There’s a question that all companies dealing with localization will need to ask themselves, sooner or later: how to start with translation automation? Trust us, we know how you feel. It seems like only yesterday were you able to handle all your localization projects quite easily. Sending out a few emails with instructions and answering a few questions here and there was barely a nuisance.
However, since you decided to expand to other markets, you can barely keep up with all the work. As with any menial task, such as creating and analyzing files, sending emails, and sending files to translators, humans have limits. Once these limits are reached, we can’t just increase their output and scale in accordance with the needed output. What is the cost-effective answer to scaling menial tasks? That’s right, translation automation.
Whenever something needs to be done, people look for ways to shorten the time they have to spend working on the given task. That’s why in this blog, we will discuss 5 short tips on how to start with translation automation.
#1. Research the tools
As a first step, you should look for tools that can help you start with translation automation. The one big problem is that you don’t know which tools are out there, and which tasks you could automate.
Try not to think about it too much. Browse the internet for localization tools and check what they offer. Most tools have a free trial period, so you can choose which ones you want to test. Once you find the ones you are interested in, ask for demos.
#2. Go for the pilot project
Common sense dictates that you should start with translation automation on projects which will not make or break your business. In other words, you should run test projects which will show you what you can expect, what can be further improved, and how this all impacts your everyday life.
#3. Be realistic
You may dream about finding a tool that will eliminate all your troubles with the click of a button, and you might even be determined to find such a tool. However, it’s usually not a realistic approach unless you are looking to automate just a handful of tasks, such as sending out notification emails.
Translation Management Systems are, by their very definition, complex, and they are not one-size-fits-all. The best thing is to look for tools that have the potential to be everything you want them to be, and that are scalable to your growing needs.
#4. Create a new mindset
You need to understand that when you start with translation automation, it will change the way you work forever. This, of course, also impacts the people you work with. It’s not difficult to get used to a better and more streamlined workflow, as this will benefit everyone in the long run.
Sometimes, old habits die hard, and sometimes people will resort to the workflows they are used to rather than spending 30 minutes understanding a new workflow which will shorten the time they will spend on the whole task by 60%.
You and your team will need to adapt a new mindset, and you might need to organize training sessions for your colleagues to get them on board with the whole automation idea.
#5. Prepare for a neverending story
When you start with translation automation, you should have in mind that it’s not a one-off, in the sense that you should stop improving once you have found the first tool you want to use. Even with the new tool implemented, always look for ways your work could be further improved.
Many providers of Translation Management Systems appreciate feedback from their users, especially if it touches upon further improving the system, either from feature, workflow, or user interface perspective.
Are you ready to start your adventure with translation automation?
Of course, translation automation is not an immediate solution to all your life’s problems. You still need to do research, define what you want to achieve, and get all the stakeholders on board, before you can start reaping the benefits of the new and improved workflow.
The results are worth the effort, and you can always get advice from the people you talk to. If you are interested in automation, you can always reach out to us – we will gladly discuss the challenges coming your way, and give you our advice. You can then decide if this is the right approach for you and learn more about translation automation in the process!