"The Beauty of Monuments & Sites in Taiwan" Government Publication for Yang's Architects & Associates

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Babel Communications has a long history of working with various Taiwanese government institutions. In this case, our client was Yang's Architects & Associates who were commissioned by Taiwan’s Council of Cultural Affairs—a government body charged with carrying out the protection and preservation of Taiwan’s heritage sites. To further these ends and raise awareness of the plentiful nature of Taiwan’s architectural heritage, the Council hired Yang Architects & Associates to put together a full-color booklet detailing 57 of Taiwan’s most famous historical sites.

Within the booklet, entitled The Beauty of Monuments & Sites in Taiwan, were detailed descriptions of Taiwan’s mansions, lighthouses, castles, military forts, temples, steles, tombs, ancestral halls, memorial arches, bridges, government offices, train stations, academies, industrial facilities, and fifteen other types of historical sites. Each of the 57 sites was described from a predominantly architectural point of view and came complete with several full or half page photos.

Overall, it was a challenging project. Not only was the size of the project—over 27,000 characters—a consideration, but the language used also presented its own set of challenges being extremely technical and terse and, in many areas, well beyond a layman’s understanding.

After accepting the case, Babel worked to address these two challenges. Since the entire project was due in one month and time was of the essence, a team of two editors and one translator was put together to handle the project. The case was first divided into several smaller, more manageable sections. After each section was translated, the translation was first checked for accuracy of meaning, before being passed to a second editor who focused exclusively on fluency, readably, and idiomatic correctness. In this way, the team was able to bring to completion the document well within the agreed upon deadline, while still ensuring the high quality of the finished product.

Second, recognizing the technical nature of the content, from its database of translators, Babel found a translator with both an architectural background and a clear grasp of the nuances of the semi-classical Chinese style in which the original was written—thereby assuring that the English translation would remain as professionally written as the Chinese original.


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