While innovation tends to be a common focus, it’s often poor maintenance that can greatly impact a localization system. That’s why it’s crucial to have a consistent and disciplined approach to content maintenance.
It focuses on enhancing what content you already have, which will help prevent issues from occurring in the first place. Here are some recommendations to help you better maintain content creation and localization processes.
TOOLS & TIPS
In order to build and maintain an efficient, cost-effective localization strategy, you need good tools.
A translation memory, or TM, is a translation database that automatically stores text as translation units in source and target language pairs. These segments will be re-used during the next piece of relevant translation work, meaning the same sentence is never translated more than once.
TMs boost terminological consistency, reduce costs and speed up the translation process. However, their usefulness depends on the quality of maintenance. So, be sure to update the TM at the end of every project to ensure it is as up-to-date and effective as possible.
Local reviewers should provide feedback that guides updates, so that content can be changed as needed, or left unapproved. In the long term, this feedback helps avoid problems caused by outdated and/or incorrect terminology.
Receiving feedback can be challenging when there are multiple stakeholders with differing opinions about terminology. The simple solution is to assign a single contact to approve all terminology.
It’s critical to follow checklists and guides based on the project scope. This will help you keep track of the context of all unapproved segments that could, otherwise, be easily forgotten.
Write for Localization
Try to minimize content volume and changes to the source copy. This encourages writing in precise terminology, plain language and active voice in order to be as concise and clear as possible.
Building a Glossary
Build a glossary based on approved copy, if you don’t already have one. A glossary is a database that contains selected terms specific to your company, brand or industry. A multilingual glossary contains the master language along with an approved translation or localization of the terms, enabling your translators to consistently use the approved target language terminology when creating or localizing global content.
While software helps reduce inefficiencies and provides consistent, on-message global content, it cannot provide the strategy, skill and success that comes with cultivating a maintenance mindset in your people.
Organizing the review process (and providing regular, gathered feedback) may take time upfront, but is an essential first step to building healthy maintenance.
Investing in content maintenance will ultimately lead to lower costs, greater brand consistency and better quality translations. Rather than focusing on speed and automation, think about what content already exists and how to better maintain it. Because a little maintenance goes a long way.