Translation & Transcription of Field Research

2CV – Translation of field research from rare languages for NGO end client


2CV research is a full service, integrated consumer market research agency with a blue chip client list and offices in London, San Francisco and Singapore. Their client is an international Non-Governmental Organisation that helps young communities in the poorest countries to improve their lives through education, health, safety and economic opportunities.

As part of an award-winning international project, 2CV needed to translate the results of their fieldwork from rare African and Asian languages into English. Respondents were given the opportunity to answer the questionnaire using local tools ranging from wooden tablets to torn pieces of paper where they would write their answers by hand or improvised drawings. Short interviews were also recorded via traditional audio recorders.


The project presented multiple challenges due to file format, rare languages and tight timelines. Furthermore, given the young age of the respondents and their low level of literacy, the materials contained grammar errors as well as a mix of local dialects. The project was divided into 3 stages, namely the translation and proofreading of statements written on wooden tablets and flipcharts, the transcription of audio interviews, and voice over of the English transcripts using voice talents (in English but with a markedly foreign accent). 2CV needed a truly global language service provider with first-hand experience in market research and the ability to handle unusual formats and rare languages. They chose TOPPAN Digital Language.

The Results

By leveraging their first-hand experience in market research, a dedicated team of Project Managers was lined up across TOPPAN Digital Language’s offices in order to meet the requested deadlines and high quality standards.

Working in synergy with Vendor Management, much effort was put into selecting and vetting skilful resources in Amharic, Hausa, Swahili, Urdu, Ilonggo and Filipino prior to the start of the project. Throughout the different stages, native speaking editors and internal QA teams carried out proofreading checks, in strict compliance with TOPPAN Digital Language’s ISO-certified processes, to ensure an accurate translation and transcription of all statements, especially the handwritten ones. Voice talents of the same age bracket who were able to read the statements in English with a local accent while reproducing a message as engaging and natural as the original source were selected and supervised.

The project was successfully completed and delivered on budget and on time thanks to the combined effort and productive cooperation of TOPPAN Digital Language’s in-house teams and network of MR-specialist linguists.

” TOPPAN Digital Language has been our translation partner of choice for several years now. This project was particularly challenging because of the rare language combinations and use of less conventional data collection methods. As always, we could rely on TOPPAN Digital Language to get the job done. ”


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