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#FAIL: How to Avoid Overbuying Localization Technology

Posted by Vijayalaxmi Hegde on Thu, Sep 10, 2015 @ 09:06 PM

Many well-funded companies succumb to the lure of soup-to-nuts localization technology solutions well before they have the market experience or personnel required to deploy the sophisticated features they’re buying.

Localization technology is like any infrastructure investment: buying more than you need robs budget from the services required to put that investment to use — and that dampens the revenue growth you’re counting on to propel your global presence.

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Topics: Localization Technology

Why You Might Need Help Selecting a TMS

Posted by Lee Densmer on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 @ 07:16 PM

Implementing a Translation Management System (TMS) is a crucial part of optimizing and scaling your globalization program to handle fast and imminent growth. Yet without deep, in-house TMS expertise, it’s hard to know where you stand. What are you missing out on that could centralize and streamline your localization program, saving you time, cost and improving quality?

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Topics: Localization Technology

Are Localization Technology Investments Impeding Your Future Growth?

Posted by Meg Muran on Thu, Feb 19, 2015 @ 05:26 PM

For the earliest stages of localization, most companies rely on email to manage stakeholders and vendors, and spreadsheets to manage glossaries and TMs. This ad hoc framework is ideal for cautious global explorers: it uses existing technology investments, it requires little to no special training, and it’s fairly manageable for a one-time project with a few target languages.

Yet any hint of global success quickly whets the organization’s appetite for localization. More products! More services! More types of content! More target markets!

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Topics: Localization Technology

Will Machine Translation Be the Terminator of Human Translators?

Posted by Libor Safar on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 @ 06:00 PM

Back in 1984, Arnold Schwarzenegger crouched naked and muscle-ripped next to a chain-link fence in the darkness of Los Angeles. He had just arrived, a machine sent back by other machines from a post-apocalyptic future to destroy the human resistance movement before it could ever begin.

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Topics: Localization Technology

The Right Way to Write for Google Translate

Posted by Renato Beninatto on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 @ 06:10 PM

The free, online machine translation service that we know as Google Translate has been with us since 2007. Nevertheless, the tool is as subject now to misunderstanding by ill-informed users as it ever was, mainly because what we want it to do (just translate!) remains as complex a task for computers as it does for humans.

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Topics: Localization Technology

Will the EU's Translation Deal with Google Save Lives?

Posted by Libor Safar on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 @ 05:20 PM

In 2004, three British cabinet members filed an official complaint with Pascal Lamy, the director general of the World Trade Organization who was then serving as the European Commissioner for Trade. According to the Guardian, the letter was the result of an increasingly heated and damning set of accusations regarding the European Union's translation of patent documents, particularly those related to a new patent law that would allow cheaper generic drugs to reach poor nations.

The document had not yet been translated into all of the at the time 20 official languages of the European Union. "One senior minister said it was 'scandalous' that children were dying of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis as a result of bureaucratic failure," reported the journal. "We believe this translation should be a priority."

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Topics: Localization Technology

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Google Translate

Posted by Libor Safar on Fri, Jul 05, 2013 @ 10:05 AM

Well, look, we've warned you time and again not to use Google Translate for your precious marketing materials, but if you're going to insist on doing it anyway, here's our tips for keeping you from looking like a complete fool miscommunicating with your customers.

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Topics: Localization Technology

Reducing skepticism: How does MT work?

Posted by Lee Densmer on Fri, Jan 18, 2013 @ 05:03 PM

You know by now that I enjoy defining things in my blogs. I believe it forms a basis for discussion and evolution of these concepts.

Today’s topic: Machine Translation

This may be elementary to many of you, but there are two main MT models: Statistical MT and Rule-based MT and they produce translations in different ways.

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Topics: Localization Technology

Tips to Avoid Holiday Translation Errors

Posted by Renato Beninatto on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 @ 12:31 PM

Online translations have come a long way, but not far enough to send reliable holiday greetings without a little help from Santa’s linguistic elves. With the wrong translation, your holiday messages can quickly become a lump of coal.

Translate “happy holidays” from English to French using an automated machine language and you could get “bonnes vacances”, which means “have a great vacation.” Try it in Spanish, and it might segue into “Pasa buenas vacaciones”. This also means “enjoy your vacation”, and it speaks volumes about how little you know of the recipient’s language and culture.

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Topics: Localization Technology

Machine Translation into Japanese? Take Note of Nipponization

Posted by Takao Tanaka on Fri, May 04, 2012 @ 03:10 PM

Word order is one of the major differences between English and Japanese sentences. And it is also one of the reasons why Machine Translation into (and from) Japanese may — on the whole — be still less successful than it is with other languages.

The basic word order in Japanese is subject-object-verb (SOV), while English would predominantly follow the subject-verb-object model (SVO). Japanese is a topic-prominent language, where the basic sentence structure is topic-comment — topic is the thing talked about and comment is what is being said about it — and the topic is systematically indicated as separate from the subject.
Here is an example showing how Japanese and English sentences would differ.

EN: Seven Samurai is a Japanese film produced by Akira Kurosawa.
JP: 七人の侍黒澤明によって制作された日本映画です。

You can see that both sentences start with the same word "Seven Samurai (七人の侍)" but word order completely changes in the rest of the sentence.
During translation from English into Japanese, translators must re-order the words to follow Japanese grammar and this is one of the reasons why Machine Translation (MT) for Japanese does not work as well as it may for many other languages.
To improve the quality of MT output, the idea of "Nipponization" ("Nippon" = "Japan";  so it can be also written as "Japanization") has been developed and discussed by several language experts and organizations. The recent TAUS Executive Forum in Tokyo was one of such venues.
The process of Nipponization is to re-order English words to follow Japanese grammar, without translating them.

The example above can be Nipponized as follows:

Original EN: Seven Samurai is a Japanese film produced by Akira Kurosawa.
Nipponized EN: Seven Samurai is Akira Kurosawa by produced a Japanese film.
JP: 七人の侍黒澤明によって制作された日本映画です。
Now the word order of Nipponized English is the same as Japanese sentence.
Even though there are risks of unwanted changes which may result in a negative impact on MT quality, practice shows that Nipponization is still an interesting option for improving MT quality in Japanese.

Interested to learn about other factors to be aware of when translating into Japanese? Download our article titled Managing Japanese Localization Projects, which deals with both measurable and intangible elements that affect the outcome of Japanese localization projects.

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Topics: Localization Technology