A common assumption about internationalization is that every user fits into a single locale like “English, United States” or “French, France.” It’s a hangover from the PC days when just getting the computer to display the right squiggly bits was a big deal. One byte equaled one character, no exceptions, and you could only load one language’s alphabet at a time. This was fine because it was better than nothing, and because users spent most of their time with documents they or their coworkers produced themselves. Today users deal with data from everywhere, in multiple languages and locales, all the time. The locale I prefer is only loosely correlated with the locales I expect applications to process.
Is there a demand for your products or services outside of your domestic market? If so, how are you marketing to this group of potential customers? How do you overcome language and cultural barriers? Web Localization, which is the process of translating your web site into your customers' languages and adapting to local markets, is an essential step toward establishing a market presence.
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The nature of content has been undergoing a profound shift in the past several years, beginning with single-sourcing efforts and continues as the need for portable content increases. The portability of content is not a manufactured need, but an extension of the trend to create, manage and deliver content in more efficient ways. In turn, this shift affects content development and delivery, particularly localization, which feels the impact of source-language changes exponentially.
When a company decides to globalize its site, the Web team often learns the taboo colors and appropriate dress codes of a given culture, translates the text, and launches. But cultural differences run deeper than visual appearance or language; they reflect strong values. Rarely do globalized sites incorporate the nuances of a culture's social hierarchy, individualism, gender roles, time-orientation, or truth-seeking attributes.
Founded in 1976, the ATC is, perhaps, one of oldest professional groups representing the interests of translation companies in the world. It is dedicated not only to representing the interests of translation companies, but also to serving the needs of translation purchasers.
Although research has been conducted by several institutes on how to process written text for minority and vernacular languages, no academic research project thus far seems to have produced a usable, functional, authoring or translation tool for end-user native speakers of these types of languages. On the other hand, a set of software programs has been in the making for twenty years outside of academia.
On December 9, 1997, Digital Equipment Corporation and SYSTRAN A.G. launched AltaVista Translation Service, the first European language translation service for Web content. For the first time, non-English speaking users can translate information on the predominantly English speaking Web in real time.
To the uninitiated, joining an association with dozens, even hundreds, of your competitors, could seem daft, to say the least. As for openly sharing information with them, well, you’d have to be nuts, wouldn’t you?
The process of localizing C/C++ Windows applications has evolved considerably over its relatively short life span. Due to the demands of fierce global markets, the localization industry has progressed from rather painful methods of localizing bulky and inconvenient source files to using highly sophisticated tools that allow for a quicker and considerably more efficient process of directly localizing binary files. Taking advantage of these localization tools and switching to a binary strategy has proven to provide many benefits that streamline and expedite the process of localization. The classic approach to localization involved translating hundreds of resource (RC) files and resizing dialogs using tools such as Microsoft Developer Studio. As newer builds of the same products started being released more frequently and translators' work became more repetitive, localizers started to take advantage of various translation database tools to help save translation time. While database tools with RC filters streamlined part of the translation process and allowed translators to begin their efforts sooner, it was still fairly tedious, time consuming, and error prone to resize graphical user interface elements separately for each build. Localizers therefore started to combine aspects of translation database technology and visual editing into tools focused exclusively on software localization. Currently, the localization industry is taking its next evolutionary step; leaving behind a tiresome and time consuming RC-based process for the quicker and cleaner process of directly localizing precompiled binary modules. Today's advanced localization tools promise to provide integrated localization solutions that allow translators and engineers to work directly with binaries saving enormous amounts of time and effort.
If your Web site is not designed for or understood by a global audience, you are excluding an estimated 200 million people, according to John Yunker in Beyond Borders: Web Globalization Strategies.
A company decides to release its software and documentation simultaneously in markets with different languages. For the documentation team, the traditional model of 'write and translate' does not work any longer. A bilingual writing team collaborates to produce a handbook in two languages at the same time.
A two-person bilingual writing team enabled a software application development group to produce on-line documentation and a user guide simultaneously in two languages. Team writing in an international environment requires detailed planning, constant monitoring, and continuous communication in order to succeed.
A good understanding of the subject matter or the access to a specialist is an important element in technical writing and translation. It is a quality issue that I don’t believe too many people in the business would dispute. In Brazil, however, the creation and translation of technical material has increasingly become a problem exactly because this factor is being overlooked.
This panel explores what corporate leaders in the Technical Communications field consider the hottest topics in the industry today.
As globalization of business continues at a rapid pace, employees are increasingly being asked to absorb and learn from materials that are not written in their first language. These materials range from key corporate policies and procedures that all employees must follow to specific training on products, health, safety or compliance. Very often this is training content created in English at the American parent company and distributed to regional and global offices, where in many cases employees are expected to have a â€œworking knowledgeâ€Ω of English as a second or third language. But there are serious problems with this approach that stem directly from poor reading comprehension and also from learnersâ€™ misperceptions of the level of language facility they have actually achieved.
The first time I heard about maturity models was when Lionbridge acquired an organization in India that was operating under CMM Level 5 certification. CMM, I learned, stands for Capability Maturity Model and is a framework that describes how organizations define and refine their key process areas. The framework, developed by Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute, defines five different levels of process maturity, of which Level 5 (“optimizing") is the highest achievable level.
Localization is an interdisciplinary endeavor and so has been difficult for postsecondary institutions to come to terms with. Recently, however, several institutions have begun offering coursework and programs, although their implementation and delivery are as diverse as the field itself.
We've all heard a lot about Computer Aided Translation (CAT) tools over the last few years. We've also heard some of the war stories as well. But let's take a look from a different angle ' from the perspective of today's middle-market translation and localization service companies (TCs for short). We CAT tool providers spend a lot of time talking about the benefits to the translator, perhaps at the risk of missing some of those that are particularly important to a TC. Re-using previously translated materials (or leveraging as we like to call it) can be a very important factor in reducing the cost and increasing the consistency of translation. But it turns out that there are a number of other features in today's tools that are particularly helpful for TCs. I'm going to describe them in terms of two of the tools we are involved with, although others have some of these features as well.
As companies strive to improve themselves by rethinking their global content strategies and redesigning these for the new world of continuous and multilingual deployment, they must unify their authoring and translation processes--not an easy task. Fenstermacher explains why authors and translators should work to close the content gap that often exists.
This study evaluated the usability of three websites for Spanish-English Dual Language K-8 schools. Twelve participants (6 parents, 6 teachers) reviewed and performed tasks on the three public school websites. Site usability was determined through both objective and subjective measures, including task completion time, first-click, total number of pages visited, task success, perceived task difficulty, user satisfaction, and overall ranked preference. Results indicated that one site was preferred more than the others by both user groups and resulted in more efficient search behavior. Clear navigation, link terminology, and proper use of both languages were found to be critical factors contributing to the sites’ usability.
This paper presents research in Pan-European Public Services (PEPS) and Pan-European E-Government Services (PEGS). We examine different types of semantic interoperability issues that may arise when actors, information and services from different Member States (MS) need to cooperate and/or interoperate during the public service provision process. The semantic conflict types that arise in these cases are identified and classified according to a typology that is based on the combination of a known classification for semantic conflicts and domain specific concepts from the Governance Enterprise Architecture object model. This conceptual modelling describes and organizes the problem space, documents the requirements and can thus provide the basis for engineering solutions to resolve the identified conflicts.