Languages such as French, Italian, German and Spanish are undeniably the language industry powerhouses. However, languages with both large and small community bases, from Igbo to Ojibwa, are stepping up and finding a way to make their presence known. In the twenty-first century, this equates to being available on a digital platform, and tremendous work is currently being done by individuals, companies and educational institutions to bring greater linguistic diversity to the world of digital communication.
The reality is that people across the globe are relying increasingly on technology and are experiencing greater access to mobile phone networks and the internet. If people cannot navigate this technology in their own language there are two potential results: they will remain at a disadvantage since they will not be able to access this information as readily, and they will most likely move away from their native language to one that allows them to access this global network....
Silvia Rodríguez Vázquez & Jesús Torres Del Rey
Fifteen years after the publication of the first Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the lack of universal access to information on the internet remains a major stumbling block for inclusiveness and participation in today’s society. Although disabled users' interaction with the web has experienced major improvements, a strong commitment toward social inclusion is still required from all actors involved in the web development cycle, including localization professionals.
The World Report on Disability 2011, a joint effort by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank, indicates that over a billion people in the world today experience disability, also known as functional diversity. People with special needs generally have poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities. This is largely due to the lack of services available to them and the multiple obstacles they have to face in their everyday lives. Since the advent of the web, these difficulties have been softened. The internet and the growth of mobile devices have helped people with mobility impairments to shop online, children with dyslexia to read adapted e-books, or blind people to regularly check their emails or independently complete administrative tasks. For all those services to be accessible across languages and communities, however, a series of requirements must be met....
Transcreation goes beyond localization to actually re-creating the content for a specific market. In transcreation, the concepts, feelings and calls to action that are expressed in the source material are maintained in the target material, but the emphasis, design and the text are oriented specifically to the target culture. While there are some gray areas (for example, regulatory information), transcreation goes much deeper than localization typically does, and consequently, incurs significantly higher costs....
Localizing and managing distribution of rich media assets presents numerous challenges. Before starting a campaign, decide which assets will be translated. Then build them with localization in mind. Because they are comprised of so many interdependent components, it is essential that all the elements are developed to appeal to global markets and be easy to translate.
For example, video components such as the music and effects tracks should be kept separate from any voiceover. Also, place text separately in the native design program or an external XML file for animated screens. Eliminate layers and compile assets using a localization-friendly editor such as Final Cut Pro or After Effects whenever possible, to simplify the translation process and avoid rework....
To improve your business, you need to drive quality traffic to your website and engage your prospects. This is a challenging task, especially when adding multiple languages to the mix. For this reason, the fields of search engine optimization (SEO) and localization are becoming increasingly intertwined.
In e-commerce, your ranking on Google (or any other local search engine) is key for a successful web store or service offered online. Most companies start a website in their local language and make an effort to make it visible on the respective local search engines. But what if they grow and start looking for opportunities abroad? They translate their content and hope their pages will somehow rank high in the new target language....
Donald A. DePalma
Whenever I sit down to write an article or speech about the importance of language on websites or mobile apps, I have to turn off that part of my brain that incessantly whispers, “Shouldn’t it be obvious to everyone? Most people prefer speaking, reading, and doing most things in their own language.” Nonetheless, executives responsible for their company’s global presence regularly ask us for data showing the return on investment of translation as they struggle to justify their localization budgets. Many language service and translation software suppliers hear the same demand, so they sprinkle their websites with statistics about consumer preferences for content in their own language....
That’s more or less how you’re supposed to approach business. Before anything ever goes wrong, you make sure your systems are robust and that you’re not wasting money on something that you really should scale back on for the sake of your own health. It’s like preventative medicine for businesses. This is all the more important when it’s a highly regulated sector with little to no room for error, such as life sciences....
Plunet BusinessManager is a web-based tool that runs on a Tomcat web server with MySQL database, though it has also been implemented with MS-SQL. The tool is laid out in a very logical way, analogous to the natural flow of a project. The next tab over on most every screen is the natural next step in a project’s workflow, which allows users to feel at home very quickly. The Home screen features a customizable dashboard that helps to keep project managers organized and on task. Most everything is immediately apparent from the dashboard and the details are a mere one-to-two clicks away. Via the main menu bar, the tool gives access to contacts, requests, quotes, orders and invoices, which are the primary functions used by project managers....
Because of their status as original inhabitants, their differentiation is often made explicit in the context of rampant colonialism that initiated during the Age of Exploration starting in the late fifteenth century. Thus some would define being indigenous as all the original occupants in any territories controlled and colonized by foreign powers, from the advent of the colonial rule until the process of decolonization was complete. Without question, the contrast between indigenous peoples and the colonial powers (primarily European in origin) that displaced them remains a major theme of discourse in many countries, with governments slowly taking action toward preservation and restitution of these unique cultures that aren’t necessarily bound to the mainstream national identity....
Between wrong and right, there is a world of gray. Surely we will all agree that to illegally steal the Tamiflu formula and use it to cook up your own knock-off for profit is wrong. But for Pepsi to make money off the words from scriptwriters throughout history is funny and clever. Where is the line?...
Is language business done differently in Russia? The answer is yes — to some extent. Translationrating.ru surveyed over 100 leading language service providers (LSPs) from Russia and Ukraine and released a report based on their yearlong 2013 results....
Managing worldwide, home-based community teams can be a daunting task for those of us used to managing workers in the world of cubicles, board rooms and coffee breaks. But there is a highly-trained, educated and specialized workforce full of willing and capable employees just ripe for the plucking if you can get yourself, and your company, into the mindset that this style of collaborating isn’t just an afterthought.
This isn’t a workaround or just a way to save money sometimes. This isn’t an option which exists only for making special concessions for certain special people. This can be, and especially in the world of global community management already is, the ideal way to set up your community teams....
Many firms face scalability challenges related to the amount of content they’re processing, the number of languages and markets they’re supporting, and the timeframes in which they must deliver all of this. Those in the sectors that make up life sciences — such as pharmaceutical, medical devices and biomedical technologies — have additional pressure from governmental regulatory bodies around the world. These firms require a framework to help them avoid making typical mistakes and to enable them to mature as quickly as possible when it comes to localization.
The localization maturity model allows life sciences firms to reduce risk — it’s all about mitigating risk for translation and localization managers at life sciences firms. This focus leads them to concentrate on predictability, reliable processes and knowing what to expect at every turn. The goal of these managers is to translate this effort into achieving compliance in local markets as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible....
From a translation services provider perspective, we hear the argument now and again that any translation process change, even for the better, takes time — which is something that executives aren’t too keen to expend. Any deviation from the status quo seems to present a disruption.
Then again, the cost of not changing a process that isn’t working well can be even more significant. This is abundantly clear from the unsettling anecdotes from clients' long-spanning careers in the life sciences....
Translation has unfortunately made its home as an unwanted stepchild in the content development process. A common reason for this is that frequently within an organization there is no one who is truly responsible for translation. The task of managing translation is thrown on the shoulders of a technical writer, a project manager or someone else who doesn’t have the understanding, time or desire to deal with it, and is generally not compensated for this additional responsibility. Even in companies that have an internal translation manager or group dedicated specifically to overseeing translation, the company is generally too large or too decentralized to control this effort....
So in 2010, during meetings with our client on the subject of terminology, we asked, “How can our translators know your terminology preferences?” It was suggested that we take the documents previously published by the organization as our basis. We then asked if these documents were available and if someone could provide them to us.
This question is both a simple and complex one. Yet again, the size of the organization and the vast number of participants complicated this task. Not only were previous reports needed, but also the translations of treaties or conventions referenced in the documents, as the latter have legal value and so forth. It was of course impossible for such a large volume of data to be sent to us on any medium. Moreover, these documents would have had to be organized, sorted by language, subject matter and so on. We were back to square one....
Traditionally, medical device industry translations are considered exceptional compared with the best practices of industries such as IT, and for good reason. This is a highly regulated industry, and the quality of translation is not just a matter of customer satisfaction.
However, these differences are starting to blur for two reasons. First, the world of medical devices is going digital. Content related to medical devices is appearing online, such as instructions for use (IFUs), support content, user-generated content or even instructional and promo videos. Medical devices also include complementary mobile apps or standalone software, or may themselves be medical apps. In addition, reporting of postmarket medical device adverse events such as medical device reports is more common, as are electronic ways to register new medical devices with regulators....
XML has become one of the defining technologies that is helping to reshape the face of both computing and publishing. It is helping to drive down costs and dramatically increase interoperability between diverse computer systems.
From a localization point of view XML offers many advantages: a well-defined, rigorous syntax backed up by a rich tool set that allows documents to be validated and proven; a well-defined character encoding system that includes support for Unicode; and the separation of form and content, which allows both multi-target publishing (PDF, Postscript, WAP, HTML, XHTML, online help) from one source....
We recently commissioned a survey that paints an interesting picture of the global translator community. Among the few hundred respondents, a majority was female, with more than 40% being 26 to 35 years old, and nearly 38% being between 36 and 55 years old.
The majority of respondents were located in Europe, which may have something to do with the methods our European company used to apply the survey. This in turn may have affected the number of languages spoken by respondents (Figure 1)....
A few summers ago, as I was chatting late into the night with my Korean-American friend about the non-mainstream ways we grew up, it occurred to me that people raised more traditionally might have an easier time relating to cultures — such as many Asian cultures — that embrace collectivism over individualism, stronger power structures, strong family influence and so on....
Most of us who work in localization and culturalization have a pretty solid understanding of the types of content that are typically adapted for international markets. I would venture that the majority of content localized today involves pretty straightforward text copy and other media that are descriptive, logistical or administrative in nature — things such as user interface text, medical records, technical manuals and so on. I’m essentially referring to nonfiction types of content.
Because we operate within a consumer ecosystem that’s increasingly driven by digital content, we’re also seeing a continued increase in the need for adapting creative content, meaning more and more content like books, films, television programs and video games....
I’ve written on war in this column before but only in the hypothetical. Now that it’s about two actual nations, both of which have MultiLingual readers, writing gets a lot more stressful. While I won’t say which side my politics align with, the first thing I have to do is admit a bias as a journalist: I have a clear opinion on right and wrong here. But what isn’t clear to me as a language service provider (LSP) owner is how our industry should handle the business side of this or any other war-like conflict....
Close to 300 million people spoke Russian in 1994, just after the fall of the Soviet Union. That number has already decreased by about 120 million, according to Russia’s Benjamin Kaganov, deputy minister of education and science. And the number of Russian speakers is projected to keep dropping in the next 50 years, something that has spurred Russia to allocate around $46 million to open language learning centers around the world....
If your team is like mine, you constantly face the challenge of doing more with the same or less staffing. We need to be flexible with finding quality employees, wherever that road might take us. In the case of Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks, that road took us to the 3DPLM offices in Pune, India.
In February 2014, my colleague Lyn Amidon and I traveled to India to greet and train our new technical writer, and to learn how to create and grow a SolidWorks documentation team there....
We all recognize that stereotypes are inherently unfair, and yet there is a sense in which they are not altogether unhelpful. It really is true that, in general, Americans (like me) are too loud, too direct and too informal when seen from the perspective of many other cultures. And it really is true that the cultural predispositions of many Asians to avoid causing others to “lose face” can result in severe communication problems when combined with the direct Western approach to problem resolution. So with these cultural characteristics as a backdrop, we explored several areas that often give rise to difficulties between us, inhibiting our ability to serve our customers effectively....