We are just embarking on another multi-language project for one of our big clients, DHL. I always like these jobs!
We will be managing the localisation, translation and layout of a brochure that will provide information on services and rates for DHL Express customers in many global locations.
I have learnt from experience that you need to have source text with clear signposting for the localisation and translation teams in-country, and the signposting needs to work well in guiding us through the document when we in turn go to lay it out, especially when it is in a non-Roman alphabet. I have also learnt that it is vital that the localised document is thoroughly checked and approved at Word document stage, as major changes once it's in layout are time-consuming and costly.
I like these jobs as I like keeping on top of multiple documents coming and going all over the world, and keeping careful track of where everything is up to.
I also like these jobs as I know the end users really appreciate having something which has been created with their local needs in mind. The last time we did a job like this, the leaflet we created in eleven languages went down a treat, with the recipients in some smaller countries commenting that it's not very often that they receive something from head office in their local language. The leaflets each enclosed a postcard quiz, and the uptake on the quiz was high, showing it ticked quite a few boxes in terms of employee engagement.
This sort of project shows the time and effort involved in creating something to really resonate with end users. It also shows that in communications, one size does not fit all, and tailoring communications to each audience is hugely important.