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Multilingual Content Production: Process Improvement

If you’re creating multilingual content and want process improvement tips, you’re about to learn how the most successful global companies manage content translation efficiently.

In this article, we’re not going to tell you to completely overhaul your international content strategy or outsource your work. Nor will we encourage you to take the lowest-cost approach, because that would actually interfere with the quality of your translations.

But if your business is serious about your reputation among foreign stakeholders, customers, employees or regulatory agencies, the decision about the best approach for improving your content translation process shouldn’t be taken lightly.

There are many considerations you must make when it comes to adopting a new process for multilingual content translation. Use the following process improvement tips for creating high-quality multilingual content, and you’ll be translating more efficiently in no time.

3 Steps Toward Multilingual Content Production Efficiency

1. Map Out Your Current Multilingual Content Creation Process

Creating multilingual content is no easy task. International business involves so many moving parts that it can be easy to become entangled in inefficient translation processes while trying to keep all the wheels turning.

Oftentimes, it’s difficult to understand what exactly is inefficient about your content translation workflow. This is why it’s important to be clear about every single step involved.

List out each step in detail and make a note about how much time it takes. Don’t neglect what is happening outside of your department, and think of whom else is indirectly collaborating with you on multilingual content production. Get this down on paper so you can see it clearly in front of you.

2. Get Clear About Where the Problems Lie

Are there certain steps in your existing multilingual content creation process that just seem redundant or cause more complications? Which ones take the most time? Are you still cutting & pasting text into an Excel spreadsheet? Take note of all this.

3. Adopt a Premium Translation Management System

We’ve spent so long in the translation industry, that we’re confident that the content translation issues you identify in step #2 can be solved with the right translation management system.

Translation management software will help you manage your translations more efficiently. It will save you a lot time, and therefore a lot of money, on many aspects of content translation.

Premium translation management software puts professional translation tools into the hands of anyone involved in your multilingual content translation process; making it easy, streamlined, efficient, and therefore more sustainable. Several of the steps involved in multilingual content process improvement, described below, can be facilitated by the right premium translation management system.  

Once you adopt a translation management system, use the steps below to improve your multilingual content production process.

Edit Machine Translated Content
Machine translation tools (e.g. Google Translate) are commonly used to create multilingual content quickly and at “minimal cost.”

The problem with most machine translation tools is that you only receive raw translations from pure machine translation. The quality of pure machine translation is nowhere near as desirable as the quality from machine translation that has been edited and improved by a human translator.

For this reason, pure machine translation can ruin the intended message of any multilingual content marketing campaign, HR policies, legal documents and so on.

However, the right translation management system will allow you to edit machine translated content and create a continuous cycle of machine translation improvements. Powerful artificial intelligence can dramatically improve the quality of your content translations while saving you time.

The right translation management system will also give you better and easier-to-use translation editing tools, too. Dynamic Machine Learning, dynamic spell-checking and Slack-like instant messaging make editing and collaboration easy.

Overall, it improves the multilingual content creation process ten-fold.

Reuse Previous Translations by Creating & Populating Translation Memories
Another way you can improve your process for multilingual content creation is by creating and populating Translation Memories within your translation management system.

As long as you keep using machine translation without Translation Memory technology, you’re going to continue to receive the same first-draft-quality content translations.

It’s not uncommon for companies to use machine translation and then pay a professional translator to manually edit the same 1st draft translations that machine translation gives them, over and over again. Within a file repeatedly, and across files over time. This is incredibly inefficient.

Typically, these are terms, phrases, concepts and segments of text that machine translation can’t fully understand, but that appear repeatedly in various company files.

Translation Memory enables a user to edit a word or phrase once, without needing to edit the same content ever again. It’s great for taglines and repetitive messages that appear in multiple marketing pieces. This results in significant time savings for the user, which equates to cost savings for your company.

Translation Memory is the oldest and most effective commercial translation technology in use today. It’s used by every leading translation company in the world.

Use Automatic File Formatting
If you want to improve your multilingual content creation process, automatic file formatting is a must. Stop cutting and pasting text into Excel files.

It’s common for agencies to cut and paste text into an Excel file, since few translators have access to Adobe InDesign. It’s also common for them to upload a file to translation software and receive an output file that doesn’t match the original in formatting.

File layout and formatting consistency are of significant importance to many enterprises, so companies typically spend too much time and more effort creating publishable files in various languages.

With the right translation management software (we’ll recommend one below), you can save hours upon hours of work that you would normally spend reformatting a file. Font properties, images, spacing and breaks all remain intact.

Upload & Edit Files in Batches
Another process improvement tip for creating multilingual content is to upload multiple files or documents at once for translation to a translation management system that uses Dynamic Machine Learning.

Dynamic Machine Learning is a form of artificial intelligence that improves translation quality while you edit translations. It finds repetitive text in a single document or across a group of files and helps you improve translations with the least amount of effort.

Batching files and Dynamic Machine Learning not only reduce the time it takes to produce translations, they also work together to bring near-instantaneous translation quality improvement across multiple files. This is particularly helpful when you’re uploading a batch of related files.

For example, if you have XML files, a Word document and a PowerPoint deck that are all related to the same content marketing campaign, you’ll save a lot of time by uploading and editing them as a batch.

Uploading and editing a batch of files will bring big productivity gains.

Augment Email with Instant Messaging to Manage Multilingual Content Production
If you want to adopt a more efficient process for multilingual content production, quit relying solely on email. Instant messaging within translation management software removes silos and helps translators and content producers collaborate faster and more effectively.

Enterprise translation management software will help you manage translations more efficiently across your organization. Instant messaging will facilitate collaboration on translations in real-time and allow you to collaborate on translations at any time from any device. You’ll be able to change translations instantly, output fully-formatted MS-Word, PowerPoint, InDesign files and many more file types quickly and easily.

Instant messaging will make translation management a breeze for you.

Use a Robust Translation API
If your company connects its applications to each other in order to streamline its processes, you’ll want to use translation software that gives you access to a robust translation API.

After all, having raw translations delivered to your apps and websites certainly isn’t going to save you time. A robust translation API will deliver dynamic high-quality translations in real-time across your applications and organization. You can connect a translation management API to your existing content management system to simplify your content translation process.

There are plenty of API’s out there, but if you opt for a premium translation API, you’re going to be able to reap the benefits of powerful translation features. This will save you time and money for all the reasons we listed above.

Learn more in the video below.

Properly Onboard Your Colleagues
When you adopt a translation management system in an effort to improve your content translation workflow, you must onboard your colleagues successfully.

This means all your users will learn how to properly use all the translation management features so that you actually end up improving your process for multilingual content creation. Successful onboarding will help users quickly understand how the software works and how to get optimum translations with the easiest approach.

Onboarding doesn’t need to be a time-consuming process, and the return on your time invested will pay off quickly.

The more people who are onboarded successfully, the more each user’s translation process will improve. 

Recommended Translation Software for Multilingual Content Production

If you need to improve your multilingual content translation process, or if you know a company that needs help with this, tell them to check out Pairaphrase.

Pairaphrase is a web-based translation management system for enterprises that includes all of the capabilities listed under step #3 in this article, plus more.

Schedule a live demo with a sales rep today to see how Pairaphrase saves hundreds of companies 50% of the time it normally takes to produce high-quality translations. Or, request a free trial.

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