Three Knowledge Management Resources to Increase Your Translation Efficiency
When you consider a translation partner and the tools and resources that they bring to the table, it is helpful to know what knowledge management resources are out there and how they can be leveraged to bring you the most benefit. While each project and each tool has a different return on investment, here are three essential knowledge management resources you should take into account for your next project.
Translation Memory: Maximum Leverage from Previous Work
If you have completed a translation project before, you are probably already aware of how a Translation Memory (or TM) works. Every time you complete one of your projects, the translated sentences are stored in a TM for reuse the next time you want to translate any content. Just like in human memory, the more experiences (or in this case translations) you have, the more memory you can recall from. TM is essentially a database of sentence pairs (your original sentences paired up with their corresponding translated sentences). Together with your Terminology Database, these are often referred to as your language assets. Once loaded into a translation management system, your TM will be automatically referenced whenever you complete a new translation. Any content that is identical to what you have translated previously will automatically pull the translated text from your TM so you never have to pay for the same translation twice.
As your language assets grow, the management of your TM becomes more and more important in order to maintain the best quality and reap the most benefits in your translation budget. Some important maintenance tasks include:
- Delete errors or old translations that no longer apply
- If the memory becomes too large, you should split it into separate TMs by product groups or organizational area. By keeping all training translations separate from legal translations you will get higher leverage for both areas, for example
- Eliminate inconsistencies or similar translations for the same phrase
Your translation provider will be able to manage this process for you.
Translation Glossaries: Cornerstone of Your Success
Where your TM addresses sentences, translation glossaries break things down to the word or phrase level. Whether you’re releasing your product or website into exciting, new, international markets, or delivering training to staff globally on a new software roll-out, having a multilingual terminology glossary will be crucial to successfully translating and localizing your project and will guarantee that you have consistency across the board.
Any responsible, qualified translation agency will ask you about the need for a glossary before starting the project. In short, being prepared with a translated terminology glossary is a cornerstone of your projects’ success whether you’re implementing your translation and localization yourself or with an agency. If you already work with a translation partner, let them know about any re-branding or if you are changing a product name so you can reap the full benefits of this resource. Check out our free eBook “How To Create Your Translation Glossary” for specifics.
Global Style Guides and Terminology Strategy: The House Rules
Simple, unambiguous, and consistent source material is the foundation for a smooth translation and localization process. You need a global platform that will apply to all writing, but also give room for local variances to ensure you attract local customers. Furthermore, style guides also address how technical writers can develop content and write texts that are more suitable for a global audience.
The style guide serves basically as the house rules for language use to achieve consistency. It will include guidance how to deal with things like:
- Product names
- Style of writing
- Correct tone of voice and level of formality
- Writing to an international audience
- Spelling rules
- Capitalization rules
- Use of active or passive voice
- Rules of punctuation
- Use of italics and bold
This is just a brief rundown of some knowledge management resources you might want to consider for your next project. If you have questions or would like to learn more about your options, don’t hesitate to contact us here or request a free quote here.