Saatchi Gallery

The Saatchi Gallery is one of London’s most loved contemporary art galleries. Opened in 1985, the primary intention was to display the private collection of advertising executive Charles Saatchi to the public.

Today Translations was appointed the colossal task of translating and localising the Saatchi Gallery website into Chinese Mandarin. The project featured more than 800,000 words of painting descriptions and artist biographies. Expectations were high.

We assembled a large team of native Chinese Mandarin speakers, all with an in-depth knowledge of art history and substantial experience in creative writing. However, the translation procedure ended up transforming into something quite unique. The linguists agreed that a simple back translation would most probably fail in conveying the same writing style and concepts in Mandarin. Instead, they decided to practically rewrite the website, using the English source text for inspiration.

Translation memory technology was implemented throughout the project, ensuring consistent terminology, efficient handling of the HTML files and cost-effectiveness for the client. All offline HTML web pages were proofread, ensuring that the text displayed correctly without overflows and that the final product was grammatically accurate and semantically perfect.

Since delivering the colossal project, Today Translations has had the pleasure of working together Charles Saatchi’s other enterprise, the advertising agency M&C Saatchi.