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Esri - translation and localization on a global scale

Acolad customer case

HomeOur case studiesCase Study, Esri – Translation and Localisation

Translation and localisation services

Esri is the global market leader in GIS, and Esri ArcGIS is the most powerful mapping and spatial analytics software in the world. Esri software has been deployed in more than 350,000 organizations worldwide, including in the world’s largest cities and in most national governments across the globe. 

several people working on computers

The long-term relationship between Esri and Acolad began over 12 years ago, when Acolad started handling Esri’s Swedish translations directly.

Over the years, Acolad has been selected to provide an increasing number of languages and text types, and has become one of Esri's most trusted language service providers.

man and woman working on a computer

Services & languages

Acolad provides translation, localization and terminology services to Esri on a daily basis, including maintenance of translation memories and termbases. 

Acolad primarily translates help (UA), support, software and website updates into nine languages: Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Turkish, Hebrew, Spanish, Polish and Dutch. Acolad has also produced style guides with instructions and guidelines for Esri translators in all nine languages.

Acolad underwent testing to translate legal content into all of the languages that are currently localized, and was initially selected to take care of Esri’s Spanish legal content after completing an RFP blind test for this challenging text type. More and more languages were entrusted to us over time, and all 37 languages for legal translations were eventually transferred to Acolad – which means we are the sole global vendor for this text type.

Esri language pairs graph

Quotes from the client

“Acolad has become one of our best partners. We made the decision to move all of our legal content to Acolad because we believed they could handle it. So far, they have confirmed our belief.”

“Things are going much smoother for our legal translations at this point and we’re quite happy with them. I wish we had made the decision earlier.”  

Localization Team Lead, Esri (California, USA), Jonathan Turpin

Development of services

Acolad initially performed reviews of translations into Swedish provided by other vendors. Later on, Acolad was entrusted with the actual translation assignments (primarily into Swedish), and the number of languages taken care of by Acolad has grown over the years.

Esri works with many different language service providers to ensure the best possible quality for each of the languages. Vendors are selected using an elaborate process including blind tests, and evaluations from the local distributor for the language in question are taken into account. In this quest for quality, focus on finding the best providers has led to a varied localisation environment, where Esri – depending on the language – works with both major multilingual service providers and single language vendors.

Within certain subject areas, it can be challenging for one provider to handle several languages without quality being affected. However, due to problems in the past when using multiple language service providers, Esri wanted one vendor to take care of all of its legal translations. Acolad was selected after undergoing testing for all 37 languages, and to this day cooperation has been very successful.

On a global scale, Esri translates around 100 million words a year, and this amount is currently growing by around 20% a year. Looking to Esri’s future translation needs, the company will require more translations more quickly – but the company’s high demands for quality will remain unchanged. It is crucial to move forward and develop the technology and systems, and Esri’s vendors will have to embrace the need for change and be willing to move forward with the company.

Quotes from the client

“We need to go bigger and faster, and we have gradually migrated from one workflow to another. It was a necessity. Acolad has moved with us in this regard, and has genuinely supported us in these changes.”

“It’s important to realize that we are all intertwined. From Europe to Asia to the Americas – it all works together. In order for us to adapt to our different markets, as a global company, we have to have local content and translations for those local communities.”

Localization Team Lead, Esri (California, USA), Jonathan Turpin

Services used in the case

Translation services

Proofreading services

Localisation services

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