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Practice in Technical Communications Translation and Over-the-phone Interpreting

  Project background

  Gartner is the world’s most authoritative IT research and advisory company.

  At the end of 2015, TalkingChina was approached by Gartner. After passing the translation tests and receiving a business visit from Gartner, we became the preferred translation service provider for Gartner, who was seeking services of translation for leading edge industry reports and interpretation for meetings with clients and industry seminars.

  Analysis of client’s needs

  Gartner’s service needs consist of translation needs and interpretation needs:

  1. Translation needs

  1.1)Very technical

  The translation is about the industry-leading analysis reports on various industries, with few existing reference materials and typical characteristic of technical communications.

  First and foremost, the industry-leading reports by Gartner are very technical which requires a good command of technical knowledge from the translators; besides, effectiveness is important to technical communications. To explain complicated technologies in a simple way and to make nonprofessionals understand the technical information is the most challenging part in translating for Gartner.

  1.2) High quality

  The industry-leading reports will finally be delivered to the hands of Gartner’s clients, and their quality says everything about Gartner.

  1) Accuracy: Be true to the source; no omissions or errors; choose the accurate words and use the right expressions; conforms to common uses, idiomatic and fluent, and use standard terminologies;

  2) Consistency: As all the reports are released by Gartner, the often-used terms need to be kept consistent and coherent.

  3. Strict format requirements

  The client’s documents are in PDF format, which requires us to unify them into word format. Charts like “technology maturity curve” make it difficult for DTP, and Gartner needs the use of punctuations to be meticulous.

  2. Interpretation needs

  2.1) big workload

  Needs for interpreting reaches as many as 60+ times one month;

  2.2) varied forms

  The forms include over-the-phone interpreting, onsite interpreting in the same city, onsite conference interpreting in different cities and simultaneous conference interpreting;

  Over-the-phone interpreting has been playing a significant role for our business with Gartner. But it can be very challenging and demanding, requiring the interpreters to guarantee the most communication effectiveness without face-to-face interactions.

  2.3) Multiple contacts in multiple locations

  Gartner has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia with multiple departments and contacts (dozens), which complexes the communication process;

  4. Much communication needed

  To guarantee the smooth running of meetings, we need to contact several departments in charge to go through details, information and preparation materials.

  5. Demanding work

  All the interpreters ever worked for Gartner are “almost” IT analysts themselves, who have long been “tested” by the Gartner taskss, grown familiar with specific fields and improved their already marvelous language and interpreting abilities.

  TalkingChina’s solutions:

  1. Translations

  1. On the basis of regular translation and QA methods such as corpus and technical tools, the crucial part is the selection, training and development of Gartner’s translator team.

  We selected several translators with technical translation expertise for Gartner, who were language or IT graduates, former IT analysts, former technical translators for IMB or Microsoft, and build a translator team for Gartner based on its preferred language style. And we constructed a Gartner style guideline and standards, specifying the styles and details that translators need to follow. The client is satisfied by the team’s work.

  2. DTP work

  Gartner is strict about the typesetting and punctuation, and we have a specific team to confirm and reconfirm those aspects.

  3. Interpreting

  3.1) Schedules

  Meetings are held quite frequently, we have our own schedules for interpreting and remind client 3 days in advance to give preparation materials. We will record the feedbacks from client of every task, and appoint the most suitable interpreters.

  3.2) Reinforce customer service

  We have three account executives managing the needs from Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen

  3.3) Fast response in work time and non-work time

  Urgent interpreting needs often come, which requires our account executives to give away their personal time and make fast response. Their devotion had won the trust of Gartner.

  3.4) Communication details

  From March to September, during which the meetings are the most intensive and can reach more than 60 times a month, TalkingChina is faced with great challenge finding the right interpreters in a very limited time for the highly overlapping tasks. For 60 meetings, we need 60 contacts, and everything needs to be fault-proof, which requires good communications skills and high meticulousness.

  Reflections on project and its effectiveness:

  In the 4 years of partnership, the word count of the translation for Gartner has reached 6 million, counted by Chinese, which covers a vast field and is of great difficulty. For several times, we have translated reports of tens of thousand words in a short time. The translated reports represent not only opinions of research analyst but also the professionalism and image of Gartner.

  TalkingChina is also the interpreting service provider for Gartner. In the year 2018, we sent interpreters for 394 missions, out of which 86 is teleconference interpreting, 305 is onsite consecutive interpretation and 3 is simultaneous interpreting, and were recognized by various Gartner teams for our excellent service. In many occasions, interpreting service is needed for face-to-face or over-the-phone negotiations between foreign analysts and Chinese end clients, and it is essential in marketing development and client maintenance. In this sense, TalkingChina’s service has been helping Gartner to grow fast in China

  We can conclude that the most distinctive part about translating for Gartner is its nature of technical translation, demanding both good knowledge of technologies and effective communication skill using language, while its interpreting need is special in the great demand for over-the-phone interpreting, which requires expertise in certain fields and a good skill in communications, coordination and quick response to sudden occurrence. TalkingChina has been customizing language solutions for Gartner based on its specific needs, and our supreme goal is to solve the client’s problems and create value.

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