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Guinness World Records

Kadokawa corporation effectively translates its Guinness world records book. Challenge won: The Guinness world records book successfully translated in just 1 month!

Despite the challenges inclusive of 200,000 words and time limit, Ulatus overcame all constraints and delivered a high-quality work that stood up to my expectations.

Project Summary

  • Published by Kadokawa Corporation
  • Translating the book from English to Japanese
  • Tranlation of the Guinness World Records 2012
  • Topics covered science, astrology, culture, engineering, and more
  • Book comprised 200,000 English words
  • Opted Double check translation level (Translation + Translation Check)
The Japanese edition of The Guiness World Records 2012 translated by Ulatus

Challenges

  • Race against Time – Pressing Timeline to Translate >200,000 Words Guinness had set a launch date in Japan. The Japanese version had to release soon after the English version. It would take more than a year for a single translator to complete this >200,000-word book translation. However, Ulatus was given the challenge of translating the entire book in only One Month!
  • Ensuring Accuracy of Records - Balancing Precision and Speed The book covers a number of record-breaking facts and achievements. One of its vital characteristics is the sheer amount of numbers. Translation of BIG numbers such as “million,” “billion,” and “trillion” calls for extreme focus and care. Even the most seasoned translator can falter here because of the difference in the English and Japanese numeral systems. Any incorrect number or mistranslation would have severe repercussions and adversely affect the reputation of the Guinness brand.
  • Maintaining Consistency across Multiple Translators for the Multidisciplinary Book Guinness agreed to assigning more than one translator to cover expertise across disciplines and meet the deadline, but this introduced a new challenge of maintaining consistency in terminology and expressions. Translators can end up using their own preferred styles and terms resulting in consistency issues throughout the book.
  • Ensuring High Level of Readability and Fluency English↔Japanese is the most challenging language pair for translation. It is even more challenging to get Japanese native translators who are not only proficient in diverse subject areas but also skilled in fluent translation, and delivering high quality befitting such a publication.

How Ulatus Overcame the Challenges?

Guinness World Records aims to inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things, and we cultivated the same spirit in our project management.

  • Brought Together a Highly Skilled Translation Team This >200,000-word book comprised record holders from different backgrounds such as Science, Astrology, Culture, and Engineering. To form a specialized and highly skilled team, we first filtered 30 translators and gave them a translation test. The top 14 performers from different disciplines were assigned to this project. We were able to achieve this given our large database of over 500 translators across 1000+ disciplines.
  • Prepared Translation Glossary for Consistency We ensured all 14 translators worked in tandem and used common terminology and expressions wherever possible. We made a Translation Glossary for all common terms. All translators followed the glossary religiously as well as added new terms to the list.
  • Set Up a Strong Project Management and Quality Assurance (QA) Process The Project Management team played a central role in closely coordinating with the translation team and the client servicing team. This ensured that the client expectations were met 100% at all levels. Post translation cross-checks were implemented for consistency of expressions throughout the book. After the first round of complete translation, the manuscript was shared with all translators to check each other’s word choices and expressions. Translator were encouraged to suggest further areas of improvement in each other’s translations as well as look at their translations to ensure fluency, clarity, and consistency.
  • Used Proprietary Tools and Implemented Checks for Accuracy We made sure there was not a single mistake in the translation of one of the most vital aspects of the book–Record Numbers. Using in-house proprietary tools, we ensured accuracy of number translations in the translated text and matched the numbers in the source text. For areas requiring manual checks, the translators proofread their translations for errors in numbers. Moreover, each translator cross-checked a different translator’s work for number accuracy.

Accomplishments

We delivered the translated book in Japanese with a high level of Consistency, Accuracy, and Readability in One month. Ulatus is proud to have translated the Japanese edition of The Guinness World Records 2012, and contributed in bringing one of the world’s best-selling book to Japan.

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