SimulTrans’ Adam Jones on Maintaining Quality at Speed with Technology

Smartling and Adweek are teaming up to host a webinar on Wednesday February 3 at 1 pm ET (and you can still register here). Last week, we caught up with our first webinar presenter Liz Walton, Director of Marketing at Yext, for a brand’s-eye-view on international marketing and global ready tech.

Today, we’re pleased to present the perspective of  Adam Jones, COO at SimulTrans – also a presenter on the webinar –  on how professional translators and language service providers can best help organizations deliver top notch content in any language or market. Check out our conversation below. And if you missed our conversation with Liz Walton, Director of Marketing at Yext, click here.

What are some things brands can do to help translation services businesses deliver the highest quality translations?

Adam Jones: Global companies want translated messages that are both locale-specific and consistent with the international messaging and tone of their brands. To accomplish this mutual goal, translators benefit most from the following collaborative steps from the ‘guardians’ of successful global brands:

  • Provide a clear style guide and glossary of brand terminology. It is important to capture the appropriate level of formality and parameters of brand messaging for each target market. Many languages have more nuances of politeness than we see in English, requiring a more refined definition of the nature of the relationship a company is attempting to foster with its customers.
  • Allow translators the flexibility to develop transcreations instead of literal word-for-word translations. By adapting the text for users in each locale, translators are better able to convey the creativity and excitement of the original content.
  • Communicate actively with translators, both in providing initial brand training and responses to project queries. Direct communication with translators allows companies to build rapport with these important team members, while ensuring their messages about branding are not diluted through intermediaries.

What are some technology features that help translation services businesses the most?

AJ: Translators benefit from technology that allows them to understand the source content and focus their attention on words instead of file processing. Specifically, SimulTrans finds that the following technology features have the greatest impact:

  • Availability of contextual information. Translators are much more effective when they see text in context with formatting and surrounding messages. By displaying website text, application strings, or marketing brochure content fully formatted, technology allows translators to better understand the source content, see length restrictions, and provide consistent language. For example, seeing that the word “output” appears on a website button requesting output (used as a verb) would allow a translator to avoid the mistake of assuming the word appears as the title of a report (used as a noun).
  • Accurate, fast, and effortless parsing of files for translation. Translators benefit from receiving text for translation that is separated from its surrounding tags and code.  Translation and localization service firms often must spend hours processing files upfront to extract text for translation and then process them again to reintegrate the translated text into the original file formats. Technology that automates that process, especially with a direct link to a client’s content management or marketing automation system, provides a revolutionary improvement to efficiency.
  • Transparent insight into project status and progress. In a traditional approach, translators may work on a file for several days while project managers and clients have little insight into progress until the project is completed. Technology that allows real-time insight into translation progress allows projects to be managed more efficiently, translators to feel greater accountability for staying on schedule, and project managers to forego the need to exchange email status updates.
  • Active translation memory. By storing translations into a database, translation memory allows us to reuse translations when the same source text arises again. This database allows clients to avoid the need to indicate what content has changed during update cycles, reduces costs, and improves consistency throughout and between components. Traditional memory tools only update the database after each project, but the most effective systems (such as Smartling) constantly update the memory after each string is translated, allowing text to even be reused within a project.

What do you find unique about Smartling’s global content solution?

AJ: SimulTrans has been thrilled to find these and many more features integrated in the Smartling platform. We recommend Smartling actively to clients to greatly improve their internal efficiency as well as that of our team members working on their projects. Having used dozens of translation management systems over three decades, we find Smartling to be unique in its ability to streamline our process, accelerate schedules, and simplify project tracking and communication. The Smartling platform is easy for our translators, project managers, and clients to use, ensuring that the technology truly facilitates our work without creating an administrative burden.

Learn more

Register for our webinar Content Strategies for Global Brands: Speaking Your Customer’s Language on Wednesday February 3. The webinar will cover:

  • What matters most to consumers globally and how to build a content strategy that meets these needs
  • How working with translators can benefit your brand marketing
  • Why a global marketing initiative needs to take into account local needs

Featured speakers include: Liz Walton, Director of Marketing at Yext, Adam Jones, COO at SimulTrans, and Judd Marcello, VP of Marketing at Smartling.