Cutting and Pasting — And Other Not-So-Sophisticated Language Translation Processes to Ditch

Cutting and Pasting    And Other Not So Sophisticated Language Translation Processes to Ditch image challenges Mon photo 267x300Inefficient . . . chaotic . . . overwhelmed. These are a few words that the main project requestor with one of our new clients used to describe his company’s language translation process.

Why did he feel this way? For starters, cutting and pasting Web content into Word documents for translation, documenting translation memory in Excel spreadsheets and juggling multiple vendors. With over 40 languages and each project requiring tight turnaround, he struggled just to keep up.

Until recently, he didn’t know there was a better way.

This got me thinking about tedious, labor-intensive processes that needlessly hold you back. Let’s delve deeper into the story, highlighting this client’s challenges—which Sajan comes across with other companies all too often. Along the way you’ll find some potential solutions to take your language translation program to a new level of sophistication—dare I say, a stage where it lifts its pinky while sipping tea.

Cutting and pasting: A manual labor time-waster

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The project requestor in our story thought cutting and pasting text into Word documents was the only way to send content for language translation because his files contained HTML code. His process required reworking translated text back into the same code every time there was a Web or app update. This wasted valuable time—time he didn’t have—and made it especially challenging to meet tight deadlines.

For whatever reason, if you find yourself in a similar situation, consider a Sajan localization assessment. We can identify ways to automate your workflow so you can turn up your nose to cutting and pasting and eliminate any needless, manual steps.

For example, we will set this client up with our technology that is designed to produce time-saving efficiencies. Sajan Transplicity, our super-sophisticated translation management system, has built-in parsers that act like filters to extract translatable text from virtually any file type and ignore HTML code or other non-translatable elements. After translation, the file is reconstructed back into its original format so it’s ready to publish. No other steps needed.

We also plan to automate their process further and build a connector from their content management system to our translation management system. This connector virtually removes requestors from the file transfer process to save them a great deal of time—and productivity costs. Simply click a button and files can be exported from a content management system to our translation management system. This triggers the process and alerts the translation team of the request. After language translation, the file is rerouted back to the proper location in the content management system. No fuss, no heavy lifting, no embarrassingly awkward process to drag around.

No centralized translation memory: Money down the drain

If you work with several translation vendors and each requestor or department uses its own translation memory, your organization misses out on significant cost savings because those resources aren’t centrally stored or managed. In this situation, you reap only a portion of the translation memory benefits that could be available to you (and everyone).

Our new client understood this, so he took it upon himself to try to centralize this resource from several language translation vendors his company worked with. He consolidated each translation memory into an Excel spreadsheet—physically tracking and updating this document. He’d then send it to each translation vendor in hopes of reaching the translation memory’s full cost savings potential for everyone in the organization.

Not only did he struggle to get optimal savings, he also found himself neck-deep in yet another time-intensive task.

To take our new client’s translation program from burgers to caviar, all translation memory will be centrally stored and managed in our translation management system. This eliminates that manual process and helps achieve the company’s cost savings goals.

It’s important to note that not all translation memory technologies offer the same level of sophistication. When evaluating your options, look for one that allows you to specify how your translation memory is applied. Our technology setup integrates the entire translation memory repository into Sajan Transplicity and organizes it into several “buckets” based on department, division and even translation project. You can specify that your department’s translation memory is used first, followed by the organization’s general translation memory or any other combination. This ensures you don’t miss out on any of the translation memory available to you, leading to optimal cost savings across the company.

Multiple vendors, multiple translation management systems: Multiple problems

If your organization works with many translation vendors and sends projects to these vendors through several translation management systems—like the company in this story—it’s difficult to know where you sit with all your translation initiatives. This project requestor was tasked with delegating projects to various vendors for everyone in the organization. He had to remember which vendor was in charge of each project and what language translation project belonged to each department to keep everything on task.

Without a central place to see and track all these activities, it’s a clunky mess trying to manage it all. You could face costly duplicated efforts, uncertainty with organization-wide spend and more uncertainties. To alleviate these problems, you could work out of one translation management system that supports other vendors or you could even designate all your translation work to one, ultra-sophisticated translation vendor, like Sajan’s new client.

One system that hosts all your translation efforts gives you needed insight into where each project sits and what you’ve translated previously. If you work with Sajan Transplicity you can also access several reports so you can see how your organization’s translation program performs to make better-informed business decisions.

The moral of the story is you don’t know what you don’t know. You won’t know if there’s a better process unless you ask or look for other options. So if this situation sounds a little too familiar or you fear your translation process is more tedious than it needs to be, let us know. We’re happy to help with all your language translation needs—in a dapper and suave way, of course.

Also, if you suspect your translation management technology is behind the times, check out the article Your translation management technology: It’s about to get personal for tips on what to look for when shopping around.

Now I want to hear from you. Do you have any other unsophisticated language translation processes to add to this list?

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