Multiple Languages Static & Evolving Content

Howdy Community! My first post :)


I work for a Software company that has grown significantly over the last 5 years. We do an outstanding job IMO on Self-Service solutions for our customers (B2B) - we though fall short in our ability to provide these services in multiple languages. We have multiple content types inc Knowledge (heavy KCS focus) & self service automations.

My question/s:

1) Im looking to compare best in class language software translation services - Is there a vendor/service provider out there that can truly convert language and language intent that includes software or other technical terminologies? Are you aware of any service provider that has delivered for you or others you know. Some of our technical guidance for issue management can get complex etc.

2) Are you aware of any great outside council / consultancy firms that specialize in supporting business with this intent. Perhaps technology is not the answer, perhaps it is, id be happy to work with a consultancy firm that can review the problem statement to assist with path and guidance.

Why: want to provide world-class self service in multiple languages not just English business.

Best


Luke

Answers

  • Steven ForthSteven Forth Managing Partner Founding Partner | Expert ✭✭✭

    I used to operate a mid-sized software localization company and I currently have the same problem as you do for Ibbaka Talent. I don't think there is any one magic solution, but here are some thoughts.

    1. You need to invest in and own your own translation memories and not rely on a vendor for these. Well designed and maintained translation memories will cover anywhere from 50% to 70% of your needs. If you are not using translation memories and have a competent vendor then the vendor is pocketing the profits here.
    2. You have to leverage machine translation. Machine translation integrated with your own translation memory can give OK results for narrowly defined domains.
    3. Human review by a person who understands both languages and has experience translating remains necessary (translation requires more than a knowledge of both languages, you need to have built mental connections between the two languages)

    In some cases, have the core content in all languages but then author edge content in local languages. Not everything needs to be translated. Sometimes money and effort are better spent on some original content for the local markets rather than on translating every last thing.

    In some communities, community translation works. If you have a super committed user community some may want to lean in and do the translation. You still have to provide review and quality control but this can actually help build community. I have mostly seen this in open source projects but I am considering trying it for translations of skill terms and definitions.

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