Alstom Case Study

alstom transportAlstom Transport is the world’s leading manufacturer of very high-speed trains and ranks second in the world in the urban rail transport sector. Its range of products and services includes rolling stock, infrastructure and signaling equipment, as well as maintenance operations. Alstom Transport has operations in over 60 countries and 26,000 employees. Alstom Transport regularly participates in international tenders organized by governments and municipalities based outside of France, with tender specification documents in languages other than French or English. These tender specifications, which often amount to hundreds of pages or more, must be translated within 48 hours so that Alstom Transport can begin working on its response. The translation must be clear and technically correct since it provides a working basis for the engineers and sales teams that respond to the invitation to tender. Once the response to the tender has been drawn up, it must also be translated within a very short time frame so that it can be returned to the end-client within the established deadlines. During this second phase, the terminological and linguistic quality of the translation is of upmost importance since it represents Alstom Transport’s image to its prospective client. The challenge is twofold: The two phases, comprising volumes of up to 300,000 words, must be processed in less than 10 business days. The linguistic quality of the final delivery must be of a high level.

The challenge

For phase 1, Alstom Transport chose to rely on machine translation (MT). This choice was motivated by the reduced lead times made possible by this solution, as well as by lower translation costs. As a result, Lexcelera is able to process up to 300 pages within 24 to 48 hours with ‘light’ post-editing. LexWorks combines a powerful translation engine with translation memories approved by Alstom Transport. This process provides a clear translation based on approved technical terminology.

For phase 2, as the translation is intended for the prospective client, LexWorks adds a ‘full’ post-editing step to the above described process to ensure a high-quality translation that is also stylistically appropriate. Using this process, LexWorks’s linguists are able to process twice as many words as they can with the conventional process. In addition, by feeding the post-editor’s corrections back into the translation engine, LexWorks continues to ‘train’ the engine so that it can process the next document even more efficiently, in terms of both time and quality.

The solution

  • Alstom Transport’s teams can begin working on their response five days sooner on average.
  • A project of this magnitude was completed on schedule with a savings of 60 man days.
  • Cost savings of 35% with results of comparable linguistic quality