As winter comes to an end and spring appears just around the corner, German/English translators frequently only have one thing in mind: “annual report season”. It seems to come round all too fast – those frantic weeks before Easter when apparently every listed German company has to publish their reports. Finance directors and executive assistants are working furiously on getting the numbers right whilst the investor relations and corporate communications people focus on making the report look good but there is no escaping the fact that the publication date has been published on the website long in advance and the stock markets wait for nobody.
Of course time just seems to go twice as fast as the date gets ever closer – and despite everyone’s best efforts the time left for translation gets ever shorter. For example, last week: “Can you translate a 10,000-word management report (“Lagebericht”) for an MDAX company in 3 days?”. Let’s take a look at that request in more detail; it actually means:
“We know you have over 15 years of experience in financial documents, can operate the software tools (Trados Studio/MemoQ etc.), fully understand about making this report’s terminology compliant with last year’s report, the recent changes to IAS/IFRS and the company’s own glossaries. We won’t pay you for matching sentences or segments and we know you are really busy. But our client needs this without fail by Friday 5pm. We are desperate to find someone to help – please, please, please. We don’t want to upset this important client – and yes we know this is ridiculously optimistic.”
It was for these moments that we created our customised machine translation engine – so I was able to offer them publishable quality in 3 days. This is how we did it:
Day 1: prepare file, run it through the translation memory, lock high matches, prepare glossary so it operates in Trados Studio; run the rest of the document through the MT engine; handover to 3 post-editors
Day 2: finish post-editing
Day 3: I personally reviewed it all, double-checked the translation memory matches, glossary and style guide thus creating publishable quality by the end of day 3.
Result? A happy customer and the end client is probably completely unaware of how we meet apparently impossible deadlines, by providing high-quality work at reasonable rates. Translation miracles undertaken on a daily basis – is there anything I can help you with?