• Using scientific data to help reduce by-catch

Mindfully Wired Communications: English to French translation of GearingUp fisheries database

Mindfully Wired Communications (MWC) is a UK-based not-for-profit communications consultancy that “mixes creativity with science to tell a new story of sustainability”. With a focus on the marine sector, MWC works with organisations like the World Wildlife Fund, the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and the North Sea Advisory Council to provide insightful communications that harness the power of language and imagery. Their services include communications strategy, film production, international event organisation and much more.

MWC were recently tasked with implementing the GearingUp project, a Northern-European-wide initiative to reduce by-catch, i.e. the catching of unwanted fish in commercial fishing. One important aspect of the project was to collate a huge amount of scientific data from various trials, and condense this into an easy-to-use online database for fishermen.

The data collected was in English, and it was our task to translate it into French. The word count for the first batch of data trials was huge, with over 140,000 words to be translated. However, the database included many repetitions, and with the help of our translation software, we were able to significantly reduce the word count to around 30,000. Timing was pretty crucial for this project so we used a team of two in-house translators who translated simultaneously, followed by an editing step by one of our in-house editors.

Translating the GearingUp database into French was a fantastic opportunity for us to get involved with a project that fosters marine sustainability. Being based in Cornwall, surrounded by the sea, we have a natural love for the ocean, and  experience first hand the negative impact of wasteful and polluting fishing practices, from finding dead, discarded fish in the harbour, to seeing bits of fishing net and tackle strewn across the beaches after a storm. We already get involved in hands-on beach cleans, but with the translation of this database we hope to contribute in some way to tackling the issue at source.

We did a lot of research to get the specific fishing and equipment terminology right. The data sets came from various different sources, and with it being an Excel database, there wasn’t always enough context to simply make an educated guess on what the English might mean. Harriet did a fantastic job of fielding our questions to the right teams and getting us the answers we needed.

I thought everything was faultless. The AJT team kept me informed throughout the whole process, asked extremely good questions and translated some pretty complex scientific language all while sticking to a very tight deadline, I was really impressed. They even managed to complete some ad-hoc translation work I sent at the last minute with no prior warning.

Harriet Yates-SmithProject ManagerMindfully Wired Communications