Ibtikar – an edu tech solutions provider- has an educational project for the most important educational institution in the UAE and was requested to outsource the translation and localization phase to a trustworthy translation company. After passing many testing phases, Ibtikar requested Torjoman, as one of the most experienced localization and translation companies in UAE and the MENA region, to handle the project, namely taking the responsibility of translating a huge volume of educational material from English to Arabic, including translation, voiceover and desktop publishing.
The project was considered a top priority for both the Ibtikar and Torjoman, due to the importance of the client, the volume of the required work, and the outcomes and benefits expected to be gained by both sides.
About Ibtikar and the Client
Ibtikar was responsible for this extensive educational project as it has a solid experience and in-house expertise, develops and produces quality curriculum material that incorporates the latest technology and interactive learning and also, personalizes the learning experience, according to the client’s vision and needs.
The modern education system in the UAE was first implemented following the formation of the country, in 1971. Since then, new reforms have been set out to further enhance the school curriculum and instruction for government schools. From traditional schools with moderate infrastructure to technologically-advanced classrooms fitted with smart boards, the education landscape in the UAE has come a long way, with sprawling school and university campuses, new courses and regulations, an increased focus on technology, and a greater focus on student well-being.
UAE has developed an Education 2020 strategy, which is a series of ambitious five-year plans designed to bring significant qualitative improvement in the education system. Smart learning programmes, new teacher codes, licensing and evaluation methods, as well as curriculum revision, including teaching mathematics and science through English, are all part of the strategy.
Client: Biggest Educational Institution in UAE.
Service: Translation, engineering, DTP and voiceover.
Resource Manager: Ebtikar.
Curriculum: Chemistry and Mathematics.
Language: English to Arabic.
-2 million words
-3 semesters; 1st semester only includes 287 lessons and about 600k words.
-570 lessons; each lesson includes 2 files (M-Author file – text/narration).
-5231 pages for DTP.
Videos duration: 87 hours.
Timeframe: 5 months.
Work Level: Highest level (translating, DTP, engineering and providing voiceover for a huge volume of educational material within a very tight timeline).
-DTP and Engineering; the client submitted several requirements through a number of different parties from his side, all involved in the process, where there was no room for any mistakes. We had to deal with the received requirements accordingly and exert our best efforts to meet them. The files were first reviewed by the client, who placed their comments on the specific requirements, then our assigned team had several meetings with their representatives for better communication and a more in-depth understanding of the requirements before the kick-off to the project.
-Voiceover; was one of the biggest VO projects we have worked on (87 hrs); which needed complete attention to each detail, tone, pronunciation, accent, etc. We dedicated all our time and efforts to the project, as it was to become one of our most significant accomplishments.
-Narrator; deciding on the narrator was one of the most challenging tasks in the project. We were meant to choose only the most highly-qualified talents, with a perfect MSA dialect that would meet the requirements of such a vulnerable client and present the educational material in an easy-to-understand way, while maintaining all the country’s standards.
-M-Author; was totally new to us; it was our first encounter with the tool, which we had never worked with before. We needed to concentrate intently to choose the right talents with the highest qualifications, in order to meet the client’s expectations.
-Dedicating enough staff members; to cover the work; the client had a huge volume of educational material to be translated, engineered and provided with voiceover, that needed a large number of professional, specialized members of staff to work on it.
-Maintaining terminology consistency; throughout the texts; having multiple translators working on the same discipline, the translation required a customized and well-planned system for ensuring consistency in the overall translation output.
-Meeting the deadline; a very tight deadline compared to the work volume, as the client asked for the project to be delivered within five months.
-Reaching a financial agreement; due to the client’s position, they requested a special rate because of the huge volume of this project and the expectations of the future projects, which Torjoman successfully adjusted.
How did Torjoman overcome the challenges?
Dividing the work process into 3 stages: to overcome the seemingly impossible challenge:
1- Setting plans for each semester and phase.
2- Setting meetings with the client and the reviewers, understanding their requirements and creating a style guide and term-base for the project. In addition, we provided our team with training sessions to be acknowledged with the client’s requirements and standards.
3- Creating a sign-off team to make sure that the whole of the final output met the client’s quality standard.
Assigning a project manager: to communicate with the client for best results. On the other hand, the PM ensured that all timelines for each and every file were met and that our translators were on track with their assignments. The managers coordinated with all the translators and kept them on the same page with respect to client expectations and quality performance.
Quality Assurance: an all-inclusive approach to quality was followed, in order to respond to the specifics of the target field. The proposed approach connected the subject (education), the linguistic, and stylistic elements, in defining the translation adequacy strategy, which then guided problem-solving and the rest of the translation process. The same criteria remained traceable in the pre-delivery, self-revision and post-delivery assessments.
Using our self-developed Translation Management System (TMS): to allow all the resources to work together with shared Translation Memory (TM), with the reviewer working alongside them, as well, to make the best use of our time and effort. Our TMS, which is a fully-fledged platform, enabled them to consolidate all regular phases of the translation process, and this made it quite easy to create multiple translation projects, analyze files and make them ready for translation, retrieve project-specific translation memories and glossaries, and assign translators, reviewers, proofreaders and the rest of the translation team.
Creating a style guide, terminology checklist and a glossary: to get leverage from our self-developed TMS technology, which allows the assigning of a massive number of resources with shared Translation Memory to keep consistency across all resources and to save time. After the initial review, we created language packs with special instructions for all our linguists, which they used as a main reference while translating. The packs included specific rules around the voice, tone, and grammar conventions (regional dialects, spelling, punctuation, words to avoid, and abbreviations). Deciding to build our own set of standards for this specific project, rather than working on a general and ready-made one used by most of the players in the field, helped create cohesion, direction and clarity for all the members of the team assigned to the task, ensured consistency and produced cohesive content, despite the fact that there were numerous creators.
Assigning multiple translators and editors with proven, extensive experience: the work volume was huge, which fact prevented us from being able to have a single resource working on the project. To abide by our client’s objectives and complete the project in 5 months without sacrificing the quality, our best resources were assigned to the task, possessed of all available tools, to accomplish the project in the most efficient way. Being keen on providing unique services to its clients, Torjoman utilizes a variety of sophisticated recruiting strategies to find the right candidates with the right skills for the required jobs. Our resources are all of proven professional background in their specializations and have excellent communication, organizational and time-management skills.
Building strong communication channels: between our in-house translators and reviewers to ensure harmony and consistency, and between our internal teams and client to get real-time feedback and keep the client involved at every stage of the work.