Author Archives: Terralíngua

Using Localization to Attract Global Customers

Using Localization to Attract Global Customers

Using Localization to Attract Global CustomersIf you want to expand your global business footprint, you might want to explore an emerging market. This means you can take advantage of a growing middle-class population with more available money to spend. You can quickly become a market leader with products that customers need.

However, in order to this, you will need to attract customers and keep them engaged. You will need to use marketing strategies which include the basics of a website and localized content. Do not make the mistake of thinking all you need to do is translate the material you already use for your domestic audience.

When doing business with another country, it is vital to know about its language, traditions and culture. Yes, you need to translate into the target language, but you also need to make consumers feel comfortable and valued.

How do you do this? By localization. In other words, you should make your website, manuals, user content, social media platforms and any other marketing materials relevant to your target community.

Social Media Locally

Social media has become an established marketing staple. But what if you are doing business in another country? Do they use Facebook and Twitter? Research is required to ensure you understand where to find your customers. For example, you will find the equivalent of Facebook in China is called WeChat. It has around 1.08 million active users a month. The Chinese market also uses Sina Weibo for Twitter and Toudou Youku instead of YouTube.

This means if you want to get your message out to social media users in other global markets, you should be using the most popular local platforms to give your company a wider reach.

Translation and Localization

Localization means using a native speaking translator who lives in the country and understands the nuances of the language and current culture. Literal translations are avoided when you choose a translator who understands and localizes the content. However, you still need to review your content to ensure all of it is relevant to the target audience and to modify it accordingly before the translation step. Colloquialisms or idioms will not translate well. Taglines often need their own approval process and creation because of this issue. You should also consider supporting phone numbers or addresses for that market.

Colors and images should also be evaluated to ensure they will not signify something different or offensive in the target culture. For example, in China if you put a black border around someone in a photograph it means that they have died. It is worth doing some cultural research before you design your global marketing materials.

Global Websites

It is a proven fact that consumers are more likely to buy a product or service from a website in their own language. How does your website appear to consumers abroad? Is it easy for them to navigate to their language? Do you have support contact information listed for targeted countries? Ensure that your website platform is built to support different fonts and characters sets. Your translation partner can assist with advising what tools are needed in order to achieve a global site, including plugins or navigation assistance. Having your site built to support other languages, even if you are not ready at this time to translate content, will prevent many headaches down the road.

Expanding to other markets is less of a risk with a trusted translation partner in place. Proper localization of your brand message and presence will guarantee that you are starting off with your global customers on the right foot.

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Terralingua is an ISO 9001 and 17100 certified translation company. If you would like to learn more about our translation and localization services, please visit our website for further details.

Effective Internal Communication - The Key to a Happier Global Workforce

Effective Internal Communication – The Key to a Happier Global Workforce

Effective Internal Communication - The Key to a Happier Global WorkforceEffective internal communication can be a challenge for large organizations, but it is an important part of running a productive business. If you want high employee production, less down time and excellent customer service, then effective communication is the key.

Look upon your workforce as a powerful marketing tool. They help to communicate your product or service and their enthusiasm for your business can help it to grow and thrive.

Coordination

Each department within your company should be aware of each other’s activities. Coordinated internal communication should provide information and the control to ensure that this is the case. Your workforce should be involved in decision making, as well as encouraged to develop ideas and provide feedback.

Strategy

Begin by sending out an assessment questionnaire to all staff. Provide the opportunity to share their opinions on the communication methods they prefer. This includes how they want to report concerns and what they think the priorities or essential aspects of a strategy agreement are.

Intranet

Make the most of your organization’s private network. Create podcasts, blogs and newsfeeds that inform and engage staff. Encourage comments and use this feedback to collect valuable data about how your communication strategy is working.

Translation

Translation is important when communicating with your customers, but don’t forget about your workforce. Internal translation shouldn’t be forgotten when you want to pass on important information to employees who work for you abroad.

Though they may speak proficient English, do they have the same level of English proficiency for reading and writing? English has many words in some languages that can’t be translated. Slang terms are also popular, and you might use them in internal communications without even thinking about it.

Rather than hoping that your employees overseas understand the nuances of the English language, it is better to translate and localize important documents to ensure your employees understand your internal communication, goals and brand message.

Do all new employees understand your business vision and mission statements? Do they understand all legal and safety information? By having content translated, your company’s goals and expectations are clearly set out for everyone’s understanding. There should be no confusion about the company’s aims and employee expectations.

Feeling Valued

Internal communication is an ongoing process that requires constant evaluation and refinement. If done well, though, it will help to create a loyal workforce. Your employees will feel like they are a part of your company’s brand and will understand how to achieve goals globally.

Effective communication shows your employees how much you value their participation in your organization. Just as it shows your care with customer support, it is also an important aspect of feeling valued as an employee. Be assured that they fully understand the materials you provide. Communication in all languages demonstrates to all offices and employees they are a valued part of your workforce. It conveys respect of the global language and culture differences of the workforce as a whole.

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Terralingua is an ISO 9001 and 17100 certified professional translation company specializing in localization and desktop publishing. Please visit our website to explore how we can be of service with your company’s translation projects.

Selecting the Right Target Language to Reach Your Customers

Selecting the Right Target Language to Reach Your Customers

Selecting the Right Target Language to Reach Your CustomersAttracting new clients, keeping them engaged and communicating with them in their own language makes up a large part of your marketing strategy. For this reason, we often receive questions regarding the target language dilemma when customers speak the same language but are located in different countries.

It is an important decision to select the right target language. According to Common Sense Advisory’s research studies, language significantly influences purchasing decisions. Consumers reported that understanding a website in their own language ranked higher in importance than pricing.

This emphasizes the need to select the best target language when reaching international customers. It is essential to engage consumers in their own vernacular to help them feel valued and build brand trust. However, don’t assume that all English speakers are the same, or that Spanish speakers want to read formal Castilian Spanish. Sometimes, it’s not that simple.

English

Look at the differences between British and American English. Yes, we understand each other perfectly, but there are differences in spelling, pronunciation and some vocabulary. Therefore, if your brand is promoted primarily to a British or American market, it is essential to reflect this accordingly in your marketing materials and website.
A good example of this is Coca Cola. If you browse their UK website, not only is it 100% aimed at this audience, but the spelling and vocabulary are all in the Queen’s English. Flip over to the American site and you’ll find everything is geared towards their US customers.

Chinese

What if you’re targeting a Chinese market? Travel through China and you’ll hear many dialect varieties, which could become a marketing nightmare. Luckily most people in China speak Mandarin and write using Simplified Chinese characters, except if you’re in Hong Kong, where they primarily speak in Cantonese and write in Traditional Chinese characters. Again, Coca Cola has their materials and website in both written formats.

Portuguese

While many languages have the option of localizing, Portuguese should be adapted for its target location. Portuguese is the fifth major language in the world. However, there is a significant difference between Portuguese speakers in Brazil and Portugal with differences in intonation, pronunciation, grammar rules and vocabulary.

Spanish

Spanish is spoken in the United States, Central and South America and, of course, in Spain. While Castilian Spanish is often thought to be the standard for Spanish rules, there are variations in regional vocabulary, dialect and pronunciation.

Even though there are differences within Spain, the official language is Castilian. You will also find Galician and Basque speakers as well as Catalan. Most official Spanish websites give their readers the choice of these dialects.

Because of the great difference between regions, many companies are now gearing materials towards a neutral International Spanish. International Spanish uses terms that do not refer to any specific dialect of the language and uses artificial terms or phrases that best suit a multinational target audience. The whole idea is to encompass broad linguistic differences, trying to find common grounds in all Spanish variants and to eliminate idioms and regional mannerisms that would not be understood or that could lead to completely different or offensive translations between Spanish-speaking countries.

One great example concerning the differences in vocabulary is the International Spanish use of the term ’computer’. It can be translated as ‘computador’, ‘computadora’ or ‘ordenador’, depending on the country or region. To avoid controversy, it is possible to use ‘PC’ or ‘equipo’ and be understood in all Spanish countries.

In summary, translation and localization are the best ways to ensure that that you are able to engage with your customers. A brand that can communicate effectively will surely gain loyal customers by means of providing great content in their own language.

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Terralingua is an ISO 9001 and 17100 certified translation company. If you would like to learn more about our translation and localization services, please visit our website for further details.

Terralíngua Partnership and Integration with WPML

Terralíngua Partnership and Integration with WPMLWPML or WordPress Multilingual Plugin is the simplest and most efficient way to create and run multilingual websites.

In order to assist our clients with WordPress localization, Terralíngua has partnered and fully integrated with WPML. Both of our companies stress quality, security and reliability, which is why WPML is an excellent partner.

Many of our clients found it difficult to work with WordPress when creating different language versions, however localizing with WPML is seamless as it works with all themes, plugins and page builders. It also allows our clients’ sites to fully use multilingual search engine optimization (SEO) as translations are linked together and allows the setting of SEO metadata for translation.

This integration will allow our clients to easily send content requiring translation. To get started clients must have the WPML Multilingual CMS (the core plugin) installed on their website. Two additional plugins will allow clients to a) connect to Terralíngua (WPML Translation Management plugin) and b) translate interface strings (WPM String Translation). These can be downloaded from an existing wpml.org account.

If you would like to explore pricing to create an account – you can visit WPML Multilingual CMS. If you are considering this solution, we recommend taking advantage of their 30 day “no questions asked refund” by purchasing and completing a trial to test how WMPL will work with your corporate site.

It is a quick and easy process to register and install the plugins. Once you do so, you will see Terralíngua under the Translation Services tab found on the WPML -> Translation Management page. If you do not have an API key to connect, you may contact your dedicated Terralíngua representative or contact us at our website.

Once you are connected, Terralíngua will be automatically notified when you require a translation quote. You can easily send baskets of content for translation and receive them fully translated without the hassle of copying and pasting content. You can find detailed information here.

Terralíngua is very excited to integrate this solution with our workflow and offer our clients a streamlined approach to translating their WordPress sites.

Why Your Business Needs an App

Why Your Business Needs an App

Why Your Business Needs an App Consumers are using mobile apps every day for business or pleasure via smartphones. Online banking, social media, gaming and shopping are just a few of the examples. Apps have exploded in popularity and use. In 2017, over half of internet traffic was due to the use of apps. If your business doesn’t have a consumer app, perhaps it’s time!

A mobile app gives your customers a direct, personalized way to connect and have a relationship with your company and product wherever they are, at any time. This fact can help to increase sales and attract more customers. It’s also another marketing tool you can use to engage your target audience. Encourage them to share the app with others who may also have use for your product or service.

According to the eMarketeer, apps used in the United States account for 90% of internet time, with adults spending an average of three and a half hours each day on mobile devices. For businesses, this surely means that having a mobile app is just as important as having a website.

When you’re having an app created, it’s important to think about your global customers as well as those at home. That means making sure that your app is translated and localized for your customers in other markets.

Invest In the future

Translating and localizing your app will no doubt increase your return on investment in the future. TechCrunch reports that the global app economy will be worth $6.3 trillion by 2021, up from $1.3 trillion last year, according to a new report from app analytics firm App Annie. During that same time frame, the user base will almost double from 3.4 billion people using apps to 6.3 billion, while the time spent in apps will grow to 3.5 trillion hours in 2021, up from 1.6 trillion in 2016.

3.4 billion app users spent on average $379 in apps across all three forms of monetization last year, or $0.80 per hour per person. These $379 will grow to $1,008 by 2021.

Translation is important as consumers prefer to read and make buying decisions in their native tongue. When you localize, you adapt your product or service to a specific market. It helps people from a particular country trust your brand as it directly relates to their culture with associated images and lingo.

App Stores

When your app is translated to other languages, it will attract more attention in an app store. According to the Common Sense Advisory, you need at least 16 languages to have a truly global reach. For most businesses, however, it will be enough to consider your biggest selling markets. In the United States, for instance, English, Spanish and Chinese will attract most US customers, since these are spoken languages used by the American population with the widest reach.

App Store Ranking

A localized app will rank higher than one that isn’t localized in the app store of the country you are targeting. Using appropriate keywords and placing your brand name in the app will put you ahead of your competitors by increasing your visibility.

Make sure you use localized images and videos and optimize your metadata. Use the right wording for the app’s description and instructions. This is especially important when certain words and phrases don’t have a local equivalent. By using a professional company to localize your content, you can be assured that a native speaking translator will be used with a thorough knowledge of the nuances of the language and will be able to find a suitable corresponding translation.

Customer Spending

Another good reason to have your app translated and localized is the fact that people tend to buy a product or service from a company that speaks their language. Another study by the Common Sense Advisory asked a group of web consumers how language influenced their decision to make a purchase. A whopping 72.4% said they were more likely to browse websites in their own language. This could just as easily apply to apps. The consumers questioned also confirmed that price wasn’t as crucial as being able to read in their own language.

This figure surely demonstrates the importance of translating and localizing apps to appeal to browsers and customers both at home and abroad.

An app is a forward-thinking method to connect with customers and to enhance your service offerings in all parts of the world.

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Terralingua is an ISO 9001 and 17100 certified translation company. If you would like to know more about our translation and localization services, or if you need help with reaching global markets, please visit our website for further details.

How Social Media Can Push Your Business Forward

How Social Media Can Push Your Business Forward

How Social Media Can Push Your Business ForwardAccording to The Digital in their 2017 Overview, more than half the world’s population uses the internet. That’s 3.77 billion people with 2.56 billion people using social media. It makes sense that any content marketing strategy should include social media posts. When planning your strategy, consider these helpful hints.

Know Your Customer

Social media is the perfect platform for getting to know your customers. Insights and trends are easier to follow with their built-in tools. Once you know what makes them tick, you can craft your content to specifically target their needs and wants.

Narrow the Field

Social media can help you target customers who want your product or service. A targeted campaign works better than marketing to a general group of people. Rather than stumbling around in the dark, you can select demographics or filters that fit your desired target. LinkedIn, for example, offers search filters such as company size, location and job title. These filters can help you to narrow the field and target an audience that will be interested.

Don’t Be Repetitive

Using various social media platforms means delivering your message multiple times. Don’t be tempted to use the same piece of content on each platform. Craft something different for each platform with different images or text. Consider the preferences of each platform. For example, Instagram is more image-focused while Twitter is more text-based. You don’t necessarily have to start each post from scratch. You can tweak posts. A short tweet on Twitter, for instance, can be turned into an image for Instagram and a short article with a photo for Facebook.

Make It Relevant

Once you know your audience, you need to create relevant content. Review posts to evaluate what produces the most engagement. Your audience will read, share and comment if they like what they see, and if it resonates with them.

Create a Great Profile

If you’re using a social media platform like LinkedIn, you’ll need a company profile. Use tools like video, infographics, images and/or photos with your text to tell your company’s story and make it stand out.

Translate and Localize Your Global Pages

If you have social media in other countries, have those pages and posts translated into your target language. It might be easier to keep them in English, but you won’t attract customers who follow brands that communicate in their own language. When the Common-Sense Advisory asked 3,000 global customers about their buying preferences, 75% of people involved in the survey reported they prefer to buy products in their native language.

Localization means using text and images that reflect the language and culture of the country you are targeting. Readers want text that’s engaging. They want to see images of the people from their culture and country. If they can relate to the content of your post, they will likely trust your brand.

Communicate

Use social media to communicate and engage with your audience. If people comment or respond to posts, reply. It’s another way to build confidence in your brand which will then create sales. Don’t give yes or no answers to questions. Try to answer the question fully, even if you are only adding a link where the person can get additional information. Build a reputation for answering questions and being interested in your customer’s comments.

Sort Out Problems

If social media comments are highlighting a problem, you have (for example with delivery or customer service) make sure you respond accordingly and solve the issue. Let the customer know you are taking action and make sure you communicate with your followers once the problem has been solved.

Social media platforms will bring your business to the attention of a worldwide audience. By creating content that engages your audience, you will create new opportunities and leads to make your brand an industry leader.

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Terralingua is a professional ISO certified translation company specialized in localization and desktop publishing. We have worked with many of the world’s industry leaders. If you would like a personal consultation regarding your company’s needs, please visit our website for further information.

The Importance of Quality Standards

The Importance of Quality Standards

The Importance of Quality StandardsIt has been said that translation is more of an art than a science. Though aspects of translation require craftsmanship, the procedures and protocols of carrying out quality work have important parameters. When selecting a translation partner, you want to ensure quality standards and protocols are in place but how can you insure this?

ISO 9001 and 17100

One method for ensuring quality is to look for a partner who has obtained an ISO certification. The International Organization for Standardization promotes worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial standards. Two certifications which apply to the translation industry are the 9001 and the 17100.

Many are aware of the ISO 9001 which is an international standard of a quality management system. A quality management system (QMS) is a set of policies, processes and procedures required for planning and execution in the core business area of an organization. Production, development and service protocols impact an organization’s ability to meet customer requirements.

The ISO 17100 is a new internationally recognized standard for the translation industry which addresses requirements related to the essential processes for providing quality translations services including the capabilities of the company’s resources. Machine translation and interpretation protocols are not included in 17100.

The 17100 not only evaluates an efficient management system but also assesses file security, staff development and general working practices. An independent ISO audit is required to maintain and ensure adherence to these specifications.

LISA

The Localization Industry Standards Association or LISA was an organization based on standards created to address the translation of computer software into different languages. Though LISA is no longer an active organization, their work still drives many translation and localization standards. Adobe, IBM, Cisco, HP and Xerox were members. LISA represented its partners at the International Organization for Standardization. The Termbase eXchange (TBX) was developed by LISA, which became an ISO standard. Many LISA standards are used by the OASIS Open Architecture of XML Authoring and Localization.

LISA’s quality control system involves a series of ratings. There is a scoring system with levels set for translation style, accuracy, consistency and language rules. LISA is also used during the localization process. Localization applies to adapting websites, apps, videogames and other translated texts to fit a target audience’s culture and style.

QA the QA

Though these are a few standard control systems that translation companies rely upon, they are not the only ones in use. A thorough question and answer assessment of a translation provider about their quality assurance will uncover the protocols and procedures in place to ensure your company receives quality deliverables.

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Terralingua is an ISO 9001 and 17100 certified professional translation agency utilizing LISA standards. If you would like to know more about our services, or you need help with a translation project, please visit our website for further details.

The Importance of Localized Content

The Importance of Localized Content

The Importance of Localized Content The digital age has made it easier for consumers to purchase goods and conduct business transactions all over the globe. This has been a boon for companies who strive to grow sales by marketing goods in other markets.

Consumers are also much more aware of their purchasing power with multiple choices and options. If a company wants to do business with them, they expect to receive the appropriate brand communication and engagement. If they don’t get it, then they will go elsewhere.

What is the best way to keep current customers loyal while attracting new ones? It’s all about meaningful content. Content should be the lynchpin of all marketing activities. However, it needs to be managed properly to be successful. It is all about localization and how you communicate with your customer.

The most important consideration if you are in the global marketplace is, of course, translation. Studies show that most customers buy a product because it is advertised in their own language. That means you need to speak to them like a native, and not like a machine with hard-to-understand phrasing. Professional translation will show your potential customers their worth to your company, as well as properly convey your product and brand message.

Once your content is created and translated, think about how it is received by the user. Consider your website’s user interface and how it is viewed on other devices such as mobile phones. How is your content distributed through email marketing campaigns and social media?

Always consider the audience. Ask yourself these questions: Does your content pass by multiple departments, or are the decision makers a few key people? Are you properly addressing this audience? How does your company reply to needs in all languages? What is your response time to email or social media inquiries?

Review how your content aligns with your marketing objectives. What countries are you currently doing business with? From their viewpoint, what is the level of ease to interact with your company? When looking at your short and long-term goals, who is the target audience? Are you creating content that appeals to and engages this audience? Is your content relevant? It is often quoted that a website needs 21 languages to reach 90% of its web users. A strategic plan will help your company narrow in on your desired target market.

Educate your content creation staff as to these goals. If you have creators in many different countries or offices, ensure you organize and communicate a consistent and culturally relevant message throughout all markets. In order to ensure quality control and a clear message, a company will often rely on a translation partner to localize content in other languages. Feedback is obtained from local offices to confirm any preferential terms in their market.

Planning content creation with your global audience in mind will mean efficient productivity and active customer engagement. This will not only improve sales, but also give customers a better experience.

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Terralingua is an ISO 17100 and 9001 certified translation and localization provider to global business leaders in all industries. Visit our website to find your local office and obtain a quote online.

Spring Cleaning Your Content

Spring Cleaning Your Content

Spring Cleaning Your ContentIf your organization spends a considerable amount producing content, then it is probably time to schedule a content spring cleaning. Starting 2018 with a clear vision and strategy will allow you to fully analyse and create a structured approach to ensure consistency and maximize asset use.

Where to start?

First take stock of your content and production protocol. Have you compiled and catalogued all available documentation? Are there pieces that require updates or improvements? Before creating new content, have you reviewed what is currently distributed and in use? Can you find production and distribution efficiencies to implement?

Do you produce content that is required by different departments or in different formats? Through the implementation of an organizational review, substantial savings could be found by repurposing content used in brochures, user guides, training material or repair manuals. Though the expense of a content management system may be outside the scope of your current needs, there are many ways you can repurpose material without one. Review your documentation practices, explore content repurposing efficiencies that could be applied, and determine when a content management system (CMS) investment would be needed. Centralizing the documentation process will significantly impact affect translation expenses as well.

Avoid the translation silo

Even though each department may have a separate translation budget, it does not mean that your company’s translation procedures should have a “silo” approach. Create a centralized method for the sharing and distribution of your company’s translation memory so that each department can access the benefits of already translated content. Even if you do not use the same translation provider for each project, ensuring consistency and maximizing reuse can be easily obtained through a centralized method of simple steps. If you have several translation memories from many different providers, taking the time to consolidate the memories and reviewing terms will result in time and cost savings for all departments. Style guides and controlled language are also two useful tools to review.

Keeping everyone in line

Creating style guides, approved glossaries and templates for all content creators will mean a consistent company message and easier implementation of reusable segments. Whether it is with your internal documentation team or a translation partner, having a documentation protocol is essential. Also discuss the company’s tone of voice, images and typography for your brands to safeguard consistent use across departments and through contracted and outsourced work.

Controlling the message

When repurposing text, especially text concerned with safety, many implement a controlled language tool. This provides your content writers guidelines and a limited vocabulary to reduce the risk of ambiguity and clarifying text. For example, after a company-wide documentation review, you may find the same safety message written in many different ways. Limited approved options ensure a safer message and cost savings.

Explore content management options

A Content Management System (CMS)’s purpose is to store, organize and repurpose your content. There are many options to explore which will make your content easier to search, organize and locate. The expense and learning curve of a CMS often keeps companies from investing but with an ever-expanding content library, it is important to evaluate pros and cons of different systems. Each company’s needs vary as well as the cost of each system.

If you are writing technical content, then a useful system is the Darwin Information Typing Architecture or Document Information Typing Architecture (DITA). DITA is an XML data model for authoring and publishing. DITA software allows content writers to write in segments. This means that they build up the content bit by bit, segment by segment. Each part of the text is separate, meaning editing and reusing text is seamless.

Have you heard about Typefi?

Typefi is a publishing platform that allows any XML based content and produces formats for online, mobile and print within minutes. It can be used by authors and editors as well as by your design team, so that, with a click of a mouse, both teams can view the design and content quickly. It is ideal for multiple language publications and it can save you a considerable amount of production time.

Despite the fact that there are many considerations, having clear documentation goals and taking a hard look at your current content production methods can help you streamline procedures to achieve more in less time. A spring cleaning is worth its weight in gold any time of year.

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Terralingua is a professional ISO certified translation company specializing in localization and desktop publishing. We implement XML based solutions and work with content management systems for many global industry leaders. To find out more about our services, please visit our website for further information.

How to Reduce Translation Costs with Controlled Natural Language

How to Reduce Translation Costs with Controlled Natural Language

How to Reduce Translation Costs with Controlled Natural LanguageIf your company produces a high volume of content, you know the costs involved in writing, editing and translation can be high. Global companies can have documentation translated into more than 20 languages. So a common concern is how to produce documents at a lower cost without losing the clarity and quality customers expect.

Many companies seek to repurpose as much content as possible, especially with instruction booklets or product descriptions. A solution many utilize is a Component Content Management System (CCMS) which can efficiently manage content by minimizing volume and, therefore, reducing the costs. With a CCMS, the amount of content that can be repurposed is affected by the format, industry standards, and the system used.

It is important to ensure that the content is structured and that style sheets are created to improve the publishing process. Many authors shy away from this method of content creation because it lacks flexibility, but, by using a template, you can ensure conformity. This method also means that accidental new material created by authors is avoided. New words and phrases cost money to create and translate. By ensuring authors use the same terms and expressions, accidental content will be reduced and therefore related costs will also go down.

For example, you may have various authors writing safety instructions that convey: “Don’t disconnect until the green light is illuminated.” Each author may write this instruction in a different way, such as “only disconnect when the green light is on” or “when the green light is illuminated, you can disconnect”. If each author would implement the same wording, you would have conformity across all the documentation and, therefore, it would be easier to reuse content. Instruction manuals, brochures, product descriptions and marketing materials would all use the same phrasing.

Many find that, by implementing a Controlled Natural Language (CNL) style, this can be achieved. Examples of styles are ASD Simplified Technical English, Caterpillar Technical English, and IBM’s Easy English. These CNLs are not only used to increase the readability and quality of technical documentation, but, also, to reduce the amount of required translation, optimizing the process. These rules have restrictions such as using short sentences, avoiding pronoun use, using only the active voice and utilizing only dictionary approved words.

By using Controlled Natural Language (CNL), you can improve the consistency and quality of a technical translation. Conventional CAT tools will pick up matches at a higher rate and this, in turn, will make human translation faster. CNL’s are efficient because they use less than 1% of vocabulary, bringing the number of words that can be used to between 2,000 and 10,000.

The advantage to this method is that the limited vocabulary means authors use fewer words, so the text is sharper and easier to understand. Ambiguity and confusion are avoided, and the technical information produced can be used by professionals and layman alike. Whether it is a user manual, instructional leaflet or marketing brochure, the content is clear to the customer.

Using tools such as a content management system and a controlled language will improve consistency and quality, as well as lower the overall costs of producing technical documentation and translating content for the global marketplace.

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Terralingua is a professional ISO certified translation company specializing in localization and desktop publishing. We have been working with many of the world’s industry leaders. To see how we can assist with your company’s global communications, please visit our website for further information.