When a company decides to take their product(s) to global market they need to translate lot of documentation. It is necessary to identify current demands, processes to be followed, strategy for translating multiple products and still maintain consistency. Picking the right translation vendor is very important as it requires lot of effort from various teams, like procurement, finance, technical team etc

Key elements and tasks a translation vendor must do –

Ownership of Translation Memory (TM): Since you are new to localization industry you might not want to spend a lot to get licenses of commercial CAT tools but still want to own translation memory. As you own product IP and own all strings/words which have been translated by translation vendor. You should ask TMs in XML format on periodic basis and once when product is fully localized. You may not be able to see exact source and target side by side of TM but any XML editor will be able to show what XML (TM) contains.

File Sharing Mechanism: General issue is observed when the translated file is shared by vendor but you are not able to see translated content. This happens due to loss of specific encoding while sharing files i.e. using ftp tool. You need to make sure that English files sent and translated files received are in proper encoding. Encoding is not lost during upload/downloading files. Select proper FTP tool for sharing files.

Linguist – Qualification & On-boarding: If you are selecting a well-known translation vendor then you shouldn’t worry about the qualification of linguist as it comes default with the rates you pay for translation. In case of mid or small scale translation vendor it will be advisable to go through the complete linguist on-boarding process.

Translation Review Mechanism: You need to make sure that the content which has been translated is proper and adhere your quality standards. Reviewing the translated content by another vendor or by different set of linguists will uncover translation issues. Having a well defined process for review will not give you later surprises.

GUI and Help Content Consistency: When you are in agile software development, changes to UI and help happens simultaneously and frequently. Usually in such cases content for translation is less but drops are more in numbers. Vendor sends GUI and Help drops to multiple linguists to meet deadline and when this is done there are chances of having inconsistencies between GUI and Help terms. Having up-to-date glossary which can be followed by linguists will reduce such issues. Also, updating translation memory content at real-time will reduce such issues to some extend.

Translation Cost: Usually the cost is for every word which gets translated. There are additional costs like – File analysis charges and project management. On the other hand, you can save on words repetition and fuzzy matches. Repetition is charged at 20%-30% of new word cost and fuzzy matches are 50%-70% of new word cost.

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