Localization -WritePoint & Net Translators


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This joint presentation was given at the Techshoret Communicators Conference in Jerusalem by Paula Stern of WritePoint and David Sommer of Net Translators.

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  • POINT 1 POINT 2 POINT 3: For example if you are translating instructions on how to assemble a baby carriage, you would expect that the baby carriage will look the same way once a native speaker has assembled it irrespective of the language, on the other hand if it takes an English speaker 10 minutes, but a French speaker half an hour, then you know something is wrong. The reader should not have to scratch his head trying to figure out the instructions. POINT 4, simplicity is the key to success and it starts byt the TW using Plain, precise language, appropriate vocabulary, for example were you aware that ICF (informed consent forms) need to be written to a 8 th grade level, but our scientist colleagues always seem to feel that they need to confuse the patient! Furthermore conventional text along with correct document formatting are all keys to success, it could be something as simple as maintaining consistency when referring to figures and not switching back and forth between figure and drawing or some other synonyms. While I know that we are all frustrated novelists, we nonetheless must keep in mind that
  • OK so let me formally introduce myself, my name is David Sommer I am the Senior LPM at net-translators, I deal with methodologies and strategic accounts at NT and I am here to give you a small taste of my experience dealing with TW’s My experience tells me that the relationship between the TW and us is usually the closest of any person in the company, management generally sees (erroneously I might add) that the TW’s have so mush extra time on their hands that they should eb the focal point for translation issues, this is great for me since a vendor should come in and help you guys as much as possible in this. So not “Kitbag questions” If your company chooses on the other hand not to use a vendor and make you the translation slave, then you will need to make sure that you choose the right translator, and there are lots of them out there, and to be honest, only very few can actually do it right, and on the other hand you should do it WRITE too
  • I’d like to just take a quick look at these assumptions for a moment 1-You should always use a translator familiar with Help files if that is what you are translating 2-So essentially this means that one hidden cost both in terms of time and Money will be engineering the HTMLs 3-You know I have seen more than my share of “talkbacks” on the Tecshoret list about TW’s struggling with this issue especially the index fields 4-If your translator is using a text editor to translate with…change translators ! Seriously though, using the right CAT tools (Translation tool set) ensures more than just translation but the correct encoding as well as providing automatic verification tools which check things like Missed translations, non-use of glossary terms, deleted or change tags etc. The bottom line is that you should expect your translator to be as professional as you are.
  • Paula, again why would a technical writer want to manage complicated localization projects? I think that there are a LOT better things a TW could do than add the headache of managing localization. I know I have already said this, but it bears saying again. But you know I won’t bother you any more, please proceed, it is important perhaps that you all know more about this, in fact if you are only doing a single language it may be that management wants you to take on this entire task, and in that case you will definitely need to know more about how to get localization do right AND start at the ground floor.
  • OKAY now we’re talking, what we view as paramount to translation is quality, quality is a manageable factor for the translation company. The quality of a translation must be defined before the translation begins and this quality depends on the following factors: Define key areas Set requirements Monitor the process Evaluate results For each of these you have to ask. What (e.g. elements and other material) Who (generally Target audience) Why (Knowing the purpose of the translation and communicating this to your resources) Where (knowledge of the region, this will mitigate misunderstandings due to regional, dialectical or other differences) When –By this I mean planning, involve the translator at the very first stage even before you write a translation guide in fact) How much – Know the complete cost of translation and factor in all of the variables OH YES AVOID CULTURAL REFERENCES
  • You know on the translation side you would want to be aware that the translation if you are managing it is not a “drag and drop” function and you should certainly plan it well, Prepare what we call a translation kit which includes the files for translation, the reference files the TM Glossaries, instructions (which may or may not include the Style Guide) Payment information etc. Then its off to what we call TEP, translation editing and proofing, and of course thorughout the process we would recommend running QC checks an if you have autmatic tools then do so And of course, by using industry standard quality metrics (I prefer the TQI) then you should be able to collect that data too.
  • Paula, I much appreciate your bringing this up, perhaps the most important factor for localization success is the glossary, I have a standard presentation I give to new employees at Net-Translators, and I always mention that the three most important things are GLOSSARY GLOSSARY GLOSSARY A termbase is a database containing terminology and related information. Most termbases are multilingual and contain terminology data in a range of different languages. It is HIGHLY recommended to maintain a proper termBase an example termbase is here once you have it you can make it more portable by saving it as a TBX xml based open exchange format, this makes migration between translators easier if you need to change translators if you are managing in-house the process. This is a good opporttunity for me to explain the two types of “Databases” we use A temrbase is a repository of accepted translations for the afforementioned customer prepared glossary A Translation Memory is a repository of previously translated material which enables better consistency over time as well as ability to leverage previosu transaltions saving both time and money
  • We actually call this process content review and Pre QA, this is also extremely critical keep in mind that if you have a document for translation into 5 languages and it has 50 content issues e.g. missing words, soft or hard line breaks in the middle of a sentence etc, then you will get 250 MISTAKES!!! Now I ain’t no math genius, but I think that it takes less time to fix 50 problems than 250!
  • Single-sourcing lowers localization costs by eliminating redundancies, and reducing the translation volume. Information that is shared by different products, or presented in several display formats (like Help, and printed or PDF docs), can be translated and edited once, and then automatically folded into the different manual versions or formats for all required languages. Many smaller localization vendors discourage applying single-sourcing techniques and I can let you in on the secret as to why, it is because single sourcing saves you money on Localization, really and truly, but if you look carefully at the business of localization you will see that the more reputable vendors encourage this migration to SS, the amount of content for translation is growing so rapidly that this is a perfect match for us MLVs.
  • Keep in mind that capitalization rules change from language to language
  • Localization -WritePoint & Net Translators

    1. 1. Localization and Technical Writing: Living together in perfect harmony?
    2. 2. Start With the Basics <ul><li>TW has the largest impact on localization (l10n) </li></ul><ul><li>Good TW leads to good translation t9n </li></ul><ul><li>Translating technical doc is not translating lit. </li></ul><ul><li>Simplicity is the key </li></ul>
    3. 3. Set the Pace/Plan <ul><li>Consider writing up a Translation Guide </li></ul>
    4. 4. Translation Guide <ul><li>Typically written by Documentation Manager or technical writer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks that need to be completed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who needs to do what </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deadlines for each stage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is transferred in each stage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Final goals and deliverables </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Translation Guide <ul><li>DO YOU REALLY WANT THE EXTRA WORK?? </li></ul><ul><li>Save yourself time and grief </li></ul><ul><li>Vendor vs. DIY </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MLV vs. SLV </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Kitbag ? </li></ul><ul><li>There are a LOT of translators out there </li></ul><ul><li>Choose one who will do it “RIGHT”! </li></ul><ul><li>Do it “Write” the first time </li></ul>
    6. 6. Translation Guide <ul><li>Specify Assumptions </li></ul><ul><li>Do you assume translators have experience with help files, complicated formats, templates? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is working with what tool (versions) </li></ul>
    7. 8. Translation Guide <ul><li>Define the Tasks </li></ul><ul><li>Technical Writers (today’s focus) </li></ul><ul><li>Translators </li></ul><ul><li>Engineers / Developers </li></ul><ul><li>QA Team </li></ul>
    8. 9. Technical Writing Tasks <ul><li>Writing documentation </li></ul><ul><li>Producing online help files (if any) </li></ul><ul><li>Transfer of files to translators </li></ul><ul><li>Be available for questions </li></ul>
    9. 10. Translation Guide <ul><li>Define key areas </li></ul><ul><li>Set requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor the process </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate results </li></ul><ul><li>This will enable you to hit a home run each and every time </li></ul>
    10. 11. <ul><li>From the initial stages </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Project Planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LocKit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Translation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Linguistic quality checks with industry defined metrics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Automated checks </li></ul></ul>
    11. 12. Writing Rules <ul><li>Use active tense </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier to translate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less complex </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less likely to be misunderstood/mistranslated </li></ul></ul><ul><li>For instructions, use the imperative mood </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Select on option from the combo list, then click Save . </li></ul></ul>
    12. 13. Writing Rules <ul><li>Standard Technical Writing Rules Apply </li></ul><ul><li>Write clearly </li></ul><ul><li>Write concisely </li></ul><ul><li>Write consistently </li></ul>
    13. 14. Writing Rules <ul><li>If you use a word as a noun, don’t also use it as a verb or to describe something different </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: “account” has specific meaning in finance, so don’t say “account for the missing values in the user account” </li></ul></ul>
    14. 15. Writing Rules <ul><li>Don’t use idiomatic phrases (as a rule of thumb, on-the-fly, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid cultural examples </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid country-specific examples </li></ul><ul><li>Use serial commas in a list, so that it’s clear which item goes with what (e.g., red, blue, and white) </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid using compound sentences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Translations into some languages produce much longer sentences </li></ul></ul>
    15. 16. Writing Process <ul><li>Prepare a glossary that you can give to the translators. </li></ul><ul><li>Verify that all technical writers are using it. </li></ul><ul><li>Verify that all translators receive it. </li></ul><ul><li>Use it as a style guide for the rest of the translation. </li></ul>
    16. 17. Writing Process <ul><li>Glossary=TermBase </li></ul><ul><li>Two types of Databases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Translation Memory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TermBase </li></ul></ul><ul><li>TW for t9n is not a creative writing class, do not use synonyms (what’s another word for synonym), if you use socket an outlet you will need to add another entry to your glossary </li></ul>
    17. 18. Do FULL QA BEFORE Translation <ul><li>Page breaks don’t matter…but these do: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Formatting/styling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Punctuation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Heading structure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear sentences, no missing words </li></ul></ul>
    18. 19. Pre QA and Content review <ul><li>Localization is the one place you don’t want to recycle </li></ul><ul><li>Content review allows us to identify possible failure points before translation </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-DTP allows us to address issues such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify text which may be embedded in an image </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delete extra spaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prepare documentation which is being translated but not having the UI translated WORD “WORD” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adding correct and consistent styles or fonts which support other languages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Change Shift+ENTER with spaces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>etc </li></ul></ul>
    19. 20. Working with Graphics <ul><li>Link to graphics rather than embedding them (where possible) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Saves time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t need to reinsert them </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Graphics need to be translated via a graphics editor, not in the text translation tool. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Save them in editable format. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider using numbers instead of text for callouts. </li></ul></ul>
    20. 21. Single-Sourcing <ul><li>To keep your costs down, use single sourcing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid lengthy topics and unnecessary verbage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t send topics that haven’t changed and therefore don’t need translating again. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep track of your files and graphics, so that you know what has changed. </li></ul></ul>
    21. 22. Single Sourcing et al <ul><li>Reusability </li></ul><ul><li>Process </li></ul><ul><li>Save on DTP time and effort </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency </li></ul><ul><li>SAVE $$$$$$$$$$$$$ </li></ul><ul><li>ROI is very short when translating </li></ul>
    22. 23. Round Two Realities <ul><li>Be careful what you change. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Round 1: The Events Window can be used to schedule events. </li></ul><ul><li>Round 2a: The Events Window can be used to create events. </li></ul><ul><li>Round 2b: Use the Events Window to create events. </li></ul>
    23. 24. Round Two Changes <ul><li>Don’t change text needlessly </li></ul><ul><li>Alert translators to major changes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blocks of text that have been added or deleted </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in terminology </li></ul></ul>
    24. 25. Define Rules for Translation <ul><li>According to company rules of look and feel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Capitalization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Abbreviations, acronyms, and trademarks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Copyright statements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphic presentation and titling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference usage and listing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Numerical and unit conventions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Others specific to your business </li></ul></ul>
    25. 26. Technical Writing Tasks <ul><li>Define terms that remain in English </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Company name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Default passwords </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Product name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interface options (?) </li></ul></ul>
    26. 27. Managing a Translation Project <ul><li>Set the goals: what gets translated </li></ul><ul><li>Organization of the source content </li></ul><ul><li>Scheduling of the content release, along with the translated content </li></ul><ul><li>Managing of freelancers/agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Communication between engineers/technical writers/translators/customer or end use </li></ul>
    27. 28. Managing a Translation Project <ul><li>Check whether translator/agency uses translation memory software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decreases your costs dramatically </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Protects source code in help files </li></ul></ul>
    28. 29. How the customer sees the project 3
    29. 31. Thank you… Questions?