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Case: BODIES – The Exhibition

Translation of the Body Worlds exhibition into Danish

At the end of February 2008, Global Words was contacted by DKB Motor, who at the time were organising a touring exhibition entitled Body Worlds in Copenhagen. We had been recommended by a professor of anatomy from the Panum Institute. The Body Worlds exhibition includes a large number of full-body and organ preparations from people who had died and donated their bodies for teaching and research purposes.

To begin with, the project ‘only’ involved translation of the signs, posters, labels and short descriptions for the exhibition, and the catalogue, but later came audio guides for children and adults, educational materials for schools, a list of terms and the website. On the strength of our extensive knowledge of anatomy and physiology and our comprehensive library of Danish and English textbooks, reference works, atlases, compendiums and other resources on the subject, we were able to satisfy our client’s expectations in full.

Even though there was no advance notice of this project, and in spite of the fact that its volume increased by a factor of 2.5 on the way and the volume was enough to keep one translator busy for many months, we succeeded in completing the project in just five weeks. We succeeded, because our employees are extremely flexible and have taken professionally relevant courses (and in fact half way through the project all employees took a planned examination in anatomy and physiology and passed!), and because we can draw on a couple of highly experienced external colleagues.

Almost all translated text had to be coordinated and sent to a number of key people in the USA. They were responsible for setting up the text in the final layout and returning it to us as PDF files for the final proofreading. The American connection meant we had to be online until very late in the evenings and at weekends.