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June 4, 2024

2 min read

BTS of Translating Technical PDFs

John has 50 PDF files to be translated from English to Simplified Chinese and Arabic. The PDFs are technical sheets, full of data to input into his company’s proprietary software. John knows that post-translation desktop publishing (DTP) is necessary for all end user-facing PDF documents and can increase translation costs, but he doesn’t need the translations reformatted into the PDF. He has no other file type to provide ORCA and the PDFs export poorly to Word. He reaches out to his ORCA project manager, Bryan.

Bryan reviews the project and comes up with a tailored solution: instead of running post-translation DTP, LGO’s language team will create clean Word documents of the source content, translate these Word documents, then provide John with Chinese and Arabic bilingual documents. These bilinguals will have two columns, one of source text and one of translated target text. With the guidance of the bilingual document, John will be able to input the translations into his company’s software himself. This is the most cost-effective option for John’s case and negates the DTP costs, though it requires some pre-translation work from ORCA in creating the clean Word documents.

As a smaller Language Service Provider, ORCA can drop the fees associated with pre-project preparation for the high volume of the project. Working with a smaller LSP provides flexibility not only in project workflow, as shown above, but in pricing as well.

Upon John’s approval of the workflow, Bryan sends the PDFs to the Ops team, who types out a clean text Word document of the content and sends it back to Bryan. With these 50 Word documents, Bryan puts together a quote based on the net word count (total word count minus repetitions) for translation into both Chinese and Arabic. John approves the quote and turnaround time of 2,000 translated words per language per day.

Bryan uploads the Word documents to ORCA's Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) software and generates empty bilingual documents, with the English source text on the left and an empty column for the target translation. He sends a copy of these empty bilingual documents to both the Chinese and Arabic language teams.

The translation process begins with a single translator producing an accurate text in the target language. This translator then goes over their own work, comparing the source text to the completed target translation. Satisfied with their work, they pass the first draft bilingual document to a second language expert in the team, who proofreads their work. With the second translator’s approval, the bilingual documents are sent back to Bryan to deliver to the client. There is no formatting or DTP QA done on these documents as John requested the final product to be bilingual documents.

John confirms receipt of the translations and is pleased with the quality. He inputs the Chinese with no issues but has issues with the Arabic since it runs right to left, unlike the source language, English, which runs left to right. He reaches out to Bryan, who sets up a short call to discuss how to work with bidirectional languages. With ORCA's post-translation help, John completes his project.

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