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Localisation best practices start with the source


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Localisation, the adaptation of content for other markets, can be fraught with tension. When translation is seen as a final step in a supply chain, everyone suffers, and when that supply chain has weak links along the way, then the suffering affects the end product, and ultimately the content consumers. This presentation discusses how to reframe the supply chain as a content lifecycle, get source language content in hand, and in the process, build more capacity for localised content.

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Localisation best practices start with the source

  1. 1. Localisation best practices begin with the source Photo credit: Rahel Anne Bailie Copyright © 2016 Scroll LLP A guide for product and project managers
  4. 4. Content is important • Content helps customers understand your product, services, instructions, and ultimately your brand • Content doesn’t fit the supply chain model • Content can’t be managed like data
  5. 5. Content is king
  6. 6. We mock bad translations into English
  7. 7. Just as they mock our bad translations (says “We recommend you wash your hands”)
  8. 8. Content is … • The new “front door” • How visitors perceive our brand • How people understand what to do • How customers make decisions • Our way to brand differentiation
  9. 9. Lifecycle, not supply chain
  10. 10. The myth of the content supply chain Source Assemble Organise Deliver Translate Deliver
  11. 11. The reality of the content lifecycle • Structure/standards • Content model/types • Configure/component • Storage/federation • Aggregate/syndicate • Transform • Present • Sunset/iterate • Author/version • Import • Localise • Enhance • Requirements • Budget • Governance • Iterations Analysis Acquisition ManageDeliver
  12. 12. Content is not data
  13. 13. Content is: <tags> </tags>
  14. 14. Content is … • Potential information • Human-usable, contextualised data • More context for localisation 12 Data December Content Xmas Information Book travel early Knowledge 12 Data ธันวาคม Content Wan Rattha Thammanun Information Prepare for tourists Knowledge
  15. 15. THREE THINGS
  16. 16. Manage source content well • Is your content translation-friendly? • What controls are governing the source content? • Is content using standards? 1
  17. 17. Translation-friendly content
  18. 18. Editorial standards • Use plain language principles • Control the vocabulary • Avoid jargon, idiom, slang, euphemisms, anglicisms, etc • Colours, gestures, images matter • Translation, localisation, transcreation • Test using Google Translate
  19. 19. Source content controls
  20. 20. Source control • Create a superset of source content • Re-use that content across all outputs Don’t be too granular – minimum sentence level is the usual recommendation • Make utmost use of semantic structure and metadata tagging • If possible, use a power editing environment (CCMS or HAT or XML editor)
  21. 21. Content standards
  22. 22. It’s all about interoperability • W3C Standards (Open Web Platform, Accessibility, Semantic Web, Web of Devices) • OASIS Standards (DITA (Darwin Information Typing Architecture), DocBook, XLIFF (XML Localisation Interchange File Format), CMIS (Content Management Interoperability Standard) • Image standards – SVG • Microformats - • Metadata standards (RDF, SVG) • ISO standards (taxonomy, thesauri) • RosettaNet Standards (B2B Protocol, Document Exchange)
  23. 23. Processes are critical • Use established translation workflows • The right type of content developer makes a huge difference • Working within an Agile team 2
  24. 24. Translation workflows
  25. 25. Around the world in a day (simplified) Into agency TMS Machine translation Post-editing by translator* Quality Assurance Stored and available Import to repository Export to agency * 2K words/day/translator
  26. 26. Content development
  27. 27. Content development map Technical comms Marketing writers Web writers UXers Developers User assistance writers Business comms Journalists Product managers Content designers
  28. 28. Agile environments
  29. 29. Source content • If you do Sprint 0, good time to get the story arc down (how many languages, devices, content connection points, etc) • Run content creation in parallel with code creation • Deliver in the same sprint so testing works on everything, including content Localised content • Encourage participation in sprints or have representation • Send out source content on regular basis for localisation • Build up the translation memory • Deliver one sprint behind production of source content • Push localised content back into the content repository Agile content
  30. 30. Current project using Agile Our design team works in English, and the Agile developers work in English. The product itself is in another language that almost nobody on the team can read, so it doesn’t matter that the wireframes don’t have the final text, and that we often don’t have the final text before the story is signed off. PROCESS: A writer provides the text by using a HAT (Help Authoring Tool), with attributes on the elements to identify which text block or string is which. A script ingests the HAT output and pushes it into the content- management system. The devs know which string to use because the writer updates the JIRA story with the attribute IDs. When the web app runs, it grabs the intended string from the CMS (which may vary, because we provide adaptive variations). AUTOMATION: For the writer to get the proper text into the HAT can take up to two weeks, but the sprints are one week. This is because the remote colleagues are numerous and require this time for marketing and legal approvals (highly-regulated financial environment). QA often signs off with the placeholder text that has been put into the HAT, and later, when the series of approvals has arrived (through an automated plug-in), the correct text gets pushed without any further involvement from dev. So, not only doesn’t it matter that the wireframes don’t have the final text, we often literally don’t have the final text when the Agile story is signed off. COMPLIANCE AND AUDIT: Because the content output is pushed into the CMS via a script (which triggers the HAT build), that meets compliance requirements, as there is no risk of others changing the approved text between the HAT and the end user’s screen.
  31. 31. Translation tools • Content optimisation • Translation automation • Translation memory 3
  32. 32. Content optimisation
  33. 33. Optimising content quality • Store content in respositories with rich editing environments • Avoid copy-and-paste; transclude instead • Maintain consistency between structure, grammar, punctuation, etc • Maintain a consistent tone and voice • Automate with content optimisation software (acrolinx)
  34. 34. Translation automation
  35. 35. Automate the translation process • Avoid FTP and other manual transfers • Use a TMS (Translation Management System) • Automates the translation workflow • Automates the project management side • Use machine translation followed by human post-editing • If a “jisty” translation will do (think user- generated content), use translation codes
  36. 36. Translation memory
  37. 37. Translation memory helps you save • Use a translation memory to reduce time and greatly reduce cost of translation • Consolidate into a single memory, if possible (or isolate memory for marketing) • Take ownership of the memory • Keep the memory updated
  38. 38. REMINDERS
  39. 39. Supply chain challenges The need to manage the “complexity of ‘omnichannel’ selling and customer fulfilment”. More than half (55 per cent) said the demands of e- commerce and mobile-enabled consumers are increasing the number of stock keeping units they have to support. Almost 55 per cent reported they are building new distribution centres, and 48 per cent are building direct-to-customer fulfillment capabilities. - CIPS The need to continue to reduce costs while improving customer service and supporting expansion in new markets and product lines. Some 68 per cent of respondents said operating cost reduction is “very important”, compared with 64 per cent in 2012. - CIPS
  40. 40. Multiple content challenges • Localisation needs • Usage differences (e.g. multiple device types) • Omnichannel environments • Rising importance of social • Meeting growth opportunities • Single language variants • Cross-market content • Localisation and transcreation • Offering native languages in other markets • Cross-border commerce adaptations
  41. 41. RESOURCES
  42. 42. Resources
  43. 43. Resources on Agile Content • Lois R Patterson. Alyssa Fox on Targeted Content and Agile • Larry Kunz. Technical Writing in Agile • Mary Connor. How does Agile affect documentation? • James Turcotte. DocOps: Intelligent Content for the Application Economy • Patricia Gale. Parkour: Lessons in Agility
  44. 44. RAHEL ANNE BAILIE Chief Knowledge Officer Scroll (UK) @ScrollUK
  45. 45. • UK’s only full-service content company • Provider of writers, editors, content designers • Content strategy, content engineering, IA and taxonomy services • Training for content professionals
  46. 46. By email: By telephone: UK +44 (0)203 318 1828 (office) UK +44 (0)7869 643 685 (mobile) Social: Twitter: @ScrollUK LinkedIn: Twitter: @rahelab LinkedIn: Services: Training: SCROLL London, UK Copyright © 2016 Scroll LLP