A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Active Open Source Translation Tool Projects

I don’t intend to give a complete project list. I just chose some projects that might be interesting enough to people from localization industry based on two criteria: 1. The features are useful for language service providers (LSP). 2. The development status is Stable or Mature. In other words, it is ready for real production use from the view of development cycle.

Dickson, Vic. Better Localization (2005). Articles>Software>Translation>Open Source


American Translators Association

Welcome to the American Translators Association. This site will help you learn more about the American Translators Association and the translation and interpretation professions. Please give us your feedback. Thanks for visiting ATA's Website.

ATA. Organizations>Language>Translation>Localization


Assessing the Overall Quality of a Document Based on Editorial Comments   (members only)

Technical writers are often responsible for creating and maintaining multiple documents. In organizations where a formal editorial review is integral to the documentation process, technical writers who own multiple documents might need to address a huge volume of editorial input, often received late in the documentation cycle. What do all of those editorial comments, when taken as a whole, really mean in terms of the overall quality of the document? Lots of red ink might mean either that the document is in bad shape or that the editor loves to explain every comment, however minor, in great detail. On the other hand, a short comment buried on page 63 might turn out to be the single most important editorial value-add for the entire document!

Dhanagopal, Kumar. Intercom (2010). Articles>Editing>Technical Translation>Documentation


Authoring and Documentation Workflow Tools for Haitian Creole: A Minority Language

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.

Mason, Marilyn. TC-FORUM (2000). Articles>Language>Localization>Machine Translation


Automated Translation for Technical Documentation: Can it Deliver What it Promises?  (link broken)

In the past few years, there has been a growing interest in using automated translation in a business environment. In the past, automated translation was mostly implemented in government and defense areas, but nowadays there’s also a great interest from corporations that see the value automated translation can contribute to their organization. Let’s take a look at the different uses of automated translation, how it adds value to technical publications and how your teams can prepare content for automated translation.

Hurst, Sophie. TC World (2009). Articles>Documentation>Technical Translation>Machine Translation


Babel Not: Machine Translation for the Technical Communicator  (link broken)

Machine Translation, though useful in certain cases, is still not, and may never be the one-size-fits-all solution for translation needs. Any translation used for commercial or professional purposes must be at the very least checked and double-checked by human translators.

WTB Language Group (2005). Articles>Language>Localization>Machine Translation


Babelfish: Real-Time Machine Translation on the Internet

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.

Ament, Kurt. TC-FORUM (1998). Articles>Language>Localization>Machine Translation


Benchmarking Translation Agencies   (PDF)

Whether you are new at the translation business or a veteran of many globalization projects, a benchmarking study of your translation supplier(s) is a worthwhile endeavor. In benchmarking, you compare suppliers against one another based on specific criteria. The suppliers’ performance in the study can reassure you that your current relationship is a good one, or can lead to you a more compatible agency.

Finan, Jill. STC International TC SIG (2001). Articles>Language>Outsourcing>Translation


Building Efficient Multilingual Workflows   (PDF)   (members only)

O’Keefe gives detailed information on two technology standards that may be used in multilingual workflows: XSL and XLIFF.

O'Keefe, Sarah S. Intercom (2009). Articles>Content Management>Workflow>Translation


Calculating the Financial Impact of DITA for Translation

Success in a global marketplace requires translating content into multiple languages. Moving to a topic-based XML architecture, such as the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA), can help you control the translation process and save money.

Swope, Amber. Writing Assistance (2007). Articles>Content Management>Translation>DITA


Calculating the Financial Impact of DITA for Translation

Success in a global marketplace requires translating content into multiple languages. Moving to a topic-based XML architecture, such as the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA), can help you control the translation process and save money.

Swope, Amber. TechCom Manager (2008). Articles>Management>Translation>DITA


Caterpillar Technical English and Automatic Machine Translation   (PDF)   (members only)

Caterpillar is developing an Automatic Machine Translation (AMT) system for translating product support literature into eleven languages. Source language authors write in Caterpillar Technical English (CTE) which uses a constrained English language domain and sophisticated spelling, lexical, grammar and disambiguation software. CTE tools are accessed through pull down menus in the author's text editor. Integrating the source language author into the translations process using CTE has allowed the development of the AMT system which completely eliminates the need for human post-editing of the translated service literature.

Gallup, Sharlene. STC Proceedings (1993). Articles>Language>Translation>Machine Translation


The Center for the Art of Translation

The Center for the Art of Translation is committed to giving voice to great world writing by publishing fresh English translations alongside the original language text. We seek to promote world literature--with its power to move, inform, and inspire--and provide a window into the cultures that produce it.

CAT. Organizations>Language>Translation


Centralized Translation Processes: Overcoming Global Regulatory and Multilingual Content Challenges

Accurate translations of clinical trial documents play an important role in meeting global product demands. Mistakes from poorly done translations can result in product delays, cost overruns, malpractice or product liability lawsuits, and confused subjects / patients.

Kassatkina, Inna. SlideShare (2007). Presentations>Content Management>Translation>Biomedical


Choosing a Translation Agency   (PDF)

There is no single factor that will determine your best choice of a translation agency. It should not be based on price alone, because as the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for”. Nor should it be based solely on the company’s size, number of employees, or any similar strictly objective measurement factor. Although such information may be important, and should be considered, it is just part of the total picture you need to adequately evaluate an agency.

Nagy, Charlene. STC International TC SIG (2001). Articles>Language>Outsourcing>Translation


Client Language Review—The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly   (PDF)

Your company's overseas personnel are important to its success. It's natural to want their input on translated documents. Including them in a review of the translation before it's published gives them a chance to contribute their knowledge. Understanding the purpose and structure of the review can help you avoid trouble down the road. Here are some details to consider in advance.

Smith, Jackie. STC International TC SIG (2001). Articles>Language>Translation


Closing the Content Gap: Converging Authoring and Translation   (PDF)

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.

Fenstermacher, Hans E. Intercom (2007). Articles>Content Management>Translation>Localization


Compendium of Translation Software

A directory of commercial machine translation systems and computer-aided translation support tools.

John Hutchins (2007). Resources>Software>Localization>Machine Translation


Content Management Systems and Translation Memory: Creating Management Buy-In

Your department is faced with tighter deadlines, more products in the pipeline, staff reductions, an expanded list of standard languages for a typical release as well as pressure from management to reduce your translation budget. Most of you have probably faced one or all of these challenges.

Argondizzo, Peter. Rockley Bulletin (2005). Articles>Content Management>Translation


Control Costs of Translation with Advance Plan

The liability of a translated manual is several times greater than the English version. This increased liability can be tied directly to the accuracy of the translation.

McBride, Bill. Boston Broadside (1993). Articles>Language>Translation>Project Management


Creating Documents in Another Language   (PDF)

Del Papa discusses some of the challenges faced by technical communicators who are non-native speakers of English and who produce English-language documentation.

Del Papa, Lisa A. Intercom (2002). Articles>Writing>Translation>Localization


Creating Effective Translations

Use active voice, because it is easier to understand. If the material is being translated into a language which frequently uses passive voice, such as German, the translator will make the accommodation for that language.

Wright, Ami. Boston Broadside (1997). Articles>Language>Translation>Localization


Development, Use and Profitability of Translation Memory Systems

Product life spans and documentation production times are becoming increasingly short and the expenditures for documentation are rising simultaneously with increasing product complexity. Hence, translation projects are becoming more costly as the parallel increasing documentation complexity.

Knauf, Ansgar. TC-FORUM (1999). Articles>Documentation>Localization>Machine Translation


Dispelling the Myths of Machine Translation

It is not surprising that myths, half-truths, and misunderstandings abound regarding machine translation: It seems as if the experience most players in the translation field have with this technology does not go beyond toying a little with one of the free online translation tools. Almost every week, I come across an article informing its readers either that machine translation is and always will be a complete waste of time or that machine translation, while being a waste of time today, might actually be useful some time in the distant future. In the hope of setting the record straight, here is a closer look at some of the most common myths about machine translation.

Muegge, Uwe. TC World (2008). Articles>Language>Localization>Machine Translation


Do the Math! The Changing Calculus of Translation

How do you calculate likely future needs for translation/localization?

Sargent, Benjamin B. GALAxy Newsletter (2007). Articles>Language>Localization>Translation



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