Do you expect your company’s global presence to grow in the next year? In the next five years? At some point, you’ll need corporate translation software that can help you grow internationally.
Reaching global customers where they live means reaching them in their language, but only insofar as you can manage the number of languages in which you present yourself in total. Within each supported language, websites will grow as new products and services become necessary for new groups of customers. And as these websites grow, translated content must be kept consistent without slowing down.
These requirements call for three features that your corporate translation services must have.
Scalability for Growing Markets
Once upon a time, the web was mostly in English. Quartz suggests that as far back as 1996, analysts estimate up to 80 percent of web content was in English.
By 2013, about 40 percent of web pages may have been in English, and as little as a quarter of web users were native English-speakers. Today, the leading language on the web is Chinese. Companies have responded by reaching out to customers in more languages; it’s been found that the top global brands now support an average of 28. Coca-Cola was the leader as of last year, putting its message out in 43.
The amount of content that must be supported in each language is growing. More documents and web pages must be kept organized and consistent with other pages already published in the same language—not to mention other languages. This requires that your translation management system is able to scale easily to accommodate the growing number of languages as well as the accompanying boom in sheer content size.
Translation Memory for Quality and Speed
Translation memory doesn’t just save translation teams from repeating work, it also preserves consistency in phrasing across revisions and upgrades—product use instructions, for example. This consistency ultimately prevents differences in clarity or tone between updated versions of the same text, allowing customers to be certain about their understanding of your services.
There’s a huge improvement in quality and translation speed from the use of translation memory.
Cloud-Based for Flexibility
It’s difficult for companies to run a global presence out of a single office today. By nature of global marketing, business is now done with many work groups in different locations producing content in numerous primary languages. But all of them need to stay in touch with one another and access the same translation toolkit.
Even if the software were hosted “locally” at one data center, most of its users would still be accessing it through the web—meaning that for them, it is already in the cloud. And as systems administrator David Silvester notes, the cloud’s greatest strengths are scalability and availability of access. Thus, for the sake of operating simplicity and a consistent user experience, the cloud is by far the best place for your translation software to reside.
A cloud-based solution provides flexibility for international work groups, but this is not the only type of flexibility that robust corporate translation software provides. No matter how much technology is called on to support it, language translation remains a predominantly human activity, thriving on an individual’s judgment and experience.
Translation methods vary, and specific tools may be available for particular language pairs. All of these considerations, and others, go into the handling and workflow of individual translation work teams. In this way, work teams do well by adopting a content workflow that fits their specific needs and capabilities, and that their translation services can integrate with.
In all, the most robust corporate translation and localization services have a capacity for growth—both in number of supported languages and volume of content—ready accessibility in the cloud, and the flexibility needed to adapt itself to varied work flows. A world of customers is waiting to hear from you. Are you ready to reach out to them?
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