All companies have vastly different workflows, resources at hand, file types they want to translate, and, therefore, needs. There are some important translation management features though, that we feel should make the ‘essentials list’ if you want to manage your translation process properly.
When we say manage, we don’t mean writing down deadlines in an Excel sheet and tracking the progress of translations via e-mail. What we mean by manage implies using specific tools that help you increase productivity, and reduce stress.
How do you get to the point where you know which translation management features you need? We come in handy with the list of the features you should be looking for:
This translation management feature will always be on the top of the list. There are simply too many different aspects of the translation workflow which can be skipped completely with today’s technology that simply makes no sense to avoid modern solutions.
Preparing files for translation? Automate the workflow by extracting automatically the content which needs to be translated. Calculating translation deadlines and preparing translation teams? Automate everything using automated content analysis and translation teams.
Notifying all people involved that they have new tasks? Automate notifications, sit back, and relax. E-mailing translators and reviewers to check progress? Automate project and progress overview.
The list is simply too long to be fully represented here. Try to really think about all the tasks you perform in a simple translation process. Most likely, you will find that most things don’t need to be done manually anymore.
Of course, you were able to translate content without context in the past. People also used to use candles, which doesn’t mean there are no easier ways to do things.
All material that required answering individual questions from translators and reviewers can now be translated in-context. You can even translate pages of a website, by directly modifying the translations on the pages.
As for software, you can upload screenshots for individual strings or products, so that translators know what they are translating, instead of playing a complex game of ‘guess what we are talking about’.
#3. Re-using translations
In most of the conversations we have with clients, this is the feature that turns them into believers of advanced translation management features. Once people hear that they can re-use translations through translation memories and save money doing so, they want to test this, and the results are always phenomenal.
Re-using translations means that you can either import existing translations (alignment of old content into translation memories) or simply start translating new content and saving the translations into translation memories.
These translation memories then serve as a source of translations that are re-used for all future translations. The more content is translated, the bigger the database of content which can be re-used, and the lower the cost of translation in the long turn.
This is especially important if you have a lot of repetitive content. However, all companies have content that is eventually repeated, or which is similar in wording, and they can make use of this feature.
Adaptability is one of the most important translation management features. Let’s say that you want and can actually translate the content yourself. You are translating a couple of InDesign files into Spanish, and you have two colleagues who can translate and review everything – all set. But what if tomorrow you need to translate something into Japanese? In this case, it helps if the Translation Management System you use has a database of some 5.000 freelance translators who cover a multitude of fields of expertise.
What if you use a Translation Management System to manage the process, and you have a translation team ready to translate the content, but you don’t know how to get your content into the system? The right Translation Management System simply has to come with many integration options and API, so that you can integrate your system, and send the content for translation.
One thing is certain: all translation management features you use should be future-proof. It’s not enough to finish the current translation task – will it be able to cover other tasks in the future, especially if you commit to e.g. an annual plan?
Sometimes, the simplest translation management feature can be the most crucial one. Ask yourself a question: do you want to be able to access your translation data from anywhere? If the answer to that question is yes, you should choose a platform that is cloud-based, so you are not forced to only use it in a certain way, or on a certain computer.
With a TMS available from anywhere, you could be traveling to work by train and check the progress of your translation projects from your phone or tablet. Since all communication is done within the projects, you can also communicate with the translation team, answer queries, check the terminology used, and get up to speed on everything while having a cup of coffee.
Which translation management features your company needs the most?
Do you have the feeling that you don’t take advantage of all the modern solutions available to you? Reach out to us, and we can have a talk about your needs, and our proprietary TMS.
You will certainly get new ideas by looking at our system, and we will hear fresh ideas and interesting feedback from you. It is a win-win situation for everyone. As always, there are no strings attached!