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Using Controlled Language to Improve Content Re-Use and Global-Readiness

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View on YouTube: https://youtu.be/0nMLXtoK0hY

Mindful and enlightened TCs working in a CMS environment maximize re-use and create global-ready content that meets their audiences’ needs while reducing costs and improving efficiency. Controlled Language, implemented correctly, can help you achieve these goals. However, many companies implement Simplified Technical English or other controlled language initiatives, but struggle to maximize the benefits, or discover issues with the human side of change management. In this presentation, we will discuss best practices for implementing controlled language, identify some potential challenges, provide recommendations for working around them.

After the presentation, participants will have a better understanding of these concepts:
--Best practices for implementing controlled language
--Risk mitigation and the importance of pilot projects
--Effect of implementing controlled language on your TMs
--Benefits and ROI of controlled language

Published in: Business
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Using Controlled Language to Improve Content Re-Use and Global-Readiness

  1. 1. Using Controlled Language to  Improve Re‐Use and Global Readiness Link to YouTube video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nMLXtoK0hY&feature=youtu.be Kit Brown‐Hoekstra, Comgenesis, LLC Visiting TC Dojo Master 7 March 2016(c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 1
  2. 2. Kit Brown‐Hoekstra • Principal, Comgenesis, LLC • STC Fellow • STC Immediate Past President • Editor, The Language of  Localization (coming Fall 2016) • 25 years in Tech Com and  localization, primarily in life  sciences • Blog: www.pangaeapapers.com • Twitter: @kitcomgenesis (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 27 March 2016
  3. 3. Some Qs for You • Where are you in the decision‐making process  regarding terminology management or controlled  language? • What CMS are you using? • What are your top challenges with localization  and content development? • How many languages do you currently localize  into? • What percentage of your customers are ESL? 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 3
  4. 4. Agenda • Definitions and Context • Risks of Getting it Wrong • Best Practices  • ROI 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 4
  5. 5. Definitions and Context “Terminology is like laundry. Just when you’ve got  everything cleaned up, it’s time to do it again.” —Val Swisher, CEO Content Rules (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 57 March 2016
  6. 6. Controlled Language “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 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 6
  7. 7. Brief History 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 7 AECMA Simplified English (European Aerospace Industries Association (AECMA)) Controlled English (CE) International Language for Service and Maintenance (ILSAM) Caterpillar Technical English (CTE) ASD Simplified English (ASD-STE100) (Aerospace & Defence Industries Association (ASD)) Caterpillar Fundamental English (CFE) (Caterpillar) Basic English (Charles Kay Ogden) 193219701972/199019802005
  8. 8. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 8 Some Context
  9. 9. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 9 English Number of English words: 1,035,877* *As of January 1, 2016 according to the Global Language Monitor http://www.languagemonitor.com/number-of-words/number-of-words-in-the-english-language-1008879/
  10. 10. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 10 Other Languages Depending on whom you ask: • French: 500,000‐700,000 • Spanish: 300,000‐350,000 • Chinese: 100,000‐150,000
  11. 11. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 11 Number of Native Speakers* 1. Chinese: 1.3 billion 2. Spanish: 427 million 3. English: 339 million 4. Arabic: 267 million 5. Hindi 260 million 6. Portuguese 202 million _________ 13. German: 77 million 14. French: 76 million *As of 2016, from Ethnologue.com http://www.ethnologue.com/ethno_docs/distribution.asp?by=size
  12. 12. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 12 Comprehension  • Basic Oral: 2,000 words • Basic Written: 3,000 words • Basic Technical: 4‐5,000 words • University‐Level Text: 10,000 words • Fluency: 20,000 words • Native speaker (adult): 30‐40,000 words From http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/ETD/image/etd518.pdf
  13. 13. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 13 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
  14. 14. Risks of Getting it Wrong “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 7 March 2016(c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 14
  15. 15. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 15 Translations Gone Wrong Images: www.engrish.com
  16. 16. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 16 Inconsistencies Cost Money
  17. 17. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 17 Inconsistencies Cost Money
  18. 18. Best Practices  (aka How to Get it Right) “Every day that we spent not improving our products  was a wasted day.”   — Joel Spolsky 7 March 2016(c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 18
  19. 19. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 19 Management Buy‐in Image: vichie81 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  20. 20. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 20 Cross‐Functional Teams Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  21. 21. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 21 Documented Plans & Processes  Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  22. 22. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 22 Change Management Image: ningmilo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  23. 23. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 23 Style Guides & Templates http://mfgblog.maryjanesfarm.org/Uploads/Image/Culinary%20Carpentry/cutting%20out%20templates.JPG
  24. 24. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 24 Terminology Management • Early in process • Master glossary • In‐country reviewer buy‐in • Technical terminology differences even in  English dialects
  25. 25. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 25 Good Tech Comm Practices Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  26. 26. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 26 QA & Periodic Audits Image: jannoon028 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  27. 27. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 27 Measurable Results Image: Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  28. 28. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 28 Cost/Benefit Analysis Image: dream designs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  29. 29. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 29 Training Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  30. 30. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 30 ROI Projection
  31. 31. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 31 Survey Results A survey amongst HyperSTE users showed that the use of HyperSTE resulted in the following benefits:  Up to 30% in cost savings on translation  and localization  Up to 40% in reduced word count  Quality improvement in writing and  translations  Up to 30% in reduced product cycle time  Up to 40% reduction in overall  documentation cost  Efficient conversion of legacy documents
  32. 32. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 32 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
  33. 33. 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. 7 March 2016 (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 33
  34. 34. Questions? Kit Brown‐Hoekstra @kitcomgenesis kit.brown@comgenesis.com +1 303.243.4452 (cell) (c) 2016, Comgenesis, LLC 347 March 2016

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