Case Studies

Each project presents its own set of challenges that are as complex and numerous as the languages and cultures from which they arise. We’ve seen and managed it all—including pressing deadlines, localization issues such as conversion to a metric system, finding creative solutions to a play on words or assonance patterns equivalent to the source document.

As a language service provider, our role is to anticipate these challenges and ensure they’re successfully overcome. The following case study illustrates some of these issues.


Languages: Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese

Subject: Translation of lease agreements, consent forms and documents for the protection of nonpublic personal information

There are a range of challenges presented by legal translation, where inappropriate terminology or ambiguous semantics can lead to disastrous consequences. This project presented its own set of specific challenges.

During extensive consultation with our client at the onset of the project, we established localization guidelines that accommodated our client’s preferences and would help us abide by the language rules of the target culture. Specifically, we addressed localization of greetings, dates and prices, as the above languages use different writing conventions. Moreover, as the template forms were to be filled out by Nissan’s employees in languages they wouldn’t necessarily be familiar with, it was essential to cross-reference all the customizable information they would be completing.

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of the project was to find "a happy medium" to make the content accessible to the layman without failing to capture the semantic precision of the legal wording. This was particularly relevant to the Tagalog language. With its many different dialects, the choice of terminology had to accommodate these differences to accurately and generically address a Tanglish-speaking audience. Filipino Americans have evolved their own standards of what is admissible, and overbearing legalese is NOT. In fact, with Tagalog being a very informal language, it was all the more critical to “tone down” the formality of the legal jargon.

Finally, we addressed the challenge of organizing the translation files so that our client could easily identify the forms. With over 700 files saved in 3 different file formats, it was essential to create a relevant directory and consistent saving protocols. In addition, we compiled binders with dividers for each language.