CASE STUDY: Hitachi Construction Materials.

An example of our Translation / Interpreting / Typesetting work relating to manufacturing, plant machinery, technical terms, publishing formats.

Orange truck machinery
We enjoy a long and successful relationship with Talking Heads, who provide technical translations for our comprehensive Operator Manuals and related documents. They provide these translations to a high quality level, on time and on budget and are proactive in their suggestions and attitude.
— Product Integrity and Publications / Standards Manager, Hitachi.

The Requirement

As part of their sales offering, all machines purchased from Hitachi Construction Machinery are accompanied by an Operator Manual and often a separate Safety & Maintenance Manual. Due to their commitment to customer service and international legislation, these manuals must be published in the primary language of the country in which the vehicle is to be sold / operated. The two primary challenges are to produce high quality technical content localised to the country of use, and to deliver these fully print-ready localised manuals in a quick time frame, due to delivery targets.

Subsequent challenges include producing translations of revised documents, the complicated management of many different, yet similar, product manuals and adhering to strict budgets.

The Solution

Talking Heads works with Hitachi Construction Machinery to strategically grow and develop their international sales of machinery, including excavators, trucks and foresters.

The translations provide assistance to the company in achieving their goals of high quality international service and adherence to international legislation concerning user and safety manuals. Talking Heads offers a fully immersive account solution, providing Hitachi with confidence in quality, efficiency and pricing.


Understanding our client and copy content is key to delivering effective translations. Every Account Manager and Project Manager conducts research into the sector, company and products, ensuring their complete understanding of the content they are managing.


Working from our in-house pool of over 10,500 worldwide linguists, internal recruitment is carried out to ensure the best linguists are chosen, based on mother-tongue language, sector expertise and experience in translating and copywriting for the sector, product and type of content. A selection of linguists is then shortlisted and trained / inducted to the account brand (incl. tone of voice) and project/s.

Process / Quality

At Hitachi’s request, our ‘Premium’ service is employed; review, pre-processing, translation, review, proofreading, review, spot-checking, formatting, post-processing, delivery and feedback.


Files are sent to us in either MS Word or Adobe InDesign format. For either format, our ‘target’ language files must mirror the ‘source’ language files as much as possible, allowing for cultural localisation. This includes layout, imagery, indexing, contents tables, font choice and technical implementation (incl. for script languages such as Arabic). Print-ready files are returned.

TM Management

Having worked with Hitachi for many years, the TM (Translation Memory) we hold for them is comprehensive. For each manual which requires translation, we can achieve the highest level of consistency and quality, due to this referencing. Discounts are also made possible as many parts of standard text are kept on record. This TM also becomes part of any new linguist’s brand training / style guide. When a revised document is sent to us for the amendments to be translated, we load it into our TM and make changes to the revised sections only, ensuring the most cost effective and efficient result.


Like any business, our customer Hitachi Construction Machinery has very strict budgets. After discussion about their limitations and requirements at the beginning of their account setup, each requirement follows this structure. Therefore our client always knows where they stand, and can often work out an approximate cost before they even send the work to us. They find this extremely helpful when they are at the key pricing stage of their own negotiations with their clients.


As our customer receives the order for one of their machines, we receive the order for translation of the manuals for that machine, often into numerous languages at a time. Many orders come in to them at the same time, often as a result of an international trade show, for example. Their customers are offered a guaranteed delivery time, which we must adhere to, so that the manual can be reviewed, translated, printed and shipped with the machinery. Therefore, essentially, we simply say yes to whatever timeframe our client sets! Ideally we have a couple of weeks, but sometimes less. We utilise various mechanisms to produce work quicker than ‘standard’ turnaround times, whilst also retaining the high quality level.