What Really Is Agile Translation Management?

What Really Is Agile Translation Management?

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Agile translation management is an approach born from agile software development, and it has been gaining popularity in the past two decades, although some companies still prefer the traditional approach to translation management.

What is the main difference between agile translation management and traditional translation management?

In the past, a traditional translation process would, more or less, have the following stages: 

  1. Product is completed by the client
  2. The client looks for a translation vendor (a translation agency)
  3. The client sends content for translation to the translation vendor
  4. Translation vendor provides translation services (black-box approach with little to no transparency)
  5. The translation is delivered to the client
  6. Client reviews translation and sends corrections back to the translation vendor
  7. Translation vendor implements changes
  8. The translation process is completed

While this seems reasonable, it results in loss of time and money (aren’t they the same?), and maybe even more importantly, in lower quality of translations. As opposed to this approach, we have the agile processes used in the translation industry today. In the next parts of this blog, we will point out key differences, as compared to the traditional approach.

#1. Planning

While in the past the client would reach out to the language services provider with a finished product, nowadays the client often reaches out before everything is finalized in order to plan the localization process with the language services provider.

For example, the client will ask if website content should be changed and simplified to allow for machine translation and human review for certain languages. Another example is software code, which is often not written with localization in mind. Code also often needs to be adapted to accommodate for differences in plurals and cases, as compared to the source language.

This planning is crucial for reducing the turnaround times, the number of corrections, and for increasing the quality of translations.

#2. Shorter turnaround time

With agile translation management, clients don’t have to send the whole code or the whole website for translation. Translations can also be done in sprints, meaning that a version of the software (just a couple lines of code), or the homepage and product pages on a website can be translated quickly and easily.

This means that clients don’t have to wait weeks for the localization of their product, software, or website and that they can go live with one version of the content, while the next version is being drafted. They can change and shift their localization needs on the go.

#3. Collaborative spirit

In the past, the majority of localization work was performed in the shadows, without clients ever really seeing how the process looks likes behind the scenes. Nowadays we want to include our clients in the localization process, in order to be fully transparent about what is happening, and what we are doing.

One of the main ways to achieve this is by giving the client the ability to cooperate on the localization project. Due to the nature of cloud-based platforms that are used in localization today, the client has access to the translation, they can check it on the go, and changes can be adopted at an early stage. 

This again shortens the turnaround time, the time the client needs to spend on reviews, and it increases the quality of the translation, as there is actual client input that can be used to improve the translation by the translator and reviewer.

#4. Integration

In the past, much of the content had to be sent back and forth via e-mail, creating confusion regarding the content that was supposed to be translated, the stage of the translation process, etc.

Agile translation management allows clients to use a plethora of integration options. They can integrate their software repositories to the cloud-based localization platform, they can collect all the content from a website just by providing a URL, and they can even adapt the integration to their specific needs using API.

#5. Automation

Nowadays, the majority of everyday tasks, such as extracting the content for translation and sending it for localization, can be automated. Why not use this option and spend the time gained on something which truly requires your full involvement?

There’s absolutely no reason for not taking advantage of the many benefits a modern cloud-based platform offers by implementing agile translation management.

 Get ready to try out a new translation management style!

If you want to learn more and find out how the agile translation management approach could fit in your current localization process feel free to reach out to us. We are glad to chat and help with advice, no strings attached!


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