How Do You Know Which Translation Service to Choose?

Mar 29, 2024

Traditionally, translation has been handled by human linguists but in recent years LLMs (Large Language Models) being introduced has changed the perception of translation itself. It seems a significant number of industries expect translation to be automatic without any consequences. The secret desire is for translation to be instant and flawless with AI. This wishful thinking is projected, yet we still fall short from ideal results. The human linguist is here to stay for the time being. Then the question is how reliable is machine translation?

How Much Are You Willing to Compromise with Machine Translation?

Machine translation (MT) is an innovative software which automatically translates text from the original language to target language(s). MT is fast, cheap, and convenient, giving anybody from anywhere the freedom to translate any language without limitations. MT is best suited for simple, informal, or personal text which does not have professional requirements. Although high accuracy and quality are ideal to capture the essence of the original text. In my opinion, MT should not be used for any sort of business, legal, or financial transactions. When a customer pays for something, a certain level of quality is expected. This may not seem evident upfront but this expectation exists. You are not only paying for the product but for the feeling and experience. Complete comprehension of the product dictates the overall feeling making it important to communicate your message clearly to the customer to translate not only meaning but an experience. This could be from product descriptions, brand marketing, safety labels, to storytelling. MT often fails to capture the context, tone, and cultural nuances of the original text, producing errors, inaccuracies, and awkward expressions. This lack of accuracy and quality creates problems with customers, sales, and in the worst-case litigation resulting in payment for damages. Translation is not just a matter of replacing text but the packaging of cultural equivalents in a conscious caring cohesive manner.

What Is Human Translation?

Human translation is performed by professional native linguists to translate text from the original language to target language(s). Human beings are at a disadvantage because they perform translation manually. Human translation is slower, more expensive, and labor-intensive compared to MT. But human translation has its advantages. Human translators can deliver high-quality, accurate, and natural translations that reflect the meaning, style, and intention of the original text. Through experience, culturally savvy human translators can handle complex, technical, and creative documents that require specialized knowledge. Subjects include legal, medical, literary, and technical texts. Many LLMs use massive amounts of data to compensate for its lack of cultural astuteness. Because many LLMs include various data sets this causes internal confliction surfacing bizarre to blatantly wrong results. The main issue with MT is it does not know when it is wrong. A human translator can realize its mistake and make a correction on the spot. However, an MT with the latest AI will never know it makes a mistake. It cannot identify its own errors. It is not conscious like a human being. This is something we should be reminded of when we rely too heavily on MT, LLMs, and AI.

Can We Use Human and Machine Translation Together?

The combination of human and machine translation is called hybrid translation. Hybrid translation is a method to merge the best of both worlds incorporating the accuracy and quality of human translation while optimizing the speed and cost cutting of machine translation. Hybrid translation can take different forms, such as post-editing, where a human translator revises and corrects the output of MT. The second approach is pre-editing, where a human translator simplifies and prepares the original text for MT to create better outcomes. The third approach is using TM (translation memory) from previous translation which were confirmed by human translators and adding MT for the human translator to use freely at their own discretion. Hybrid translation is an attempt to utilize the newest technologies to find the optimal balance between the benefits and drawbacks of MT and human translation. Hybrid translation solely depends on the level of human involvement, skill level, and the accuracy/quality of the MT used. Many LSPs offer different types of hybrid translation services according to the subject matter, time frame, and budget.

What Factors Should You Consider When Choosing a Translation Service?

When choosing a translation service, you should consider many factors before you decide. What is your goal you want to achieve? Who is your audience? What level of quality do you expect? What is your budget? When do you need it by? What languages do you need? These arrays of choices need to be decided on. Knowing what to expect with what you choose will lead to the least disappointment.

The translation service you choose is case dependent. For example, if you need to translate a legal contract with formal and professional context, you should opt for a human translation service that can ensure accuracy, reliability, and compliance. On the other hand, if you need to translate a blog post which is casual and personal, you may use a machine translation service that can provide speed, convenience, and affordability. Remember as mentioned before if there is going to be a monetary transaction between you and a customer there will be a certain level of quality expected. Imagine you are at the receiving end. If you experience an inadequate translation, at times you might be amused. But as the price of purchase increases it is not as funny. You may even feel betrayed. You feel your brand has done a disservice to you. They did not bother considering your brand experience. It’s often difficult to observe secondary consequences. Cost cutting for short term gains inevitably affects long term growth. Translation is a wonderful service which can enhance customer experience boosting sales. The choice between human translation, MT, or hybrid translation needs to be carefully considered. Once you made a mindful assessment, next is to select a translation service. If possible, evaluate the services reputation, credentials, and performance. Check online for reviews, ratings, testimonials, portfolios, and case studies. Asking for a sample translation is another option to determine the quality, accuracy, and style you desire. Compare the different features, benefits, costs, and compromises. In the end choose the translation service which meets your budget, expectations, and requirements. Remember you can always change your mind. Find the best balance between quality and cost you are satisfied with.

A Translation Service Is Relationship Building

Choosing a translation service to get a document translated is relationship building. You need to find someone you can trust to get it done right. Before you decide between an independent translator or LSP, you should do research. If possible, ask someone you know who can give you a referral. If not search networks and organizations for legitimate sources. Professionals who are listed should have a certain level of competence. Evaluate your prospects and get in contact. Whether its human, machine, or hybrid know your budget and requirements. Find who fits best. Look for someone who is patient and answers any questions you may have. If there is an error, they are admittedly swift to correct any problems. Ultimately, honesty and integrity demonstrate a quality translation service.

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Will LLMs (Large Language Models) Replace Professional Translators?

Feb 28, 2024

Today, the insatiable demand for swift and precise translation continues to increase. Whether for business, travel, or personal endeavors, LLMs stand as a pivotal tool in bridging linguistic gaps. But how does this modern technology compare to traditional translation methods, and what should professional translators be looking out for? Will LLMs replace professional translators?

The Magic Behind LLMs (Large Language Models)

LLMs follow cutting-edge AI algorithms to make automatic translation possible. Be it a website, a promotional pamphlet, or a detailed document, LLMs are capable to tackle translations. At its core, LLMs consist of two main parts: a machine learning algorithm and an abundant data set. This algorithm is trained on specific data sets until it reaches a point where it meets proper measurements and standards to accurately replicate previous translations. Next this customized data is fed into an AI-powered system that can translate from one language to another with phenomenal speed and moderate accuracy.In successful cases a translation can read like it was written by a native speaker. The level of a professional translator. This technological advancement is approaching new milestones daily and possibly may achieve flawless translations in the future to come. If it reaches its potential, we may have systems that fully understand the syntax and grammar of language itself. Not to mention, advanced error detection features where AI quality control can quickly and accurately detect mistakes. The ultimate scenario is AI driven LLMs never making mistakes. By this time professional translators will become obsolete. When this becomes reality though is hard to say.

Deciphering the World of Translation Tools: LLMs vs. CAT Tools

Many different translation tools exist and cater to different needs. For example, CAT (Computer-Assisted Translation) tools have been a companion to professional translators for a long time now. Brands such as Trados, MemoQ, and Phrase to mention a few have provided various features and services to meet the professional translators demands. Unfortunately, prices have hiked in recent years and what was once an investment is becoming a heavy cost burden. We are seeing though new solutions such as Doc3™ which provide an affordable subscription service including essentials a professional translator requires. The CAT tool landscape is changing as LLMs are becoming more ubiquitous. For certain subjects LLMs like DeepL and Google Translate can be effective providing a base translation which professional translators can post edit. This is a new approach for professional translators to increase efficiency and speed. But this approach works only when LLMs are accurate. Translation is not only about transferring text from one language to another. Translation is about capturing the essence, context, and subtle nuances of the original content. At times using culture specific references and idioms. This capability is difficult with LLMs, and professional translators are depended upon to facilitate this accurate communicative art form when translating. The professional translator can see immediately what is wrong or missing. This is what LLMs lack for the time being. It is getting better fast, but it is not quite there yet.

Why Professional Translators Prefer Using CAT Tools?

Despite the advancements of LLMs, professional translators continue to rely on CAT tools. Here’s why:

Contextual Understanding: While LLMs are improving, they still struggle with context, especially in complex, cultural, or specialized texts. Post editing automatic translations which have questionable quality can be laborious and often become task intensive taking more time than traditional translation. LLMs are usually not case specific and can help when it fits but CAT tools are the go-to tool assisting translators during their translation process.

Cultural Nuances: Language is deeply intertwined with culture. Professional translators, using CAT tools, can ensure that translations are culturally sensitive and appropriate, something LLMs often miss.

Translation Memory: One of the most significant advantages of CAT tools is Translation Memory (TM). TMs store previously translated segments, ensuring consistency across large projects or multiple projects for the same client. LLMs have enormous amounts of data but often have unrelated material included causing confusion and potential mistakes with its output.

Terminology Management: For projects that have specific terminology, CAT tools allow translators to maintain consistent use of terms, ensuring clarity and professionalism.

Tailored Solutions: CAT tools can be customized to fit the specific needs of a project or client, from creating glossaries to setting up specific workflows. This is possible for LLMs but is extremely cost intensive and there isn’t a guarantee the quality will meet the client’s standards.

Multiple File Formats: Professional translators often receive documents in various specialized file formats. CAT tools support a wide range of file formats, allowing translators to work seamlessly eliminating the need for different kinds of software and specialist skills.

Collaborative Features: Many CAT tools offer features that facilitate collaboration among multiple translators, proofreaders, and editors, ensuring the final product is shared to integrate proper quality control.

Feedback Integration: CAT tools allow for the easy integration of feedback, making revisions and quality assurance a streamlined process. LLMs are not self-conscious and are incapable of detecting its own mistakes.

Reuse of Translations: With the help of TMs, translators can easily reuse parts of translations, reducing the time spent on repetitive and similar text segments and thus cutting down costs. On the other hand, many LLMs retranslate all materials forcing translators to recheck the output wasting valuable resources.

Segmentation: CAT tools break texts into manageable segments, allowing translators to efficiently tackle, review, and revise their work.

What Role Does LLMs Play for Professional Translators Who Use CAT Tools?

For seasoned professional translators, CAT tools aren’t merely about ease of use. They’re about project management, productivity enhancement, consistency monitoring, and quality control. With features like grammar checking, error detection, glossaries, and translation memories, the translation process becomes not just faster, but also sharper and accurate. With relentless advancements in LLMs, the potential of automatic translation software is set to soar, but currently human know-how is still essential. Nevertheless, as these tools become even more refined, maybe one day translations will not be just accurate but communicate at a meta cognitive level eventually removing the chasm between different languages and cultures. In any case, professional translators should prepare, learn, and work with CAT tools while incorporating LLMs to stay competitive. Accepting inevitability early gives you an edge comparing to others who don’t. Don’t paddle against the LLM wave but ride it to your advantage.

Conclusion: The Translation Revolution

LLMs are a translation revolution. For professional translators, adapting and embracing LLMs isn’t a mere choice – it’s key to thriving in a dynamic linguistic landscape that’s steadily evolving.

CAT tools like Doc3™ will prepare professional translators to be better equipped more than ever to deliver top-tier translations, meeting the demands of an ever-globalizing world.

Try Out Doc3 Today!

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How To Stay Motivated and Productive Working Remotely?

Jan 24, 2024

The pandemic has caused many people to rethink their jobs and careers figuring out what is best for themselves. Perspectives have changed on work itself. For example, working remotely has become a new option created by this abrupt paradigm shift in society. In previous years we were able to divide by associating the office with work and home with relaxation. This distinct line has been blurred as working from home has increased. Employers worry of the reduction in productivity affecting sales and revenue. Employees struggle to adjust working remotely trying to remain productive while managing life at home. Staying motivated and being productive working remotely has become a challenge.

What Are the Basics When Working from Home?

First, establish a workspace separate to your home environment. Ideally, prepare a room for an office. If this is not possible prepare a workspace which has the least number of distractions. A place where there is minimal noise and visual stimulation.

Next, dress up for the occasion. If possible, avoid comfortable clothing such as pajamas, sweatshirts/pants, or only underwear. Dress as though you are going to the office. This helps trigger your mental state into work mode. Comfortable clothing can affect your motivation and level of awareness which is why it should be avoided.

Preparing the proper hardware, software, and internet connection is extremely important. Being able to work seamlessly without compromising efficiency, having solid connectivity, and proper security to emulate the office environment.

Time management is crucial. Scheduling projects, deadlines, and meetings become a challenge. Use the right tools to help you keep track of your assignments and progress.

Communicate regularly with your colleagues and clients. Arrange conference calls occasionally to see each other’s faces. Avoid complete isolation and be proactive with connecting to exchange ideas, experiences, and opinions. Network to stay updated.

How To Take Care of Yourself Mentally and Physically?

Treat yourself as you would advise others. It is easy to inform others to do something but to put it into practice yourself is the challenge. Here are some tips to help you get on the right track. This applies to remote workers and commuters.

-Set specific goals on what to accomplish each day

Clear goals help you gain satisfaction when you finish. This keeps motivation high and gives you a sense of accomplishment and gratification.

-Eat healthy

This may seem trivial but is harder in practice. Prepare healthy meals and avoid ready made products. Avoid processed foods and choose whole food options instead.

-Sleep routinely

If possible, sleep and wake up at the same times daily. Consistency is key. The more regular your sleep patterns are the more energetic and alert you become. Between 7 ~ 9 hours is optimal and may vary depending on the individual.

-Exercise daily

If possible, exercise daily for 15 ~ 60 min. Incorporate cardio and muscular resistance training. This helps increase stamina, relieve stress, and boost confidence. Sitting daily in a chair is taxing to your bodily structure. Routinely stretch your neck, shoulders, arms, hips, legs and back to counteract accumulated strain.

-Get daily sunlight exposure

Go outside preferably in the mornings. Avoid wearing sunglasses and get exposure on your skin and eyes for 10~15 min. Do not look directly at the sun. This helps elevate your mood and correct your circadian rhythm.

-Hydrate properly

Drink water or noncaffeinated beverages regularly in small amounts. Staying hydrated keeps you fresh and less tired. Avoid over caffeinating which increases dependency, tolerance, and disrupts sleep. Avoid alcohol if possible.

-Avoid excess amounts of sugar

Excess amounts can spike your blood sugar causing drowsiness and fatigue.

-Take short breaks

Detach from screens every 45~60 min. Look out a window or someplace where you can see long distances. Give your eyes a rest to help them rejuvenate. Practice meditation by sitting with your eyes shut, breathe deeply and slowly. This will help replenish your concentration and focus.

Paris ne s’est pas fait en un jour - Rome wasn’t built in a day

Working indoors all day is a modern-day phenomenon which affects a large portion of our population. It may seem overwhelming trying to change your habits at once. Don’t worry. Pick and try 1 or 2 things to begin with. Gradually add on as you progress. You will fail at times but don’t be discouraged. Be consistent and you will experience results in the weeks, months, and years to come. Living a healthy lifestyle is the beginning to being the best version of yourself.

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*Information Disclaimer

This information on this blog post is only intended to be general summary information for public use. This information does not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions about a medical condition, always seek the advice of a doctor or other qualified health professional.

How To Bring Your Product or Service to The Global Market?

Dec 7, 2023

Bringing your product or service to the global market opens worldly growth opportunities. Access to a global audience, new revenue streams, and global talent hiring are some benefits with internationalization. Recognizing and learning the importance of various cultures leads to successful global business expansion. Thanks to the connectivity we have today the global market is not a dream but reality for any business. Whether you’re a conglomerate or a one-man shop website stretching your global outreach will increase your exposure and potential revenue. Expanding your product or service globally can lead to significant international growth and provide access to new markets and potential buyers. Companies achieve economies of scale, less competition, and new opportunities. These breakthroughs can be leveraged in the global market to gain a significant competitive advantage. Access to more markets gives new standards providing different cultural perspectives for your products and services. As you expand your business globally, it's important to consider the impact this growth could have on your operations. A key factor is how will you communicate with your customers in the new markets.

Translation and localization help you better communicate with your potential customers and deliver your message clearly with intent. For the best quality translations possible, it is important to research the language of your new potential customers before you begin. The quality of translation ultimately determines the success of localization. You have the options of hiring a translator or a Language Service Provider (LSP) who are familiar with the language and customs of your target market. When companies take the proper steps for effective communication, they are far closer to success than relying on just hope to succeed in new global markets.

Localization Is More Than Meets the Eye

To make sure your brand resonates with local audiences, the content itself needs to be adapted and localized, not just translated directly. This requires market research to understand how different cultures relate to your brand and use your products. Thorough localization communicates relatability, comfort, and trust that your customers can feel and visualize using your products or services. Localization is more than just converting words from one language to another: it's about effectively communicating your message and brand to a foreign market which has a direct impact on your conversion rates and ROI. Building this new revenue stream allows businesses to diversify reducing their reliance on a single market or product. This helps businesses weather economic downturns and market fluctuations ensuring their long-term sustainability. This competitive advantage provides more resources and insight into new ideas, customer needs, and preferences for tailoring new products and services. Localization can help businesses stay ahead of the competition and maintain a strong presence in their industry.

Cultural Differences

Cultural differences can pose significant challenges with incomplete insight into political, legal, and compliance environments. It can lead to costly mistakes and damage a company's reputation. Failing to take cultural differences into account can lead to communication breakdowns and misunderstandings, stalling your marketing efforts. Companies must consider the new market's rules, taxes, local laws, and regulations in their global strategy while understanding the political, legal, and compliance environments in the markets they plan to enter. Failure to do so can lead to unexpected legal or financial issues that can significantly impact success. It is essential to conduct thorough research and seek expert advice to ensure that businesses are compliant with local laws and regulations while operating in foreign markets. This maybe a difficult task when only hiring a freelance translator but LSPs can provide consulting services for the scenarios mentioned above. A comprehensive understanding of these environments helps make informed decisions to succeed in the global market. To expand internationally successfully, a company must develop a strategy that considers cultural differences and adapts to the unique needs of the global market.

Quality Translation and Localization

To effectively enter a new market, quality translation and localization is necessary to adapt operations and products to local cultures and languages. This includes everything from translation and localization of marketing materials and product packaging to the hiring of local staff and the establishment of local offices. This can be particularly burdensome for small and mid-sized businesses that may not have the financial resources or expertise to navigate the complexities. However, even large multinational corporations face similar challenges in translating and localizing their operations to effectively target a specific market. This is where an LSP comes into play. Through experience and expertise in various cases LSPs can provide accurate assessments on what is quality and what will be effective in your target market. Quality translation and localization increases brand recognition, helping your product to penetrate through your target market with higher click-through and conversion rates bringing in new valued customers. Sales and revenue improve by providing a more accurate, complete, and authentic customer experience with quality translation and localization.

What Is the Right Approach?

Translating and localizing your product or service properly is not easy. You must make sure you’ve considered all your marketing and product collateral. This includes blogs, onboarding and confirmation messages, and tutorials, in addition to off-site content like native and social ads, reviews, app store pages, and social media accounts. Customers should be able to sign up or search through your products or services in their local language. Ideally customer support and social media should be provided in their language as well.

Here are some things to consider:

Technical Information – Shipping details, addresses, hours, currencies, payment method, phone numbers, media platforms, and product availability should all be accessible.

Cultural Nuance – Text translation and images including the brand voice, marketing funnel, and pricing. For example, local norms may demand more formality, fewer sales emails, or specific package design.

Translation Quality – Local expertise is critical including accuracy, correct spelling, grammar, consistent terminology, and tone of voice. Build a team that includes native-speaking, industry-specific authorities, or outsource to an LSP. Make sure they’re familiar with the dialect and culture of the region in which you’re operating.

SEO – SEO research, purchasing patterns, keyword optimization, website optimization, and cultural norms. The more you understand the needs of the local market, the better you can target them.

Images – Images should be locally ethnically diverse, culturally sensitive, modest, and professional including local landscapes, architectural styles, and appropriate fashion.

What Is the Best Path?

Bringing your product or service to the global market is difficult to say the least. A practical approach is to find a trusted partner. An LSP can offer language solutions tailored to your situation and needs. They can help translate and localize content for different materials, platforms, devices, and products, making it easier for you to reach audiences worldwide. An accurate quality translation is critical to your business, from reducing risk and costs to better understanding your competition and target market. Any company can benefit from international expansion and development. Whether it’s building a global brand presence or increasing sales and revenue, translation and localization can help in many ways. Majority of companies see an increase in revenue after translation and localization with properly marketed products or services. Partnering with a professional LSP specializing in translation and localization is essential. We at idioma® support businesses of all shapes and sizes providing quality translations bringing products and services to the global market. Our translation services comply with ISO 17100 (translation + verification by professional native linguists) including QA checks by independent QA operators. All translation and localization are crafted utilizing a comprehensive workflow we have developed over the decades using our own CAT tool, TMS, and QA system. We have worked together with various clients for over 40 years and have focused on tailoring the optimal solution for each unique customer to help communicate their brand fittingly. Bringing new products and services to the global market is our specialty. Your new international audience awaits you.

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Are CAT Tools Beneficial for Translators?

Oct 31, 2023

As the demand for high-quality translations continues to soar, professional translators are constantly on the lookout for tools that can enhance their craft and make them more productive. But what makes a CAT tool indispensable for translators? What sort of benefits exist in CAT tools? Let’s delve in to see what CAT tools offer and why they have been a game-changer for translators and the translation industry.

Beyond Translation Speed: Efficiency

While speed is a notable advantage compared to the old-school translation process (think typewriters and specialized dictionaries in book form), CAT tools offer a level of efficiency that goes beyond the mere speed of translation. They streamline the process by reducing the need for repetitive tasks, file preparation, glossary management, translation memory storage, and quality control to provide translators more time and energy on the translation itself. Focusing on the nuances and intricacies of content creation rather than being fatigued with manual labor.

Terminology Consistency is Key

Imagine translating a lengthy document or a series of related documents. Unifying terminology through these documents consistently is an arduous and daunting task. CAT tools solve this inevitable issue coming equipped with Translation Memory (TM) that stores previously translated segments. These segments provide identical sentences or similar phrases which translators can use at their disposal. Translators can reuse previous translation without searching, maintaining a certain level of consistency throughout the project. CAT tools offer glossaries and term storage which translators can utilize freely to unify terminology specific to the project or subject matter. Translators can also create their own glossaries related to the project to list special terms and expressions. This kind of terminology management not only ensures accurate translations, but it saves time for translators. Instead of spending time double-checking terms or phrases and typing out each repeating phrase they can add a glossary term with a single click of the mouse.

Customization at Your Fingertips

Every translation project is unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t cut it sometimes. CAT tools offer a high degree of customization, allowing translators to set up glossaries, manage translations, and even customize their user interface to their liking. And of course, with the vast market of CAT tools at hand, everyone can find a CAT tool that fits their preference and budget (ideally both).

Collaboration Made Easy

Many translation projects are collaborative efforts involving multiple translators, proofreaders, and editors. CAT tools facilitate seamless communication with features that allow multiple users to work on a document simultaneously, share feedback, and provide uniformity across the team. Nothing gets lost in the process, all changes are tracked, and every team member is aligned even in the case of complex projects with tight deadlines.

Cost-Effective in the Long Run

While there is an initial learning curve and potential investment involved, CAT tools prove to be cost-effective and efficient tools for professional translators in the long run. The ability to reuse translations, coupled with increased efficiency, accelerates project completion, which in turn translates into higher earnings and reduced overheads. Some CAT tools on the market now provide impressive functionality that is comparable even to the big expensive solutions and industry standards like Trados or Phrase. Doc3™, for example, is a perfect example of a free CAT tool for professional translators that is both highly functional, compatible with all standard translation file formats, and even offers unlimited usage in terms of text volume.

Enhanced Quality Control

Quality is the cornerstone of professional translation. Most CAT tools come with integrated quality control features, from spellchecking, grammar checking, glossary checks and even consistency checks. Applying quality checks ensures the final output is polished, professional, and error-free. There are also independent Quality Assurance applications like CrossCheck® which work independently via web browser or can be integrated into CAT tools (e.g. CrossCheck® is natively integrated into Doc3™, but can be plugged into other popular CAT tools, including Trados).

The CAT Tool Advantage

In the competitive landscape of translation, standing out requires more than just linguistic prowess. It’s about leveraging the right tools to deliver unparalleled work. A CAT tool for translators, such as Doc3™, is not just an accessory; it’s a necessity. From impeccable consistency to enhancing efficiency and ensuring top-tier quality, the benefits are manifold.

As the translation industry continues to evolve, staying ahead of the curve requires embracing innovation. CAT tools represent the perfect fusion of technology and human expertise, giving translators an opportunity to meet the demands of the modern world. Whether you’re a seasoned translator or just starting out, the right CAT tool can be your ally in achieving translation excellence.

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CAT Tools: The Savior of the Professional Translator in the Age of AI?

Sep 28, 2023

In an age where artificial intelligence is rapidly changing the translation and localization industry, many have begun to question whether CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools still have a place in the world. After all, if AI-powered machine translation engines are getting increasingly accurate every day, why go through the extra step of using a CAT tool? To answer this question, it’s important to understand what exactly CAT tools are good for – and how they differ from AI-powered machine translation engines.

A CAT tool is a software program used by professional translators that helps optimize their workflow so that they don’t have to translate entire documents from scratch. It works by breaking up text into smaller components such as phrases or words, which then can be translated more quickly and accurately.

The main benefit of using a CAT tool is that it helps translators save time by leveraging existing translations from past projects. This means the translator doesn’t have to start completely from scratch every time, but instead can use the tool to check for any similar phrases or words that have already been translated – allowing everyone to build on what’s already there. With AI-powered translation engines, this process goes one step further; the engine itself does some of the work for you, automatically translating large portions (or even entire documents) with accuracy that is becoming increasingly closer to human-level quality.

However, because of its automated nature, MT (machine translation) engines still require additional manual editing and correcting to ensure accuracy. This is why CAT tools are still widely used, despite the rapid development of machine translation; they allow translators to work more quickly and accurately by leveraging past translated material, while also giving them complete control over the quality of their translations. In a nutshell, AI-powered translation engines make the process faster while CAT tools help maintain quality.

Benefits of Cloud vs Desktop Tools for Translation Projects

CAT tools can be divided into two main categories: cloud-based CAT tools, and desktop CAT tools. Cloud-based CAT tools main benefit is accessibility. There is no need for users to install any software application. You can simply access via an internet browser. Cloud-based CAT tools provide a shared workspace where multiple translators can work on the same project simultaneously. This can enable a team of translators to collaborate on translation projects in real-time. Translators can work from different computers in any location. Projects are easily allocable with fewer hardware and operating system constraints. Some popular cloud-based CAT tools include Phrase TMS, XTM Cloud, and Doc3™.

Desktop CAT tools main benefit is individual translators can work without an internet connection. It provides a range of features providing comprehensive solutions supporting many format types. Desktop CAT tools are customizable for complex projects by leveraging additional IT resources. You are provided with more options when working with desktop CAT tools. Popular desktop translation software includes Trados Studio, Wordfast Anywhere and Idiom WorldServer.

The pricing models for these tools vary depending on the type of tool and the features included. Cloud-based solutions typically charge a monthly subscription fee based on usage or number of users, while desktop applications usually require an upfront purchase which is more expensive with optional maintenance fees for upgrades and support.

The Place of CAT Tools in the Age of AI-Powered Machine Translation Engines

So, it’s clear that CAT tools still have an important role to play in the translation industry – even in an age where AI-powered machine translation engines are rapidly advancing.By leveraging existing translations and giving translators complete control over the quality of their work, CAT tools can help streamline processes while also ensuring accuracy and consistency giving the opportunity for translators to shine.

Get Exploring, Find the Right CAT Tool For You!

At its core, CAT tools are an invaluable asset to any professional translator. They help streamline the translation process, reduce time and effort, and – most importantly – ensure accuracy and consistency in translated texts.

If you’re in the market for a CAT tool, look no further than Doc3 ™, the CAT tool for professional translators that is perfect for freelance translators and small to medium-sized LSPs. With advanced features and a sleek, modern design, Doc3™ lets you take control of your translation projects like never before.

This translation software is compatible with all standard translation file formats including SDLXLIFF, MQXLIFF, and TRANSIT TPF. Plus, it offers some convenient features such as low-cost subscription Add-ons, including Private Cloud Storage, Real-time Translation QA, and the Doc3™ AI-powered MT Engine. So why wait? If you’re looking for an efficient CAT tool that won’t break your budget, look no further than Doc3™.

Try Doc3 ™ today!

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How Does a Foreign Language Affect Your Decision-Making?

Aug 29, 2023

How Do We Make Decisions?

We are constantly making decisions in our lives from the mundane to the significant. It can be from choosing a dish from a restaurant menu to deciding where you want to live. We make decisions based on information that is largely communicated linguistically. In general people respond differently to different problems with preferences, choices, and judgments largely affected by how information is presented to us. Our brains form thoughts in two different ways as Daniel Kahneman describes in his best-selling behavioral science book Thinking, Fast and Slow. He calls them System 1 and System 2 thinking. System 1 is fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, unconscious, and intuitive. System 2 is slow, effortful, logical, calculating, conscious, controlled, and deliberate. System 1 and System 2 processes are constantly at play in our daily lives when we make decisions. To put it simply, on some occasions we are intuitive using our gut feeling and on the other hand we are careful and deliberate, double checking the facts of the situation analyzing the choices and options we have. Each of these processes depends on numerous factors, for example our mood during a certain time of day, if we have eaten, the amount of sleep we got the night before, the degree of stress we are currently enduring, the level of urgency and demand in the moment, familiarity of a situation, these things affect us and do not always favor the same responses or give the same weight to the choices we make.

Does Using a Foreign Language Impact Decision Making?

Research suggests that yes you would make different decisions comparing between your native language and a non-native language. The foreign language effect is how using a foreign language affects System 1 and 2 processes to our decisions. Various decision-making domains for foreign languages affect us. For example, using a foreign language changes our decisions when dealing with risk. Foreign-language processing reduces the impact of intuition and/or increases the impact of deliberation on people’s choices. This additional language layer establishes a different set of outcomes. How does using a foreign versus a native language affect our revealed preferences, choices, and judgments? In principle, if information is understood, the language in which it is presented should not be a major factor affecting our decisions. For example, imagine that you must decide between having surgery or instead undergo a noninvasive treatment. You are presented with the facts available and carefully evaluate the benefits and risks while considering your overall preference. In this context, your decision should be independent of whether you are interacting with a doctor in your native or foreign language. However, this is not the case. A foreign language can modify your decision-making tendencies. It can affect you from individual decision making to self-regulation. For example, foreign language processing may reduce attention to attractive stimuli because it involves an increase of memory load in the early phases of information processing.

Another example is foreign language processing affects memory retrieval due to the language-dependent nature of human memory. Foreign language processing affects both System 1 and System 2 thinking. However, using a foreign language may lean towards System 2 thinking making more delineated decisions. Making it less likely to use System 1 thinking. Does foreign language use reduce the impact of System 1 and/or increase the impact of System 2? Reading, writing, listening, and speaking are more costly and largely less fluent in a foreign language than in a native language. Although there is still debate about the effects of processing difficulty on decision making, some researchers have suggested that processing difficulty is used as a signal to engage in more System 2 thinking, which reduces the effects of System 1. Some research suggest that foreign-language processing recruits brain areas related to control processes to a greater extent than a native-language. According to this view, the foreign-language effect could be the result of a decrease in processing fluency that prompts people to slow down and think more carefully about the decision-making situation.

How Does Emotion Affect Decision Making?

Emotion is another major factor associated with the foreign language effect that can alter the interaction between System 1 and 2 processing. People often use their emotional reaction to a given problem to guide their decision being System 1 instead of engaging in more deliberative reasoning being System 2. We usually go with our feelings regarding what is good or bad rather than considering the options. Considering this foreign language usage brings out a milder emotional response compared to those processed in a native language. Foreign-language use lowers emotional reactivity, for example, reading emotionally charged passages in a foreign language prompts less activation in brain areas related to emotional processing in the amygdala. This has been shown in decision-making contexts particularly involving gains and losses. If we agree with this the foreign language effect reduces emotional reactivity. In result this could reduce reactivity in people’s decisions with more System 2 thinking. Processing difficulty and emotionality may have collateral effects on the way people relate to and construe a given situation. Particularly a foreign language use may increase psychological distance by taking a more objective perspective of a situation in a more abstract way.

Foreign-language use can induce psychological distance affecting people’s decisions in a similar way. It can create a detachment effect affecting the contributions of System 1 and 2 processing. Foreign-language effect stems from changes in the weights that System 1 and 2 processes have during decision making. Please note the foreign language effect is still debated and there are many other factors such as cultural biases, anchoring, availability, conjunction fallacy, loss aversion, framing, and sunk cost which affect our decision-making process.

How Does It Affect Companies?

Millions of employees globally use a non-native language in their profession. This could be from the immigrant laborer to the company worker. Interestingly, it has been over a decade now since Rakuten Group Inc. made English its official internal language. While the company has expanded its business it hires employees who are fluent in English and trains its non-native employees the majority who are Japanese to become fluent in English. Rakuten uses English for all documents and all meetings including those attended only by Japanese employees. Implementing English has improved communication with overseas branch offices while a sense of unity was easily created among employees including foreigners. This initiative helped Rakuten hire not only Japanese people hoping to make use of their English skills but also talented foreigners. When there are employees with different cultures, experiences, and ideas it is said to have helped increase the company’s problem-solving abilities. While employees of different nationalities can communicate in English, achieving a deep understanding between them is sometimes more difficult than between Japanese employees. For that reason, the company has been implementing training to help employees understand diversity and different cultures following the use of English as an official internal language. Other Japanese companies such as Fast Retailing Co., the operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, cosmetics maker Shiseido Co., and electronics maker Sharp Corp. are currently making English their official internal language. There isn’t a doubt internalizing English into Japanese businesses has benefited companies who have adopted the practice. The use of English has inspired employees to be less insular and has enabled corporations to compete more effectively internationally. For example, English possesses fewer power markers than Japanese. Adopting English helps to break down the hierarchical barriers that are entrenched in Japanese society and enhances efficiency. However, adjusting to a new language is cumbersome and awkward initially as everyone works to attain the required level of proficiency in English.

What Is The Future of The Foreign Language Effect?

The foreign language effect is likely affecting companies around the world with their decision making. Although, which decision-making contexts are sensitive to language proficiency? It is reasonable to predict that when language proficiency approaches native-like levels, language status should have a minimal effect. This may depend on the context of learning and frequency of usage. On the other hand, low language proficiency may pose a heavy burden on processing, reducing the availability of the resources needed to engage in System 2. To get a better picture further research should be conducted with medium-high levels of foreign-language proficiency groups to explore the role of language proficiency in the interaction between System 1 and System 2 thinking. If foreign-language use can indeed help people engage in an objective and deliberative way of thinking, then this might help promote self-control and avoidance of temptation. Although foreign-language use may elicit System 2 thinking, the cognitive load and anxiety often felt when interacting in a foreign language may end up leading to more automatic and less thoughtful decision with System 1. This means people’s choices would not always be better in a foreign-language context. There are times it is best to go with our gut, and other times it is better to wait and consider our options in a thoughtful manner. Whichever the case is understanding yourself may be the initial step to take. Exploring the roles of cognitive fluency, cognitive load, emotional reactivity, and their interactions with foreign-language processing will help advance these explanations. As employees reach native level proficiency in English will they make better decisions? We will see how this experiment will develop with these Japanese companies.

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What’s Translation? What’s Localization? What’s Important?

Jul 27, 2023

What is Translation?

Translation refers to the process of changing content from one language to another with the goal of reaching a global audience. It communicates the meaning of a source language text by means of an equivalent target language text. Translation considers the context to communicate the accurate meaning of the original message in the target language. For example, a translation should consider each language’s grammar and syntax. It changes the existing content into a different language while maintaining the tone and style that mirror the source language. Translation converts written or spoken text. Translation as a service is best used for documents of a general, legal, technical, or financial nature. For example, the translation of user manuals, technical specifications, training manuals, reference manuals, legal documents, medical device manuals, and financial reports are some to mention. These categories need a certain level of expertise, and you should choose linguists based on their specialty who are knowledgeable and competent in the subject matter. Most experienced translators consider cultural differences but generally translation focuses on language translations. The main goal is to convey the meaning of the source language into the target language accurately.

What is Localization?

Localization is the process of adapting a translation to a specific country, culture, group, or region. It is the product of translation including cultural adaptation to account for differences in distinct markets. It involves a comprehensive study of the target culture to correctly adapt the product to local needs. It’s a more specialized process of adapting messages to specific audiences. For example, Spanish is the official language of many countries in South America, yet the local dialects and versions differ from region to region. Localization delves into these differences to develop content relatable to each group. For example, localization helps communicate this relatable content to create mobile apps, websites, video games, and content specific to each region. In general, localization involves a more detailed approach to adapting a product or content for a specific market. When it comes to localization, you’re more likely to use a service which provides nuance with an adaptive flair followed by strong technical savviness. The process of adapting a product or content to a specific language and cultural context involves not just translating the text. Adaptation includes layout, graphics, and cultural references to make the product or content suitable for the target audience. Standard translation may be appropriate for some content types in certain markets but in some cases, localization is required for adapting highly emotive creative content to clearly resonate across locales. For reasons of efficiency and cost though, it's wise to consider which types of content require localization and where you can ask for translation.

To reiterate translation is the process of translating text i.e., transforming a message from the source language to the target language(s). Translation is part of localization, considering other cultural and semantic aspects to make the content become authentic and locally savvy. Localization crystalizes translation to transform entire products and content to fit country specifics and regional needs. It extends beyond simple translation. Localization extends to every aspect to fit the target market’s preferences from units of measurement, currency conversion, date formats, imagery, legal regulations, to different technological standards. Great translations often entail adaptation of the content to the target audience. At times though translation may not be fully adequate. Think of translation and localization as complementary processes that work together to help clients communicate their message. From adapting marketing strategy to local trends to translating documentation, both localization and translation are essential. Translation covers linguistic aspects while localization also includes cultural, visual, and technical solutions making content fully functional in different languages, to ensure brand experiences resonate with global audiences. Overall, if something relates to work on the text it is still largely considered as translation. If something relates to the context and cultural specifics, this is usually considered to be localization.

What’s Important?

Localization is more specialized and complex than regular translation. Although translation is important in a global marketing strategy, sometimes you need more than translated content. In a nutshell you need to localize everything for local, foreign markets. For example, a website must appeal to the different audiences with content adhering to grammar and syntax rules of each target language of that location. Content localization focuses on every detail necessary for breaking cultural barriers and improving the website’s usability in different geographical locations. To begin with though a great translation is an essential element of your localization strategy. Then it requires a team of linguists, local marketers, and consultants to work together to ensure the content is culturally adapted for the target audience. Proper localization eliminates local predispositions by considering the beliefs, religion, dialects, idioms, and other cultural practices when generating content. It gives clients a way to speak to new markets, focusing on words, colors, cultural symbols, and anything else that makes brands fit in with the new customer base. Localization is about modifying the experience to what resonates best with target markets. From product descriptions and editorial content to brand messaging and images, localization is a multifaceted process as you’ll be adapting different content elements.

What are Some Examples for Localization?

Symbolic meanings of visuals such as images, videos, colors, emojis, icons, shapes, sizes, and graphics can mean different things depending on the audience. It is essential to do thorough research and ensure what you use are in sync with your message. Certain things can be loaded with cultural meanings that don’t necessarily translate well to other cultures. Some are highly culturally significant in one country while some are completely meaningless in another. Cultural specificities dictate what translates well and what does not. Anything sensitive to politics or religion should be avoided when localizing for certain countries.

Numeric differences such as currency, units of measurement, date, time, phone numbers, and contact information. When selling products or services, it is essential to state the prices in the local currencies. Consumers don’t want to deal with converting currencies to determine the exact price of an item. Foreign currencies could turn consumers away. Some regions use imperial units as the standard for length measurement while others use the metric system. Make sure to convert measurement units into local units for easy understanding. The same goes for date formats. Certain countries use MM/DD/YYYY while other countries use DD/MM/YYYY.

Language specifics such as dialects, idioms, slang, colloquialisms, and tone. Dialects, idioms, and slang can carry various meanings and concepts they describe. They can reveal the speaker’s social background, age, and personality. Simply using dictionary equivalents can sound unnatural and fail to deliver the message as intended. Linguists need to carefully research the local equivalents of such words and expressions to make sure the correct message is communicated. A slogan is a great example of how localization can go beyond translation. A slogan that works in the western market might sound odd in the eastern market. It could create confusion, offence, or become completely meaningless wasting valuable resources. Slogans are heavily culturally influenced with wordplay, puns, or other linguistic specificities that don’t translate well. These need to be translated by experienced linguists who can provide the cultural nuance using localized equivalents.

Text length and direction are examples to be taken into consideration. In certain translations, the length from the source language to target language can become twice as long. If there is limitation of space, different wording must be used creatively to communicate the same message while not compromising the original design of website or document. This goes the same with languages which read from right to left. Localization involves technical aspects of this issue. For example, if the approach is to cram text into every space of the UI, you will end up with a design that is not elegant. Internationalizing libraries, fonts, and tools that support languages should be considered when designing the UI. Customized layouts include the placement of the menus by adopting flexibility which accommodates different spacing, text size requirements, and direction as some languages require more space to express a similar concept. Linguists usually takes this into consideration if they are informed, but they are limited to what they can do. This becomes a job of the DTP department, web designers, and software developers working in coordination to find the right balance between design and communication of the message that clients want to convey.

Cultural preferences and differences such as etiquette, humor, myths, superstition, rituals, symbols, societal codes, societal values, history, and beliefs. There are many examples which can be derived from cultural preferences and differences. Many expressions accepted in a cultural could be taboo in others. Each message that is selected should be relevant and respectful to the local cultures. A joke maybe funny in the US but go over the heads of the Japanese. A symbol may have a negative meaning creating unintentional consequences. A myth or superstition may shy away consumers making them feel uncomfortable. If you are not aware of history consumers may take offence for inaccuracies causing controversy. Testimonials and product reviews from the local market is a great way to find out if your message is adequate but it is too late when your translation becomes a gif or a meme. Linguists should be aware making the responsible choices to communicate the client’s message properly in a culturally appropriate manner.

Legal requirements such as agreements and contracts. Doing business in foreign countries requires compliance with the local regulations and requirements. Contracts and agreements must comply with the set rules to avoid litigation leading to costly lawyer fees and even banning of your products and services. Requirements differ from country to country which you need to consider during localization. For example, different laws and regulations exist in different countries regarding terms and conditions, privacy policies, and cookies. Linguists need to be able to adapt while localizing. A common matter is compliance with GDPR in Europe. In the EU the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires companies to get explicit consent from users before collecting, using, or sharing their personal data. This means that if you’re planning to expand your business to the EU, you need to make sure your product or service complies with GDPR. For example, Yahoo! JAPAN had cancelled their services in the EU due to not being able to comply with GDPR. Companies who have fail to deliver adequate localization strategies suffer the consequences.

Why You Need Both Translation and Localization

Translation is the pillar of localization; both are crucial in fostering quality customer experiences in different regions. Brands adapt their content to meet the different language, cultural and functional expectations of the various foreign markets. Customized client experience is the primary difference between translation and localization. Your global success relies on your ability to authentically reach a wider audience of multilingual consumers. If your company is expanding into new markets, it’s mission-critical to have your content available for potential new customers’ preferred languages. Translation will undoubtedly generate interest among consumers but to create genuine connections that lead to sales, you’ll need localization. If you successfully localize your content, it’s the best way to connect with international audiences and meet their expectations. Consumer expectations vary by industry and region, but modifying the content to conform to the target market’s habits and preference with help you compete in today’s international economy in an effective way.

Language and regionalism allow content to speak closely to the target audience. For example, suppose certain phrases or concepts are specific to the country or region in which you’re looking to do business. In that case, it’s important to show customers you understand who they are and why they should engage in your business. Ease of navigation means users can immediately find the content in their language and begin interacting seamlessly. Cultural elements enhance the user experience and create a feeling of closeness with the target audience. Transactional elements include functional content that customers rely on. To figure out the best fit, clients must consider their audience and the content's nature and intent. Various parameters such as volume, update cadence, lifespan, and budget should be taken into consideration when planning your localization project.

At idioma® we advise clients on what requires translation and localization, while also employing a wide range of services and technologies to ensure that content is fully operational, understandable, comforting, and relatable in multiple languages.

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What Makes a Great Translation Project Manager?

Jun 22, 2023

A Translation Project Manager is one of the most important people to work at a translation service provider. The success of your translation project lies in the hands of your PM is not an overstatement. You may think you can handle a multilingual project yourself without an experienced project manager, but the stress and uncertainty from multitasking alone, can overwhelm anyone. Translation PMs perform dozens of tasks at a time. For example, they deal with multiple languages, plan workloads, manage translators, negotiate terms, check quality, overseeing entire projects from beginning to end. An experienced PM has the relevant skills, qualities, and abilities to handle a whole range of issues in multilingual translation projects being responsible for overall schedule and budget performance, selection, and management of the translation team, ensuring the quality of translation work, and serving as the primary point of contact for the client throughout the project. Their responsibilities include verification of the source document at the beginning of the project, delivering status reports to the client and timely delivery of the translated document. Some PMs are even responsible for negotiating rates from your translation team and for managing invoices. Translation PMs are essential for success to keep projects on track. Without someone in charge, it would be close to impossible to coordinate your translation process and meet required deadlines and goals. The quality of your translation depends entirely on how skilled PMs are and how they communicate. It takes a certain level of leadership and motivation to be a great PM. A PM manages every phase of the project and remains calm under stress and pressure. It is at times hard to recognize the wonderful work a PM does when credit is given to organizations and translators. We are lucky to have them. Whether you want to recruit a PM or become one to handle translation projects, you need to make sure they have the full set of soft, technical and communication skills to achieve greatness.

What Does It Take to Be Great?

First and foremost, planning is essential as it impacts the outcome of any project directly. PMs make sure every milestone is reached in time and without going over budget. For this to happen, organization and excellent time management skills are a necessity. A PM who maintains order keeps the entire team on track, following protocols and respecting discussed standards. In the long run, an organized PM can help clients streamline operations and speed up the translation process to keep costs at minimum. PMs produce a detailed, provisional plan for every stage of a project for review and approval. Everything is put in place for project management including selected translators and the technologies needed throughout the delivery of the project. There are many moving parts in a translation project. Keeping track of every detail is essential. If instructions aren’t clear or some are omitted, linguists will work in chaos and deliver inaccurate translations. A great PM is well organized.

PMs assembles your translation teams no matter how many languages are involved. Do you need native language experts in 10 or 20 different languages in a specific subject matter? Trying to manage this on your own is complex and can become your worst nightmare. You want to be sure that your translation is being handled by the best native language experts who are established professionals in the field. A PM is responsible for assembling the translation team with skills that are appropriate to the subject matter and style of the source documents. A great PM assembles the optimal translator team.

What It Takes to Be Greater?

Although translation PMs do not directly take charge of cost management, they do need to understand the fundamentals. They should develop an understanding of setting rates, producing, and tracking invoices, outlining a project’s timeframe, and other small financial tasks. Cost management skills become an acquired skill in the long run. Having a sales background helps with experience in budgeting and tracking expenses. With increasingly tight margins in many industries, cost management is one of the most critical components of project management. Cost management has two components: estimating what different project components will cost and then tracking the actual cost of each element. Both functions require attention to detail and high levels of accuracy. Part of building an accurate estimate is estimating variable costs such as labor. Unintended surprises in variable costs can cause a project to go over budget quickly. It is important to accurately estimate the labor resources required and build in contingency. The PM analyzes the translation project and chooses the right team for every client. Here, negotiation skills can do more for a translation project than fixing budgets and setting deadlines. They permit PMs to identify what clients really want and how they plan to achieve their objectives. They then communicate their knowledge to the translation team to make sure everyone reaches their goals. Negotiation, relationship, and team-building skills are critical. Negotiation is an art and implies attention to detail and a focus on finding common ground between the parties involved in the translation project.

Communication Is Key

It comes as no surprise that a great PM must be able to communicate well. PMs need to keep everyone up to date on changes, delegate action items and manage expectations. It’s important that they are responsive and easy to reach via email or phone. Email is especially important as it can also serve as documentation for changed orders or other important decisions. Complex projects often require many meetings. An effective PM knows how to make meetings a productive use of everyone’s time with agendas and action items. When presenting a plan or proposal, a PM anticipates questions and comes armed with solutions. Another component of meeting management is accountability. Project managers hold team members accountable to deadlines and make sure that deliverables are on track. If a deadline can’t be met, they help find alternative solutions and work through issues. Effective communication and meeting management are essential to project management.

Translation PMs deal with several tasks at a time, often communicate with people of different backgrounds, and oversee various jobs. All this considered means that solid communication skills are a must. Strong and effective communication skills are essential for a PM to guide the team through the highs and lows of a project and ensure the team’s needs can be always met. They should also be confident in sharing information with the team internally, as well as liaising with external clients. Lack of communication can result in poor leadership, ineffective collaboration, and unclear objectives. It also creates confusion, which can harm staff morale, and the fluidity of productivity. Project management is a series of intricate processes that involve balancing multiple elements and bringing people together with different cultural backgrounds. It also includes special attention to how information moves across departments to reach every team member at the right time. Translation PMs should know the ups and downs of teamwork and how to fix any problems when managing multilingual experts. They’re the interface between translators and their clients. PMs need to make sure everyone understands their role inside the team. Communication skills enable a PM to add value and ensure productive workflows to meet translation quality standards. They build trust and sustain a strong relationship between translation service providers and their clients.

Without a project manager who can communicate, the team can’t manage the client’s expectations or maintain a cohesive dialogue. This may result in putting the project on hold due to miscommunication and, overall, generate longer turnarounds and translation inaccuracies. A PM should rely on customer service skills to ensure healthy interactions between translators and clients. You want to work with someone who listens and reads between the lines to make the right decisions at every step of the project. A translation project doesn’t depend entirely on the linguists; clients also have a fundamental role in the process. When they don’t review the source texts or fail to give feedback on time, delays can impact both the schedule and budget. In this context, a PM needs to handle all parties and ensure everyone’s doing their job. PMs should also be creative, think independently, and develop patience and empathy to prevent conflict within the team. These abilities will enable managers to handle multiple requests and translation projects at the same time without missing deadlines. When challenges arise, part of the solution may require negotiation or team-building efforts. Perhaps an estimate that was provided at the beginning of the project is now higher, cutting in as cost. Or possibly a team was supposed to deliver by a certain date but is late. Whatever the challenge may be, the PM should be able to solve the issue with poise and ease, negotiating a solution and building strong relationships both within the organization, vendors, and clients.

Communication is key to the success of any translation project. Both you and the translation team need to know important bits of information throughout the course of a project. An effective PM proactively communicates with you at each milestone to resolve linguistic issues and technical problems. For example, a translator may have questions on how to handle measurements or terminology. While the PM may make recommendations, they must communicate them, and ultimately be the final decision-making authority. A PM communicates proactively throughout your translation project to make sure all bases are covered. To keep you from wondering what has happened with your translation project once you hired your translation team, a great PM will provide customized reports and status updates throughout the project.

Communication gets complicated given the number of people involved with any translation project. A translation PM becomes the single, dedicated point of contact for interactions between client, translation service provider, and translation teams who you should be able to rely on. A standard expectation is that PMs are available 24/7 to both the client and the translation team in case any critical issues come up. Having a dedicated PM gives you a person to address any questions, concerns or changes that may come up. Considering this every PM should have a backup who is available to step in when the primary PM is not available. A skilled PM team is involved throughout the project and takes steps to ensure that deadlines are met without fail. They take responsibility for the timely delivery of your final translation.

What Kind of Tools Do Project Managers Use?

Translation Project Managers use many kinds of tools and technologies needed for translation projects. The translation project manager regularly works with:

CAT tools (Computer-Aided Translation)

CMS (Content Management Systems)

TM (Translation Memories)

TMS (Translation Management Systems)

MT (Machine Translation) engines

QA tools (Quality Assurance)

A PM will utilize tools and technologies to optimize workflow and develop strategies to maximize quality and keep cost at a minimum. For example, multilingual glossaries and Translation Memory are used specifically to translation projects for optimal cost, time savings, and quality. TMS are used to document each task within the workflow while saving individual project histories for evaluation to make improvements for future projects. The translation process, file handling, communication, and QA processes are handled within the TMS. While ensuring the success of a translation project, linguists and translation project managers will use these variety of tools to maintain its consistency throughout each translation project.

A PM should know what challenges come from using various tools and how to overcome any technical issues that could slow things down. Technical knowledge is a must when looking to hire someone to manage your translation projects. A PM will always take the time to understand your technical requirements, writing style and communication strategy. The PM then becomes your representative to the translation team, ensuring that all your requirements are adhered throughout the project. A PM knows and understands your specific requirements and preferences. Being able to effectively manage risks is what makes a top translation PM stand out. Picking up on an issue quickly means it can be resolved without any delay or significant loss as a delay can impact on budget, schedule, and deadline. Of the many skills that round off a top-level PM, flexibility, time management, problem-solving skills, and risk management are at the top. A PM who can utilize every tool to their disposal manages translation and documentation throughout the process is successful. At the beginning of your project, a PM will customize the process workflow based on your specific needs. They will also prepare and monitor quality assurance checklists to make sure any potential challenges will be remembered and addressed.

At the end of the project, a translation PM discusses with you all aspects of the project and asks for your feedback. The PM also evaluates the performance and quality of the deliverables of each individual translator and verifier. PMs perform a post-project assessment, where the PM reviews the QA report, summarize lessons learned, and makes recommendations for future process improvements. The PMs technological tools are like a chef’s utensils and appliances to help prepare the delicious gourmet dish we call translation.

Flexibility, Problem Solving, and Open Mindedness

Things don’t go exactly as planned. We become stressed in situations which can affect productivity and the workplace environment. PMs should be adaptable by nature and accept the changes with a positive attitude. When last-minute changes are needed, or revisions are necessary it calls for a cooperative, understanding leader. A flexible PM can shape their approach and their team according to the situation.

The most important ability of a PM is to accept changes with an open mind. It’s common for a client to have last-minute modifications that could result in rewriting parts of a translation and handling complaints from linguists. The PM remains flexible in handling issues caused by updated source files. If the PM is not flexible and open-minded things may get difficult for both the client and the translators involved.

Building relationships is essential in the translation industry. It’s easy to overcome language and cultural barriers when people know they can rely on each other. A client can collaborate for years with the same translation service provider, and this relationship ensures a unique brand voice across multiple languages. Linguists and clients know what to expect every time they start a new project and work better, in a more relaxed environment. Overall, people are more productive, complete projects on time, and are happy.

Finally, the most important skill for project management is proactive problem solving. A project manager who is initiating communication, meetings and project direction will have more positive results than a project manager who is simply responding to the needs of the project. Anticipating potential issues and scenarios means you have time to think through alternative plans and prepare to pivot, if needed. A proactive approach puts the PM in control instead of allowing the circumstances to dictate the situation. Creative problem-solving finds solutions instead of excuses. Being a flexible open minded problem solver is the path to PM greatness.

Translation Project Managers at idioma®

Translation Project Managers at idioma® assess each client's needs, objectives, provide extensive consulting, and analysis to understand timelines, requirements, and budget to customize the best solution for their translation project. From large scale to small custom projects, each translation project is assigned to an individual PM to ensure that every detail is attended to with the greatest care.

Our PMs are real people that are knowledgeable and solution-oriented, who oversee the entire translation process anticipating your needs, maintain an open dialogue, leverage the best technology, assure maximum quality, and meet promised deadlines by carefully managing your project until its completion. Our PMs are open to communicate about any questions or concerns you may have.

We look forward to working with new clients and determined to help our existing ones in anyway possible.

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How To Search for a Translation Service Provider?

May 19, 2023

In this day in age there are so many translation agencies to choose from. It is hard to sift through the long lists of language service providers to see who best fits your enterprise. Let’s look and try to figure out the optimal way to search for a translation service provider.

Consult Your Network, Use Your Resources, Then Start Your Quest.

First and foremost, the most straightforward approach would be to ask around in your network. There could be colleague or even clients who know people they work with. If it works for people in your network, there is a high percentage they are good for you. Prepare some good follow up questions. Is the agency reliable and stable? How satisfied are they with the translation services they have been provided? Is the quality good? You will be able to get a quick assessment from somebody you trust. If you would like to go further, you can go to the company website to research and even arrange to brief meeting with their staff. How they interact with you is another metric you can use to determine the mood and atmosphere of the organization. How they respond to your e-mail or call? Do they take their time with you and give you the attention you deserve as a client? How long did it take for them to respond? Did they seem enthusiastic? Did they ask about your needs? Is this agency willing to meet regularly to discuss your partnership? These questions give you a sense of how they deal with their clients. What would it be like working with this agency? You will be able to get a broad picture of the agency’s level of service.

What Languages Do You Need? What Do They Offer?

The next thing to find out is if they offer the language combinations that fits your budget. There is no reason to research any further if these don’t match your objectives. Most agencies have a price list with a list of languages they handle. Requesting this helps to know what to expect on how much you pay for a service. Please note many agencies need to review the assignment files in question to make a proper estimate. Due to the difficulty of the text and how technical it is can vary the prices of the assignment. Providing the files beforehand gives the agency time to provide an accurate estimate, delivery term, file preparation, advice, and possible discounts using TM software to accommodate repetitions and previously translated segments. Usually, agencies estimate using price per word. Check if translation includes proofreading by a second translator or not. If you’re offered an estimate that seems too good to be true, that agency might be skipping double checks to cut corners. You should clarify and know what you are getting for the price you are paying. The quality of the translation that is delivered is determined by this very detail. Transparency is key to knowing what you get for what you pay for.

What Processes and Procedures Are Utilized for Translation?

This brings us to the next point on how your translation is made. If you have a professional translation agency, they will implement efficient processes and procedures to handle your translation assignment. To ensure you get quality translation the agency should be regularly assessing their translator’s quality of work and proficiency. Criteria should be established for the linguist specialists’ level of education, experience, and technical skills. You should ask if the agency has some sort of vetting system in place. Another question you should ask is whether your agency uses a Translation Management System. TMS enables translation agencies to keep track of each assignment in all the difference languages combinations assigned. Making sure the text received from their client is translated properly. These processes help expedite the translation assignments, ensuring fast completion. Majority of TMS provide clients the opportunity to monitor the status of their assignments. They can view every ongoing and completed task that is during translation process and procedure. Then you would want to ask if the agency has credentials for the process and procedures mentioned. The most common are ISO 17100 and ISO 9001 to ensure measures are taken to provide quality translation services. Ask your agency if they have these qualifications.

What Technologies Are Utilized?

The next thing to ask is what type of technologies do they use to process the translation. What types of CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools and QA (Quality Assurance) tools do they use? If they use a CAT tool then your translation quality improves ensuring terminology are unified while saving money on previously translated text and repetitions. QA tools support detection and mitigates mistakes making your translation assignment error free. CAT and QA tools are beneficial for the quality and price of your final product. Ask your agency what tools they use and how they utilize them for your translation projects? If your translation agency utilizes these technologies with TMS integrations mentioned above, it is a good indication that they are keeping up with the latest industry developments and technologies. You want a translation agency that can provide solutions that result in these intelligent processes to maximize translation quality and cost efficiency.

How Long Have You Been Around?

The last thing to look for in a translation provider is to check how long they have been around. It would also be good to know your translation providers financial situation. You don’t want to find out your reliable partner is suddenly discontinuing its services. You want to avoid having to switch between agencies which wastes time and resources. This can be avoided by making the optimal choice in the very beginning. If possible, the best thing is to find a translation provider that can provide the language services you and your colleagues need. For example, you can send all your assignments to the same translation provider. It is also about finding a partner you can build a friendly professional relationship with. The translation process becomes much easier with familiarity and task optimization. The quality and delivery of your final translation is at its best when clients are at close courters with their translation provider. Building this important relationship starts with seamless communication. This is what we at idioma® specialize in. For over 40 years we have provided the quality translation services to our clients being ISO 17100 and ISO 9001 certified, following these processes and procedures with our custom made TMS(TC6), CAT(Doc3) and QA tool(CrossCheck®), we have innovated using the latest technologies providing the support and value our clients deserve. If you are looking for a translation provider or someone dissatisfied with their current one, please take this opportunity to contact us. It is always a pleasure getting to know new clients.

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idioma® at GALA 2023 Dublin

Apr 12, 2023

The language of business – The business of language

GALA 2023 Dublin was on March 12th ~ 15th and it was our first time participating in person. I was fortunate to be representing idioma® from our Tokyo office. The flight from Tokyo to Dublin was about 18 hours being the longest duration I had ever experienced. I arrived late at night pulling my two large suitcases waiting for a taxi in the cold windy rainy weather. It then started snowing accentuating this cold damp climate to the next morning.

The day before the conference I participated in the Wicklow Tour organized by GALA. Other participants from various companies around the world filled the buses and together we were off to see this historical site of Ireland. It was a great opportunity to break the ice with other GALA members. After an hour ride we arrived at Glendalough Gleann da Loch where ruins of a monastery remained.

The stone structures were beautiful dating back hundreds to thousands of years.

The surrounding nature was breathtaking with the cool refreshing air and the warm sun at our backs.

The forest especially the moss that covered the trees and stones reminded me of Japan.

The religious connection between Ireland and Japan was evident and I felt that through the massively tall trees and fuzzy furry moss encapsulating the scenery.

We had a traditional Irish lunch of corn beef and cabbage with apple pie for dessert.

The next stop was to the highest waterfall in Ireland.

Our guide had told us the waterfall usually has no water. On its best day you would only see a trickle coming down. Ironically, many visitors see nothing being an anticlimactic experience. It was our lucky day! Because of the melted snow from the other night the waterfall was at maximum flow. As if a dam had been destroyed the waterfall plunged forth with a godly inertia, an energy to topple any massive structure in its path. It was close to impossible to try and approach this magnanimous waterfall. You would be sprayed and splashed all over with your body drenched as if you had jumped in a pool.

The trip ended with us visiting Powerscourt a beautiful historical estate. It is surrounded by lakes and gardens you could walk around enjoying the architecture and flowers.

The welcome reception kicked off soon after our bus had arrived at the hotel. Hundreds of people gathered together speaking all at once. I was nervous and slightly intimidated because of not knowing anybody. While I struggled to find my place I was fortunate to meet many people who were genuinely kind and friendly.

The next morning was the Conference Opening & Keynote.

Learn to Decide and Conquer: Decision Making and Removing Biases was the theme of the presentation. David Siegel was the Keynote speaker who discussed his experiences as a CEO and decision making. There were many nuggets of wisdom to take away from his speech.

Next was off to the GALA Soapbox where presenters shared their questions, data, and experiences to tickle our curiosity and minds to spark discussion in the room. I was intrigued and spoke briefly of my experience how QA can be a subjective experience. I also spoke briefly on Brand Value of language in the case of Italian how other cultures would use famous brands to add value to their product lineup.

For example, Parmigiano Reggiano is protected by Italian copyright but how companies such as Kraft use it to promote their version of powdered parmesan cheese. Being from Japan I also mentioned how Kobe beef is used in the same fashion by companies and restaurants worldwide who want to promote their products as the same premium quality beef. The Soapbox session was thought provoking and made me want to learn more about the world around us.

The GALA dinner that night had activity stations around the vicinity to experience the many facets of Irish culture.

It was a night of food, drink, culture, and dance which continued late into the night. Shut your eyes and see.

The second day was another day of learning and reflection. Engaging and networking with many other industry peers. Getting to know one another from different cultural backgrounds stimulates the mind.

The final day consisted of more presentations with thought provoking subjects. Reflections on Identity, Position, and Differentiation in a Crowded Market. SEO localization and We Cannot Have a Race to the Bottom: A Conversation about the Cost/Payment Structure, Swipe Right or Left? Impacts of the Current Economy on M&A.

The Conference Closing & Keynote was presented by Marco Trombetti from Translated. He explained how humans are key to the advancement of AI and Machine translation. No matter how advanced technology will become the human connections are what we live for.

F. Scott Fitzgerald got down on one knee in a fawning motion and loudly exclaimed, “May I kiss the hand that wrote Ulysses?” Joyce replied, “You may, but you should know that hand has done a lot more than write my novel.” Embarrassingly I thought James Joyce was the author of Great Gatsby. Another opportunity to learn something new.

Céad Míle Fáilte

One Hundred Thousand Welcomes

Thank you GALA and its members for providing a wonderful opportunity to connect and learn.

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Why Should You Use Native Translators?

Feb 20, 2023

What is a Native Translator?

Native translators are linguists who learned their native language as a child with in-depth knowledge of their own culture to adapt content from another language fluently into their native language. The term “native” is mostly used to refer to someone that acquired their language as a child, as opposed to having learned it later in life. As they’ve had ample opportunity for exposure to their native language from an early age, they’ve likely achieved full command of the language. Even if they learned another language and have excellent command of it, they’re still not considered a native because it is their own mother tongue. For example, have you ever taken a foreign language class in school? Even if you have an aptitude for languages, learning another language is quite challenging. It takes constant and consistent work. In contrast learning your native language happens naturally from birth, at a time when your brain is primed for language acquisition. In general, people have a deeper and more intuitive understanding of the language they grew up speaking compared to languages they learned later in life. As a native translator if your native language is Japanese, then you would translate into Japanese from another language.

Surprisingly, a native translator does not need to live in the country of their native language while it is preferred. Thanks to the internet daily exposure is possible through media, entertainment, and social networks where they can immerse in their native language. But most important is being a professional. Professional translators are not just native speakers, they are professional linguists. They stay up to date with their native language incorporating any linguistic changes even though they reside elsewhere geographically. The professional translator is more attuned to linguistic nuances because of their work ethic. In today’s global economy, it is not as important for the native translator to reside in a country where the language is spoken. The fact is to be a native language professional.

Why Professional Native Translators?

Professional native translators have an extensive vocabulary, attuned to linguistic trends, and aware of its subtleties being knowledgeable of the ever-developing language. They will avoid using outdated idioms, obsolete words, or locally unrelatable expressions because they use the target language daily being immersed in the culture. This makes them fully aware of the beliefs and values being able to add nuances with proper word choices in such a way that the target translation is fully tailored for the audience which is perfectly faithful to the original language. Proper sentence flow comes more naturally which is what you’ll want your audience to experience being fully aware of the country’s customs, language sensitivities, knowledge of dialects, clichés, cultural references while enhancing understanding. A professional native translator’s unique knowledge allows them to adapt to the local culture more creatively and efficiently while preventing cultural misunderstandings that can seriously affect the image of your brand or company. Many bad translations have existed in the past that have embarrassed, confused, offended, which alienated audiences leaving a negative impression lasting for years. If you hire a professional native translator, you’ll not only increase the effectiveness of your international marketing campaigns, but you’ll also avoid catastrophic mistakes. Professional native translators are less likely to make grammar mistakes or overly complicate their grammar use in their native language. If there isn’t a particular word or phrase that doesn’t translate well, they’ll know the right variant or alternative to use. They will make the right choices depending on the environment and audience. As a result, you will have a translation that communicates brand identity in the right tone with the most relevant language equivalents to capture the audience’s attention properly.

The Professional Native Translator Specialist

A professional native translator is sometimes enough but for best practices clients should demand a professional native translator specialist. A professional native translator specialist is a native linguist of the target language who is professionally trained in the subject matter. A professional native translator specialist’s level of expertise guarantees accurate translations while being mindful with all rules and regulations. They ensure the quality and accuracy of a translation is understood and well-received by the target audience while following protocol. A native translation with specialized knowledge is especially important and helps ensure clarity. For example, in technical translations, the level of accuracy is critical to safely operate products or devices. A professional native translator specialist should be a priority when it concerns safety to prevent product misuse and malpractice. Precautions must be taken to avoid mistranslation errors that could lead to litigation in highly regulated sectors such as legal, finance, and medical industries. For example, a medical service could face legal disputes due to incorrectly translated medical device documentation. Falsely translated instructions can lead to irreversible medical errors, potentially placing lives at risk. A professional native translator specialist should be mandatory when handling translations in specialized sectors.

Why Hire Professional Native Translator Specialists with idioma®?

idioma® has a worldwide network of 2,000+ professional native translator specialists in 70+ languages. To ensure optimal quality we incorporate QA into the translation process utilizing CrossCheck® our formal error checker for translated text. idioma® is ISO 17100:2015 certified who only employs professional native translator specialists. ISO 17100:2015 provides requirements for the core processes, resources, and other aspects necessary for the delivery of a quality translation service that meets applicable specifications. Application of ISO 17100:2015 also provides how a translation service provider (TSP) can demonstrate conformity of specified translation services to ISO 17100:2015 and the capability of its processes and resources to deliver a translation service that will meet the client's and other applicable specifications. Applicable specifications can include those of the client, of the TSP itself, and of any relevant industry codes, best-practice guides, or legislation.

Building Trust

At idioma® we dedicate ourselves in establishing and maintaining relationships with our clients. We want to grow with our clients and invest time in building a trustful relationship to reach mutual goals. We believe in sincerity and being open to suggestions. We aspire to be the reliable and trustworthy translation service provider our clients deserve.

A professional native translator specialist has the subject matter expertise to understand the technical details of your document and convey information precisely in their native language. However, finding a trusted translation partner is the first step.

Do you have a trusted translation partner?

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Use In-house Translators or Outsource Your Translation Projects?

Jan 20, 2023

When expanding internationally, businesses of all sizes must rely on foreign language translators to ensure their products, services, and message is communicated clearly, concisely, professionally, and meaningfully. Effective communication is an important factor determining success in a translation project. Demand for multilingual language services increases every year and the challenge is to provide quality translation efficiently and quickly while maintaining information security. How a business approaches their translation projects can affect the quality, reliability, efficiency, security, and time to market of their translated information. There is no one size fits all solution to translation projects.

Your company wants to grow internationally or is growing an international presence and you would like to provide translation for your products and services. Where should you start? It boils down to two choices. Hire in-house translators or outsource your translation project. Which option best fits your company? The basics to a localization strategy are to increase efficiency, reduce cost, sustain quality, and speedy time to market. For the cost of translation, you must consider the labor, time, management, and quality. Let us see what it takes to make the optimal decision.

How Much Does It Cost?

Translation Costs

What are the costs when crafting a translation? First is having a professional linguist translate the text in question. Second is assuring the translation quality is adequate by having a second professional linguist check the quality. But first and foremost is finding those right professional linguists to handle your translation project. Naturally, if you spend a significant amount of time trying to find translators for your project, you are incapable of performing your core duties. There is a huge opportunity cost with finding the right translator. This becomes more of a problem when volumes of content fluctuate constantly and substantially with unpredictable swells. Another common problem is availability. There is a possibility the individual is not even available to complete your translation project. Even if you able to assign to the right person they may rush your project because their cup is full. Being overworked leads to careless mistakes which makes quality suffer increasing cost to correct those mistakes. In a perfect world we can find the perfect candidate with the perfect price. In reality, the search takes some time which increases costs and can lead to stressful situations considering deadlines.

Workflow Management Costs

Handling translation projects are easier said than done when you mention assigning translation projects to multiple translators in multiple languages. There are nightmare cases where promises were not met with deadlines well overdue with unacceptable translations which can’t be delivered to clients. Projects vary in complexity which requires project management, engineering, linguistic support, budget management, project timelines, translation data, and many other issues that come up which must be handled during the localization process. To manage large projects and multiple projects at the same time specialized teams of translators are necessary to complete within the required time frame. Ideally project management should have the help of technology with the proper expertise to optimize the translation process for each project’s specific needs. In a nutshell workflow management of translation projects are not as easy as it seems.

Quality Control Costs

Your company knows your content better than anyone else. But it is tough to ensure quality when hiring translators to work on your translation projects. Sometimes it is difficult to have translators understand and adjust to different types of content. Certain translators may excel at creating marketing content but instead have trouble with a web interface or technical documentation. What level of command do they have in the source and target language? How many years have they been a translator? What kind of linguistic background do they have? Who will review their work? Typically, additional support is necessary for quality assurance (QA). To manage the QA process effectively technology is leveraged to establish a seamless work environment for the linguists. A hybrid system is recommended utilizing software to catch mistakes with an additional layer of QA operators to support the linguist’s verification process. To build an effective QA team is an iterative process which takes time to implement properly.

Setting Up Your In-House Translation Department

You are considering establishing an in-house translation department. Where should you start? Your choice is mainly determined by the size of your company, number of languages required and its stage of growth. While business environment is important what the business can afford becomes priority. To build an in-house team of translators, it’s important to think about the costs. To hire professional translators and install translation technology requires a long-term investment not to mention the learning curve for employees. Consider the volumes of content that need to be translated in multiple languages, project management, quality control and while adapting to a completely new workflow. It can be slow in the beginning trying to manage your new localization team. Also, having in-house professional translators becomes expensive in terms of finding qualified applicants, conducting sufficient training, effective oversight, and supplying them with the necessary resources.

The advantages of having an in-house translation team are complete management of your workflow, sharing internal processes, knowledge of company culture and brand voice. You’ll have full control over the translation management process. However, as projects become larger further investments must be made for hiring, technology, and workflow management becoming increasingly complex. Not to mention projects which may require a particular set of skills such as multilingual copywriting, transcreation, technical knowledge which requires new translators for every language you want to add.

Furthermore, when there isn’t enough work for your in-house translator, you may want to share duties across different departments for work unrelated to translation. This switching between assignments, obligations, and responsibility causes stress and fatigue for the unprepared linguist. The translator becomes an employee pulled in different directions receiving assignments instead of translation projects they should be focused on. Translators with shared responsibilities are rarely efficient. They are likely to develop the skills that lead translation to be completed quickly with quality suffering to compensate for their alternative roles. This is a nature course amongst small and midsize companies that may not have consistent translation projects.

In the end though there is a possibility you find a balance between cost and convenience with your in-house localization team. The problem becomes continuously investing in staff and technology to make sure you’re achieving the quality, accuracy, and reliability in your translation projects. With hard work and perseverance your investment could pay off and you could have an in-house localization team to handle your translation projects.

Why Outsource Your Translation Projects?

You are considering outsourcing your translation projects. Where should you start? To outsource your translation to a translation provider it can be managed by your departments where employees are underutilized who become the liaison for your translation projects. Then through them you can simply provide the necessary information to a professional translation provider, and they can help you meet your requirements. Project management, technology, quality control, and workflow management will be handled with care if you find the right translation provider to do the job. An outsource translation provider is likely to have access to technologies and translators who are trained to take advantage of all resources available for speedy deliveries, accuracy, and high-quality translation which fits your expectations. Translation Management Systems (TMS), specialized dictionaries, and reference guides are integrated with the translation process giving you the opportunity to maximize the value for your purchase. Over time, the translation provider will become increasingly knowledgeable about your business, its operation, products, culture, brand, and employees. As the translation provider engages with different departments, they gain a better understanding about the complexities of your business. The culmination of these experiences will enable their translators to provide their service in a more resourceful, efficient, and effective way.

As mentioned before recruiting, training, setting up, monitoring, and growing an effective and efficient translation department takes considerable investment. By outsourcing your translation projects, the translation provider can focus on what matters most. Also, by outsourcing translation projects, your employees are free to perform their regular duties that they have been academically and professionally educated and trained to perform. They will function more efficiently, because they can focus on their primary duties with an uncluttered mind. Freeing these employees to perform their primary duties will allow your entire organization to run more efficiently. While an in-house translator may have acquired specialized knowledge and vocabulary, this same level of knowledge can be handed over to the translation provider in the form of glossaries. Therefore, it is possible to achieve the same level of experience with less cost by outsourcing your translation projects.

Regarding scalability it is difficult as the business grows when translation is managed in-house. Working with an in-house team means the pool of translators available to you is incredibly limited, so if your company decides to expand, it’ll be hard to acquire additional translation resources. You’ll also need to reinvest in new technological tools to help your growing demand in your localization process. By outsourcing scaling can be done freely where structure is a non-issue to recruit and administer a network of translators with different levels and expertise, availability, and translation technology access. If you plan to add new languages to your product or service, it can be especially complicated to assess the quality of the translations without a professional team. By outsourcing your translation projects to a trusted partner is the ability to scale your team up or down without any substantial risk. All in all, outsourcing translation to a translation provider can offer substantial benefits that is difficult to be achieved with an in-house team. By now, you can probably see why outsourcing your translation projects is the smarter way to go. Yes, you could handle the entire localization process yourself—but why bother? Choosing to handle the process in-house is costly, cumbersome, and complex. By choosing to outsource, a trusted partner can work with you to find the optimal solution and grow alongside your company, freeing you to concentrate on your core business. Working with an experienced partner can make all the difference in helping you achieve the maximum ROI on your international efforts.

Outsource your translation projects to idioma®

idioma ® has been a translation provider for 40+ years and has the experience to help you achieve your international interests. We provide our ISO certified translations with professional translators utilizing the latest technologies. We believe communication is key to cultivate long term relationships with our clients. It is not just a matter of outsourcing but being reliable and building trust. Although there is a bias on our part that we recommend outsourcing translation projects because as a translation provider that is our main objective. But weighing the advantages and disadvantages it is safe to say objectively outsourcing works better overall for clients in the short and long term.

As Charlie Munger and Warren Buffet would suggest it is best to stick to your circle of competence.

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idioma® Tokyo Office

Nov 23, 2022

Geographic History

Our Tokyo office is currently in Kanda(神田) Nishiki-cho(錦町). It is close to the Nihon-bashi River near Jimbocho. During the Edo period, many samurai’s residences were in the area, and the Ishiki(一色) a Hatamoto(旗本)high-ranking samurai lived there.

Ishiki Family Emblem

The Ishiki family had two residences in the neighborhood and the area later became known as “Nishiki”(二色). As you would count One (Ichi(一)), Two (Ni(二)), Three (San(三)) in Japanese, “Nishiki” represented the Ishiki family residences. Today the name is Nishiki(錦) which was derived from Nishiki(二色)having the same pronunciation with the meaning being different.

Yoshimune Tokugawa (8th Shogun of Tokugawa Shogunate)

Nishiki was famous for the Goji-in temple which faced the outer moat of the Edo Castle. In 1717, the temple was destroyed by fire without a single structure left. Yoshimune Tokugawa (great-grandson of Ieyasu Tokugawa) did not allow reconstruction of the temple and the site became Goji-in-gahara (a fire extinguishing ground).

Choensai Eishin “Falconer”

This vast vacant lot was kept as a fire preventative ground to prevent future fires from spreading to the Edo Castle. It also became a famous falconry ground for the shogun, then later became a park open to the public.

First University in Japan

The birthplace of the University of Tokyo

At the beginning of the Meiji Restoration Kanda Nishiki changed from open land to the center of education. The Goji-in-gahara (a fire extinguishing ground) became the birthplace of the first Japanese universities. The University of Tokyo, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Gakushuin University, and Hitotsubashi University were established.

Local used bookstore “Wonder” in Jinbocho

Kanda Nishki became the academic epicenter and as a result, many bookstores opened in the vicinity. This was the birth of the Jimbocho bookstore district, which is one of the biggest book districts in the world. There are up to 200 bookstores within a 15-minute walk radius. Books of any subject can be found not only in Japanese but in many languages such as English, French, German, Spanish, and Russian.

The Birthplace of Japanese Baseball

The birthplace of Japanese baseball

While Kanda Nishiki flourished as the epicenter of education during the Meiji Restoration a new sport was being introduced to the Japanese people. Horace Wilson an American veteran of the U.S. Civil War is given credit for bringing baseball to Japan. Wilson was born in Gorham, Maine. A native of Maine, he volunteered to serve in the Union army during the Civil War and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant with Company I of the 12th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment against the Confederates in Louisiana.

Horace Wilson (1834-1927)

After the Civil War, he was hired by the Japanese government as a foreign adviser to assist in the modernization of the Japanese education system during the Meiji Restoration. He became an English professor at Kaisei Gakko(later to become the University of Tokyo). Wilson decided his students needed more physical exercise and introduced them to baseball. Not knowing he would become the father of Japanese baseball.

Kaisei Gakko (1873)

Wilson returned to the United States in 1877 and lived in San Francisco. He died in 1927 at age 84. Wilson was posthumously inducted in the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame by the special committee in 2003. The full story of Horace’s family and their adventure to Japan is here.

40+ Years of Translation Service

idioma® Tokyo office is only a few minutes away from Jinbocho station.

If you are in the neighborhood, please stop by for a coffee break!

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What is Translation Memory Alignment (TMA)?

Oct 31, 2022

Translation Memory Alignment (TMA) is a method by matching same text (sentences, phrases, words) using alignment tools. It creates a database of text segments in two different languages. TMA allows for clients to provide two files (source and target languages) representing the same text and align the sentences matching them to generate a translation memory (TM). These aligned bilingual memories allow clients to reuse identical and similar text segments that have previously been translated, to aid human translators in translation projects. A TM is invaluable when translating and localizing great volumes of content. A term or sentence once translated doesn’t need to be translated again. It is automatically substituted in a new document. The translation process using TM preserves the linguistic consistency of corporate documents across platforms and versions. This proves to be invaluable in translating content that includes many repetitions like technical specifications, financial statements, and legal terminology. With TM as a base, translation of documents goes much faster. Instead of starting from scratch with translation, TMA allows you to build a repository of translation segments that are saved and can be utilized immediately.

Here are some reasons why clients order TMA services:

-Translations were done manually not using a TM system.

-Translations were done by a translator or an LSP who did not deliver a TM.

-Translations were done by a translator or an LSP but the quality was bad.

-Translations were done but final changes were made during the DTP process. There was no TM for the finalized version.

Most CAT tools offer their own alignment feature, but there are other specialized tools in the market. The TMA process is completed using an alignment tool.

What is the TMA process?

The TMA process begins with two files – one with the source text, the other with the corresponding target text in a different language. To create a leverageable TM, you first need to pool as many of your original files and translated equivalents as possible. Then, these 5 steps are applied to create your TM resource:

1. Segment Extraction

All text segments (basically sentences) are extracted from the source and target files to create a bilingual database with original text and the corresponding translated text.

2. Segment Alignment

All segments are aligned using software solutions to pair segments in the source and target files based on their placement, content, etc. The process is highly automated and enables very fast processing, much faster than humans and with high precision.

3. Human Editing

A native linguist reviews the results of the paired segments to ensure they really match. Confirmation or corrections are made at this step.

4. TM Creation

Lastly, redundant segments that have no matches in neither source or target are deleted, and then the bilingual text segments are exported to .tmx format or any other format you may require (e.g. .xliff, .csv, etc.).

When your translated material is not available in TM format, typically TMA is done to create files like .xliff and .tmx - both of which are .xml files amongst the most popular in the industry.

With TMA it is possible to create a reliable TM. As the linguist works on a new translation using this TM, it is standard to apply penalties to any TM matches. A certain percentage is deducted automatically, for example if the penalty is set at 1%, any 100% matches become 99% matches. This information is provided as a reference to the linguist as "aligned". These 99% matches are rechecked to confirm the content and if necessary corrected during the translation process to ensure quality results.

How can you improve TMA results?

If you have the proper preparations, you will be able to improve your alignment accuracy following these points below:

-Make sure source and target files have the same file format.

For example, a PDF file and a Word file have different information imbedded within the files. This difference makes it difficult to match segments automatically. Source and target file formats should match to ensure the alignment process has the best accuracy.

-Make sure the source and target files are the same version.

A source file is often updated including extra information or has deleted text because it was redundant, after the previous translation was done. The content of the source and target file should match for maximum efficiency. If both files do not match completely, the alignment process becomes more complex. Also, layout differences contribute to poor alignment results.

-Make sure your TMA project is performed by a native linguist.

To increase accuracy, the linguist can check each segment to approve the automatic matches or fix incorrect matches creating a reliable TM. Including a native linguist in TMA helps to ensure the alignment is 100% correct. This careful step is especially helpful when dealing with documents that misaligned during the TMA process.

-Make sure to use a TMA tool that generates a quality report.

A TMA tool with internal algorithms can indicate how accurate an alignment was. It can measure automatically how many of the segments have matched accurately. This quality report helps identify broken segments, orphan segments, and unnecessary segments for the linguist to fix or delete as necessary.

Not all TMA are created equal.

Why use TMA?

TMA helps build a repository of bilingual segments which are then saved as a Translation Memory (TM). TM can provide consistency in translation, lower cost, increase productivity, and preserve the previous translation of your documents. This TM can be saved and utilized whenever necessary for your translation projects. There are many benefits to have a TM for your translation projects. idioma® offers TMA in 70+ languages. We can provide TMA and translation services as a package with our professional native linguists. Starting from scratch is OK but if you have previously translated documents, you can leverage them to create amazing results for your future translation projects.

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