The most important Swiss railway sector standards are the RTE – Regelwerk Technik Eisenbahn (the rail technology reference document) – regulations issued by the Swiss Confederation via the Public Transport Union (UTP).
These regulations are of critical importance for standardisation among all rail transport companies operating in the country, and they are subject to continual updates. Each time it is updated, every company using the railway infrastructure must update its internal documents.
One of the Swiss rail transport companies entrusted interlanguage with the task of updating the Italian versions of the internal regulations and training documentation under RTE 20100.
RTE regulations govern all sectors and public transport operators using Swiss railway infrastructure. They contain work instructions and procedures, which must be correctly communicated to newly recruited staff.
In this case, the introduction of a new version of the RTE 20100 Regulation, which is fundamental for defining safety and prevention measures during construction or maintenance work in the track area, necessitated immediate updating of all internal regulations, instructions and teaching documentation in the Italian language, maintaining totally accurate terminology in line with the RTE 20100 Regulation.
The company’s expertise acquired in the field proved to be crucial in approaching the project from a broader initial viewpoint.
A study of the source documentation revealed a number of differences between the updated Regulation and the previous version.
Certain fundamental terms – the key roles of the site supervisors – had been changed, along with certain steps in the chain of command.
We immediately reported these discrepancies.
Our customer sought confirmation from the Public Transport Union, which reiterated the binding nature of the regulation and the new terminology.
interlanguage aligned the RTE 20100 Regulation in its different language combinations via software and created a dedicated translation memory and glossary.
We assigned the work to a small group of translators connected to the online resources.
We managed a three-person review process: our own internal reviewer (just one to ensure that the translators work was totally uniform) was supported by our customer’s in-house reviewer and by an additional reviewer from the safety department.
With this system, we speeded up the process, updating the memory and glossaries in real time and continuing to gradually translate while the translations were proofread and approved.
Conscious of the importance of specific ‘on-site’ training, we took part in a training course on the Regulation: the team of interlanguage reviewers checked how security procedures work in the track area and actively participated in the discussion between the trainer and the future safety operators.
At the end of the project, we integrated the translation memories and glossaries so that all subsequent translations, even if not strictly related to the RTE 20100 Regulation but still relevant to the topic of safety, would comply with the new approved terminology and phraseology.
Translating for Switzerland is an ongoing, dynamic challenge that we have been facing daily for several years. Four national languages (German, French, Italian and Romansh) coexist in Switzerland alongside numerous local dialects.
In this project in particular, the constant exchange between translators, interlanguage and the end customer was a key factor. This teamwork allows translations to be managed:
In the case of technical translations, stylistic and terminological uniformity is therefore crucial: specialised terms and concepts must always be expressed in the same way.
Our translation tools allow us to always choose the most advantageous strategies to deliver high-quality work in the shortest possible time.