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10 Ways to Reduce Localization Costs

Nov 01, 2014

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To help you get the most out of the translation dollars, our project experts put together a white paper detailing the: "Top 10 Ways to Reduce Localization Costs Without Sacrificing Quality".

  • 1. Top10WaystoReduceLocalizationand TranslationCostsWithoutSacrificing Quality! Some say that the best way to reduce localization costs is by avoidinglocalizationaltogether.Yetcompanieswithaglobalvision haverealizedthattocompeteinaglobaleconomy,boththeyand theirproductshavetospeaktheirclients'language. Onceyoudecidetolocalizeforacertainmarket,measuresshould be taken to make localization tasks as efficient and effective as possible. Throwing the localization project over the wall to your distributors or just any third party is not the best way to go. You shouldbeworkingwithprofessionalsthatknowhowtoreduceyour localizationcosts,withoutsacrificingquality. 1.Correctlocalizationprocess Everylocalizationprojectbeginswithaspecandaplan.Thespecislikeabillof material, that references and quantifies all the components requiring Localizationisthe localization. This includes the number of words to translate, words to review, wordstoleveragefromprevioustranslations,pagestolayoutordesktoppublish, adaptationofaproduct, topicstocompileandQA(QualityAssurance),artfilestolocalizeorrecapture, productdocumentation, tablesanddialogboxestoresizeandQA,softwarefilestocompileandQA,etc. websiteandsupporting collateraltomeetthe Sinceprojecttimelinesandcostsarederivedfromthisspec,itisessentialthat languageandlocalneeds thesespecsresultfromtheuseofthemostoptimizedprocess,translatinginto ofaspecificgeographic the most optimized costs and schedules. Working on the native files, for market. instance,notonlydoesawaywiththeneedtoextracttextfromthesourcefiles, but more importantly, it eliminates the need to reinsert them for each and everytargetlanguage. Reducinglongtermlocalizationcostsshouldbethemaingoal.Investinginthecorrectprocessmayincreaseupfront costs,butwilltremendouslyreducelongtermcosts.Useoftranslationmemorytools(databasesandsearchengines), glossaryandstyleguidegeneration,useofprofessionaltranslatorsandinvestmentinqualityassuranceprocesseswill increaseyourupfrontcosts.Theyareessential,however,toreducelongtermcosts.Choosingthecorrectlocalization processisthemostimportanttaskthatcanbedonetoreducecumulativecosts. Therearemanyprocessestoconsiderandfollow.Atopdownlocalizationprocessreusestextfromtranslationmemory andappliesittothenewsourcefiles,whileabottomuplocalizationprocesscomparesorcontrastsoldandnewsource files,applyingchangestotheoldtargetfiles.Dependingonthelevelofchange,itmaymakesensetofollowoneorthe other. A hybrid methodology that combines both topdown and bottomup processes is the ideal methodology to implement. 2.Verbosityistheenemy Read The Visible and Once the correct process is identified, look at optimizing the different Hidden Benefits of components that comprise localization costs. It is no secret that translation Localization for more info contributestoover50%ofalocalizationproject'scosts,soanyoptimizationyou on why companies localize. dotoreducethewordcountwillleadtolowertranslationandlocalizationcosts. Verbosityisthereforetheenemy.Trytobeconciseandstraighttothepoint.Eliminateunneededandobsoletetext. Cutfatwhereverpossible.Notonlywillyousaveonlocalizationcosts,butyourenduserswillthankyouforit.
  • 2. ApplytheParetoPrincipleThe8020Rule.Only20%ofyourproductisused80% TranslationMemory: ofthetimebyyourusers.Trytoidentifythepartsthatareneverorrarelyusedand Asourstafftranslates minimize them. You may decide to only localize 2030% of your product's yourmanualsand documentationorhelp.Oryoumaydecidetoreleasea"light"localizedversionof yourproduct. Internetpages,the computerstoresall 3.Authorforlocalization sourceandtargettexts. Inanefforttosimultaneouslyreleaseaproductintomanylanguages,sourcefiles Throughoutthe areoftenrushedtolocalizationteams,shorteningtheeditcycle.Whileitsavestime translationprocess,all tostarttranslationearly,alwaysmakesurethatthefinalsourcefilesarethoroughly identicalorfuzzy edited,beforetheyaresubmittedforlocalization. matchesfoundinthe database,are Earlyoptimizationforlocalizationandpropereditingperformedonthesourcefiles automaticallyretrieved. willreducereworkandresultinsavingsmultipliedbythenumberoflanguagesthat youlocalizeinto.Formoreinformation,readAuthoringforLocalization. Thisispossiblewiththe 4.SingleSourcingisfinallypractical adventofTranslation "Chunking"isathingofthepast.Withtheadventofnewauthoringtools,single Managementsoftware. sourcingisfinallybecomingareality.Anyonethatreusesinformationthroughout Itnotonlyenforces documents or needs to present it in different formats should consider single consistencywithinthe sourcing. By consolidating recurring information and building final files from a samemanual,butalso common source, regardless of formats, translationleveraging from translation acrossmultiplemanuals memoriesisminimizedandcostsreduced. andGUIs,leadingto muchimprovedquality PerhapsyouhaveaproductthatworksonvariousplatformsorforvariousOEMs inthelocalizedproducts. (Original Equipment Manufacturers), and multiple user manuals are needed. In these cases, the majority of the content is the same. Rather than writing and maintainingthreeseparatemanuals,alowlevelsinglesourcesolutionwouldallow youtowritethecontentonceand"code"itforeachadaptation.Thesameistrueifyouwanttoreleasethesame informationintomanyformatssuchasprintedmanuals,onlinehelporcontextsensitivehelp. Manyofthecurrentauthoringtoolsoffersinglesourcingoptions.Mostoftheseoptionsprovidethebasicfunctionality neededtoconvertdocstohelp,orviceversa.CheckoutRoboHelp,themostusedonlinehelpauthoringtool.Adobe's FrameMaker,usedinconjunctionwithWebWorksPublisher,alsoprovidesalowtomediumlevelmethodofcreating onlinehelp,manualsorPDFs.Atthehighend,XMetaLandArborText'sEpicusedatabasetechnologytoprovidea singlesourcingsolution.Thehighlystructuredcontentisstoredinthedatabasenotasamanualoronlinehelpfile,but asrawdata,typicallyinXML.Youcreatethecontentfreelywithoutworryingaboutthefinaloutput.Thenyoupickand choosewhatdataandformatyouneedandoutputitinasemiautomaticway. 5.Consistency,Consistency,Consistency Whilesinglesourcingdealswithconsistencyatthetopiclevel,effortsshouldbe Consider reallocating madetoensureconsistencyatthestring(sentence)level.Improvingconsistency your printing and in your sourcelanguage documents or applications minimizes the turnaround shipping budgets to localization. International time and reduces translation costs, especially when translation memory tools users prefer an online areused.Translatorsonlyhavetotranslateanyuniquestringonce.Ifyouare manual in their native consistentintheuseofcommonstrings,thetotalstringscounttotranslateis language, rather than a reducedbythenumberofconsistentlyreusedstrings(alsocalledrepeats). printed manual in a foreign one! Consistency is probably the most important concept in instructional writing suchashelptext,proceduresanddemos.Tohelpmaintainconsistency,createa glossaryforyourterminologyandastyleguidetofollow,anddofollowthem. Page 2
  • 3. Herearesomewaystostriveforconsistency: a. Whenreferringtothesameconceptorobject,usetheexactsamewords. Read Authoring for b. Avoidtheuseofhomonyms,astheycancauseconfusion. Localization for more c. Inheadingsandbulletpointstrytokeepsyntaxconsistent. information on how best d. Useterminologyconsistentwithindustrystandards. to author for localization. e. Proofreadforoverallconsistency,notjustforgrammarandtypos. 6.Lastminutesupdatesareunavoidable Intoday'srapidpaceoftechnology,changesareoftenmadetosourcefilesafterlocalizationhasbegunonthemand before the product is released. This requires that these changes are folded into all target languages, potentially contributing to large cost overruns. In order to control costs associated with last minute updates, consider the following: a. Once translation has started, deliver changed source files to your localization group before the linguistic edit/r