Our client has been driving a new project of social media content for their end client, a global organization trying to bridge cultural gaps and eliminate language barriers. Our client has had great success thanks to its unique design, system development and branding experience for nearly two decades. They have become a trusted partner of luxury brands and have a growing reputation with the public, and are constantly evolving to offer their clients the latest and best solutions to communicate with their markets.
Braahmam took on the task of translating 600,000 words of online social media app content. The entire project of translating the English content into 5 Indian languages (Gujarati, Assamese, Malayalam, Kannada, Odia) and one Nepali language was completed in a record time of 40 calendar days.
Social media translation is fun, but it has its own challenges. Translators have to exercise good judgment and creatively adapt informal or colloquial expressions into their closest equivalent terms or sentences, while also dealing with words that might not exist in their target language. The translators have to be sure to retain the spirit and tone of the original content: this requires multiple skill sets—translating as well as transliterating text—to achieve high-quality localized content and to make it more user-friendly. Let’s hear a little about each of the languages below:
The Gujarati language is an Indo-Aryan language of the Gujarati people, found primarily in the furthest western state of Gujarat, India. The Gujarati language is spoken by about 46million people in the Gujarat state, and in the many places Gujarati people have migrated to.
The Gujarati language's most prominent influence by far is Sanskrit. The shape of the letters, many sounds, words, and grammatical patterns resemble Sanskrit. The influence of surrounding cultures has impacted the development and history of the Gujarati language.
Malayalam is one of the 22official languages and 14 regional languages of India. It is spoken by 38million people, primarily in the state of Kerala and in the Laccadive Islands in southern India. It is also spoken in Bahrain, Fiji, Israel, Malaysia, Qatar, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and in the United Kingdom. In Kerala and in the Laccadive Islands, Malayalam is used in government, commerce, and in mass communication.
Kannada is the official and administrative language of Karnataka, and was officially designated a classical language of India in 2011. It is also known as Banglori, Canarese, Havyaka or Kanarese.
The official recognition of Kannada as a culturally important language came about through the endorsement of linguists appointed by the Ministry of Culture in India. This prestigious status solidified its position as one of India's esteemed languages.
Odia (formerly Oriya) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 40 million people, mainly in the Indian state of Odisha (formerly Orissa) and also in parts of West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. Odia is one of the many official languages of India: it is the official language of Odisha, and the second official language of Jharkhand. It is also designated as a Classical Language in India and has along literary history. Odia is closely related to both Bengali and Assamese.
The Assamese language is actually called Asamiya, the word ‘Assamese’ being an Anglicized form of it, based on the English word ‘Assam’, which geographically denotes the great Brahmaputra valley.
As a language, Assamese is closely related to Bengali and Odia. Assamese grammar is noted for its highly inflected forms. In Assamese, there are also different pronouns and noun plural markers for use in honorific and non-honorific constructions, although Assamese has no grammatical gender distinctions.
Nepali is an Indo-Aryan language, written in the Devanagari script, which is also used for Hindi, Sanskrit and a number of Indian languages. There are over 17million Nepali speakers in the world in countries including Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Brunei and India.
Districts in Nepal vary in linguistic diversity with, on average, 9 major languages spoken per district. Nepali is the only language spoken in Bajura District in Seti, while there are 34 named languages in Morang District in Koshi. Districts with the most language diversity lie along the border with India, and generally, districts in which more languages are spoken are the ones where fluency in Nepali is lowest, for instance Jhapa and Ilam Districts.
Our client, a leading language service provider, required a top-quality partner for this large volume Indian language translation project which was being done for their end client – an online social media and social networking giant.
- The turnaround time of this high-volume, multi-language project was a short window of 40 days (including weekends). Usually, such projects would have a turnaround time of about 55 – 60 days.
- The deadline was not negotiable, and the project had to be completed within this timeframe.
- The content was social media help content which had to be carefully translated across multiple languages (Gujarati, Nepali, Malayalam, Kannada, Odia and Assamese) all the time ensuring that the translations were true to their original expressions while being relevant to the local users.
- The client asked for deliveries of the translated, edited and QA text on a daily basis. The initial delivery was due three days from the start date.
- For such a high-volume and short timeline project, providing translations in multiple languages complicates matters for the project management team, who have to manage different linguists as well as meet different language needs.
- The most crucial concern while working with a team of multiple linguists is to maintain the consistency and to keep all the linguistic team at the same level. It’s also crucial to find a set of linguists who have expertise in this domain and content type who could provide the quality needed.
- This presented challenges not only in terms of choosing the right linguists with a suitable profile, but also ensuring that quality can be maintained throughout the project.
We started by creating a plan for the project before it commenced. This is how we did it:
- We had a kick-off meeting before starting the project and explained all the instructions to the internal team and linguists. We also had backup linguists ready.
- We successfully formed a team of 15 of our top linguists for each of the languages, Gujarati, Nepali, Malayalam, Kannada, Odia and Assamese, with confirmed availability for 40 days.
- To guarantee properly nuanced translations, these translators were shortlisted out of 50 qualifying linguists based on their relevant background, expertise, and the results of test samples.
- We also chose and prepared a backup team of linguists to ensure the project ran smoothly without any interruptions.
- Our dedicated project manager ensured that all client expectations were met, and all language teams followed client guidelines and requirements to the letter.
- We shared the same instructions and guidelines with all linguists, which they were instructed to follow while working on the project. These guidelines stressed points that needed extra attention to ensure better quality, including understanding the content and target audience.
- Project managers, language-specific leads and LQMs gave regular feedback to linguists to ensure they followed client expectations on various aspects, such as using #hashtags, handling units of measurement and dates, translating names of people and places, meaning, style and tone, etc.
- Since collaborating with so many parties is always a challenge, our PMs used our Business Manager to manage different linguists working on the same project and to ensure effective communication with each other.
- To deliver multiple batches for all six language pairs, project managers used careful monitoring to make sure that all tight deadlines were met 100%.
- To ensure that the quality was not compromised while completing this high word count project in such a short time, the QA team used QA tools and conducted a thorough quality check of all files.
A solid tech infrastructure needed to be in place to work on this project. QA was done properly to check that all the instructions were followed and quality was maintained in the final files before delivery.
We were able to successfully manage the tight turnaround time for this mammoth project of 600,000 words within a short span of 40calendar days. The client was extremely glad to receive translations back in such a short time with such high quality. Our team worked closely with the client to help them complete this high-volume project on time.
Below are the Key Benefits of this project:
- DELIVERY: The client was happy with the quick time delivery, and with how we took feedback seriously and continually delivered on quality.
- CONSISTENCY: We consistently followed all the instructions given.
- FEEDBACK: Moving forward, the client will be happy to share similar large volume projects with us.
We are now more confident to handle such projects without any flaws in the future, using the techniques of strong upfront planning and having backups in place in the event of interruptions.