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Translation Service Practice for "Going out" Cross-border E-commerce

Project background description

At the beginning of 2016, TalkingChina Translation received a translation project inquiry from a well-known e-commerce company (the name could not be disclosed, hereinafter referred to as “company A”), and they need multilingual translation services for their internationalization development. At the same time, Company A also plans to build an e-commerce-specific machine translation engine with the help of translation service providers to help more e-commerce businesses go abroad and go global.

Because the translated text needs to be used to train translation engine, TalkingChina 's translation quality must be good. At the beginning of the project, the key language pairs involved were: English-Russian, English-Spanish, Chinese-English, Chinese-Russian, English-Arabic, English-French, British-Indonesian, English-Thai, English-Vietnam, and English-Turkish. TalkingChina became one of the translation service providers of Company A.

Project Analysis

1. multilingual translation needs from or into English;

2.The original text is mainly the commodity name or product title. To ensure the authentic target languages, translators must be native speakers;

3.The original English is translated from Chinese by machine, so the quality is not ideal.

4.There are a variety of translation task types, many of them are quite new, with no experience to follow;

5.Translation projects are fragmented, and the demand is unconventional and highly customized. So quotation for each project often needs specific workflow design and time and labor cost estimation;

6.Translation quality requirements are high and the project procedure is 2-3 times more than normal projects.

TalkingChina’s Solutions

1.Set up a special Team, a customer service AE + two project manager PMs to ensure 24- hour service;

2.TalkingChina's English-foreign-language translation done by native translators are its featured product, and resources are relatively rich. However, the project is highly customized and has a large workload. Therefore, TalkingChina’s resource team quickly launched new recruitment plans.

3.All translators participating in the project must be screened through customized qualifications, and must be native speakers of the target languages.

4.After getting the source text, first of all we assign native English translators to mark and correct the ambiguous or incomprehensible part of the English expression. After our initial internal processing the “source” text is then distributed to translators.

5. For each project the project managers digest the project needs by reading the written instructions and confirming with the customer, then they write customized service workflow and rewrite the project instructions, to train and share with all the translators and editors involved.

Project process


PM internal digestion and processing: This is the internal processing stage. Translation requirements need to be rewritten or improved in order to ensure that translators can better understand them. If the translation requirements are written in Chinese, we need to translate into English or other target language versions.

For the English source document, we first determine whether they need to be checked and corrected first.

2.Arrange the first round of translation + editing + internal quality inspection

Translators and editors are two different groups of language experts. In the internal quality inspection, PM mainly checks errors of the translation by means of quality inspection tools, such as checking numbers, punctuation, spaces and so on.

3.Arrange rebuttal

After receiving the translation, the customer will conduct a quality inspection inside. A revised version will be provided for the incorrect translation. After we get the feedback we will check those revisions and make a rebuttal.

4.Arrange the updating or reworking of the translated text

According to the rebuttal results, the customer will calculate the error rate. If the error rate is up to standard, we need to update the entire translation; if the error rate is not up to standard, we need to redo all the translations. It is cycled until the customer's sampling error rate reaches the standard before the project ends.

5. Project summary

We internally conducted a half-month/month/quarter/semi-annual/annual project review meeting to discuss various issues that arise in the project, to find a solution to similar problems afterwards.

Project Summary and Effect Evaluation

For cross-border e-commerce globalization English is suggested to be the source language and then we translate from English to different languages. The English- foreign- language model is more capable of enabling native-translator resources than the Chinese-foreign-language model, maximizing the authenticity of the target foreign languages, especially for the name and description of the e-commerce products. They have to be correct and alluring.

Secondly, most of the cross-border e-commerce internationalization projects have a large amount of commodity information, and there are many languages involved. The use of human translation only is far from being enough. Therefore, it is a huge challenge to make human translation and machine translation work better together, to guarantee the quality of language output while increasing productivity, to truly open up the target markets with authentic product information in the local languages.

In the process of cooperation with Company A, we found that their sense of innovation and technical ability are very strong, so although for TalkingChina Translation, this project may not be that profitable, but from the perspective of innovation, of working together with customers to overcome difficulties, this project is both a challenge and an opportunity. We have continuously summed up our experience and in the end we have become more and more comfortable in the project, and thus we have accumulated a lot of experience in cross-border e-commerce internationalization services.

In the past two years, for Company A TalkingChina has successfully completed more than 180 single projects per year; the number of words processed is nearly 4 million words; there are 36 languages processed: Chinese or English to Spanish/Russian/Indonesian/Thai/Vietnames/Arabic/Turkish/German/French/Hebrew/Dutch, etc.; we have handled up to 17 types of projects, including product title translation or editing, product title marking, language identification, key words in target languages, etc.

The customer's quality requirements have been met and the customer's trust and recognition has been obtained. In the international expansion of cross-border e-commerce and foreign trade enterprises, the language barrier is a hurdle that has to cross. TalkingChina is willing to dedicate its own experience and expertise to assist more Chinese goods and enterprises to go abroad and go global.

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