Category Archives: Localization

Three of the Best Translation Plugins For WordPress

Three of the Best Translation Plugins For WordPress

Three of the Best Translation Plugins For WordPressIf you sell products to a global audience, you have probably considered translation of your website. By using appropriate images, text, layout and design, your readers will be more likely to buy. Statistics show that 75% of web shoppers prefer to browse the web in their native language. And, 60% of web consumers said they wouldn’t buy from a website that’s only in English.

But, it’s not just about translation. There’s another aspect to attracting non-English speaking consumers. It’s localization.

Localization means adapting your website information to engage with your audience not only in a specific language, but also in a way that reflects their culture.

A simple example is how we use numbers worldwide. In Europe, Australia, South America, and most of Asia, the 2/8/2020 reads the 2nd August 2020.

But, in the United States, the format is month, day and year. That makes 2/8/2020 8th February 2020. But if your global market is in China, Japan, South Korea, or Hungary, you use the year, month, day format. So, 2/8/2020 becomes 2020 August 2nd.

You can see by this example why understanding your global audience is so important. A buyer in China doesn’t want dates and sizes in a European format. If your buyer starts to get confused about delivery dates and clothes sizes, they will not spend time converting.

The good news is it isn’t difficult to get your WordPress website theme ready for the translation and localization process. Your developer will no doubt use a plugin to make things easier. Here are four of the best translation plugins currently available.

The WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML)

This versatile plugin can be used for a simple blog or a large corporate website. It’s compatible with many themes and plugins including Woo, Yoast, Slider Revolution and Elementor. Users can optimize their site by setting meta information in their target language. There are three levels of pricing to suit the user:

  • Multilingual Blog
  • Multilingual CMS
  • Multilingual Agency

But, what sets it apart from many other plugins is its customer service. The WPML support team speaks 9 languages. They offer support 19 hours a day, 6 days a week.
WPML is the preferred plugin at Terralingua. More information can be found at this link: https://wpml.org/translation-service/terralingua/#getting-started

Weglot

Weglot was founded in Paris in 2016. Since then it has grown in popularity. It is compatible with WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace, and Wix. There is an in-context editor and it also automatically optimizes your pages for SEO. Their website has a comprehensive help center, with set-up guides and articles.

Translate Press

Translate Press supports page builders and Woo-commerce. Users store everything in their own database. There is support for dynamic strings and it works with any WordPress theme or plugin. There are pages for troubleshooting and FAQ’s.

Plugins are frequently developed and published without the time for accurate testing and trials. Ensure the plugin you select has the proper support and track records for your needs. Always take advantage of a plugin’s free trial period or return window to ensure it will work with all languages your site requires now or in the future.

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Terralingua is an ISO 9001, 17100 and 18587 certified translation and localization leader. We have served the global business community since 1999 with native speaking translators and multilingual formatting in over 40 languages. If you are interested in translating and localizing your website for the global market, please visit our website.

A Lesson on Liability: How Professional Translation Can Save The Day

A Lesson on Liability: How Professional Translation Can Save The Day

A Lesson on Liability: How Professional Translation Can Save The DayThe COVID-19 crisis has highlighted how we are all globally connected. Vital equipment has been flown into countries all over the world. We all want the best for our front-line health care workers.

In the business world, this highlights the importance of translation when distributing in another country. Liability and safety are the highest concern to ensure a product or machine is properly used.

Example: Germany 2006

This is a well-known medical case which stresses the importance of professional translation. A German hospital received a consignment of femoral components for knee replacements. The supplies came from America. German instructions were inside the packaging, but the labels on the outside were only in English.

The hospital didn’t think to use a professional translation service. Instead, they relied on English speaking hospital staff. They created new labels. Unfortunately, the translations were incorrect. The labels read ‘without cement.’ They should have read ‘with cement.’

The hospital carried out 47 knee replacement operations without using cement. Of course, the replacements failed. All the patients had to have another operation to rectify the mistake.

The patients sued the hospital for pain and suffering. The hospital sued the manufacturer of the supplies. The lawsuits amounted to millions of dollars. All because of a lack of professional translation for labels.

Non-English Speakers in the United States

Other sectors also need to provide clear instructions for their workers. For example, in America, many workers are Spanish speakers but only have information provided in English.

Construction, manufacturing, and farming all rely on employees who may not have English as a first language. A lack of comprehension puts the safety and wellbeing of the workers and companies at risk.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) website provides help and advice to business owners. Their website raises awareness of safety issues at work. It helps companies who want to put safety best practices in place.

The construction sector, for instance, employs around 2 million foreign workers. This amounts to approximately 23% of the workforce. Many of them are native Spanish speakers.

Five years ago, OHSA teamed up with The Center to Protect Workers Rights (CPWR). Together they created a 10-hour safety course in Spanish for construction workers. The course included handouts and class materials.

Their evaluation report included this quote from a wise 20 year old Hispanic worker. “I think that, in the future, training in one’s own language will be available and, when that day comes, many accidents and deaths will be prevented”.

How Translation Can Save A Company Money

Not only does information in one’s native language keep the workforce safe, there are many other benefits when investing in translation. Fewer accidents and fewer claims mean savings on lost wages and productivity. Fewer insurance claims could also result in less expensive policies.

Often businesses must learn the hard way the consequences of a free machine translation or the result from someone who is not a qualified translator. Unfortunately, that lesson can mean the loss of life or limb. It is a lesson we should all take to heart.

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Terralingua is an ISO 9001, 17100 and 18587 certified translation leader. We care about the workforce and proudly present at the AEM Safety Conference. Please visit our website to request pricing or for more information about our services.

Technical Translation – The Importance of Consistency

Technical Translation – The Importance of Consistency

Technical Translation – The Importance of ConsistencyBusinesses take great care selecting the preferred language to describe their products, explain services, and represent their brand. Communication always considers the appropriate industry norms and requires accuracy regarding technical aspects.

However, many companies have different product divisions and departments that produce their own materials, independent of each other. The brand message and corporate identity can be further divided when localization occurs. Different departments may use various providers to create translated content. Though it is understandable how this happens, it does not forgive an inconsistent brand message, disjointed corporate identity, or unsatisfactory client experience.

Does your company have an answer to this very important question – who is responsible for ensuring consistency?

Implementing Solutions

Consistency is a key quality control metric. Uniformity when establishing product or service protocols are a given. However, standardization is often overlooked with an organization’s language.

How can you ensure consistency throughout your organization – from marketing materials to technical document? Establish a corporate language protocol with input from all departments and divisions.

If all content creators have the same standards, you will have:

  • Corporate consistency
  • Improved customer communication
  • Efficiency with time to market
  • Improved translated content
  • Risk reduction through improved comprehension
  • Production savings

Create a Corporate Glossary

A glossary will ensure only approved terminology and phrases are used in corporate materials. This should include marketing materials, instruction manuals, websites, product specifications, user guides, instruction booklets and catalogues. “What do we call things?” is in integral part of team education and corporate standardization.

This applies not only to the source documentation, but localized content as well. Ensuring your translation providers are all on the same page with an approved terminology database is extremely important. Even if different divisions call upon various providers, a governing set of guidelines should be implemented and provided. Your translation partner can assist with creating a glossary by pulling key terms from your materials, providing suggested translations, and then asking your team to approve or revise the term. Many partners already include this in the scope of their work, and you may only need to request a copy. If you have many different providers, then you will need to request all versions, review internally and then provide a final approved glossary for all to implement.

The glossary is integrated with the translation memory database. Updating and maintaining the terminology database should be within a translation project’s parameters when you return review comments. Translators use industry tools to create this database to not only ensure consistency, but to also provide cost and time savings. Always ask your translation partner if they will assist with the creation of a glossary, allow for your company’s preferences, update the database with review comments, and provide this asset upon request. The last aspect is critical to not only to share with other translation partners, but also to protect your investment. It is only with the translation memory database (abbreviated as TM) that you will be able to reuse and repurpose content as well as ensure consistency between providers.

Establish Brand and Style Guides

A style guide is a common requirement especially when producing technical content. When was the last time your company reviewed your style guide? Are all departments and divisions implementing the updated version?

Style guides assist with:

  • Measurement standards
  • Acronyms
  • Preferred language tense
  • Style and tone
  • Currency
  • Punctuation

Does your translation provider also create a style guide specific for your company? Ensure it is updated and reviewed on a consistent basis. Localized style guides will have differences from your source style guide. For example, rules regarding letter case vary by language. Days of the week and months are capitalized in English, but they are not in Spanish.

Your company’s preferences should also be consistent in the localized style guides. This is particularly true with measurement. Some companies what both units listed – for example pounds and ounces with litres and grams. Others only want the preferred unit used in the localized material.

All translation partners should have a consistent style guide to follow regarding your preferred style and brand standards.

Remove Ambiguity

Clear and concise language is always the goal. Ensure content is reviewed for clarity. Customers always trust a brand that is easily understood – in any language. The global marketplace requires consumer comprehension. Idioms, jargon, and slang are cultural pitfalls that could mean a miscommunicated message, insult, or injury. If there are signs, symbols, or acronyms in your content, ensure they are properly explained. This is important not only in the source documentation but especially when localizing or translating information for another market.

Implementing corporate language protocols will result in quality content and a trusted brand identity. Consistent corporate language is established with style guides, approved terminology, localization standards, and ensuring oversight of your company’s written assets.

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Terralingua is an ISO 9001 and 17100 certified translation agency that partners with global businesses. Please visit our website to contact a client specialist, who can answer your translation questions and provide a budgetary proposal.

Pandemic Downtime Planning

Pandemic Downtime Planning

Pandemic Downtime PlanningThe busyness of daily business has slowed for many companies. Everyone is facing new challenges; however, every challenge paves a path to a new opportunity. This downtime allows for prospect and opportunity discovery within our global community.

One expanding budget item is the investment in e-commerce. Website updates and online product accessibility, which may require content in other languages, have become a necessary priority. When expanding into other markets there are many matters to address, and now is the time to investigate.

“Measure Twice, Cut Once” Research

There are many considerations before expanding your global reach, especially when starting relationships in other countries. There are many metrics and measurements to help gauge your cost. Below are additional planning checkpoints to consider before making final decisions.

Many companies consider the legalities and customs involved with international business, but what about the country’s infrastructure? Will your shipments easily get to their destination? How reliable are carriers and do they rely on road or rail facilities? Consider the target market’s economy including your potential customers’ spending power. A fair price in one market may be not feasible in another with the shipping cost.

If your product is new to that demographic, will additional education and training be required for the sale? Do you have the support channels available in that market? Research the marketplace environment, as well as the partners or distributors that could providing the support required for a successful expansion.

The Language of Business

Effective communication is key when it comes to productive global business. Many rely on localized websites and social media to obtain customer attention. However, how you gain attention and build rapport is important, especially with an international audience. Customer support, navigation ease and international payment information are critical factors.

Studies have long shown that consumers prefer browsing websites in their native tongue. They want to be 100% certain of the product or service before the purchase. Inaccurate translations will not allow fluent reading and content comprehension. It could invalidate the information and cause confusion and as well as distrust. The free translation you obtain from a website could cost a very high price when it comes to your reputation.

Consumers require a degree of trust before making a purchase. Professional translation and localization are an investment in your relationships and reputation. It is also an investment in the integrity and security of your content as anything that is posted online or shared without protocols in place could be used by another for other purposes.

In conclusion now is the time to research and appeal to new markets and opportunities. If your company is expanding their global reach, then professional translation and localization will create a solid foundation for clear communication and trust.

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Terralingua is a leading ISO 9001 and 17100 translation and localization agency. They assist global companies every day with their international communication, technical publications, websites, training, and marketing materials. Please visit our website for more information.

7 Ways to Improve Cybersecurity

7 Ways to Improve Cybersecurity

7 Ways to Improve CybersecurityCybersecurity is a concern for many companies, especially now as many employees are working in a home environment. A thorough security evaluation may not be feasible at this time. However, there are some simple steps you can implement to minimize risk.

Minimize Access

Every year Varonis, a leading security company, carries out a global risk report. In its 2019 report they found 53% of companies have more than 1,000 sensitive files open to every employee. This creates the risk of ransomware, malware attacks and other confidentiality breaches.
Review file permissions and ensure only authorized staff have access. Keep a list of authorized staff members, review it regularly, and remove staff as roles change.

Passwords

Educate staff about the need to create strong passwords. It is generally recommended that passwords have eight characters. These should include upper and lower letters and special characters.
Remind staff to change passwords every quarter and do not reuse old passwords. Ensure they are using different passwords than those they use on personal accounts. Never use the same password for all logins.

Encryption

Ensure data is only transferred through secure sites. Websites with an encryption process in place will have a padlock in the address bar. You can see it in the website’s URL. This is called a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Having an SSL certificate demonstrates a secure connection. Work only with companies who use encrypted sites and use security protocols when handling files.

Only Use Secure Connections

Make sure staff use secure, private connections. Public WIFI connections are not secure. Some cell phones have the option to create a secure hotspot if needed.
Lock Screens When Not in Use
This simple step is often forgotten especially in the comfort of their home. When not using a computer, set your screen to lock. This will protect your work from being seen by others or having unauthorized users accessing your account. Your employee may leave their desk for lunch, and a teenager may hop on to play an online game.

Data Disposal

Do not keep information that is not needed. Stale data presents an added risk. The Varonis report says these files are often left unchecked. In their survey they found over half of company data is stale. Therefore, it is important to delete old files and reduce access to data.

Be Careful Where You Click

Sometimes we can become careless when clicking on links. Advise your staff never to automatically click on an email link. If there is any doubt about an email’s authenticity or sender, ask for confirmation with your IT department.

These basic precautions will help protect your information and secure your company’s data. Security, safety and caution are all important in your workplace and necessary wherever your workforce may be.

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Terralingua is a 17100 and 9001 ISO certified translation agency with high cybersecurity protocols. Their processes include Geo-Trust Security certification and their site is hosted on an encrypted secure server. Each client has their own password protected portal to access information in private silos. Their SSL certification has an ‘A’ rating on Qualys SSL Labs security testing. Please visit Terralingua to securely post your quote request or contact a customer service representative.

Desktop Publishing Considerations When Translating Content

Desktop Publishing Considerations When Translating ContentWhen creating documents for print or web consumption, ensuring text and images are correctly formatted is vital to your company’s image and brand. Every marketing expert will confirm document design based on the target audience’s suitability and legibility are planning essentials. Even the smallest details such as font size, colors and white space between the text can affect the end user’s impression.

Creating a document’s layout involves desktop publishing (often called DTP), and is implemented when designing:

  • Brochures
  • Instruction manuals
  • Business cards
  • Reports
  • Web pages
  • Invoices
  • Blogs and articles
  • Posters

Great care is taken when designing these layouts. Internal feedback and revisions are required before final acceptance. That same level of care is required when taking content into another language or target market. Accurate desktop publishing is important because a document’s layout can drastically change when translated.

Expansion and Contraction Considerations

For example, an English newsletter is created to have images and text fit perfectly on each page. However, if this newsletter is translated for a Spanish speaking audience, the text is likely to grow and will no longer fit on the page.

This is called expansion. During the translation process text can contract or expand, depending on the source and target languages. Spanish usually expands English text by 20-25%.
The German language also can expand up to 35%, often because of the many compound words. If you are translating from English to German you might have fewer words, but you could use up more space on the page because of the compound combinations.

On the other hand, there are languages that contract or take fewer words or space to express the same idea. Finnish, Korean, Japanese, Swedish and Chinese are some of the languages that may contract. This may create more open page space, which will require formatting skills to match the layout to the source documentation.

Adapting a Document

Proper adaptation of a document for a target market is key when you work with a translation partner or language service provider (LSP). Not all providers have the same skill set when returning a translated document. Though they may have the industry or technical expertise needed to accurately translate content, they may lack the layout skills or programs required to format the translated text.

As previously discussed, some providers may not know how to properly handle text expansion or contraction. You may see a font size too small to read or improper spacing between paragraphs attempting to fit translated text into a layout. It is important to ensure your partner knows the nuances of multilingual desktop publishing as well as the content expertise.

Some languages may require a different pagination (such as right to left) or have special font considerations during layout. Some target audiences may require cultural considerations which would mean alternate images or colors in the layout.

The most important consideration is the ability to easily skim the pages. It is human nature to quickly read over content. If it is not legible or easy to “digest” – then you have lost before you even started. A Nelson Norman Group survey found 95% of readers skimmed web pages, including newsletters. With more information demanding our attention, skimming is how most readers consume content.

Therefore, to engage effectively content must not only be legible but enable quick skimming. Expert multilingual desktop publishing ensures the translated copy fits the source layout perfectly; making your message attractive to your target audience and easy to read.

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Terralingua is an ISO certified translation provider with over 20 years of experience in multilingual desktop publishing in all formats. Visit us at www.terralinguatranslations.com for more information about our services.

Doing Business in Europe - Denmark

Doing Business in Europe – Denmark

Doing Business in Europe - DenmarkAccording to ‘Doing Business’ on the World Bank’s website, one of the top places to grow globally is Denmark. If you’re looking for a European business opportunity, then Denmark is worth exploring.

Denmark is a Scandinavian country close to Sweden and Norway. Its main imports are computers, communication equipment, cars, wine and clothes. Denmark’s most important trading partners are the United States, Sweden, Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom. Denmark’s trading figures can be found on the OEC website.

Denmark is in the top ten of countries to do business because of its ease in:

  • Finding a location
  • Dealing with permits
  • Registering property
  • Obtaining electricity
  • Obtaining credit
  • Paying taxes
  • Trading across borders

Transport links to and from Denmark are excellent. Copenhagen Malmo Port is the main transport hub for new cars in the Baltic region serving Sweden, Norway, Finland and Estonia. As well as Latvia, Lithuania and Russia.

Road and rail links are enhanced by the Oresund Bridge which links Denmark to Sweden and the proposed Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link which will eventually link Copenhagen to Germany.

Telecoms and internet connections are at the forefront of the government’s focus. They want to make Denmark a leader in digital technology by 2025 and they have already begun the launch of a number of initiatives with that in mind.

Danish is the official language, although many Danes also speak German and English. The work environment is more causal with managers working alongside their teams, and suits are not the norm.

However, in order to effectively target the Danish consumer, marketing materials and websites should be professionally translated. Danish has a contraction rate when translating from English and may require desktop publishing to ensure the text properly fits the layout.

If you want more information about doing business in Denmark then visit the US Embassy business pages for more information. There is also a useful guide from the UK called ‘Doing Business in Denmark’.

Denmark’s infrastructure and future investments make it a very stable and desirable prospect when going global.

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Terralingua is a leading ISO certified translation agency. We have worked with some of the world’s leading industries for over 20 years. We provide professional translation, localization and desktop publishing services. If you would like more information please visit our website.

Why Your Company Needs Standardization in Your Localization Plan

Why Your Company Needs Standardization in Your Localization Plan

Why Your Company Needs Standardization in Your Localization PlanThe manufacturing industry has embraced the advantage of standardizing production efforts for a long time. However, standardization protocols should not just be implemented for product development, but for marketing and communication efforts as well.

Global standardization can be used to promote the goods and services of your company both at home and abroad. A standard process across the board means saving time and money when considering your global return on investment (ROI). Your strategy should be applied through all departments and managed with the assistance of a content management system (CMS). A CMS will also ensure that all brand documents are integrated within each relevant department for a seamless workflow across all marketing materials, including websites.

Standardization not only improves your translated documentation, but all your company’s content. Your strategy should result in clearly written text without the use of idioms or colloquialisms. Establishing standard terms for instructions will increase clarity and reduce translation costs.

The benefits of standardization include:

  • Better understanding of systems and processes throughout departments and offices
  • Improved quality as staff adheres to set standards
  • Efficiency as staff applies processes within each department
  • Savings in production costs leading to higher profits
  • Staff satisfaction as standard procedures reduce content creation and review approval time

For example, consider branding standardization. Without branding standardization, your marketing campaign will not resonate with consumers in other markets and countries. Your brand needs to provide a relevant consumer experience – including consideration of colours and images. A core message for consumers needs to be created and then adapted to each target audience.

Coca-Cola is an excellent example of a company that has implemented standardization with localization. Brand colours, consumer images and relevant local information are considered for each target market section of their website.

The benefits of localization standardization include:

  • An advantage over competitors that do not localize effectively
  • Building trust with customers in other countries
  • Quicker brand recognition
  • Building a loyal customer base

Standardization and localization are solid building blocks for your company’s foundation. Together, they can help your business grow and earn its profit in the global marketplace.

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Terralingua is an ISO 9001 and 17100 certified language service provider for equipment manufacturers and leading global companies. We would be honoured to serve your translation and localization needs. Please visit our website for more information and a no-obligation quotation.

Planning for Translation – Are Your Documents Ready?

Planning for Translation – Are Your Documents Ready?

Planning for Translation – Are Your Documents Ready?Often when companies create content they are so focused on the current need, they fail to think about future use. Right now, the document may just be used domestically – but what if you decide to offer the product or service to other markets?

If you do and require translation, you will run into the age-old dilemma of text expansion or contraction. When you’re translating from one language to another, the word count or text of the original will usually become larger or smaller in the target or translated version. Sometimes the word count will be smaller, but the text will expand for example in English you may have 2 words wire gauge but in German it is one-word Leitungsquerschnitt.

Whether the text will expand, or contract depends on the source and target languages, as well as the type of content (for example legal, technical or literary). A completed translation from English into German may have an increased word count between 10 and 35 percent while the same document into Japanese could end up with between 10 and 55 percent fewer words.

Why is this important?

There are several considerations to take into account. First, there’s the cost. Most translation companies evaluate the original document and charge per source word. What if you’re working with an agency who charges by the amount of target words? Then it’s important to know whether you’ll be paying for the expanded text or the contracted version.

Desktop Publishing Considerations – Also known as the Layout and Design

Second, text expansion or contraction can cause problems with the layout and design of your document. Say you have an English brochure. The design, colors and font sizes are perfect. It is easy to read and the content is engaging.

Now you decide to have that same brochure printed for your German and Japanese customers. The same formatting for your English brochure most likely is not going to work for these languages without modifications.

The German brochure may not have enough room for the text, meaning you may have to reduce the font size. The result could be a brochure crammed with small text that’s difficult to read. The Japanese brochure could end up with less text and too much white space. The brochure may look incomplete.

When you design your document keep the target languages in mind. Also consider if the images and colors you are using will work for other markets. Working with an experienced provider that provides multilingual desktop publishing can assist if translation and localization considerations were not a part of the planning process to assist with making the layout look the same as the original.

Localization

Your German and Japanese customers will appreciate a document that looks appropriate with localized images and relevant, readable text. Your customers will feel valued and will be more likely to be loyal customers. Consider your global audience when designing your layout’s design, colors and images.

Web design

First of all, ensure your site will support other fonts and languages. For example, if your site is built on WordPress, you will probably require a plugin prior to translation. Your translation provider can assist with evaluating the best solutions. (See the option we provide at the WPML website).
Once you ensure your site will support the target language, use the same design principles on your website. Imagine having to zoom in and out to read information on a web page. If a small font was used to squeeze in text, would you have the patience to stay on the page? Or would you click away and find another brand?

Planning prior to translation will save time, money and frustration both for you and your customers. Partnering with a translation agency who understands multilingual desktop publishing will alleviate many of the problems that arise with contraction, expansion and different fonts. Selecting a partner who can assist with any language you may need in the future instead of just the immediate needs will keep you prepared and ready to take on the world!

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Terralingua is an ISO 9001 and 17100 certified translation agency with extensive expertise in multilingual desktop publishing and localization. We offer over 40 different languages in a variety of industries. Please visit our website for more information as well as to obtain a no obligation proposal.

Do You Have Control of Your Translated Investment?

Do You Have Control of Your Translated Investment?

Do You Have Control of Your Translated Investment?Knowledge is power. The more you know about the tools used to create your company’s translations means you know how to control your costs and content consistency.

Have you heard of Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools? Probably not. You may have heard of what is created from the CAT tools – your translation memory or TM. CAT tools are used by professional translators and can be quite expensive. (It’s important to note it is not machine translation or MT.) Humans drive the decisions powered by this software, but the features of the tool help the process to be more efficient and therefore save you money.

This software records text that has been used in previous translations. The TM is a package containing all of your previously translated content aligned with the source content. When you send a new document for translation, the text is extracted and compared against the translation memory for this matching text. The translator can re-purpose past translations thus eliminating the need to repeat a segment of translation that may be inconsistent with past work. Translations are more efficient, consistent and cost effective using this tool.

It is important to note – your company does not need to purchase this software in order to have control of your translated investment. If you have ownership of this package, you can provide it to any professional translator. This enables you to accurately obtain the most competitive price utilizing already purchased translated content, as well as move the memory to another provider if needed while maintaining consistency with past work. The most important question to ask any translation provider is if you can request and receive an updated copy of your translation memory at any time at no additional cost.

How does it work?

Most CAT tool use begins with the initial proposal or quote. A price for completing the translation work is determined by comparing the source document to text in the memory or repetitive text within the file itself. The tool is able to analyse:

  • New Words – Text that hasn’t been translated before
  • Repetitions – These are segments that are not in the translation memory, but are repeated in the source document
  • 100% Matches – These are the segments of text which have been translated previously and are stored in the translation memory
  • Fuzzy Matches – Segments which are not exactly the same as the text in the memory but are very close. Perhaps a change in punctuation or an extra word may be required. The segment matches are rated from 0% to 99%

Cost Savings

Text already in the memory doesn’t require a whole new translation. This equates to savings, as match types are charged at different rates. The industry standard is to price translations per word. New segments are charged at a higher rate than repetitions found in the memory or within the file. For example instead of paying .17 per word, you would pay .10 per word for a partial match and .05 per word for a perfect match in the memory. “Fuzzy” matches (75-99% matching text) are usually charged at 60% of a normal per word rate. Perfect matches or repetitions are charged usually at 30% of the normal per word rate. Clients have found even with one project thousands of dollars can be saved with this tool.

This adds up to significant savings over time which can make it hard for a client to leave a provider due to cost though the service may be horrible. Your company may wish to use a different provider but cannot because the current translator has the lowest cost every time you bid with others. This is because they have a significant advantage using your translation memory. They are utilizing the memory to their advantage instead of yours in this case. To enable you use what you have paid for to your advantage, ensure that you have a copy of your current and updated translation memory in .tmx. You can then distribute it to other translation providers during the quoting process if you would like an accurate cost comparison. Your company does not need to open the file, just provide it to those who can. Of course if you are leaving a company due to quality issues, you will not want to provide a bad translation memory to another provider. It is usually best to start new or pay someone to edit the existing one.

Consistency

A CAT tool’s translation memory creates consistency throughout your documentation. Whoever works on your documentation can use the TM, which contains previously translated content. This means sales brochures, web sites, instruction manuals and other marketing materials will use the same terminology. This ensures your brand voice is consistent through the same vocabulary and tone of voice. Glossaries and reference material can be imported into the translation memory as well.

You will want to ensure your translation provider updates the translation memory with any review comments or preferential changes that are made after the initial delivery so future work will also reflect these preferences. It is important to ask upfront if there is a charge to maintain and update the translation memory as most companies do not have the software to make the changes.

Quality

Quality checks are included with most CAT tools. There are basics such as grammar check but there are also warnings given if there are missing tags or formatting errors.

The suspicious areas are summarized in a report which the translator then reviews to determine if they are truly errors and if any modifications are needed. Though these tools are helpful, they do not replace the need for an independent human editor. Ensure your translation quality assurance check includes at least one professional translator and independent editor.

Speed

The fact that the translation memory can quickly identify past matching work speeds up productivity. Updates and corrections to a document can be completed with a quick turnaround. Many clients find that turnaround times are reduced the larger a translation memory grows.

As you can see translation memory improves your company’s consistency, quality and speed. Utilizing this tool is especially vital with updates and documents with similar content. When you have control of this asset, you have more control over your company’s translated investment – past, present and future.

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Terralingua is an ISO 9001 and 17100 certified translation and localization agency. We provide our clients with their translation memories upon request. We do not charge to maintain or update the translation memory with review comments. If your company would like a no obligation quote, please visit our website for more information.