very happy with the level of efficient cooperation and the excellent standard of work.”

Pablo Rodríguez Domínguez,
Regulatory Affairs Specialist, Nickel Institute

And how do we see it?

“In case of a complex translation project into several languages, organising is key. With Nickel Institute we were lucky to be able to discuss the needs of the project thoroughly, and received clear instructions from the very beginning. Project planning needs understanding and flexibility from both sides to be able to meet halfway. We have achieved this with Pablo and his colleagues, and the cooperation resulted in a successful project.”

Zsanett Kórik
Operations Supervisor, Eurideas Language Experts

No project can be successful without an efficient dialogue between the partners. We need to know the requirements and expectations of the client in order to meet them, and to get the job done as efficiently as possible. Let’s see what main concerns clients usually have in complex projects like this, and how we address them:

Client: This is a very specific field, and I need a translator who has chemical knowledge, and knows the regulations. We need to hand in this document to the authorities, and they have strict rules.

Eurideas: Our translators are not only native speakers in the language they translate into, but they have chemical or regulatory background too. They are aware of the legal regulations, the REACH terminology and the authorities’ guidelines.

Client: I don’t speak all these languages so I will not be able to check if the quality is good.

Eurideas: The translations are always revised by another translator, and then they go through a thorough in-house quality check, so you don’t need to worry about quality issues. We translate SDSs, SPCs, labels and other chemical documents on a daily basis.

Client: I have so many files… I don’t even know how to arrange the files and languages, and there might be additional documents later.

Eurideas: We can help you prepare a matrix of translatable documents and languages, and we’ll tell you what input we need. You will have a dedicated project manager to keep you updated anytime, in a few hours. If anything changes on your side, we will adjust the work process.

Client: I have a deadline in mind for the translations, but we need some of the translations earlier.

Eurideas: We prepare a timeline in advance, and we can give priority to certain files. The project is transparent: you know exactly what and when you will receive. Translations can land in your mailbox or in a shared folder in several batches, or one by one, if that is your preference.


If you have a similar translation request, feel free to contact us via our in-website-form or at translation@eurideastranslation.com and our colleagues will be happy to assist you.

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How to save translation costs without compromise on quality

There is nothing wrong with wanting to save money – and this is true for translation services too. It does not mean however that you need to ask your secretary to translate a 10-page chemical study, or you have to use Google Translate for making your website multilingual. We’ll show you how to use your translation budget wisely.

Let’s assume

Let’s assume that you are a Chemical Company.

Let’s assume that you have a long list of various chemical documents from labels to MSDSs, from registration documents to exposure scenarios, from SPCs to product brochures, that you need to translate from English into all the official languages of the European Union.

Now you need to set up a feasible timeline for the entire project, and choose a translation partner.

How much is it?

A major mistake a client can make in this situation is to ask for translation word rates from several agencies, and put them side by side. Comparing merely word rates will not give you the full picture. There are so many other factors that can affect the final sum you are about to pay: various discounts, file conversion fees, additional quality assurance charges, revision costs. It is misleading (but unfortunately still common practice) to take the total translatable wordcount multiplied by the translation word rate, and select the lowest bid.

Since SDSs (Safety Data Sheets), exposure scenarios, product labels, SPCs (Summaries of Product Characteristics) and similar chemical documents tend to include repetitive parts, we always analyse them and offer discount for the repetitions. Why can we do that? Because we have the appropriate technical background and software. We don’t like double work; instead, we like to use our head. And we build long-term relationship with our partners, so we help them see how they can save money – without compromise on quality.

In case of large orders, an additional volume discount can be applied, and we always have various Special Offers for new clients too.

Do the math

Instead of looking for the lowest translation word rate, collect all the translatable documents and send them to the selected translation partner candidates for an exact price and turnaround time. You’ll be surprised!

Due to repetitions, the actual translatable wordcount could significantly drop – and so will your expenses. What’s more, for large projects we are always pleased to give an additional volume discount.

Imagine receiving the translation of almost 1 million words while paying only for 29% of the wordcount. (These are real numbers of a recent chemical project!) Now how does this sound?

Good, fast and cheap

We all know the Good-Fast-Cheap triangle. You might very well think that if the bill is impressively low (compared to the high total wordcount, of course) the project either takes forever to complete or the quality is poor.

As for quality – well, that’s not countable. Unlike the chemical companies who have been choosing to work with us in the last 12 years. They are numerous. Giant chemical companies, suppliers of plant protection products, biocides regulation consultancies, law firms specialized in regulatory affairs – they all have one thing in common. They require top quality in terms of chemical knowledge and language expertise. Nothing is more important than that.

Thanks to our large pool of translators with chemical and regulatory affairs background, setting up translation teams requires no special preparation for us. We work with chemical documents on a daily basis. Our project managers will set up a timeline for you (no, you don’t have to deal with this), will calculate partial delivery dates, and you will receive the translations in several batches if that is more convenient for you.

Translation of 1 million words into a total of 15 languages in less than 6 weeks. (Again, real numbers from a recent chemical project.) Would this be OK for you?

Written by Anita Salát, Business Development Manager


Get a first-hand experience on how our language services can contribute to your success!

Ask for an exact quote or get the detailed cost-optimized price offer from our project managers at translation@eurideastranslation.com.

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Three things that help Eurideas win a client

What makes a successful translation agency? We all have our own answers to this question: a list of skills, abilities, principles and other factors. Do these ingredients change from time to time? Most certainly. Let’s see what three skills helped Eurideas Language Experts win a major client in 2019.

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an international independent standards organization, contacted us with a request to help in translating their GRI Standards, that represent global best practice for reporting publicly on a range of economic, environmental and social impacts, into Italian. Having considerable experience in the field of economics, environment and social affairs, we were happy to participate in the project.

Translation and typesetting works were scheduled to take 7 months. The translatable volume amounted to 151,000 words and close to 600 pages had to be typeset. The documents were to be sent in three separate batches: a glossary first, then universal standards, followed by topic-specific standards. After a thorough preparation period, our team comprising one dedicated project manager and several translators, proofreaders, technical experts, quality assurance specialists and typesetters started work.

Flexibility

Our flexibility in terms of time and capacity was decisive for our success. Planning is key to complex projects. However, in this case, there were so many variables, from the availability of client reviewers to content created along the way, that timelines and work processes had to be rescheduled again and again. Reviewers of the client needed more time than anyone had anticipated to come to an agreement about the proper translation of certain terms, which meant that our linguists had to update the Italian text several times. To ensure seamless operation on the client’s side, we were as flexible as possible with turnaround times, and made partial deliveries.

Proactivity

We know the language industry inside out. (Most of) Our clients don’t. It is our job to recommend solutions and come up with ideas they would not think of. Highlighting the importance of a translated glossary, suggesting a file format different from MS Word, or offering the possibility of typesetting together with the translation – they all were appreciated by GRI.

Since consistency was a matter of priority, valuable questions, queries and comments coming from our linguists also contributed to a high-quality translation.

Solid technical background

At Eurideas we have all the software and expertise at hand to complete projects efficiently and cost-effectively, while minimizing the risk of errors.

For the GRI project members of the team worked online with a computer-assisted translation software, ensuring faster project preparation and allowing everyone to work in parallel and transparently.

Today even small-scale translation projects are inconceivable without cutting edge technology. The latest information technology environment, qualified technical specialists and automated work processes are an integral part of every translation project, and these are just as decisive for the ultimate success of a project as are the translators.

Since the delivery of the last part of the complete Italian translation package (available here online), we have received new assignments from GRI. This is what Eurideas measures success in: returning clients.

Written by Anita Salát, Communication and Business Development Manager at Eurideas Language Experts


Get a first-hand experience on how our language services can contribute to your success! Get in touch with us for a quote if you need translation or any relevant services.

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We love a good challenge: how to deal with exotic languages

Every project manager – no matter what field they work in – has had at least one memorable project. You know that Project, with a capital P, which seems challenging and exciting at first, then drives you crazy while you are in the midst of it but makes you incredibly proud when you finally complete it. The one that teaches you a lot, helps you develop new skills and eventually turns into a success story you will be happy to remember.

Perfect Babel

According to ethnologue.com, 7,111 languages are spoken today. And while just 23 languages account for more than half of the world’s population, if you work in the translation industry, you can easily juggle documents created in as many as 50 languages. Which means there are still over 7000 languages you rarely meet, and regardless of your extensive experience with languages, some of them are totally unknown to you.

The European Return and Reintegration Network (ERRIN), an initiative that facilitates cooperation between migration authorities, approached us with a request: they had prepared information material for migrants who cannot or no longer wish to remain in Europe, to help their return and reintegration in their home countries, and these country leaflets needed to be translated into the local languages. Human rights is one of our specialities and a matter very close to our hearts so it was obvious that we wanted this job. The opportunity to work with ‘exotic’ languages was an added bonus!

The more the merrier

The home countries for migrant people included India, Iraq, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka with several more African and Asian countries. We expected some rare target languages; however, to identify the full list of languages required in these countries was a challenge itself, not to mention recruiting qualified and experienced translators. The complete list included Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Dari, Gujarati, Hindi, Armenian, Kurdish, Nepali, Punjabi (Shahmukhi), Punjabi (Gurmukhi), Pashto, Sinhala, Tamil, Urdu, Kashmiri, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian, Pothwari, Saraiki.

Without efficient project management, the coordination of over 40 linguists would have ended in chaos. Thanks to our rigorous translator selection process and in-house quality assurance procedures, quality was not an issue. Local partners of the client were also involved in checking and approving translations, which in some cases led to additional work since the English source text had to be completely rephrased.

Translation is not enough

The client was glad to have one contact person for all the 21 languages but was even more pleased to learn that we could handle the typesetting for the leaflets too! From left to right, from right to left, Arabic script, Cyrillic script, Latin script – the layouts were as diverse as possible. Numerous correction runs were needed but this thorough approach proved effective, because even though English was a common language, misunderstandings did happen. Time zones and cultural differences made work slow, but we all knew that this was something you couldn’t rush. The patience showed by the client was an important asset throughout the entire project.

What may seem like “only a translation” to an outsider is actually a very complex job of efficient project management: drawing up time schedules, sending status updates, planning capacity, re-scheduling tasks, making sure everything is under control – whatever language is involved.

Written by Anita Salát, Communication Manager at Eurideas Language Experts


Get a first-hand experience on how our language services can contribute to your success! Get in touch with us for a quote if you need translation or any relevant services.

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Pitfalls of survey translation and how to avoid them

June is Pride Month, and this year we happened to have the chance to work on an interesting and appropriate project: we translated a survey on transgender identity. Translation of a survey itself requires special care, technical skills and linguistic awareness, and this is especially so when dealing with such a sensitive topic. So what is so challenging about surveys and questionnaires?

Technical challenges

Usually an online survey is written in HTML, where placeholders and other non-translatable units abound, and the file is exported to an .xls format. The preparation of such files can be time-consuming and requires some knowledge of coding and HTML itself. With cutting-edge software technologies and an experienced team this is not a problem for us. As always, it is essential to ask the client for detailed instructions about non-translatable items (e.g. abbreviations, programme titles, organisation names), character limits and the context in which the survey will be published.

Linguistic challenges

Surveys and questionnaires have a relatively well-defined structure, and the linguistic differences are also more striking and immediate than in the case of a general text. Grammatical gender, for instance, especially in Romance languages, such as French or Spanish, can pose a dilemma for translators, as the gender of the noun actively affects other elements of a given noun phrase. This can result in unusual solutions – for example, in the case of shorter answers where the translation follows a linguistic structure different from English, and translators sometimes have no other option but to use four forms (sing. masc./sing. fem./plur. masc./plur. fem.) of a word or expression. When the target audience and the subject of the survey is the LGBTQ+ community – whose grammatical gender representation is part of an ongoing social debate – this requires greater care on the part of the entire translation team.

In surveys even repetitions do not work the same way. Responses in rating scales (e.g. Good/Fair/Poor) can be translated one way in one context and another way in another context, depending on the question.

Numbers replaced with placeholders can also pose added complications. In some languages, like Polish, the number itself can modify the gender and the number of the noun phrase which means, again, that several forms of the same noun have to be included.

At the same time, questions discussing present/previous experiences of the respondent often need to be completely rephrased when a grammatical tense simply does not exist in the target language.

In English, you is a general pronoun, but in many languages, there is an informal (tutoiement) and formal (vouvoiement) way of addressing others. Another problem to deal with. This is where background documents (screenshots or additional information) can help the translator, while taking the target audience into consideration, and communication with the client can also provide further reference points to ensure an accurate translation.

To sum up, survey translations provide a platform for us to show our technical and linguistic expertise and ability while requiring flexibility and creativity in translation. The management of such projects is time-consuming and complex: it needs an experienced and proactive team and continuous communication with the client. If your translator does not ask questions, it’s time to get suspicious!


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Our solution for seemingly impossible translation deadlines – SPCs in the spotlight

Chemicals is one of the main fields in which Eurideas specialises. We translate and edit chemical documents daily, including safety data sheets (SDS), Exposure Scenarios, official certificates and summaries of product characteristics, aka SPCs (see here for a previous blog post about general aspects of translating SPCs).

Sometimes we translate SPCs from scratch. In other cases, we update previous translations. We can manage all such tasks in the .xml format of the SPC Editor! We’ve devised a highly efficient method for situations in which our clients have a tight schedule for submitting the language versions of long SPCs or need to update an SPC based on the Commission’s feedback. It might sound daunting – especially if the text needs to be translated into several languages – but Eurideas is up for the challenge!

Let’s take a look at how we can translate SPCs into as many as 25 languages in 5 days!

Generally, we ask our partners to send us the final translatable document. There are cases however, when it’s better to receive the draft version first! If, for instance, a document containing several thousand words needs to be translated into all the official languages of the EU, plus Norwegian and Icelandic (i.e. a total of 25 languages), the translation process takes several days. But what if we have only 5 days for the task?

If the translations are required to be submitted within 5 days of the Commission’s approval of the English version of the SPC, a flexible and creative working method is called for. Translating in two stages can be advantageous here: our translators can take their time working on the draft version; then once the final version has been approved by the EC, they can update the translations within a few days. The bulk of the work takes place in the first stage. Both the translators and our quality assurance team have enough time at their disposal. Of course, planning is key here – we need to know in advance when we can start updating the translations of the first draft and make sure that our team of linguists is available. Thanks to a tailor-made translation process and going the extra mile, a seemingly impossible deadline can be met.

Of course, we may need to translate the final version within 5 working days, with no time to translate the draft first and then update it after it has been approved by the Commission. That is also feasible if the SPC is not too long and we know about the job in advance. However, that method of translating the SPC puts all participants in the translation process under some stress, which might be a potential source of errors (which naturally we all want to avoid).

It’s important to note that we can save time and be more cost-effective if we’ve already built a translation memory for our partner that we can use for the new translation or update. It’s therefore worth thinking long-term and assigning all translation and updating work to the translation agency that can handle your projects most efficiently.

A solution that works well for SPCs can work for other types of documents too. Similar customised workflows can be developed for other projects. No matter how long the text or how short the deadline, it’s always worth asking us if we can get the job done.


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Translation and layouting in one package

As an international translation agency, we assist our clients from all around the world with their projects. We take part in projects promoting cultural events, supporting human rights activist foundations, advertising assistance with health issues, and the list goes on. One could think that we only do translation and editing. But our work goes far beyond that and this is what makes it interesting and exciting.

! Click and read this article in German or French !

As an international translation agency, we assist our clients from all around the world with their projects. We take part in projects promoting cultural events, supporting human rights activist foundations, advertising assistance with health issues, and the list goes on. One could think that we only do translation and editing. But our work goes far beyond that and this is what makes it interesting and exciting.

One of the additional services we provide is completing the typesetting of the translated documents. With this, our clients receive not only a translated text but ready-to-print files as well. Usually we do typesetting on books, leaflets, sales brochures, labels, posters and many other kinds of documents. Working on the layout design of these documents is itself interesting, but what happens if we add 23 languages to the project? How can we, as an agency, facilitate our clients’ projects?

We can divide these projects into two parts. First, we complete the translation and editing of the text into the requested languages. If we have a multilingual project, for example into 23 languages, the project manager must coordinate 46 linguists working on the project. Strict time management and precise knowledge of every little detail are very important for carrying out such huge projects.

Once the translation and the quality check are ready, we send the translation to our client in a bilingual two-column RTF file. We always ask for our client’s approval of the translation before proceeding with the typesetting. Why is this useful? Actually, we can save time and money for the client. It is more comfortable to compare the source and target text seeing them next to each other without the layout. It’s also easier and faster to correct the translations in the text files than in the layout files after the typesetting is completed.

After the client has approved the translations, our DTP specialists carry out the typesetting and what the client receives is the final ready-to-print file. One of the biggest advantages of this additional service is that the client doesn’t need to be in touch with a translation agency plus a graphic designer. We can carry out the whole process coordinated by one contact person assigned to the client.

Written by Zsanett Kórik, Project Manager at Eurideas Language Experts


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Easy to read, not so easy to do

At Eurideas we translate several thousands of words every day, but our routine and experience doesn’t mean that we don’t face interesting challenges which require a new approach and a different way of thinking. A Communication and PR consultancy in Brussels knocked on our door recently with an unusual request: they asked us to proofread the translation of a text about the European Union in 22 languages, following easy-to-read guidelines.

What does this mean exactly? People with intellectual disabilities have the right to obtain information that is easy to read and understand, so that they can learn new things, take part in society, stand up for their rights, and make their own choices. Texts written for this special target group are usually indicated as ERV (easy-to-read version) and should follow certain rules. The sentences need to be short and simple, the words used need to be common and easy to understand and should be used consistently through the document. The formal aspects are also important: one line should contain only one piece of information.

The growing tendency to consider and address the needs of social groups with special needs is welcome, and not only does it mean an exciting challenge but also a great honour for us to contribute towards this mission. After all, it is not common for a translation agency to receive an assignment that is so important in terms of social responsibility.

Of course, we had to approach this project differently from an “everyday” proofreading. Given the sensitivity and importance of this task, it required additional skills from the linguists, flexibility and empathy – we needed to rethink our usual working methods, put ourselves in the readers’ shoes, and consider the possible difficulties more than ever. Asking for background documents and doing research on the topic of the translation is always important, but it was particularly essential in this case. Luckily, our client provided us with the relevant guidelines to begin with, which we supplemented with additional information and instructions for the linguists.

Speaking of these, another crucial point of this project was choosing the most suitable proofreaders for the job. We needed open-minded and flexible linguists. It was very important to make them understand that this time, we didn’t expect them to change a sentence because it was grammatically incorrect, but also because it should meet the needs of a special target group.

Although the topic of the text was the European Union, it would have not been the best choice to rely on the linguists we usually work with on EU-related documents, as these are normally quite complicated texts, with long, compound sentences and an overwhelming amount of technical terms. Instead, we preferred linguists with a background in pedagogy or social studies who have a better understanding of people living with intellectual disabilities and their needs.

I’m happy to say that, in the end, the client was happy with the results and the translations have been published on the europa.eu website. We are very grateful to have this opportunity to contribute to supporting people with intellectual disabilities. We are always open to new challenges and look forward to receiving requests which require a different approach.

Written by Kata Vas, Project Supervisor at Eurideas Language Experts