In some respects large translation projects are the same as smaller jobs. Yes there is added complexity when we translate into lots of languages. However, the translators all work at the same time, so 40 languages don’t take appreciably longer to translate than 3. The project management aspect is much more complex, and QA may take longer. This is especially true if we have to assemble all the translations into a single document.
Managing large translation projects
High volume projects into a single language can be complex depending on client requirements. If working with a single translator and proof reader, it is essentially about agreeing a timeline, and delivery milestones. Problems can arise when large volumes are required very quickly. A translator can typically produce around 2500 words per day. This means that if you need 100,000 words within 24 hours, it in’t going to happen. In theory the maths of 40 translators working on the project adds up. However, the problem is that you will end up with a document which reads like it has 40 authors. This also doesn’t allow any time for QA, formatting, etc.
Recent large projects
This year has seen Better Languages complete our three largest ever single language projects into Polish, Czech and Hungarian. The Hungarian language is an interesting one to translate into. This is because there are very exact grammar rules, and lots of special characters. No problem of course for the translators. We always use professional translators who are native in the target language. But it can cause lots of issues when laying out artwork. We got there in the end, but it took a lot of hard work between ourselves and the client to get the end result.