Translation project management is the art of keeping lots of different pieces in motion at the same time. Stakeholders, third-party vendors, project deadlines and budgets all need to be kept in check while you ensure that your translations are delivered to the highest possible quality.
Can technology make translation project management easier? Yes. Absolutely.
Gone are the days when you were expected to keep track of all your translations in a spreadsheet. Technology has evolved to the point that you can use it to make your job easier, ensuring that you can produce translations on time and of the highest quality when you need them.
Let's look at how technology can help you improve your translation project management processes.
Translation project management is complex.
You need to keep lots of different plates spinning throughout the lifecycle of a project. You are constantly maintaining open communication with numerous stakeholders, managing different versions of translations from linguists and validators while also keeping on top of budgets and tracking deadlines.
It can be difficult to stay on top of where everyone is throughout the project workflow, and you need to keep switching in and out of your inbox and spreadsheets to make sure everything stays on track.
A translation management system (TMS) will bring all of your stakeholders, file versions, notes and planning documents into one centralised location. With this software tool, you can stop hopping back and forth between applications and inboxes to minimise the risk of a loss of data and quality in your translations. Keep it simple by managing the entire project in one place.
If one of your translation project stakeholders is a web manager or a product manager there is a very good chance that you will also be familiar with the tools that they use.
A web manger uses a Content Management System to keep the website updated. When creating multilingual versions of a site they will need to import translations quickly and easily. This is also the case with product and asset management software.
Importing translations can be a slow process when done manually and require a lot of oversight to ensure no errors are made in the process.
Luckily thanks to APIs and digital connectors within most modern content and assets management tools, this process can become fully automatic. Simply connect your application to a tech-enabled translation management tool and your translations can be imported directly from the translator to the page.
Translating a document accurately into another language so that it retains its message but still resonates with other cultures is a skilled and time-consuming process. A linguistic expert needs to take time to make sure they choose the right words and phrases to match the cultural expectations of the target language. The job cannot be rushed if you want the quality of your translations to remain high. However, this can prove challenging with tight deadlines and a need to beat your competitors into multilingual markets.
Machine translation has come a long way over the last few decades and is now a key tool for linguists to use in their translation process. Machine translation can translate large sections of text in moments and even use Translation Memories to accurately recall previously translated sections and automatically insert them into the content.
With post-editing by a human linguist to add their expertise and ensure that the translation is of the highest quality, machine translation can greatly speed up the entire workflow.
When you work with lots of different stakeholders, including many different translators, it can be difficult to maintain a high level of quality. Words and phrases can be translated in lots of different ways and the final decision can be subjective. One vendor may choose a different term to your preference, and it can take a lot of time and effort to validate that everything is matching your corporate voice.
A controlled Termbase will help with this. A Termbase is a set of the terms that you want for your translations. The Termbase will highlight which translation choices do not match your preferred terms added to the Termbase and make suggestions for the translator to use instead. This helps you maintain quality control over your multilingual content.
When contacting and working with vendors outside of your computer network you open yourself up to the risk of data loss. If you are translating documents that are highly sensitive, they could present a risk to your company when sent outside of your network. The same may be true for other sensitive data such as translation memories and your termbase. If your vendor's, IT equipment is compromised you could be at considerable risk as well as breaching various data protection protocols.
Within a closed system protected by the highest level of information security protocols your vendors and your data are safely hidden away from any would-be data thieves.
In a secure translation management system that allows collaboration behind a security network you can be sure that you will be able to complete your project securely and limit the risk of any data loss.
Technology is quickly changing the way we live and work. We can leverage these technologies to aid our working life and free us up to focus on things that really matter. Whether you want to work more efficiently, quickly, cost effectively or securely on your translation projects we have a solution to help you.
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