In all our articles on translation, we always mention that one of the key elements of a successful localization project is the collaboration between the people working on it. This includes really everyone, from the client as the project creator, to the project manager assigned to the project, and the linguists actually translating and reviewing the project.
Many companies often share files via file-sharing platforms, or, more often than you would believe, work on localization projects via e-mail. Such an approach is a serious problem for everyone involved, as it leaves too much space for mistakes and wastes everyone’s precious time. So, how do you resolve this issue?
What is a collaborative translation platform?
The answer is: use a collaborative translation platform! When we think of the word ‘collaborative’, most of us probably imagine a platform in which several people can work side by side, in real time, sharing their work and comments with others.
In the spirit of practicing what we are preaching, the development of our whole system in the past decade has been focused on strengthening the collaborative aspect of our platform. After a decade of work, and hundreds of clients who have used our system, let us share the most important features of a truly collaborative platform.
#1. Real-time collaboration
As explained above, if people working on your localization project cannot collaborate in real-time, then what good is the collaboration? As with any well-managed translation project, there are two important parts that need to be handled by the project manager.
The first is the division of the workload and files. We designed our platform to help with this aspect, so that project managers don’t actually have to split files, and define workloads for translators, as our system will automatically calculate how many words a translator can handle in a specified timeframe.
If the translator exceeds these expectations, the project manager can re-allocate other files or file parts to the translator to speed up the delivery. Once this is done, and the project is in progress, the project manager can track the daily progress of translators and the terminology they enter.
Let’ s say that there is a large file that needs to be translated in two days, and the file is divided by our platform into three parts, allocated to three different translators, and three different reviewers. How will the first translator know if a similar sentence they are translating is already translated? Which terminology did the second translator use?
Since the platform is cloud-based, the Translation Memory is updated in real time and it is shared among all the translators, just like the terminology. This means that a translator A will know what translator B is doing, and vice-versa.
Also, all the translators will know what the reviewers are doing, as they can start working on the review as soon as the first sentence is translated. This allows for a more active approach to localization in which reviewers can actually correct something before it spreads to the whole translation, making it more time-consuming to correct in the aftermath.
Of course, the workflow of a project is something which is also defined by clients as some clients, who use our system internally, actually prefer a more traditional approach, separated into two steps, in which the reviewer actually waits for the translator to be finished.
In the previous point, I mentioned that there are two parts to a successful localization project. One is dividing the work, but the other one is more crucial in the long run. I am sure you are all aware of this, but the second part is communication.
A project manager is usually caught in the middle and has to relay all this information among the project team members. Luckily, with our platform project managers don’t have to do this anymore.
One of the first features we implemented in our translation editor is the ‘Leave a comment’ function. This enables translators, reviewers, project managers, and clients to communicate within the platform itself. Most importantly, they can all comment on individual segments and sentences, so this helps to specify what the comment relays to, and is an important time-saving feature.
#3. Scalability and price
Our users often ask the same, yet important question. How many users can work on the platform? It is a valid question, as today you might have three users, but for next week’s project, you might need 20.
If I, as a client, need to have such flexibility, I need to know if the platform can support this, and how much this might potentially cost me. The good thing is that our platform comes without limitations. If you decide to use it, you can be sure that you have the option to do whatever you need to do, without having to look for any hidden costs.
Many of our clients have several dozen users on different continents. They can use them on any project and set everything up in seconds. Since our platform is not charged by the number of users, it comes as no surprise that clients are inviting their colleagues to help them with translations and review. They can even mix our translation services with their internal review process, so they actually get the best of both worlds.
Depending on the situation, clients can adjust the workflow and the types of participants to their needs. If you need a Translation Management System that does not need to be set up, and can be accessed by all users from the online Portal, and you want to have the freedom to have your own users work on your localization projects in real time, and at no additional costs, then we have the right package for you. You can try out our system for 30 days, and decide if this is what you are looking for.