Do your translation processes need a health check?

Progressive companies today know that translation is not a cost center but a profit center, fueling international growth, customer satisfaction and profitability.  So, how do your translation and localization processes stack up against global best practices?
Take our quiz and find out.


Which best applies to your company?

1. We have one department that centralizes all translation requests across our organization.

2. Each department – legal, human resources, marketing, IT and engineering, etc. – manages its own translation needs.

3. Anyone in our company who needs a translation finds their own supplier.

4. Other/Not sure.

If you chose 1, Congratulations! According to independent research firm, Common Sense Advisory, “Centralizing language services saves money, improves productivity, and means faster time to market”.

If you chose 2, 3 or 4, the good news is that you may see productivity and cost benefits from consolidating your translation activities.

Global-Ready Authoring

Which best applies to your company?

1. We use software to make sure our documents are ready for translation and use consistent terminology.

2. We have drawn up and made available authoring guidelines for all our company’s writers.

3. We have glossaries with approved terminology.

4. Other/Not sure.

If you chose 1, you are in good company. IBM, Cisco, Dell, Adobe, General Electric and many top companies use software such as Acrolinx to improve quality and consistency and reduce translation costs by up to 25%.

If you chose 2, 3 or 4, it makes sense to have your writers already thinking of how to make your content global ready. According to content experts Content Rules, even one rule – writing shorter sentences – can reduce eight steps in the translation process to just one.

Content Management Systems (CMS)

Which best applies to your company?

1. We use a Content Management System.

2. We’re looking into using a Content Management System and/or are piloting a solution.

3. We have no current plans to integrate a CMS.

4. Other/Not sure.

If you chose number 1, you have joined the majority of organizations which turn to some form of CMS to handle authoring, transforming, publishing, and storing their multilingual content for purposes such as managing multilingual websites and documents.

If you chose 2, 3 or 4, you may wish to have all your content organized into a content management repository; this will help you avoid retranslating the same content over and over, and also help you maintain a consistent voice across all your business units.

Translation Memory

Which best applies to your company?

1. We have company-wide translation memories available for authoring and translation purposes.

2. Our vendors upload our translation memories to us at least once a year.

3. Each of our vendors maintains their own translation memories and we don’t necessarily see the benefit.

4. Other/Not sure.

If you chose number 1, indicating that you have a database of all your translations (known as translation memory) across the whole organization, you will be getting maximum benefit from previously translated content.

If you chose 2, 3 or 4, consolidating and updating your translation memory will result in solid time and cost savings.

NB. If you have been using translation memory for some time now, your gains may have slowed, but see below for newer technology.

Machine Translation

Which best applies to your company?

1. We are already using machine translation throughout our organization.

2. We’re currently looking into machine translation and/or piloting a solution.

3. Some departments in our company use machine translation, but not mine.

4. Other/Not sure.

If you chose number 1, you are part of a growing movement among the Global 2000 to gain competitive advantage from including machine translation in your translation process.

If you chose 2, 3 or 4, it may interest you to know that machine translation technology is maturing – and, if properly customized, is capable of delivering better quality than ever before. Optimized engines are capable of solving many translation needs without human intervention, such as:

  • translating emails, reports and other confidential documents behind your firewall
  • making your support content available to your international customers
  • helping you rapidly understand and respond to RFPs and other documents

Pair the machine translation output with human linguists to post-edit the content and you have publishable quality for a fraction of the cost.

Machine translation is of particular interest to companies with mature use of translation memory, since those gains tend to peak after a few years.

Next Steps: An Individualized Health Check

For a competitive edge through higher translation productivity, lower costs and faster time to market, here are five best practices:

  1. Centralize your translation needs
  2. Write for global readiness
  3. Store your content in a CMS
  4. Leverage your previous translations
  5. Deploy machine translation

If you would like a free, no obligation in-depth health check, click here to contact us today.