Case: Publisher

The challenge?

A well-known publisher wanted to have a popular 250-page cookbook (of about 50,000 words) translated into 14 languages, including Western European, Eastern European and Scandinavian languages. Home Office had to define a clear action plan for a project of this scope, all the more so given the very tight deadline.

How did Home Office solve this?

Given the urgency of the project and the turnaround time of about three months, Home Office’s translators already had to start working on the translation before the customer was able to deliver the final source texts. While this was not a problem per se, this exponentially increased the number of rounds of revision. Every time the customer supplied a revised text, our translators had to adapt certain elements in the text again. 

Moreover, translating a book is not the same as translating a press release or a presentation. As a lot of time, effort and funds are spent on the final product and it is sent to tens of thousands of paying consumers, we planned additional revisions. We also decided to add a final editing round after the publisher incorporated the translations we supplied in the cookbook’s layout.

This complicated translation project required our translators, and especially our project managers and coordinators to adopt a completely different approach. It involved more calls and e-mails than other projects and our translators had to be even more focused than usual. Home Office also had to select the most suitable translators for these languages and this type of assignment and make sure they were also available for the entire duration of the project. Once this part of the process had been finalised, the customer’s publisher and design department defined a planning schedule for the project with Home Office.

The outcome?

Thanks to a team of experienced project managers, talented translators and a customer who was always on hand to help devise solutions to avoid potential pitfalls, the cookbook was published before the scheduled deadline in all 14 countries. The publisher was extremely satisfied with the speed of delivery, the quality of the translations and the service and flexibility that Home Office offered. Since then, we have regularly worked with this publisher on translation projects.