Client: uTalk Ltd.

uTalk is an innovative language learning app that provides instruction in over 150 languages, from Hawaiian to Zulu. For over 25 years, uTalk has been making language learning fun, simple, fast and effective for users worldwide. uTalk uniquely enables language learning for speakers of 100+ native languages – learners don’t need to start with English. With over 30 million global users, uTalk has helped millions gain language skills to build connections and confidence.

Categories: Technology, EdTech, Education
Service: Translation + Proofreading
Language pairs: English-Vietnamese, English-Japanese, English-Chinese

Education Translation Case Study Banner - Thao & Co.


Education Translation Challenges - Thao & Co.

Translating Highly Creative Marketing Copy

One of the first challenges with this project was accurately translating uTalk’s highly creative English marketing and promotional copy into the target languages. This included language introduction text designed to get learners excited. uTalk had crafted lively, culturally-relevant English descriptions of unique “cool” languages like Mongolian and Navajo aimed at their young target demographic. Our task was preserving the creative spirit and local flavor of this copy when translating to other languages.

Lack of Context for App Features

As a robust language learning platform, uTalk has many interactive lessons, games, stories, and exercises. However, we were sometimes provided strings of text without screenshots or descriptions of how the words were used in the app. This made it difficult for translators to discern nuanced meanings or preserve continuity across related features.

Maintaining Consistency Across Translators

With a large app containing thousands of text strings, maintaining consistency was crucial but difficult. We needed to minimize any potential inconsistencies between translators working on different segments. Varied linguistic styles could impact continuity and create a disjointed user experience. However, coordinating among all team members to align on terminology and tone posed logistical difficulties, requiring a comprehensive, scalable solution.


Education Translation Solutions - Thao & Co.

Recruiting Experienced Marketing Translators

We hand-picked linguists who had translated successful marketing campaigns in the past. Our translators could deftly capture the tone and emotion of the English copy by adapting jokes, puns, and cultural references. This enabled preserving the “cool” factor of uTalk’s language descriptions when rendering them for young local demographics. Meticulous translator selection was key – their creative skills ensured the translations inspired learners as intended.

Leveraging Our ChatBox© Feature

We gave uTalk access to our ChatBox© so they could directly communicate with the translation team in real time within our online Dashboard. Whenever the linguists needed clarity on UI strings’ meaning or usage, they used ChatBox© to quickly ask questions. uTalk could provide answers on the fly, giving translators the context needed to make accurate word choices.

Language Lead and Translation Guidelines

We appointed an experienced linguist as Language Lead to develop and maintain Translation Guidelines and a Glossary that all translators had to adhere to. These comprehensive instructions covered uTalk’s preferred word choices, stylistic conventions, tone, formatting, and more. The Language Lead also reviewed all translations to ensure compliance. This strategy allowed us to scale translator volume without sacrificing consistency.


Scope of work

100,000 words per language pair: For uTalk, we translated an extensive range of copy including marketing materials, language descriptions, UI strings for lessons, games, features, and supporting app text. This comprehensive localization enabled uTalk to launch fully translated versions worldwide, sharing their mission of fun language learning globally.

Education Translation Case Study Result - Thao & Co.
Our Industries
We can translate medical training materials, medical bulletins, drug data sheets, medical device spec sheets, marketing, as well as clinical, regulatory, and technical documents.
Advertising + Marketing
Localize your message and branding with translations by linguists who understand marcom and the cultural distinctions of your target audience.
Banking + Finance
Tap into new markets for your financial services. We translate websites, documents, forms, contracts, and promotions to optimize the customer experience.
Get fast, accurate, legal translation services. We translate legal documents, contracts, depositions, court communications and more.
Real Estate + Construction
We have translators who specialize in architecture, construction, real estate, and civil engineering ready to make your communications effective.
Retail + E-commerce
If you plan to sell to global markets, you’ll want to translate product descriptions, catalogs, user manuals, labels, and signage.
Travel + Tourism
International travel is booming. We translate and localize tourism content for hotels, restaurants, travel guides and countries to help them gain visibility to foreign customers.
We adeptly translate scripts, subtitles, promotional materials, and licensing agreements, bringing your creative vision to life for audiences around the world.
Automotive + Aerospace
We excel at translating technical manuals, engineering specifications, regulatory documents, and marketing materials, ensuring your message soars to new heights.
Our services cover a wide range of content, from production manuals and quality control procedures to supply chain documentation, empowering your operations to thrive on a global scale.
We specialize in translating game scripts, user interfaces, in-game content, and promotional materials, helping you captivate a worldwide audience with immersive experiences.
We transform educational content, including textbooks, e-learning materials, academic papers, and course materials, making learning accessible to students from diverse backgrounds.
We adeptly translate your apps, software, websites, and other digital products, ensuring your tech innovations are understood worldwide.
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