Spring and autumn brochures: a big order to fill

Diction has been providing translation and proofreading services for Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG since 2012. We currently receive orders from more than 150 employees across all departments at the organisation. One of the largest projects comes in twice a year from the Cars department: the spring and autumn brochures for Mercedes-Benz and smart, for which we provide proofreading of the original German text and translation into French and Italian. These brochures are published in spring and autumn and reach roughly 1 in every 12 households in Switzerland.

The client

Mercedes-Benz Schweiz AG is part of the Daimler Group, one the world’s largest producers of premium cars, commercial vehicles and trucks. As well as vehicle sales, the company provides financing, leasing, fleet management, insurance and innovative mobility services.

The task

The first phase of the project involves proofreading and translating the texts, without knowing the final layout. This makes the work that much more challenging whenever a question comes up about which bit of text belongs to which section, which parts refer to what or how the images will be incorporated. What’s more, the texts all have to follow a common thread and make for interesting reading.

In terms of text type, the spring and autumn brochures include marketing pieces, model descriptions and legal notices. In addition to more creative content, there are also sections which, for legal reasons, need to be translated word for word. Even the descriptions of the different models range from traditional to decidedly livelier in their use of language.

The solution

The first step to tackling a project of this size is to ensure proper organisation. Diction uses its own translation management system to maintain an overview of all the elements in every project – and the various drafts of large-scale projects such as this one – allocate its resources strategically and ensure client-specific information is always to hand or readily available. Furthermore, given the complexity of this particular project, we assign the work to client relationship managers and language experts who are familiar with the client in question. They know which version is the latest draft and are able to keep deadlines, terminology, references and layout in mind at all times.

When it comes to working on the texts themselves, our German language proofreaders pay particular attention to whether the wording expresses exactly what the client wants to say, or whether changes need to be made. An important tool here is our MultiTerm terminology database, which we use to check terminology, product names, preferences in terms of wording and any words the client does not want us to use in their texts. We also go over the legal notices and model descriptions with a fine-tooth comb, checking every letter and figure. When a bit of creativity is called for, our marketing translators set about striking the right note for every model.

The bottom line: with multifaceted and large-scale projects such as these, which involve countless stages in terms of organisation, proofreading and translation, it pays to have everything done by a select team who are experts in all things Mercedes-Benz.