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In Translation: BSM Reaching the World Through the Written Word
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 9:00 AM
I am a member of BSM Consulting’s international operations division and a big part of my job is to prepare documents for clients to use across Europe, Asia, and Canada. In my “international” position, I frequently work with documents written in Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Italian, Japanese, Cantonese, Russian, Arabic, and Turkish.
That sounds cool, doesn’t it? It is, but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s easy … or that I know all these languages. Actually, I can only speak and write English. So, how do I accomplish my monumental translation assignment?
Getting files written in English translated into all these languages for our clients across the globe involves more than simply copying and pasting the text into a conversion program and hitting the ‘translate’ button. Over the years, we have put together a dynamic, step-by-step document creation and translation process that allows BSM and our clients to accurately reach and communicate with audiences around the globe. Our goal, of course, is to ensure nothing is lost in translation.
At BSM, we clearly understand that communication — in any language — plays an essential role in the business setting, and providing multilingual content opens the door for effective communication with those who speak a different language. It also allows businesses to diversify and broaden business opportunities.
The Translation Process
Taking a document from creation (in English) to an accurate, usable form in multiple languages is a lengthy process that requires strict oversight and great attention to detail. I’ve broken down BSM’s translation procedure into the six steps below.
Document creation. BSM develops documents (primarily training tools and resources) in English that meet the client’s needs. A lot of thought and discussion occurs before it’s decided to create documents. Frequently, creation is based directly on client thoughts and feedback.
- Content Review. Document content and accuracy is reviewed by the client. The client is encouraged to offer suggestions or changes. BSM then reviews the proposed changes and makes final edits according to the client’s preferences. Everything is still in English at this point. Thank goodness.
- Compliance Review. The client submits documents to its compliance staff, if necessary, to ensure alignment with company rules and any local laws and regulations. BSM makes amendments and resubmits documents back through the compliance process if required.
- Translation Submission. Approved documents are submitted for translation to in-country translators or to a multinational translation company. This is when the transformation — the translation into all those foreign-to-me languages — happens.
- Quality check. Translated documents are sent to the client for review by their local, language-knowledgeable personnel for native nuances and comprehension. BSM reformats the translated documents and performs a final quality check (of course, without reading it word-for word, because we can’t).
Document Release. Final translated documents are released and made available to the client for use.
Whew! Going through that six-step process can take anywhere from two to six months, depending on the complexity of the document, but it’s well worth the time and effort. It ensures the final product is an accurate document written in the local language for easy comprehension and use by individuals working in those countries and regions.
And with those words, I bid you addio, au revoir, adiós, Auf Wiedersehen, and, of course, goodbye!