Case study: Large volume Chinese-English technical translation

Executive Summary

Our client, an engineering firm, provides integrated, sustainable solutions for environmental restoration and property redevelopment. They also provide new construction design and building. The firm retained Scriptis for Chinese-English technical translation of a large volume of documents in connection with litigation involving the firm.

The Challenge

The project presented challenges not only because of the volume of Chinese-language source documents involved, but also because of their variety. The client planned to submit 346 documents in three waves. These included emails, meeting notes, and reports, each ranging from 1 to 92 pages in length.


We assembled a team of five translators for the work. The team leader drafted the bilingual glossary based on initial documents and his own expertise as a technical translator. He also made final edits to a terminology list that all the team members contributed to on an ongoing basis to maintain consistency and to find the best translations for industry-specific terms.

Our project manager individually reviewed each document in order to gauge the amount of work involved before assigning them to a translator. Review was also necessary because some of the documents submitted were already bilingual (in Chinese and English) and others were duplicates. The project manager’s initial triage saved a great deal of unnecessary translation work and also ensured that assignments matched each translator’s strength and specialization.

The translators used computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools with continuously updating translation memories and term bases.  Read more about CAT tools here.


Scriptis delivered accurate Chinese-English technical translation, on time and within the client’s budget. The client was pleased. The project exemplifies Scriptis’s commitment to efficiency and flexibility. Our expertise in content management allowed the client to provide documents on their own schedule. Clear communication and preparation at the outset allow us to adapt our workflows to suit the client’s needs.