The internet has globalized our economy and accelerated business growth, so naturally, the process of translation has evolved over the years. Despite this, many companies still operate on old, outdated models that lack efficiency. The benefits of translation services can only be truly realized with a process that’s just as modern as current industry operating standards.
Technology’s role in translation is often underrepresented and poorly utilized, limiting its effectiveness and thereby creating inefficiencies. However, a technology-based integrated approach to translation can open you up to new markets while minimizing the burden on your staff. It accomplishes this through the strategic alignment of the need for content in multiple languages and your business goals.
Updating Traditional Translation to Meet Modern Needs
Business leaders often think about localization in a very fragmented way. They may have separate business management systems, translation management systems (TMS), linguistics vendors, in-market reviewers, QA vendors, and a whole host of third parties working on their content—all with the expectation that a project manager will control all these moving components in a way that allows for the rapid publishing of new content.
Thirty years ago, this complex method made sense. We didn’t have the technology needed for all these disparate groups to easily collaborate in one centralized space. We had to outsource content to other teams and work with multiple vendors to create translations that worked in a new market. The internet wasn’t available to help us access linguists or work together in real-time.
Today, these obstacles no longer exist. With a localization management platform, we can move through processes and connect faster. For example, let’s look at how the task of hiring a linguist has been simplified. In the 80s, you needed a project manager who knew linguists and where to hire them. Now, you can simply use a platform to locate a translator in your target language and review their success metrics to find the perfect fit for your project. By using data to drive the linguist selection process, leaders can increase their chance of finding the right translator and accelerate the hiring process.
Another improvement comes in the form of collaboration. With a cloud-based platform, translation memories and corporate lexicons are always up to date. Content strings are assigned and worked on in real-time, allowing managers to quickly check in and see the status of their project. They can communicate with translators directly without having to wait days, or even weeks, to correct problems and limit small issues before they transform into larger ones. Technology essentially creates proximity for global workers, regardless of their location.
With these newly created efficiencies, the project manager can go from spreading their attention thinly to solely focusing on being a success manager. They can monitor the project without having to handle mundane tasks that result in delays, like following up with vendors or vetting linguistic talent. They can concentrate on big picture results rather than smaller tasks.
Of course, the only way to fully realize the benefits of translation services is to use a modern end-to-end solution. This entails submitting projects, uploading files, reviewing results, and running reports all in a single place. Unfortunately, most managers don’t know such solutions exist. They invest in a simple TMS and then work with an outside agency—often one that’s unfamiliar with that TMS—and as a result, wind up on the receiving end of a lot of administrative tasks and headaches. The best possible solution combines a translation agency’s services with technology so you can enjoy all the benefits of a comprehensive system.
The 5 Benefits of Translation Services Under the Modern Model
The benefits of translation services using a modern localization platform aren’t just limited to content; they touch every part of the business, from revenue to operations. Here are five key benefits of using an end-to-end translation solution:
#1: Time savings
The simple task of recruiting and vetting linguists is one that could take weeks. With a modern platform, much of that work is done for you. The linguists are already on contract with the company, and that company uses their previous jobs to gauge their success and get an understanding of their expertise. When a client submits a job, the system uses that data to find and match the perfect linguist for the task. This shortens a step from taking days to happening in moments.
With proper automation, even entering jobs is simplified. A change in the source material triggers tasks in all other languages. Those tasks are automatically assigned and published, ensuring the content on the website is always up to date.
#2: Process transparency
One of the biggest obstacles project managers had to hurdle in the past was hunting down all the various assignments and consolidating them into one space. With an end-to-end platform, that project manager can easily see exactly where everything is within the pipeline. They’re also proactively informed on issues so they can quickly resolve them.
#3: Improved return on investment (ROI)
The ability to track the value of projects is only possible with an end-to-end platform. The project manager can view tasks and break their cost down to a granular level. They can see, for example, how much they invested in product manual updates in Spanish and compare that to its reception. They can then take those results and compare them across other languages. This allows the manager to make data-driven decisions on where to best allocate translation funds and eliminate unnecessary expenditures.
#4: Enhanced quality
Translation isn’t just about ensuring accurate words—it’s also about keeping brand consistency. The ability to use up-to-date glossaries and translation memories helps ensure uniformity across content regardless of language. These programs are ever-evolving and learn based on the changes submitted through translation, meaning quality improves with every project.
Security holes were a significant problem of translation systems of the past. There were so many files constantly being sent to multiple recipients, printed off, and stored in separate places, that it was easy to lose track of them. By keeping all content inside a single system, the risk of a breach is significantly minimized. Well-made platforms take this a step further by limiting who can download content to only key individuals, which prevents sensitive information from ever leaving the system.
Modern updates have expanded the benefits of translation services in many critical ways. By offering a much more collaborative platform, tasks are able to be seamlessly integrated, which improves cost-effectiveness and saves time. Through the implementation of a platform that provides an end-to-end solution, managers take the first step towards modernizing their translation program.