Continuous Translation Made Easy

Continuous Translation Made Easy

Shaking hands at a business meeting

Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to ensure continuous translation of your web content? Fueled by the movement toward agile software development practices, increasingly, companies want to release content, in any language, in a streaming form.

Modern content management tools make this possible when new content is created in a business’s source language. Companies can update content anytime and deploy it easily online. However, companies often hit a language barrier that’s very real. It isn’t translation that causes the problem. The real challenge is getting translated content into the right system so it can be published quickly and easily.

Using modern translation software, continuous translation is actually possible. Major companies in a variety of industries that sell in a variety of ways, such as businesses in the consumer web and mobile, e-commerce, and B2B software space, are now using enterprise-grade translation tools to effortlessly add more languages to their sites, expand their global reach, and realize large returns on their investments.

So, how is using a translation software solution different from simply ordering translation services from an agency? Rather than manually collecting text batch by batch, a translation software system automatically collects text as changes happen and quickly sends the batches to be translated. This enables you to actually achieve a constant flow of translation instead of a “waterfall” translation approach.

Methods of continuous translation vary depending on your needs and include:

  • Professional human translation. This method allows for the highest-quality translations. Use your own hired translators, or ask your software provider to source professionals from its network. This is the best method, by far, to ensure continous translation of your content.
  • Transcreation by human specialists. A good option for marketing taglines and creative copy, expert creative specialists work in-language using creative briefs to create new content that is often “inspired” by the source but goes in a different direction. This method is much more expensive, and requires more time. So, it might not be the best option for all types of content, and may not lend itself to continuous, high-speed translation needs.
  • Translation by bilingual employees. While it might be tempting to tap into the talent of your own workforce, remember that your staff members have full-time jobs, and translation is not the best use of their time. Instead, allow employees who are familiar with your industry to help you build a glossary and style guide. While this will require more up-front work, it will save them time later on, because translators will be automatically prompted to follow your guidance as they translate once the system is set up.
  • Non-professional human translation. If you need translations done in bulk and with speed, but quality is less important to you, this might be an option to consider. However, know the risks — translation with “bulk translation providers” may end up costing you more in the long run, as mistakes are more common since the translators are not experts.
  • Human translation by volunteers. If you have a very large user group, you might ask for assistance from your community in translating content. However, you can’t rely on volunteers if you need fast turn-around. Also, remember that volunteers are not professional translators either, so using them will either mean that you need to pay professional translators to review their work, or you take a hit on quality. Companies also frequently underestimate the costs of this option, thinking mistakenly that it will be “free.” While they may not pay a per word price, managing such an initiative can be time-consuming, and the hidden costs often outweigh the benefits.

In short, the best option for continuous translation is professional human translation. However, you still need translation software to route the content swiftly back and forth to translators and other stakeholders. The combination of these two pieces — human translation professionals and enterprise-level translation software, is the best formula for achieving streamlined, interruption-free translation for your business.

Best of all, the right translation technology platform will include a translation proxy option, which can free your internal team of the burdensome project of dealing with website internalization, a time-consuming process that requires the development of new documentation, applications, and content. With the proxy tool, there’s minimal coding required, and you can have your multilingual website launched quickly.

If your website is already internationalized, a comprehensive translation platform will take care of the rest by automatically detecting changes and collecting content, making human translation easy and returning translated content to you quickly. There’s no need for endless waiting, bulky spreadsheets, or copy-and-paste commands repeated endlessly.

Why employ lengthy, outdated translation techniques? Instead, use modern translation software to make your company more global and the process hassle-free.

Photo by Nguyen Hung Vu


About Vijayalaxmi Hegde

Vijayalaxmi is a member of the marketing team at Smartling. Prior to joining Smartling, she led the language services market sizing project at industry research firm, Common Sense Advisory. She is also a trained journalist and has written for publications in India (where she lives) as well as abroad. She is a plain language and tech enthusiast and speaks Kannada, English, Hindi, and Bengali – listed in the order she learned them.


FB Campus

How to Move Fast, Break...

When agile companies first consider localizing digital content, an irresistible force often meets an immovable object. Their insistence on continuous...
Continue reading
Translation Speed

5 Translation Keys For Businesses...

Grow fast or die slow. This McKinsey mantra serves as a warning to any entrepreneur with dreams of building the...
Continue reading
global audience

Fuel Your International Marketing With...

Translating your brand message in a way that resonates with foreign audiences remains the central challenge of international marketing. But...
Continue reading

Translation Quality or Translation Speed?...

All marketing gigs are not created equal. “We’re essentially creating a new language,” explains Toni Vicars, Marketing Director EMEA of...
Continue reading