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MultiLingual
Thursday, November 27, 2014

MultiLingual is the leading source of information for the language industry and businesses with global communications needs. Published eight times a year plus an annual index/resource directory, it is read by more than 12,000 people in 67 countries. Information and current news are also provided by www.multilingual.com and the free electronic newsletter, MultiLingual News.

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Current Issue

Magazine Cover
December, 2014

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Columns and Commentary


Post Editing: Dreaming of tests

In the real world, post-college, the testing continues. Linguistic testing, software testing, trying to suss out the bugs created by things like missed semicolons. Only it’s more difficult this time around, because at least to start with, there are no neat parameters, no particular chapter the test is being drawn from. Testing is supposed to cover every eventuality, every line produced. The prospect could give you nightmares....


Macro/Micro: The how of mobile localization

If you think about how mobile impacts us here in the world of translation, it’s easy to realize the cell phone’s growing prevalence impacts the type of translations we perform — client assignments should become increasingly more for mobile apps and less for long user manuals, more for mobile-optimized websites and less for PDF printed brochures. But mobile as a medium doesn’t mean that translation needs for traditional document translation will go completely away and, while the acceleration of the app introduces a new assignment type, the cell phone’s greatest impact on localization has little to do with the type of assignments we receive....


Industry Focus


The linguistic quality paradox

Many products and services are now delivered in 11 to 20 languages at first release. The list of languages often includes not only Chinese, Japanese and Korean, but also Indonesian, Russian and Turkish. It can be a real challenge for both translation buyers and language service providers (LSPs) to guarantee an acceptable level of quality.

Surprisingly, large quality assurance budgets don’t always equate to meeting customer quality preferences. Language teams, whether on the buyer or supplier side, tend to spend a lot of time and money on linguistic quality. That’s in spite of the fact that data demonstrates that no one-to-one link exists between price and translation quality. Instead, participants describe a much larger web of critical business and process variables that affect translation deliverables....


Evaluating quality in translation

Today, there is an increasing appetite for a new approach to quality within the industry. Quality occurs when the customer is satisfied. As a result, translation quality evaluation needs to refocus on a number of cost-effective, practical issues. First of all, a translation is expected to fulfill certain basic criteria in order to satisfy the average user. For this reason, each evaluation project should measure the degree of compliance between translated content and a benchmark that is based on predefined — and hopefully in the future standardized — quality levels.  These could vary based on publication quality, expert quality, human quality, transcreation, full post-editing, light post-editing, raw machine translation (MT) output and so on. These quality levels, or quality types, if you will, should be specified beforehand by the customer. It adds to the confusion that many of these quality levels are undefined, vague and hard to measure....


Selecting the most effective testing method

When it comes to product adaptation for local markets, the quality of localized product versions is another important point to consider. Even if the source version has been tested carefully across its length and breadth, the localized equivalent will most likely behave incorrectly at first launch. This may occur due to the change of the installation environment or be a result of modifications made to the product in the course of the localization process. Hence, there is no way to consider quality assurance as a “tick in the box” within the software localization lifecycle without the risk of negative impact on the final localized product and therefore the company’s reputation....


Test management for large translation workflow systems

Not only do large translation workflow systems often come with a substantial number of interfaces — to web portals, authoring systems, publishing systems, terminology management systems — they are also internally customized to the customers’ specifications. The implementation of a translation workflow system often happens in an IT project setting. An important segment of project time and resources should be planned for testing and approval of the finalized system, including all interfaces and customized features....


Best practices in localization testing

Localization testing is a must for any software company before delivering multilingual products to global customers. Most software companies currently choose to collaborate with outsourcing companies to perform localization testing, and so does Adobe. As is commonly known, the main advantage of outsourcing is lower costs; however, what a global software company typically cares more about is the quality of multilingual products. Therefore, how to cooperate with outsourcing teams to approach and perform localization testing more effectively and efficiently is becoming key to improving product quality and lowering operational costs....


Bringing together testing and community for games

Like peanut butter and chocolate, testing and community is a very tasty combination. In years past, testing and community typically operated at different sides of the production cycle spectrum. But more companies are recognizing how a skilled community engagement team, working hand in hand with the testing team and starting much earlier in the process, can ensure a seamless customer experience and build the foundation for your post-launch community while capturing vital community feedback during the beta phase....


Localization testing in an agile environment

Many companies are moving from the traditional waterfall development model to an agile approach. Localization has to follow suit and adapt its processes and workflows to the new reality. It might have been a common practice in the past to have a department or team in the company that handled everything about localization. The department received the English source files, and weeks or months later delivered the localized version. The communication with other departments was usually sparse, and no one else in the company fully understood the details of their work.

Not anymore. With agile development and shorter release cycles, localization can no longer be contained in its own silo. Could it ever?...


Takeaway


The connections between translation and music

Music makes me think about translation, the importance of understanding the context from which you are delivering your message, and the importance of simple processes that make your effort more effective. Without correct understanding of context, a translation or a musical performance can fall flat and fail to deliver the intended impact. Without a simple process, we may fail to grasp a business opportunity or need, such as when a “new” language is identified. Maybe it’s how my brain is wired, but a recent musical performance helped me to think about the importance of new languages....


Technology


Overcoming the barriers to MT adoption

After recently watching a TED talk on hackers given in June 2014 by cyber security expert Keren Elazari, I realized there were some interesting similarities between our perception of hackers and our perception of machine translation (MT). Elazari refers to hackers as the internet's immune system and makes reference to “a love-hate relationship” between hackers and large organizations, particularly governments, since they use and need hackers but at the same time often persecute them....