With cloud-based services stampeding over traditional software, I can’t stop but wonder where’s the innovation – especially in the ever-lagging translation industry. Providers seem to be divided. Some are catering to hardcore professionals who adore being extensively trained in software systems (on the employer’s dime of course!). Others dumb things down, cranking usability up to 11, but missing out on real-life problem resolution. Then there’s Text United. Who?
A touchy subject matter
Translation is exciting perhaps only to freshly accredited linguists. To the rest of the world, it’s a chore. In a business context, aside from being a chore, it’s an unavoidable cost of growth and expansion.
Let’s face the facts. You’re either working with a translation agency to which your colleagues send e-mails (or faxes on vintage Friday) or have some fancy piece of software implemented that never seems to work and you e-mail the agency anyway, believing firmly that the software they recommended is good for you and you’re translating the smart way.
Translation IS a hard chore. Get it right – no praise for you or the translators. Get it wrong – a PR scandal or industrial disaster are imminent. You do need a responsible, reliable and kind provider, right? One who understands you and listens to you, and brings gifts during the holidays? Well, Santa isn’t real 364 days of the year and his elves are underpaid. Don’t work with an agency is what I’m saying because there is no magic in sending docs or .csv’s via e-mail. It’s just a day job that can be optimized.
What’s the translation fact you’ve been coaxed into ignoring?
Real-life business content translation requires methodology, automation and a high degree of scalability within a set price level, with quality defined as the degree to which a product or service meets its specification (sheesh, that was a long sentence!).
While a language service provider such as an agency CAN, of course, give you an unbeatable price per word, not only will they skim on translator salaries, they will inadvertently shove some kind of archaic TMS software down your infrastructure’s throat to compensate for lost revenues through this agency/TMS affiliation…and you’re buying! This convolution tactic is what really drives the industry. If you think about it, organizing multi-channel translation of content within distributed teams isn’t something you just easily figure out how to do. Being industry insiders for over 20 years we’ve had enough of this and hence we’ve built Text United.
Think of us in this case as a Fair Trade translation whatever that would mean – it’s a broad metaphor but you get the picture. We fixed translation thanks to tech and smarts and now clients have the unique opportunity to effortlessly provide source material that our platform easily transports to and from linguists. Everybody wins – especially the purchasing department!
Damn the machine!
The other wunderkind of translation that everybody had a taste of already is the machine translation. It doesn’t work yet – may be decent in 10 years of world peace and free exchange of code between its developers. Doesn’t cut it for business just yet. No further comments.
„With our software, you’ll partially translate your content, and then a translator will work on what wasn’t translated. That saves you at least 50% of the cost!”.
Let me add this: that also saves you from 50% of the quality! This is business, not homework. You can’t just BS your way out of content that customers see. The technology isn’t there yet, so have professionals translate for you, and figure out a way to scale that affordably instead of hoping that HAL 9000 is real.
Translation is simple again!
In one sentence if I were to describe Text United, it’s a full-service chaos-free translation platform, that integrates with your infrastructure, transports content from and to translators of your choosing, learns your vocabulary to decrease service costs, and allows you to better appreciate sunsets.
Let’s assume you’re the richest business in the world (rooting for you!). You hire and train people to work with you internally – outsourcing makes no sense because you’re all about company culture, employee growth and control over quality is your main concern. You build a team that has their own office building and parking spaces. They’re your translation team.
Suddenly they become their own thing – with their own clients and slightly different culture. They know your business inside out and adhere to policies like no outsourced provider ever could. They always seem to deliver the same high quality, regardless of having acquired new, huge clients.
You could have these guys working for you with their infrastructure deeply integrated with your core business. Smiley face and a thumbs up, right?
People who read this blog are really smart so I’m assuming you’re confused – isn’t then Text United the very same thing that the author criticized a paragraph ago when talking about these non-fair trade agencies?
We’re different because, well, we’ve broken the translation market completely, though it doesn’t know that yet.
Text United is a plug-and-play translation platform that scales with your company. Just like Apple builds great machines with dedicated software, Text United builds great software with dedicated linguistic services. Like the Genius bar, just for translation.
Unique translation features?
Sure, why not, here’s a bunch of links:
Website Translation with NO CODING (WOW!)
So who are you? How do you make this useful?
Marketer? Write your content as usual. Text United will send it down the pipes, dissect the text carefully, proofread, translate with professional native speaking linguists, edit by domain experts and send it back straight into your text editor. Cloud magic! Marketing yammering aside, it’s all connectable through APIs and integrations, so technically that pipes story is true. It’ll also make you lose weight because you’ll have more free time during your day, too!…Us marketers, right? 🙂
Developer? Plug in your continuous integration and distributed version control systems and code as usual. Text United will scoop out content from your code via Okapi filters, build an abstract content database (a Translation Memory) for translators to work on, scan for repetitions and propagate them automatically, and even scan for version changes and update that pesky UI language that’s blocking your upcoming push to prod.
Technical writer? Impress your peers by cutting down this year’s translation costs by whatever your documentation’s repetition is. Speed up turnaround and build your own team of trusted translators. Need NDA’s signed or a crazy exotic language done by yesterday? Need a power-tool like Trados, only usable, intuitive, with a great leveraging ratio? Connect Text United and enjoy the rest of your day. Just play it cool, we don’t want to get you out of a job!
VC-backed startup? Hello world-changer! I, I, I just wanted…you know, to tell you…If you would…should…choose to…at your convenience of course…to use this tiny, tiny, totally free for new clients, Text United system, Sir…you would get a birds-eye view of all expenses, ongoing translation projects within every department, prognosis of savings and the ability to assign your own multilingual staff to translate when YOU make the decision to take over translation and move it inside your organization. You could be the captain, the sea, the boat and the fish!
This is the time when I take a step back and let you enjoy the scene. A translation promised land lies ahead. Will you claim it?