Norwich HEART & Digital Heritage
Norwich HEART are a Norfolk based charitable trust whose main objective is social and economic regeneration of the Norwich and Norfolk region. The work the organisation does covers a wide scope of activities, all focused on ensuring that the vast collection of buildings, artefacts, people and stories within Norwich and the Norfolk area meet their full potential in improving quality of life for local people and visitors. Their Digital Heritage project - archivealive.org - is a cross channel heritage initiative that brings together a vast collection of film footage from East Anglia and Upper Normandy from the last 100 years. The films represent 100 years of social history of the two regions and have been designed to coordinate within classroom based learning, with each individual film including detailed background information on the footage which is available in both English and French.
After submitting our initial proposal, we were successful in tendering for the provision of English into French translation services for the archivealive.org digital platform. The scope of the work would involve translating an estimated 150,000 words within a 2-3 month period. To ensure the launch date was achieved, all production work was to be carried out simultaneously, with translation text being produced while source content was being added to the site.
Project specifics and process
A team of French mother tongue translators was selected from our database and briefed on the requirements of the project. Although the nature of the content would easily allow for multiple translators to be utilised, because of the fairly generous timeframe and frequency of the source text becoming available, one main translator would be used, with a shared TM (translation memory) being created and used as and when needed. All of the French team that were chosen had backgrounds in historical studies, and as well as having an MA in modern History the lead translator had spent a considerable amount of time living and working in and around Norfolk.
Source content management
All content for the archivealive.org site was managed via a bespoke CMS system that accommodated both English and French content. After reviewing the CMS and discussing the various options with Norwich HEART, it was decided that the best approach would be to export the source content, as it became available, from the CMS into an editable format (Microsoft Excel). This would give translators access to the source text in a format they would be familiar with and would also mean that they wouldn't have to input translation directly to the CMS (which would avoid any issues of non-reviewed text being accidently published). It also meant that translation memories could be generated from the exported source text, and that word counts could be created. We were given full responsibility for managing the English content export and the French content re-import, andpost-project Norwich HEART were given full access to all content files.
To aid the translation, full access was give to view the films that accompanied the text, as well as general reference material in the way of previous content Norwich HEART had produced.
The translation process
A shared google docs spreadsheet was used to keep track of title status. Norwich HEART would notify us when new titles were added to the spreadsheet and we would notify them when French translations were complete and added to the CMS ready for their approval. Typically, during the project period this was done weekly in batches of around 15-20 files per export/re-import.
Any queries regarding the source material were raised via a queries log, whereby questions from the translators were sent to Norwich HEART for their review and the responses added to a document log, so any further translators working on the assignment would have access to any previous queries.
The end Results
The work was completed on time, within the specified budget. The French translations provided have been well received by French speaking visitors to the site. For more information on Norwich HEART please visit http://www.heritagecity.org/. To see the Archive Alive website visit: http://www.archivealive.org/
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