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STC19, Content in the Age of Machines: Implementing Controlled Language as Part of Your Content Strategy

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The Internet of Things, automation, chatbots, augmented and virtual reality, machine translation, among other innovations, are driving companies to develop content that is easily digestible by both humans and machines. To accomplish this feat, we need to incorporate controlled language and terminology management into our content strategies and information architectures. Implementing controlled language should be a strategic, multidisciplinary decision that is based on a holistic analysis of your terminology and content creation efforts.

We discussed ways to build the business case for controlled language and incorporate it into your content strategies.

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STC19, Content in the Age of Machines: Implementing Controlled Language as Part of Your Content Strategy

  1. 1. Content in the Age of Machines: Incorporating Controlled Language into Your Content Strategy Presented by: Kit Brown-Hoekstra Principal, Comgenesis, LLC
  2. 2. Kit Brown-Hoekstra ▪ Principal, Comgenesis, LLC ▪ Editor, The Language of Localization ▪ 25+ years in Tech Com and localization, primarily in life sciences ▪ STC Fellow ▪ Former STC Society President Website: www.comgenesis.com Blog: www.pangaeapapers.com Twitter: @kitcomgenesis © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  3. 3. 1 Some Questions for You
  4. 4. Some Questions for You How many of you have traveled internationally? © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  5. 5. Some Questions for You Do you speak another language? © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  6. 6. The World of Business 2
  7. 7. Definitions and Context 3
  8. 8. “Terminology is like laundry. Just when you’ve got everything cleaned up, it’s time to do it again.” —Val Swisher, CEO Content Rules © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  9. 9. Controlled Language Defined “Controlled natural languages (CNLs) are subsets of natural languages, obtained by restricting the grammar and vocabulary in order to reduce or eliminate ambiguity and complexity. Traditionally, controlled languages fall into two major types: those that improve readability for human readers (e.g. non-native speakers), and those that enable reliable automatic semantic analysis of the language.” -http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controlled_language © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  10. 10. Brief History © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  11. 11. © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  12. 12. 1,041,257* Number of English words *As of January 1, 2017 according to the Global Language Monitor https://www.languagemonitor.com/top-words-of-the-year/no-of-words/ © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  13. 13. 500,000-700,000 French 100,000-150,000 Chinese 300,000-350,000 Spanish © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  14. 14. 3 The People Side of the Equation
  15. 15. 1. Chinese: 1.3 billion 2. Spanish: 442 million 3. English: 378 million 4. Arabic: 315 million 5. Hindi: 260 million 6. Bengali: 243 million _________ 8. Russian: 154 million 14. French: 77 million 15. German: 76 million As of 2018, from Ethnologue.com © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  16. 16. Let’s review some concepts Basic Oral 2,000 words University 10,000 words Basic Written 3,000 words Basic Technical 4-5,000 words Fluent 20,000 words Native Speaker 30-40,000 words (adult) © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  17. 17. Complexity of English According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the 500 words used most in the English language each have an average of 23 different meanings • “SET” has 446 definitions • “RUN” has 396 definitions • “GO” has 368 definitions • “TAKE” has 343 definitions • “STAND” has 334 definitions © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  18. 18. Verbs are Key © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  19. 19. The Machine Side of the Equation 4
  20. 20. Credit: chesky/fotolia.com
  21. 21. http://www.eweek.com/big-data-and-analytics/state-of-chatbots-in-2018-rapidly-moving-into-the-mainstream
  22. 22. Risks of Getting It Wrong 5
  23. 23. “Often, the idea that there can be a wide range of translations of one text doesn't occur to people - or that a translation could be bad, very bad, and unfaithful to the original.” --Lydia Davis © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  24. 24. Translations Gone Wrong Images: www.engrish.com © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  25. 25. Inconsistencies Cost Money © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  26. 26. Inconsistencies Cost Money © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  27. 27. Best Practices (AKA How to Get It Right) 4
  28. 28. Management Buy-in © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  29. 29. Cross-Functional Teams Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  30. 30. Documented Plans & Processes Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  31. 31. Change Management Image: ningmilo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  32. 32. Style Guides & Templates http://mfgblog.maryjanesfarm.org/Uploads/Image/Culinary%20Carpentry/cutting%20out%20templates.JPG © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  33. 33. Terminology Management Early in process Master glossary In-country reviewer buy-in Technical terminology differences even in English dialects © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  34. 34. Good Tech Comm Practices Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  35. 35. QA & Periodic Audits Image: jannoon028 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  36. 36. Measurable Results Image: Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  37. 37. Cost/Benefit Analysis Image: dream designs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  38. 38. Training Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  39. 39. Implementation Checklist Get buy-in from upper management and cross-functionally Create a transition/implementation plan Do training and change management (the human kind) Build extra time into the schedule for the initial projects Consider using tools to support and automate your efforts © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  40. 40. Additional Resources •ASD-STE100 specification: www. asd-ste100.org •Brown-Hoekstra, Katherine. (2013) “Benefits of Using Controlled Language”, GALA blog: https://www.gala-global.org/blog/benefits-using-controlled-language •Dublin Core: http://dublincore.org/resources/training/dc-2004/english/DC-2004_Tutorial_4_en.pdf •Google Site on Controlled Language: https://sites.google.com/site/controllednaturallanguage/ •Muegge, Uwe, November 2013, “Implementing Controlled Language is Now Cheaper and Easier Than Ever!”, TCWorld (http://www.tcworld.info/rss/article/implementing-a-controlled- language-is-now-cheaper-and-easier-than-ever/) •Muegge, Uwe, April 2009, “Controlled Language—Does My Company Need It?”, TCWorld (http://www.tcworld.info/e-magazine/content-strategies/article/controlled-language-does-my- company-need-it) •NPR: http://www.npr.org/2010/12/16/132106374/google-book-tool-tracks-cultural-change- with-words •Plain Language Initiative: http://www.plainlanguage.gov/ •Porter, Alan (2012) The Content Pool. XML Press. •Rockley, Ann and Cooper, Charles (2012) Managing Enterprise Content, 2nd edition. New Riders Press. © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  41. 41. Thanks! Any questions? You can find me at: @kitcomgenesis Kit.brown@comgenesis.com © 2018, Comgenesis, LLC
  42. 42. Credits Special thanks to all the people who made and released these awesome templates for free: ▪ Presentation template by SlidesCarnival ▪ Section and Title slide Photographs by Unsplash & Death to the Stock Photo (license)

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