IKEA is a multinational group of companies that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture, appliances, small motor vehicles and home accessories.
Preserving IKEA’s unique, uniform style across all of its leaflets, announcements, flash presentations, video captions, website texts and other materials. Multiple descriptions of store departments, goods and activities had to be uniformly translated to retain the original meanings. Moreover, IKEA's corporate documents were studded with words and expressions not found in any dictionary and often incomprehensible to outsiders, which is why IKEA had never used third party translators.
In order to provide translation services identical in quality to IKEA’s in-house translators the vendor would need to understand all terms, phrasing and nuances as taught to IKEA employees.
We started by analyzing parallel texts, i.e., original vs. translation, previously translated and approved by IKEA; we also sent a senior editor and project manager for short-term training at the IKEA office. A special team analyzed and systematized the accumulated information and developed the IKEA Style Guide for translators and editors, which guaranteed stylistic consistency when translating words and expressions peculiar to IKEA.
The Style Guide included a mini glossary of key terms, lists of departments and goods, and vast style and translation recommendations. The Guide eliminated the need for special training of new translation team members, as well as reducing translation proofing time for IKEA employees.