In Part I of this series we looked at the influence of time zones on a project’s duration and process cycle efficiency. In Part II we presented the first principle of employing time zones as a tool: Follow the Sun (or to appropriate a 19th century American expression “Go West, Young Man”).
In this, the third and final installment of the series, I’m going to ditch the theory and share some practical techniques – based on actual experience – for effectively managing time zones on real projects. Behold principles 2-5!
Principle #2: Beware of Human Bottlenecks
One common-enough practice in the single-time-zone world, that doesn’t translate well at all into the multiple-time-zone world, is that of having some person – such as a project coordinator – manually move files from step to step throughout the process. Continue reading »
So, picking up with the comment on my last post, “Pete” makes a good point:
“I think people don’t pay just for value that easily anymore. They are thinking how much effort it actually needs versus what they get with the money.”
I agree with him 100%. Indeed, I think this statement is at the root of the challenge the localization industry faces. People have only ever paid for the actual perceived value of what they buy. It is the same if I pay $7000 for a Hermes handbag or $.22 for a German technical term. This is a non-emotional reality we have to accept, and it has significant implications for our industry.
If we take “perceived value” as what buyers are willing to pay for Continue reading »
The trend toward globalization has naturally resulted in an increased use of geographically de-centralized teams, which means work for certain parts of a process might be executed anywhere in the world.
My experience at Lionbridge is that this relatively new way of working has been greatly beneficial, and I’m guessing this may be similar to your experience. Widening the playing field has created more options for designing the best operational solution, and by “thinking outside the border,” we have access to a wider and more diverse pool of talent and resources. Continue reading »
If Controlled Language (CL) had a Facebook page, I suspect all localization managers would click “like,” while all writers would check “dislike” (if there was a dislike button). Why? Misconceptions about this highly effective class of tools abound, particularly among writers.
I’m not a technical writer, but I have managed groups of them before. Their reaction to CL ranges from offense to annoyance. Why? The tools aren’t hard to learn, and they can be seen as productivity tools because many suggest content chunks or terminology that plug in automatically; less work and less thinking for the writer.
But, objections persist… Continue reading »
I have a memory of my first translation class at University. It is now long enough ago that I don’t know whether it really happened or whether I’m recalling a bad dream.
In this memory, the Professor’s first words to the class are, “You’ll now wish you’d taken Mathematics rather than French, when I tell you that there’s no such thing as a correct translation. Your fellow students in the Math department might obtain high percentage scores in their work -100% or possibly even more if they find a neat solution to a problem. But as soon as you translate even the first word, you’ve lost something of the original. And what you have done is already wrong. As a result, you’re unlikely ever to get a mark over 60% in my class.” Continue reading »
Are repair and service technicians a primary audience for your technical publications? If so, how is that working for your organization? For example, are important updates readily available in a timely manner, say within a few hours of release? Or are you struggling to find a solid process to disseminate information rapidly to geographically disparate locations?
Perhaps it’s time to take a look at Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals, or IETMs Continue reading »
In today’s post (a continuation from last Thursday), we look at several more things you can do to help your LSP address your localization needs most effectively.
1. Provide actual source files
When giving sample files to your LSP, it is very important to provide source files for content rather than final published files, which are hard to work with. PDFs, final builds for software and eLearning, non-editable movie formats, and flat graphics files are all great as a reference point, but the LSP would only be able to provide budgetary estimates based on these. By providing the actual source files, you allow the LSP to do a much more in-depth analysis of the content and provide more accurate pricing. Continue reading »
Jerry Maguire, played by Tom Cruise in the Hollywood classic, spoke for all localization sales teams when he pleaded “Help me help you!” As a company seeking a quality language partner, you are looking for not just someone who will supply translations and handle your files-you are looking to partner with an expert who will advise you on localization best practices and work with your teams to craft solutions that are most efficient and cost effective, while providing highest quality. However, your language service provider (LSP) needs your help to understand your requirements before they help you address your localization needs. There are several things you can do to help your LSP address your localization needs most effectively. Continue reading »
Many companies looking to expand globally solicit information from Language Service Providers (LSPs) via a formal Request for Information (RFI). A Request for Proposal (RFP) can be a more detailed and deeper information request than an RFI, and may include the scoping of actual files that require localization. A company may also choose to send out an RFQ, which solicits quotations, but offers little or no strategy or process information. Regardless, there are things you, the client, should do to get the best information possible out of potential LSPs.
1. Provide the LSPs with as much information as you have and know. This includes language sets, types of deliverables (web, documents, software/UI, multimedia), file types, schedule requirements, the need to conduct in-country reviews, and tools used (including content management tools). The LSP will (should) use this information to shape answers that are compelling and interesting to you. Continue reading »
Everyone in the localization industry is talking about “crowdsourcing” and “community translation.” You may also hear about collaborative or social translation. I’ve also seen “Wikifization”! (Try saying that one out loud.) All are ways of getting translation completed via a large body of translators, whether they are professional linguists, amateurs, volunteers, or paid resources.
Many of you have heard stories about how organizations such as Facebook and Wikipedia got their content translated by users, for free, into a number of languages in a very short span of time (days!!). Continue reading »