Manufacturing client case study

Manufacturer calls on technology – Machine Translation combats turnaround time, cost and quality

We have been providing technical translations to a global leader in the plant and construction industry for a number of years.

We provide technical translations of Parts Manuals, Operating Manuals, Operating Maintenance Manuals, Tool Operating Manuals, Service Manuals and Service Magazines. In addition to this, we also help the organisation with the translation of their training material, and provide telephone interpreting services on a regular basis.

In 2015 we received 127 million English words for translation from the company, across 52 different language combinations.

The challenge

After we had been working together for some time, the customer started to look into more ways to remain competitive when it came to translation requirements. With budget cuts within the company, and an increased need to improve turnaround times, it was proving necessary for us to turn to technology in order to meet the needs of the client.

The solution

As we had been working in partnership for several years, the client had built up a large bank of Translation Memories, helping us to reduce the 127 million words received, to just 10.5 million words actually requiring new translation. These valuable linguistic resources were then also used to build customised Machine Translation (MT) engines in: French, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Dutch, Indonesian, Polish, German, Swedish and Ukrainian. These extensive Translation Memories meant that the level of usable translated output created by the Machine Translation engines was high. All of our MT engines are run through vigorous testing phases before full use with the client, as this ensures we can guarantee effectiveness before live launch. We have also trained our linguists to effectively post-edit — a critical factor in the success of machine translation workflows.

The results

With the use of technology, 50% of the words received for translation were processed by MT engines, enabling the customer to significantly reduce their translation costs, with a saving of 30% on the new word rate.

This has resulted in their budget being able to go further; translating more material and reaching new audiences. Whilst the cost has been reduced, we ensured through close monitoring of the engine output and post-editing performance that quality is not affected. All languages currently using a Machine Translation workflow have seen an increase in their quality scores in comparison to their human translation counterparts. Exceeding our client’s quality expectations day in, day out, proven by being the top-rated vendor for quality for the 2nd year running (as verified by independent and internal linguist teams), is proof that with our specialist technology team, MT really can provide excellent service and value for money.

The customer has also seen a reduced turnaround time per project.

Currently we are realising up to 50% time improvement versus human translation, significantly improving the time to market and therefore reducing overall operating costs and not only those linked to localisation.

This figure has improved since 2012, when we reduced the time it took to translate across all language combinations by 40%.

We re-tune our MT engines on a regular basis to ensure constant improvements are being made for our customer, and so that over time the raw output is better and better making post-editing increasingly efficient.

Thanks to the use of customised MT engines, we have really been able to cement ourselves as the vendor who is able to offer new languages using Machine Translation workflows.  With budgets being constantly squeezed and time being a critical obstacle in maintaining operational effectiveness, we help our customers to achieve critical savings to ensure their competitiveness, which has maintained our high reputation as a leading Language Service Partner.

What’s next?

This year will focus even more on cost saving for the customer and on getting as much from their Translation Memories and budgets as possible. As such, we are looking to increase the number of MT engines available to the client, including having piloted additional languages such as Arabic, Simplified Chinese and Japanese. With Machine Translation being an ever-evolving area of the localisation industry, we will be offering the most relevant and up-to-date solutions to meet this customer’s needs in order to make for an even more successful year.

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