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Single-Sourcing and Localization


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Combining single-sourcing and localization of software and documentation multiplies both the benefits and the challenges. Learn the difference between globalization, internationalization, localization, and translation. Tools, tricks, and best practices help your localization project go smoothly.

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Single-Sourcing and Localization

  1. 1. Single-Sourcing and Localization Leveraging Content Across Languages Laura Dent Freelance Technical Writer
  2. 2. Overview Combining Single-Sourcing and Localization •  Relationships, Processes, and Definitions •  Benefits •  Challenges •  Best Practices, Tips and Tricks •  Tools
  3. 3. About Me: Laura Dent •  Writer since I was 5 •  Languages since I was in elementary school •  Majored in Russian at Harvard •  Technical Writer since 1986 •  Freelance since 2012
  4. 4. About Me, cont’d Current and Recent Clients •  Venga Global •  Advanced Language Translations •  Aker Wade •  ShareStream •  Venture Interactive •  Previously, Rosetta Stone
  5. 5. About You Poll: •  Single-Sourcing? •  Localization? •  Both?
  6. 6. Relationships Writing Single- Sourcing Localization
  7. 7. Process You Language Service Provider (LSP) In-Country Review (ICR) – You or LSP You or LSP You or LSP
  8. 8. Definitions •  Single-Sourcing: Use of a single document or set of files to produce multiple outputs. •  Localization: The process of adapting a product or document to the language and location of the target market.
  9. 9. Definitions, cont’d •  Globalization: Business strategy for expanding markets to multiple regions in the world. •  Internationalization: Design of a product or service to be readily adaptable to different languages and locations. •  Localization: The process of adapting a product or document to the language and location of the target market. •  Translation: The process of recreating content in a different language.
  10. 10. Definitions, cont’d Locale: Combination of the language and location, such as French-France (fr-FR) or French-Canada (fr-CA). Examples - English: •  Localize, color, truck – American English (en-US) •  Localise, colour, lorry – British English (en-BR) Spanish: •  Montacargas (forklift), equalización (equalization) – Latin American Spanish (es-419) •  Caretilla elevadora (toro – colloq.), igualación – Spanish-Spain (es-ES)
  11. 11. In other words … Think Globally … … Act Locally
  12. 12. Benefits of Single-Sourcing •  Cost savings – multiple outputs from one master •  Ease of maintenance – update all versions at once •  Quality control – all documents in sync
  13. 13. Benefits of Single-Sourcing and Localization •  Cost savings multiplied – translate once for all variations •  Ease of maintenance – across languages (translate updates) •  Quality control – all languages in sync
  14. 14. Challenges •  Linguistic – grammar differences, variables •  Formatting – word length, paper sizes •  Quality – how to verify? Need in-country review
  15. 15. Best Practices •  Writing: clean, concise •  Writing for single-sourcing •  Writing for translation
  16. 16. Writing for Single-Sourcing •  Structured content – topic-based •  Variables and conditionals: •  Variables: Single elements with discrete options •  Conditionals: Longer passages •  Start from master document •  Anticipate single-sourcing if possible •  Or, retrofit: compare existing documents
  17. 17. Writing for Translation •  Simplified language •  Terminology •  Grammar •  English quirks to avoid if possible: •  Noun stacks •  Gerunds •  Idioms •  Cultural references
  18. 18. Writing for Single-Sourcing and Localization •  Right unit to translate: paragraph/sentence? Workarounds. •  Word order – German/Japanese: verb at end •  Articles, combined forms •  Gender – grammatical issues •  Number – Russian/Japanese: “small plurals”
  19. 19. Internationalization •  Software and documentation •  Measuring units •  Date formats •  First/last names •  Addresses •  Word length – allow room for text to expand •  Formats: 8.5x11 vs. A4
  20. 20. Tips and Tricks: Articles Articles with variables – a, an, the – for example, in English: Install a <brandname>. Install a A-brand. Install a B-brand. Install <article-brand> <brandname>. Set <article-brand> = <an> for A-brand, <a> for B-brand. Install an A-brand. Install a B-brand.
  21. 21. Tips and Tricks: Articles, cont’d Articles in French: Installer le <brandname>. Installer le A-brand. Installer le B-brand. Installer <Fr-article-brand> <brandname>. Set <Fr-article-brand> = <l’> for A-brand, <le> for B-brand. Installer l’A-brand. Installer le B-brand.
  22. 22. Tips and Tricks: Articles, cont’d Better yet, rewrite to remove the article issues: English: Install the <brandname> device. Install the A-brand device. Install the B-brand device. French: Installer l’unité <brandname>. Installer l’unité A-brand. Installer l’unité B-brand.
  23. 23. Tips and Tricks: Articles, cont’d “to the” a + la = a la  a + le = au  a + l' = a l'  a + les = aux  Allez <Fr-to-the> <brandname>. Allez a l’A-brand. Allez au B-brand. “of the” de + la = de la  de + le = du  de + l' = de l'  de + les = des  Installation <Fr-of-the> A-brand. Installation de l’A-brand. Installation du B-brand. French combined forms: search for “to the” and “of the” before just “the”
  24. 24. Tips and Tricks: Grammar Don’t use variables for common words. “The <device/machine> should be plugged in. Then, turn it on.” French: •  L’appareil doit être branché. Puis, allumez-le. •  La machine doit être branchée. Puis, allumez-la. Example courtesy Jennifer Schudel, Advanced Language Translations
  25. 25. Tools •  SmartDocs from ThirtySix Software •  Plugin to Word •  Word and pdf outputs •  MadCap Flare •  Topic-based •  Multiple output formats •  Graphics – integration with MadCap Capture •  Localization engineering
  26. 26. Thank You! Questions? Laura Dent
  27. 27. References •  Jennifer Schudel, Advanced Language Translations: Presentation, “Five Things to Consider When Developing Multilingual Content” v=2197c5687bd28 Presentation_FiveThingsFlareTranslation.pdf •  Dave Nealon, Series: Optimizing the Localization Process localization-take-so-long-2/