Siemens AG is a German multinational conglomerate headquartered in Munich. It is the largest industrial manufacturing company in Europe and has branches across the world. Siemens and its subsidiaries employ over 385,000 people worldwide and had reported global revenue of €87 billion in 2019.
Bubbles Translation Services first started working with the UK division of Siemens in 2009, translating a wide range of technical manuals into a variety of languages over the last 12 years.
Global footprint and the associated complexity of translation
Siemens head office teams had worked with many translation agencies over the years but all of them had failed to deliver the high-quality translations that the company demanded. In 2019, Siemens’ Munich office contacted Bubbles for translation requirements for their financial division. Siemens Financial Services offers international financing solutions in the business-to-business sector. The project was complex because many languages were involved as Siemens operates in multiple international markets and due to the complex nature of the documentation and industry regulations. The translations from English to German were of special importance and Siemens was disappointed that none of the translation agencies before Bubbles had managed to provide the quality it required, particularly the consistent linguistic style that it was striving for.
The Bubbles solution to Siemens translation woes
To provide the quality that Siemens wanted, Bubbles Translation Services produced multiple sample translations in each language, using multiple translators for each language. Siemens team was delighted to have to choose one from many high-quality translations and selected one translator from the Bubbles team for each language. The ‘approved’ translator was to be used for all future translation projects in that language to maintain a consistent linguistic style and tone of voice.
Siemens was incredibly satisfied with the quality of work and Bubbles was subsequently given added responsibility to translate the quarterly customer communications campaigns about new products and services.
Each campaign consisted of a wide range of assets including website content, printed material, whitepapers, videos, emails, and social media content. The first of these major campaigns was scheduled for March 2020. All of the approved translators were lined up and ready…
COVID-19 and the aftermath: Three concurrent campaigns to be translated
The national lockdowns throughout Europe were imposed in March 2020 due to Covid-19. Consequently, the March campaign was put on hold by Siemens.
Once restrictions began easing and business started getting back to normal, the March campaign was paused until further notice. A further six months passed before Siemens began their translation project again, but this meant a backlog of threequarters of campaign material!
Bubbles were tasked with not only translating the March campaign into all the required languages but also translating the June and September campaigns immediately. All three campaigns were to be translated by the end of September 2020, putting a high demand on the team due to short deadlines.
The Bubbles solution to meet the stringent deadline
Bubbles approved translators worked extra hours during evenings and weekends supported by the quality systems and the processes that Bubbles had established for Siemens during previous projects.
Translation quality is hard to achieve due to the subjective nature of the text that needs translating and for Siemens campaigns, we had to meet specific preferences of style and terminology. Bubbles introduced a collaborative, ongoing feedback process between the approved translators and the Siemens team so that translation copy produced by the approved translators in each language met these exacting requirements.
As a result, all three campaigns were translated by the end of September and the stringent deadline was met – an extraordinary achievement.
Now, due to the exceptional trust and working relationship, Bubbles not only work with Siemens head office in Munich but also works directly with many other Siemens’ operations across countries and divisions.