European Climate Foundation (ECF) – Translation Case Study

Overview of Requirements

ECF approached TW Languages on behalf of a research partner with a requirement to translate country-specific climate change reports into 14 languages in preparation for the upcoming G20 Meeting that took place at the end of October 2021 in Rome, and in advance of COP 26 being held in Glasgow immediately following G20.


The challenge was to translate large amounts of data within a very short period of time, with a high degree of accuracy given the critical scientific nature of the text, as well as having different source data for each language. It was also agreed that to ensure accuracy, draft translations would be supplied to ECF to allow independent experts engaged in the project to review and edit the drafts prior to final publication. In addition to the report itself, there would be a social media campaign running alongside to promote its findings.

Change of scope:

Original Scope – Average of 3,000 words per language – Total 42,000 words

Final Scope – Average of 9,200 words per language – Total 138,000 words

Upon receipt of the final source files, it quickly became apparent that the reports produced by the research partner were significantly larger than anticipated, as well as the source files requiring additional Desktop Publishing that was not anticipated in the original scoping and that this would compress the time available to complete all steps without compromising quality.  The final files received by ECF from the research partner engaged to prepare the reports had more than doubled in size from the original specifications, however due to the G20 meeting, it was not possible to extend the deadline, this was a hard deadline.

Alternative Source File Formats:

Due to the nature of the source files being Illustrator PDF files created from an Excel database, our PM team were put under additional pressure to provide a solution in order to prepare the ‘translatable assets’ for linguists for all languages required. Our expert in-house Desktop Publishing team was able to step in and provide an effective solution for this challenge.

Ongoing update of Reports Content:

A further challenge was introduced as it became apparent that some of the source content required additional editing to ensure the content was clear and concise for the translators, with the final source copy being available only a few days prior to the final deadline.

Message from the client

TW Languages joined us on a project that required 14 different language translations in a very short period of time – they were efficient, professional and brought great positivity and drive to what, at times, was a very challenging project. Both their translators and design team went beyond the call of duty to deliver to a tough deadline and were a pleasure to work with throughout. We would highly recommend their services.

Are certified translations required to support a due diligence process?

As global trade increases, our clients at TW Languages Ltd are experiencing a wide variation in legislative requirements from country to country. This has been reflected in a significant increase in the number of requests for certified translations as clients make them part of their due diligence process.  Documents have included business, technical and scientific translations relating to tenders, certificates, invoices and working practises, etc.

Each country has its own level of qualification for certified translators which means that they are only able to provide a service in that country. While TW Languages Ltd is recognised as a ‘sworn’ translation company in the UK, we also have systems and procedures in place so that we can arrange certification in other countries. Whenever notarisation is required, we have an excellent working relationship with Ken Wilcock, Notary in Manchester.

But is a certified translation really necessary in order to demonstrate due diligence?  We think so.

Since the purpose of each certification varies, it is therefore important to take an individual approach to each request. If you would like to see a few examples of  why certification should be part of a due diligence process and some of the challenges which clients have faced please send your email address to and we will be happy to share this information.

Our facts:

– TW Languages Ltd does not charge for UK certification as this is part of our translation and/or proofreading service.

– With our global team of ‘sworn’ translators, we can arrange for documents to be certified in most countries.

– Allow extra time for certified documents outside of the UK as original copies are required in the post.

For further information contact a member of the translation team at TW Languages.

Translation Project Manager keeping sane in a hectic schedule!

Emma Taylor, Senior Translation Project Manager at TW Languages manages to fit in the gym, raise money for charity, as well as, keeping sane in her hectic day in the office. Working with her translation project management team she takes the same winning approach in how she manages numerous multi-lingual projects for business, technical and scientific translations. She ensures the quality for each project is of the highest standard and deadlines are met.

Emma’s story:

After moving offices with TW Languages I decided to join the gym at The Heath Business and Technical Park. With the gym being on site it was an easy way to try and fit exercise around my busy work schedule as Senior Translation Project Manager at TW Languages. 

After catching the running bug and signing up to complete the Bupa Great Manchester Run in May this year I decided to raise money for a charity very close to my heart , St Ann’s Hospice. With a very close friend of mine experiencing their care and support when her mum was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2011 her and her family have been fundraising ever since. St Ann’s Hospice requires £16,000 per day to keep their three sites open and as a team the family have raised just over £14,000 through various events, they are aiming to raise £16,000 by the end of next year!

After raising £632.99 as part of a team for the Manchester Run I donned my running shoes again last weekend for the Salford 10k and I’m pleased to say ‘improved my personal best’!)

To make a donation directly to St Anns Hospice please visit:

A quick guide to working with translations

A quick guide to working with ‘translators’ written by Jack Porteous, UKTI London’s Language and Culture Adviser is a clear and simple guide to working with ‘translations’. He actually refers to ‘translators’ however as the UKTI helps UK-based exporters succeed globally, from a commercial basis the focus should be on business, technical and scientific translations, and generally in more than one language. I would suggest that translation service providers are more qualified to provide this service.

From a global perspective the translation industry has over 25,000 commercial language service providers with approx 45% of providers in Europe. There is the suggestion that 60% of the global market comprises of language service providers who have 2 to 5 employees, with 17% employing 6 to 10 employees.

Some of the differences between a translator as opposed to a translation service provider can be seen in that service providers produce multi-lingual translations; work within a wide range of market sectors; project manage to meet deadlines irrespective of any catastrophes along the way; have larger translation memory databases etc.

However, the common denominator for both translator and translation service provider is that both are providing a service to the client. All parties must have a clear understanding, trust and transparency in what work is being undertaken and the level of quality expected.

An overview of the article:

You’ve spent hours agonising over the minutiae of your marketing materials, days making your website word-perfect, and months producing the perfect sales brochure. Now you’re looking to export and need it all translating – so how can you guarantee that your translator gives a true representation of your company and products?

Trusting someone from outside of your company with such an integral part of your communications can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are my top tips for working with translators:

 1. You get what you pay for

2. Prepare your materials for translation

3. Communication, communication, communication

4. Who is it for?

5. Check and check again

Buying translation is far more complicated than buying a real, tangible product and it’s important to get it right. Botched translation can be expensive to put right, and the consequences of not getting it spot on first time can be much greater than you might think in terms of your reputation and your bottom line. You don’t want to get lost in translation, so make sure you are confident with your choice of translator and work with them to ensure the end product reflects the strength of your company and products.

What is included in the cost to translate a word?

What is included in the cost to translate a word? At least 10 activities!

Quoting for a job is fairly unique in the translation industry compared to other industries in that:

– Translation is based on ‘an actual cost per word’ and in some languages the cost can be based on per character, per line etc.
– There is a lower cost per word where translation CAT tools are used.
– Cost is associated with time hence business, website, technical and scientific translations take longer and therefore at a higher cost per word compared to general translation.

A quotation will give the fixed cost however the variable factor as to ‘what is included in the cost to translate a word’ can include at least 10 activities as listed below:

  1. Assessment & Analysis
  2. Translation Memory Software
  3. Format files
  4. Project Plan and team selection
  5. Communication, Selection and Administration
  6. Translation by native professional translator(s)
  7. Proofread by native professional proofreader(s)
  8. Checking in-house to the source material (list of activities)
  9. Re-checking in-house (list of activities)
  10. Sign-off, send to client before deadline


Is a work colleague the best person to translate the company’s website?

Just because a work colleague is fluent in a foreign language it doesn’t necessarily mean they can translate a document that’s fit for publication!

It can be a false economy to use work colleagues or friends to translate text for business, technical, scientific or website translations unless of course the individual is a qualified translator or highly experienced in translating.

Once a poor translation has been produced it’s time consuming and costly to improve the text. It will take a proof-reader plus editor to rewrite the material to bring the translation to an acceptable level, and it’s unlikely that the text will be of the same quality as a translation completed by a professional translator.

A recent example can be seen in a request we received from a Client to proofread a translation which their work colleague had translated. The proof-reader’s comments speak for themselves.

As far as proofing is concerned, it is hopeless, as the text is not really a text, plus the translated words were randomly translated, and do not relate to the client´s business.

The text needs more than a proof-reader. All I can suggest is a GOOD translator will use a proper TM (translation memory) for consistency. I know that re-writing such bad texts is worse than translating them.”

At least the Client requested that the text be proofread not all companies do this but assume the translation must be good because it was translated by a foreign speaker!


Great translation is down to excellent teamwork

Achieving a great technical and scientific translation is due to having an excellent translation team run by a highly skilled Translation Project Manager. The main consideration is that each project is unique, the Translation Project Manager takes this approach in carefully selecting the team of translators, proofreaders and checkers specific to the needs of the project. Communication is key, everyone will have the same goal and desire to produce a quality translation, delivered on time.

It’s the team that achieves the excellence; “The Whole is greater than the Sum of its parts”

And when we receive the following feedback everyone in the team gets to hear of it!

“I’m happy to confirm, that I have never seen before such a perfect translation from
English to German” 
Benno Wichert, Thermal Energy International (

“We are always very happy with your service – thanks for continuing to look after us” Jayne Fletcher, UPL Europe Limited

“Many thanks for all your help, I was so impressed with the speed and efficiency”  Elaine Shepherd (

“Thanks for your fast Service” Michael Fisahn-Reinhard, GlobeFuel Systems & Services GmbH 

“We arrived at a suitable agreement with our customer, your help with this was invaluable”  David Thorley, Fort Vale Engineering Ltd.