The Meaning of Being Present for Clients
Effective Manufacturing Translation
TOIN was approached by a leading Japanese supplier of factory automation systems. They needed help translating operational manuals, service manuals and the associated documents required for exporting their products overseas. The client had previously used a different manufacturing translation agency, but it was always necessary to review the entire document and change inappropriate sentences.
Part of the problem was that the client's machines were so complex that it was difficult to translate the operational information correctly by using only the Japanese manuals. There was no consistent terminology or glossary to work with. However, we realized that the most important factor in machinery translations is not terminology, but rather accurate description of how to operate the machine.
The client was situated on the island of Kyushu, but when we heard about their dilemma, we proposed sending the translators to their workplace to research the machines. The translators looked over the source document to identify in advance any uncertain areas or issues, and the translation quality manager and a number of translators visited the client's workplace for a week.
The managers of each department showed the team the machines and gave explanations, and in some cases they were even allowed to operate the machines themselves.
This method allowed the translators to gain a clear image of how to operate the machines and enabled them to produce accurate and descriptive translations. As the project progressed, the translation quality manager visited the client again on several occasions to resolve new issues that had arisen.
This workflow dramatically reduced the burdens on the client and produced a final document that did not have to be rechecked.