Although we believe that people make the crucial difference, a rigorous process is vital in a busy environment, helping to ensure quality, consistency and efficient job management.
At E.P.A., we have always followed the best-practice approach enshrined since 2006 in EN 15038, the European standard on translation. As such, our translation process consists of three phases: preparation, translation, revision. The objective is to produce a translation that meets all the client’s requirements and is attuned to the intended audience.
The objective of this phase is to ensure that the client’s requirements are fully understood, with an additional focus on achieving maximum efficiency. This includes considering the purpose, audience and context, checking for overlap with previous jobs from the same client, identifying relevant reference/background material and selecting the right resources.
We believe that careful preparation is key to achieving good results. It enables translators to work with confidence and focus fully on the job in hand. Dedicated account managers ensure that any specific instructions, preferences and constraints are respected without the need for the client to communicate them every time.
When the preparation phase has been completed, the text is translated into the target language by a native speaker specialised in the subject matter and typically based in the country where the language is spoken – for maximum authenticity and relevance.
Translation memory software (usually SDL Studio, the market-leading package) is used during this phase to break texts down into individual units, with the original version and translated version being stored in a dedicated database. When translating closely related documents, or documents that contain repetition, this database enables existing translation content to be recycled, thereby saving our clients time and money.
While such technology offers real benefits, this phase is still all about the translator actively engaging with the text in order to render the meaning correctly and appropriately. The fact that we frequently identify issues in client documents that have already been through an extensive sign-off process demonstrates the level of care and attention to detail involved.
In the third phase, a reviewer/reviser with the appropriate skills checks every word of the translation against the source document to ensure accuracy, consistency, flow, appropriate style and compliance with the required standard. This is very much a value-adding activity, not just a passive reading of the translation.
In addition to detailed checking, the reviewer/reviser assesses the overall quality and suitability of the translated document from the user perspective, making changes as needed. This may include collaboration between the translator and reviewer/reviser to find the best solution.
The focus on quality in this phase is painstaking and uncompromising. Regardless of budget pressures, the reviewer/reviser will not approve the translation for delivery to the client until he/she is completely satisfied.