Guest Post: Removing Pain Points from Translation Projects

This month, TCANZ is fortunate to have two guest posts from Katy Amkreutz of  Straker Translations in Auckland. This is the second of two posts to help TCANZ members who need to work on having materials translated and localised.

The translation sector has undergone massive changes over the past ten years. Translation services are online, faster, easier, cheaper and more accessible than ever before with a huge range of software tools to assist file integration. These new translation tools enable simultaneous reviews, real time editing by multiple editors and incorporated client feedback. Time zone differences plus cloud based software can equal translators working on your content while you sleep! But there are still “pain points” in translation projects. And we have some guidelines to help you get the most out of today’s translation management technology.

Integrating Content

Content designed for game consoles, smartphones or tablets, raises a series of issues when submitted for translation. Specialised technology can create consistent experiences across multiple devices. Online communities around the world have come to expect very high standards, and, as a result, translation of interactive experiences and dynamic content needs to come alive across cultures and languages.

The solution lies in powerful web based APIs (Application Programming Interface) which allow developers to integrate directly with the translation management system to streamline the translation process.

The very human attribute of cultures expressing the same idea in different ways also has a tech solution. If you ask, translation specialists can provide customized copy editing for translations on any platform. Maintaining linguistic meaning and cultural sensitivity is key. When translating interactive content, not just the words but the graphics, symbols, sounds and references must be culturally appropriate for the targeted audience – and voice over talent and script translations need to complement your in-context text.

 Integrating Feedback

Reviews of translations are now easy, fast, and affordable. Translation management platforms can integrate feedback into the final translated content. This means that whether an in-house person or a partner in local markets does your review, they can check the content for quality and insider product knowledge changes or additions, either making the changes themselves or leaving notes to have the translator confirm suggestions.

A reviewer uses these platforms to access segments of text for approval, and once checked and confirmed, each identical piece of content in the text will be updated to show the confirmed translation. Content can be edited in real time, sending alerts to translators who are able to move around the content or be sent directly to the feedback that has been left for incorporation in on going work. All this technology gets urgent tasks completed and reviewed in record time, reducing costs.

Because technology has enabled translators, reviewers and editors to work faster by incorporating any previous memory stored using custom glossaries and confirmed segments, the cost is reduced. Also gone are the huge costs in getting content into and out of different formats. Platforms have been built with various import and export scripts for common file formats automating what was in the past an expensive and tedious task. Documents with a high amount of repetitive content, typical of technical writing, go so much faster that translators can get done in hours what used to take days.

Translating Images

Despite huge improvements, text in images is an area that still needs more investment from tech companies to create a completely stress-free method. Using character count limitations added during the translation stage helps, but it is still laborious and always needs a final in-context check. Programs that allow side-by-side reviews of the translation against the original are the best for reviews. Currently, if the text is imbedded in an image, a new image needs to be created with the corresponding translation. There is also the simple solution of avoiding text in graphics and diagrams, using numbered callouts instead, but in the era of the infographic, this is out of favor. However, text in graphs, charts and InDesign files can be extracted and converted in to a XML variant and then incorporated into a workflow.  The final file still needs to be fully reviewed to ensure any context related changes are applied, as with overset text, to avoid over-running boundaries.

We hope that these guidelines help you reduce the “pain points” and costs in your own translation projects.

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