A large U.S. financial company, famous for its advisors, approached TOIN for help in preparing for expansion into the Japanese market. They wanted to hire dozens of advisors in Japan and train these new personnel with knowledge the company had cultivated in the United States. The company had confidence in its training materials, which had a proven track record. They asked TOIN to simply translate the existing materials into Japanese so that the Japanese financial advisors could understand them.
However, the TOIN Project Manager felt that if the documents were translated directly into Japanese, the training would not be a success because of cultural differences. So in addition to the translation, he suggested to the client that the text itself be adapted for Japanese readers. The client agreed, and TOIN began authoring new training content in parallel with the translation, producing training materials that helped the client be successful. We proposed dividing the material into sections that could be translated immediately and sections that needed to be rewritten to suit the Japanese audience. The new text was written directly into Japanese without being translated.
Translation is not enough. This was the reaction of TOIN's Project Manager when he first looked over the training materials we received from the client. The material contained many references to law and commercial practices in the U.S. financial industry that would not mean much to the Japanese audience. Furthermore, the training technique used in the United States was group style, with students divided into small groups to share their opinions before giving group presentations to the entire class. TOIN believed that this teaching method would be relatively unfamiliar to Japanese people who are used to classes led by teachers.
The TOIN team decided to create training materials that the students would truly understand by incorporating case studies that would be familiar to Japanese financial advisors. We asked the client to provide us with some of their many case studies, which we then used as the basis for the new written material. In addition, whenever we had any doubts about the training method, the client's Japanese and U.S. teams would discuss the issues involved and provide us with instructions for changing the material. The legal department at the U.S. head office also listed the information that could not be changed to avoid legal problems arising from the service contents and other explanations, and these sections were accompanied with an "according to U.S. law" explanatory note.
We also made our process for this client by employing translation memory tools. Whether in the financial or any other field, training materials usually contain many duplicated sentences. From our first analysis of the training texts as a whole, it was clear that we could translate 50 percent of the document simply by duplicating sentences or replacing single words. We used the TRADOS translation memory tool, with a translator experienced in the financial field translating the new sentences. These sentences were then automatically reused by TRADOS, which in addition to reducing costs and time, also helps ensure text consistency. Terminology is the basic building block of any translation, and our experienced translators worked together with the client team leader to create a glossary, which we then used for maintaining quality in the translation.
As the project went on, we were able to use built-up translation memory to efficiently deal with updates and changes. In addition, as our relationship with this client continued and we created other types of documents, the same translation memory was used to quickly produce consistent documents, a useful by-product of the original project.