I have a fascination for mechanical gadgetry. Maybe it's due to the fact that they are inherently imperfect, and that we've been trying to make things work correctly and more precisely for centuries. I collect automatic, mechanical watches. I still listen to vinyl at home, from The Beatles to Marvin Gaye to Mutantes. One of my hobbies is to use old film in my Hasselblad, Mamiya and even plastic cameras. Film has grain, it ages and needs a lot of work to make it record images properly. And although I like electric cars, I marvel how timed explosions turn reciprocating motion into circular motion with manual gear-shifting and how this propels an internal combustion engine vehicle forward.
Meet Olga Montes, a translator and reviewer for Bureau Works. As most translators do, she works remotely for translation companies. Quebec, Canada is where she does all of her translation magic, and, yes, your guess is right if you assumed that French is her primary target language. Olga, who speaks, French, German, English and Spanish, was born and raised in Spain and didn’t become a language-lover until the time to transition from grade school to university drew closer and closer. Leading up to this transition, her passion revolved primarily around acting and the theater in general. The initial encounter with translation happened in grade school French and English foreign-language classes after she decided to supplement her passion for acting and theater with something more stable and promising as a prospective career.
Language service providers (LSPs) are notorious for being untrustworthy. Every couple of years, a localization manager will outsource localization to another service, hoping this one will be better than the last. Maybe the last LSP charged your company thousands in hidden platform fees. Maybe they presented translations that were on point in the beginning but slowly spiraled into unacceptable territory. Heaven knows you’ve been burned before.
If your history with LSPs reads like a bad breakup, it’s time to take appropriate steps to make sure your next partnership is a good one. You need a long-term relationship that’s based on trust, accountability, and transparency.
It's about time for the second update! I still haven't figure out a good title for these update entries, so any love for "News From the Robots"? These are some relevant facts (for me, at least) from the last couple of weeks:
Sometimes, the biggest problem with localization is not a technical glitch but an outlook. Far too often, localization is an afterthought, taken up only at the end of product development. And then localization testing comes as an after-afterthought. This attitude can have serious consequences that are difficult to reverse.
There are two big risks of running localization testing only at the last moment:
- Brand damage
It’s true that the sooner you can get your product to market, the sooner you’re opening the doors wide to let consumers in. But whether these are English-speaking markets or those you can reach only through translation, quality matters. While speed and low upfront costs might be tempting in the rush to localize, you may not realize how the integrity of your product and your brand are at stake. Choose product translation services carefully with your company’s long-term success in mind.
More than just specs. More than just nuts and bolts. Think about how long it took to develop your brand and perfect your product in the first place—including the language that makes it accessible to users.
Bureau Works’ robust localization management platform and the automated client-translator matchup feature push the expectations of what can and should be automated to new heights. Bureau Works is setting the example of just how well automation technology can do tasks that are typically relegated to and underexploited by human intervention.
Localization initiatives can only be as successful as the overall international strategy the powers the forward. Let me unpack that.
Marketing materials. eLearning modules. Technical support videos. Product tutorials. When your company goes global, these types of content will require multimedia localization to succeed in your target markets. When it comes to customer conversion and employee education, video is king. Unfortunately, multimedia content is also incredibly complicated to localize.
From translated scripts to voiceover management to screen capture, the multimedia localization process involves more steps than any other translation-related activity.
Freelance translators deal with a lot. Some project managers assign jobs based on favoritism and familiarity. Sometimes, it’s the case that you get work only if you’re the one responding to their emails the fastest.
You end up wasting time on menial tasks that divert you from the linguistic work you take pride in. Worst of all, you are constantly squeezed into lowering your rates (again, again, and again).
How do you mitigate these challenges?