Words in context beat barren tables

Hard figures in a soft setting

HR and finance solutions are becoming increasing complex as technology continues to advance. The company PerSal based in Kriens developed a modular HR and payroll software to suit customer needs, simplifying wage calculations, financial statements, cost accounting and HR processes.

The system was already well established in German but was now required in English, too, so PerSal commissioned Apostroph to provide a succinct and readily comprehensible translation of the graphic user interfaces. At first PerSal wanted to have the extensive translation work done on site at its headquarters. However, no translators could be found who were willing to go Kriens for an entire month to work on this project. The solution was to export all the menu text modules into Excel and translate them in the normal way. However, this idea was soon fraught with problems, too: the 'soulless', abstract Excel tables provided too little context for the translator, so time-consuming enquiries would have to be made to come up with the right word in English. Finally, after a carefully orchestrated preparatory phase in which the terminology, syntax and working method were coordinated with the customer, an assistance programme was deployed which enabled our technical writer to carry out the work from his own office. An added benefit here was that the customer could track the status of the translation at all times and go ahead with reviewing finished segments.

The end result cost approximately the same as having the translation done on site – and was more than satisfactory to all concerned: the customer PerSal, our dedicated technical writer and our Key Account Manager, who had been able to offer an individualized customer solution.