In the world of translation, achieving high-quality output often requires a fine balance of advanced technology and human expertise. This recent project for the Policia Judiciária underscores the incredible outcomes possible when these two elements come together, guided by competent project management.

The Importance of Formatting Work
The project commenced and concluded with crucial formatting work. The original document was in PDF format, a format not directly editable, necessitating a conversion process at the start. Once the translation was completed, the translated text was reformatted to match the original document's layout. This bookend process ensures that the client receives a translated document that's not just linguistically accurate but also mirrors the original formatting, providing a seamless user experience.

How Machine Translation and Human Expertise Combined
Our project involved translating approximately 73,000 words of legal text from French to Portuguese, a task that was executed from the 31st of January to the 8th of February. Our secret sauce? Machine Translation Post Editing (MTPE), followed by meticulous human review.

Machine Translation (MT) can be a powerful tool for accelerating the translation process. We leveraged this to provide a first pass translation, which then served as the basis for our linguists' work.
After the MT phase, our talented linguists, including Ana Fonseca Santos our freelance legal translation expert, carried out Machine Translation Post Editing (MTPE). This process, where humans edit and refine machine-generated translations, ensures the output is accurate, contextually correct and idiomatic.

Quality control is paramount, and for this, we turned again to our diligent inhouse reviewer, Ruben, who provided a final layer of review, ensuring the translated document was flawless before delivery. Ruben was also responsible for managing a Term Base (online glossary) to ensure consistency across the project and mitigate the effects of using multiple translators. This Term Base was created during the preparation stage of the file (while the document was being formatted) so as to save time and guarantee consistency during the project translation

The Role of a Well-Coordinated Team
While technology played a significant role in this project, its success was largely down to our expert project management and team coordination. Our project manager, Rui Matos, steered the project with deftness and efficiency, demonstrating the value of excellent project management in translation work.

The project manager serves as the linchpin in any translation project. From orchestrating the project's preparation for multiple post-editors, handling queries, and systematically managing the diverse project stages - such as formatting, file preparation, executing machine translation, allocating sections to different translators, and supervising the quality control and review process - the project manager seamlessly bridges the gap between the client's request and the project delivery.

Power of Technological Tools
The use of technology was pivotal throughout the project. We utilized memoQ and the memoQ server, a state-of-the-art CAT (Computer-Assisted Translation) tool, which allowed for simultaneous post-editing by multiple linguists. This not only accelerated the process but also facilitated consistency across the translations.

This also enabled a review process to occur simultaneously with the ongoing translation. This approach saved valuable time, eliminated the need for batching of work, and reduced lead times.

In addition to the memoQ tool, we used a quickly built term base to ensure terminological consistency throughout the project, and our color coding system to manage the quality of the translations. With different colors indicating different levels of concern or error, we could quickly identify and address any potential issues, ensuring the final translation was of the highest quality.

This project serves as a testament to our culture of eliminating waste through continuous improvement. With effective project management, a dedicated team of linguists, and the right tools and technology, we can deliver translations of impeccable quality, even under tight deadlines.

In the era of global communication, never has the adage been truer - the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts. And when those parts include advanced machine translation, top-tier linguistic talent, and smart use of technology like memoQ, the results speak for themselves.