Category: About Us

The Process behind the Products

After operating for years as “Allergy Translation”, it’s a real thrill to relaunch our company and products under the “Equal Eats” banner. It was definitely time for refresh and upgrade absolutely everything. I’m really excited to share more about our future vision of how we can help people with food allergy and dietary restrictions eat safely at home and away.

I am really proud of our new product offering, specifically:

  • 36 pre-set cards
  • 500 allergens available for customized cards
  • 50 languages

As much as I am proud of these products, it’s the process that went into them that truly sets them above and beyond in terms of clarity, effectiveness and accuracy.

In total, we had around 1,700 words that needed to translated. Did we use Google Translate? Absolutely not. My food allergies are life-threatening and I take them incredibly seriously. I would never have full peace of mind by putting my life in the hands of  an automated online translator. But before I hired a top-notch translation company, there were many other steps needed first:

Step 1 – Research

I surveyed my existing customers and learned so much valuable information on what they would like to see included on their dream allergy translation card.

Step 2 – Assemble the team

I started an “A-Team” consisting of customers, trusted advisors and others who wanted to provide higher level feedback as the project rolled on. These people are the true reason why the cards are what they are. We debated on big things, and the very smallest details. It helped me realize that there is no black and white “right way” to convey things that will satisfy everyone, but we can create something that is the most effective in all settings, for most people.

Step 3 – Prototyping & feedback

Many versions of the translation cards were created with the help of a professional product designer. Receiving feedback was enlightening as we found customers and foodservice industry workers met in the middle on a lot of things, but with a clear priority to focus on essential information.

Step 4 – Finalize in English

Once we had the overall design ready, we needed to finalize the message to a tee. We did another survey where we sought input from people with various dietary restrictions to help ensure we didn’t miss a thing. We learned so much at this stage about the concerns of people with specific allergies, and other diets. After countless revisions and approvals, we finally nailed down the overall language. This was then reviewed by a professional editor to smooth out any communication issues.

Step 5 – Professional Translations

Finally, right! That’s how we felt too after months and months of planning and prototyping. We used a professional translation agency and deliberately ordered their “premium” service to ensure top accuracy.

Step 6 – Professional Proofreading

As part of the premium service, a professional proofreader verified the accuracy of all translations for each of the 50 languages orderd.

CROSSROAD ALERT – at this point, many people would be satisfied with the accuracy of the cards. Given that these products are being used to convey life-threatening food allergies, I decided to add in a few more steps to be safe.

Step 7 – Review by native language speakers

I tapped into an incredible network within the food allergy community that volunteered to review the translations for their native language. I loved working with people from all over the world who truly “get” food allergies, and have a first-hand grip on the true everyday spoken language. They found that the translations were fantastic, but could be smoothed out even further to ensure that they are understood in more places. Some thought language needed to be simplified, or expanded upon. It was an incredible team of caring people who I am forever thankful to.

Step 8 – Professional proofreading (again)

This was a classic “Hey….it’s me again…” email where I’m certain they thought this project was over. As much as I trust my native speaking reviewers, I wanted to have a professional simply double check that these recommendations are in fact accurate. They happily obliged (amazing customer service!) and mostly agreed on everything. I was put in the middle of a couple proofreader vs. native speaker debates, and we managed to find optimal solutions.

Step 9 – Layout

Now that the translations were accurate and complete, it was time to start laying out the pre-set cards. I am simply not capable of laying out certain languages with unfamiliar characters and line breaks (picture a steady row of Asian characters, would you know where to press “enter” for a line break that also doesn’t alter the meaning? Me either!) So, I hired a team of native language speaking Photoshop experts to lay out the cards in their respective languages. This step ensured the overall readability and clarity of the cards.

Step 10 – Layout review

I also asked the native language speaking volunteers to review the layout of the cards to ensure the information was in fact entered correctly. This was a formality, but unsurfaced a few small corrections. At this point, we felt incredibly confident about the accuracy of the cards and that the process was well worth it.

Even though we went through this lengthy process and believe we’ve created a gold standard in dietary communication cards, we have an ongoing commitment to improving our cards. If you ever have ideas or suggestions to improve them, please reach out!

It feels good to know that we’ve gone through a process that truly brings both sides of the product into consideration – the user and the foodservice industry. Often these tools have been one-sided in the past. It’s important that you are speaking the foodservice language, and if abroad, in their language! We placed equal weight on both sides in terms of what people want to convey, and what the industry needs to hear.

Now that’s a team!

We’re proud of our products.

We’re proud of our process.

We’re proud of the people that made it all happen.

Kyle Dine Equal Eats

Kyle Dine
Founder
Equal Eats


Join our New Product Review Team

Join the Equal Eats Review Team

 

The process of researching and creating the most effective and accurate allergy translation cards has now taken one full year. I’m excited to say that they are now only one final step away from being available .

Since we’re communicate life-threatening food allergies, overall accuracy is priority #1. The new translations and reviews were all completed in Excel by a top-notch translation company. However, I want to make sure that everything was copied over correctly into the card layout form.

Your help needed: I am looking for native speakers to provide a final look at the cards to make sure everything looks good layout-wise, and that no translations seem way off. The job should take between 30-60 minutes.

If you, or someone you know might be interested in volunteering for one of these languages, please feel free to connect them to me (kyle@equaleats.com). You will be on the top of the Equal Eats swag bag list, and happy to provide a LinkedIn recommendation.

Together, we will help everyone enjoy food, everywhere. Thank you!


Allergy Translation rebranding to Equal Eats

In the coming months, our website and products will be going through some big changes as we launch our new brand: Equal Eats.

Our new brand name helps us align with a bigger mission and purpose: to help everyone get an equal seat at the table, no matter the allergy or dietary restriction. More details on our strategic plan to create true social impact coming soon.

You can rest assure that our dedication to high quality, professional and accurate translations will not change. We will be unveiling brand new products that are heavily researched to ensure they are the most effective communication tool on the market for people travelling with food allergies.

If you are interested in joining our customer advisory team to provide feedback throughout this transformative process, please comment below.

Kyle Dine
CEO & Founder


Customer Advisory Team

We have been working hard this summer on some big changes to our website and products and excited to introduce you to a new experience this fall.

As such, we are currently doing extensive research and product development testing. If you are a passionate about travelling with a dietary restriction, we’d love to have you aboard our customer advisory team to provide feedback.

If interested, simply email us about why you’re passionate for this cause and we’ll get back to you shortly.

Kyle Dine
CEO & Founder
Allergy Translation


The Difference Customer Feedback can Make

As a small start-up business, it comes as no surprise that the co-founders are the primary ones answering the phones and responding to customer emails. It adds a lot to an already busy plate, but there is truly no better way of keeping your finger on the pulse of your business.

It has helped me understand the range of emotions that one can experience using our site. From extreme appreciation for the convenience of ordering a card in minutes, to extreme anger for the inconvenience of our password retrieval plugin acting up. (It’s fixed!)

I respond to each type of emotional email the exact same way: “Thank you so much for getting in touch!”

I’m chipper in hearing the good and the bad because I’m passionate about growing our service to help more people enjoy food safely. It’s impossible for us to know all of the infinite use cases with our site (some people still use browsers that haven’t been updated since 1996), so we really appreciate it when someone tells us about a sub-optimal experience.

I especially love it when customers get in touch requesting new allergens or languages to be included on the site/app. Nearly ALL of our newly added allergens/languages are there today because someone like YOU requested it.

We would like to challenge you to find gaps in businesses (not just ours!) and make your voice heard. You will be surprised by how receptive companies are to your feedback. After all, YOU are the one they are trying to serve. Make sure they are serving you well!

Keep the comments, questions and suggestions coming!

Kyle Dine
CO-Founder & CEO
AllergyTranslation.com

Ps- if this blog post did not appear correctly on your browser….perhaps an update?


Happy Holidays!

2017 was a wonderful year for us here at Allergy Translation! We were very proud to help create a spinoff website that helps give practical travel advice to allergic travellers based on countries and airlines.

 

 


Welcome to the New AllergyTranslation.com!

We are very excited to announce a new www.allergytranslation.com! The Allergy Translation site is now better equipped than ever to provide handy translation cards for travellers with food allergies.

The new site features easier navigation to help you get the Allergy Translation Card you need in a quick and convenient manner. It’s more mobile friendly which allows you to grab a card on the go without hassle.

Allergy Card Languages

Select desired language easily.

We’re most excited about the new filter available when ordering a customized Allergy Translation Card. This convenient drop-down menu allows you to quickly filter through our database of 200+ allergens to select and create a card tailored to your needs. Allergens are categorized accordingly, and there is even a category for “most popular” allergens. The Specialized card process is also more straightforward in allowing you to see all of the cards/statements at a glance.

 

Peanut Tree Nut Allergy Translation Cards

Example of a few options on the specialized card ordering page

 

Custom Food Allergy Translation Card

Filter for customized allergy cards. Making it easier to choose from over 200 allergens.

 

The site also has a new eCommerce platform that makes order easy, quick and safe. It allows you ton conveniently access your card within your account after your purchase.

AllergyTranslation.com was first launched in April of 2006. To date, this is the third reiteration of the website to keep in line with the ever changing landscape of the web. Feel free to browse the site, make a purchase in advance of your next trip and leave us some feedback! We’d love to hear what new languages you would like added next. If you have travelled recently, be sure to visit www.allergytravels.com to review countries and airlines.

 


Allergy Translation’s 10 Year Anniversary!

10 year’s ago Allergy Translation was launched with a simple mission: to provide travellers with dietary restrictions printable wallet-sized translation cards that are convenient, inexpensive, and accurate.

We are proud of how AllergyTranslation.com has grown in leaps and bounds over this time, providing thousands of people with cards that can help them travel with more peace of mind.

The business started after our founder Kyle Dine travelled throughout Europe with multiple allergies and found difficulty communicating his life-threatening allergies. Our original website was launched on April 4th, 2006 and was relaunched with a new brand in 2014.

What started with under 10 languages available, has now grown to 43. We look forward to taking this website to new heights with some exciting updates in the near future.

Thanks for your loyalty – it’s been a pleasure to serve you for 10 years!

Kyle & Gareth

AllergyTranslation.com Ownership Team