Our client asked us:

“We translated the manual of our manufactured machine five years ago. Since then, we have upgraded our machine and we would now like to update our manual. We only have the original file in a PDF format and the translation as a Word file. Would you be able to help us?”

More information

A few years ago, this question was asked by one of our long-term clients, a leading manufacturer of packaging lines in Sweden. The packaging machine’s manual, which was a few hundred pages long, consisted of a lot of technical text and machinery figures that was translated a few years ago by another translation agency. Meanwhile, the machine had been further developed and they now needed to implement the respective updates in their manual.

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How we solved it

In order to avoid starting from scratch with the translation, and to ensure that the terminology remained similar to the previous translation, we resolved this situation in the following way:

  1. During the preliminary work phase, we thoroughly compared the original and the translation of the previous machine model’s manual, as well as the new version. Since the original text was only available as a PDF and the translation as a Word file, we unfortunately were not able to create a translation memory based on these documents.
  2. We were able to determine approximately how much of the text was unique and how much was repeated. As a result of this, we presented a work calculation to the client and we began the voluminous work.
  3. Our team worked their way comprehensively through all the existing documents and compiled a dictionary which contained only the terms used in this particular project, in order to ensure that all the terms would match the previous translation.
  4. When the technical translators and editors had finished their work with the text, we started the process of composing the voluminous final document. We could have used the Word translation file of the previous model, but since the figures were of a very bad quality (illustrations were blurry) and the solution was not suitable for our client, we copy-pasted each of the images one by one into the Word file.
  5. The client was very satisfied with the result and all the translated words/segments were added to the translation memory.