In Technical Documentation, standardized terminology is a must. Across assists us in ensuring consistent texts in all languages, while offering us flexible functions in order to make our corporate vocabulary available to all other departments around the globe.
Daniel Ratano, Head of Technical Documentation
Standardized Terminology and Streamlined Translation Processes
MEIKO Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG is one of the world's top providers of warewashing and cleaning technology. With subsidiaries on four continents, the company markets its products in diverse industries. Suitable professional dishwashers or dishwashing systems are available for all needs, e.g. for restaurants, hospitals, or cruisers. The products that are tailored to manifold deployment areas require a lot of documentation in more than 30 languages. For this purpose, about 250,000 words are translated every year. To ensure efficient processes and consistent texts in the face of this huge translation volume, MEIKO has used the Across Language Server since 2007.
With this translation management system, all translations are managed on a central platform, enabling the reuse of previously released sentences for new documents. The translation memory stores all previously translated texts including the corresponding translations into English, Finnish, Japanese, an so on. Across also supports the implementation of corporate language, a topic that is becoming increasingly important: "Apart from assisting us in the translation management, we wanted our new system to serve as the basis for standardization of our corporate terminology. Regardless of whether we process translations internally or in cooperation with our external language service providers, the flexible access options in Across make our specialized vocabulary available to all involved", explains Daniel Ratano, Head of Technical Documentation at MEIKO. All legacy word lists can be imported to the terminology system, where they can be evaluated and classified according to various criteria. If certain terms are to be preferred and others avoided, this information is stored in the database.
The advantage of the comprehensive inclusion of all terminology data is that the user can also see the misnomers. If a wrong term is used, the system now indicates this and proposes an alternative. In this way, the translator saves a lot of time for research or inquiries and immediately sees how a certain specialized term should be used. The corporate terminology is continually expanded with new translations and with the help of the technical editors and translators. Using the suggestion module in Across, all employees who have the needed rights can propose terms for inclusion in the database. The terms are then evaluated by a terminology team and released after review. The team comprises experts from Technical Editing, Technology, Customer Service, Technical Sales, and Product Management.
Optimized Translation Management
Prior to the introduction of Across, MEIKO did not have any internal system for optimum coordination of the cooperation with the language service providers that it had worked with for several years. Therefore, the challenge was to standardize the entire translation management and gradually introduce Across throughout the company. "We are convinced that in Across, we have found the right partner for this project. The software functions for controlling our translation processes are highly suitable for our needs, and the concept of open interfaces facilitated the connection to our existing editorial system. Thus, the terminology database and the translation memory are available to us right from the composition of the source text. From our usual work environment, we can then transmit the data directly to the Across Language Server and initiate the translation process. The Across Systems GmbH team supported us both during the implementation of the system and in the introduction phase", says Daniel Ratano describing the project rollout.
The optimization of the translation management by means of Across became evident within a short time: For example, an entire instruction manual was translated to Bulgarian for the first time. For the second instruction manual, only 30-35 percent of the contents needed to be translated. The third manual even caused less than 10 percent of the original translation costs. The enormous savings were possible due to 100 percent matches and reuse of previously translated passages on the one hand and the simplified, transparent process on the other hand.
Using Terminology Throughout the Company
Besides the advantages with respect to the creation of consistent documentation, other departments also benefit from the integrated terminology system in Across. As the database can be accessed via Web browser, all MEIKO employees have access to the corporate terminology. Meanwhile, the database is even being used as a company-wide glossary and is highly appreciated by many departments. For each term, the system provides a definition, an image, and corresponding translations into English and French.
Other languages such as Italian, Spanish, or Dutch are already in the planning pipeline. The terminology system also serves as a knowledge database for the establishment of new terms, e.g. for a design drawing.
The terminology research can be accessed via the browser and directly from within Microsoft Windows applications. This greatly facilitates the use of standardized vocabulary. While the use of the Across Language Server especially reduces the workload of the Technical Documentation department and ensures higher translation quality due to standardized terminology, the flexible access to the database heightens the sensitivity to terminology work in the entire company. As a result of the easy handling of the additional components for terminology research, the colleagues from other departments also use Across for composing texts.
Across in Action
MEIKO technologies are employed in diverse industries. For example, the company has already equipped numerous ferries and cruisers with state-of-the-art warewashing technology. In a project that is currently under way, the Design department is working on custom-fit dishwashers for the world's first passenger ferry powered with liquefied natural gas. In coordination with Design and Sales, Technical Documentation has prepared entirely new instruction manuals for this project. The texts were completed and translated even before the dishwashers were shipped. After all, the entire technical documentation should be available in all relevant languages as soon as the dishwashers are installed in the ferry and commissioned.
With the help of Across, this project could also be mastered within the tight schedule. "The Across Language Server had already proved its worth in connection with similar goals. We are glad that we have been able to roll out such an extensive documentation and localization project speedily, professionally, and – most importantly – in excellent quality", says Daniel Ratano.
- Top provider of warewashing and cleaning technology
- MEIKO was established in 1927 and has 15 subsidiaries in Germany
- International MEIKO subsidiaries: United Kingdom, France, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, USA, Australia, India, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia
- Approximately 1,850 employees
- Revenue 2012: EUR 260 million
- Locations around the globe
- Translations into more than 30 languages
- Language service providers and internal team members work on projects
- Standardized corporate language gains significance
- Existing systems: Docuglobe
Across components employed
- Across Language Server
- crossTerm Web
- crossTerm Lookup
- Central translation management
- Use of the termbase as corporate dictionary
- 70-80 percent time saving for translations