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How accurate translation of Employee Manuals helps improve corporate culture

How accurate translation of Employee Manuals helps improve corporate culture

Employee manuals are crucial to maintaining cohesion in multinational companies. The Employee Manual lays out the expectations, ethos and policies of the company, and serves as a compass for employee conduct, decision-making, and professional growth. One key challenge for multinationals, is fostering mutual understanding and a shared purpose across diverse workforce demographics.

The professional translation of Employee Manuals is a critical step to ensure the core tenets of the company are understood and embraced by the entire team, regardless of their geographical location, or their linguistic and cultural background.

Furthermore, providing your manual in multiple languages demonstrates your company’s commitment towards inclusivity, and improves engagement across all locations. This in turn, improves employee morale, productivity and retention, as well as contributing to a more harmonious corporate culture.

On the negative side, a subpar translation of employee manuals can lead to misunderstandings, confusion and potentially, compliance risks. Policies, procedures and expectations that are not clearly conveyed can result in unintentional violations, legal liabilities, or even compromised workplace safety.

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, and multinationals expand their global footprint, the professional translation of employee manuals has become increasingly important.

Best practices

Specialised software — Computer Assisted Translation

Using CAT tools we can create for you a Translation Memory. CAT tools split a source text into manageable units known as ‘segments’. The software then builds databases of equivalent segments in different languages. The databases of these matching segments form a Translation Memory (TM).

A segment is the basic semantic unit of a text: ‘the red house’, for instance, or ‘eighty-three’. For example, the TM learns that ‘the red house’ means ‘la casa roja’ in Spanish. So, next time it sees ‘the red house’ in an English to Spanish translation, it suggests the translation ‘la casa roja’.

The translator can choose to accept the suggestion (‘candidate’), replace it with a new translation, or modify it to better match the source (original) text. This means our translators don’t need to waste time re-researching something which has already been translated, and approved, for the same client.

This enables a consistency of translation in the work we do. Naturally, we build a data-protected TM for each of our clients. So regardless of which translator works on a given text, we use consistent terminology in all translations for them.

Updating using a TM

There is another huge benefit of using a TM. The translation of Employee Manuals will not change significantly each time they are updated; some new information will be added, a target may change, or some guidelines adapted to meet the latest legislation, but it is unlikely the content will change fundamentally.

In the past, this fact was irrelevant, as one would have had to translate the entire text, by hand, each time a new version was produced (even if the new version could be compared with the original). Not so with TM, where you will only have to pay for the translation of the changes made rather than the whole document.

When you pass us the new version, we compare it against your TM. Naturally, the TM will recognise the majority of segments as identical candidates. The translator will then only have to work on the small percentage of segments which have been changed, added or removed from the first version.

This translates into very significant savings. If your company updates the manual(s) each year, they could potentially save more than 50% on what they would have spent by choosing a Language Service Provider who does not use Translation Memory.

Note: TMs are also useful for other regularly updated documents: such as product catalogs, technical manuals, and even your Annual Report.

Interactive PDFs

Interactive, multilingual (or multi-language) PDFs allow our customers to maintain a single PDF file which includes all their translations, and to switch from one language version to another by simply clicking on selector button (like on a website). Multilingual PDFs were developed because multinational corporations and SMEs alike waste huge time, effort and costs in creating and managing files – ie. re-creating the same content, at a cost of one additional file per language. Quicksilver Translate is no exception, and in fact our first Multilingual PDF was our own corporate presentation – which is now available in several languages, all in one file.

Disseminating your Employee Manual as a single, multilingual PDF ensures all your teams, worldwide, are working to the same script, and all information reaches every employee.

A multilingual PDF has multiple benefits:

  • Improved quality control: Reviewing your translations is much easier with one-click switching on your screen.
  • Mail it Fast! Send a single PDF to all your employees.
  • Simpler graphics maintenance: As you only make modifications to photos, drawings, tables, etc, once.
  • User experience: Let your employees choose their preferred language.
  • Improved version control: As all your language versions stay together in a single file.
  • Wow Factor! Impress your employees, clients and stakeholders!

Find out more: Multilingual PDFs: FAQ

Employee retention and multilingual materials

Did you know that 62% of international employees feel personally affected by skill gaps? As more and more of us work remotely, multilingual training content means all your employees have equal access to training offered — this encourages professional growth, and helps all new employees to feel they have joined a team (and not just a Trello board).

Find out more: Translation for eLearning: Why it matters

Why Quicksilver Translate

We have translated into over 50 language combinations to date, using our global network of professional translators — all based in the country where their target language is spoken. This ensures that they remain up-to-date with linguistic trends, nuance, and slang, as well as cultural norms.

We provide multilingual translation services and desktop publishing solutions. As such, we are able to manage every aspect of the translation process, and can therefore shorten the time-to-market of your translated documents.

Contact us for a quote or free consultation

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