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The practical benefits of translation job automation

Adrian K. Cohn, Director of Brand Strategy and Communications

MultiLingual’s November/ December 2018 issue features research and thought-leadership on the role Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning plays — or will play — in enterprise translation management. Since Smartling has invested heavily in developing a bevy of AI and ML technologies that customers use daily to reduce cost and “people time” for translation management, this dialogue is neither surprising nor unfamiliar to us.

What was surprising, if not alarming, was a statistic revealed by Hélène Pielmeier’s research conducted by the industry’s leading intelligence firm, Common Sense Advisory, as published in MultiLingual. Only 7% of language service providers “strive to push all basic jobs to fully automated processes.” The article explains that Language Service Providers operate without much or any technology at all, hence the lack of automation capabilities.

This is precisely why Smartling developed Cloud Translation. There’s too much at stake for people as individuals to be pushing papers, so to speak. What we see and hear from the market every day is that those responsible for translation have common challenges:

  • Translation requests are submitted manually to their language service provider
  • There’s no insight or visibility into translation progress
  • Translation quality is managed subjectively

Our experience tells us that any business spending more than $10,000 on translation a year can achieve better results — including lower costs — by leveraging automation. Translation job automation alone completely eliminates the need for people to do the same thing over and over again when it can simply be configured once.

Leveraging AI and automation is widely adopted across many business functions. By way of example, Smartling uses Drift for conversational marketing (check it out on smartling.com). It is able to detect the user’s origin (company or location), and automatically routes conversations to the appropriate representative.

You can reduce cost and save valuable time leveraging translation job automation. Having the ability to preconfigure job automation rules is essential to reducing translation cost and saving valuable time. One of Smartling’s customers is a globally recognized eCommerce company in the sporting goods industry and sells goods across 11 sports. They defined automation rules in the Smartling Dashboard for each sport so that the people creating the translations are experts in terminology. Real-time translation status reports are always available, and what’s more is that they also receive a quality analysis on every translation job based on over 100 data points.

Our product vision is to make this even more sophisticated with AI and Machine Learning so that customers can set rules based on their KPIs, like website traffic and conversion rates. Imagine if you could pre-set your translation budget, language requirements and other rules so that all of your content can be translated — by humans for the most valuable content, and neural machine translation for the least valuable content — with minimal daily input by project managers. We’re building this.

Applying automation to translation projects allows you to do more with less. Why wait?

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