When Is It Time for a Translation Management System?

Nov 06, 2019


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Article ImageFor global organizations, aiming to connect with international audiences, it's critical to communicate with them in their native language, making translation services a necessary expense. However, translating content isn't as simple as swapping words from one language to another. Other considerations include localizing content, whether you'll use human translators, machine translation, or a combination of both, as well as how you'll manage the entire translation process.

Traditional translation workflows are tedious, error-prone, and disorganized. The process is typically bogged down by manual procedures that include copying and pasting sentences into an Excel spreadsheet, sharing the spreadsheet via email, waiting for completed translations, and adapting any content, web or app design as needed to pair with the translated content. You also need to track translators and their progress, as well as translation spending and overall project costs.

Translation management systems include features like in-context editing, automated workflows, and powerful reporting, which enable organizations to optimize the translation process and fine-tune every step.

Not sure if your company is ready to adopt a translation management system? Here are a few signs to look for.

You Translate Large Volumes of Content

While you may think you have a small translation project on your hands - by the time you take into account things like landing pages, support tickets, E-commerce platforms, marketing automation platforms, and multiple client-facing portals - you may be surprised by the massive volume of content that requires translation.

A TMS offers a centralized location for all your content, helping you to keep track of your individual projects, as well as your overall translation progress. Opt for a platform that can also integrate with your existing Content Management Systems, Marketing Automation platforms, and other related tools to simplify your entire content management process.

You Experience Difficulty Tracking Translation Progress

Monitoring a growing list of projects, translators, and the status of each can become quite overwhelming. And relying on archaic spreadsheets to keep track of it all is inefficient at best.

A TMS that leverages modern methods like automation and artificial intelligence can provide you with a high-level overview of every project, task, translation job, string, and progress on existing tasks or jobs, as well as available translators—all in one place. It can also automatically assign new jobs to translators, and automatically submit content for review once marked as complete, saving you time by streamlining your entire translation process.

You Have a Slow Time to Market

Is there a long gap between the time your company decides to expand into a new market and the time you actually launch in that new market?

While translations can take a considerable amount of time to get right, what slows things down even further is emailing back and forth, and other manual processes. Once you finally receive the translated content, it must go through an internal quality review, and then developers may still need to edit your website or app design to accommodate the translated content.

While corners shouldn't be cut to ensure the highest quality, you can optimize some steps in the process with a TMS that leverages automated workflows to keep content moving forward, as well as visual context that allows translators to see how the words will fit into your existing design.

Your Translation Quality is Poor

It may seem like a good idea to cut costs by tossing your content into Google Translate or some other free tool. However, short cuts will inevitably leave you with poor translation quality, which will, in turn, damage your brand with the very audience that you are attempting to connect with.

Investing in a Translation Management System ensures the highest quality in every translation project, which gives you a much better chance of success in a new market. Tools like glossaries, style guides, and even translation memory systems help translators maintain brand voice and style consistency, creating a seamless customer experience across your properties.

You Rely on Bilingual Employees for Content Translation

If you want to translate your content to a new language and you just so happen to have an employee that speaks that language, having them translate the content for you is a no-brainer, right? While this may make complete sense on the surface, let's dig a little deeper. Is the employee fluent in the language or just proficient? Are they familiar with the culture, the slang, and the colloquialisms? Will their original role suffer if they take on the translation project? Do they really want to do something that isn't in their job description?

More often than not, leaning on bilingual employees leads to poor quality translations and localization. Full-time translators have the skills and experience to get your project done faster and better, especially when supported by a translation management system.

Your Translations Are Too Expensive

Translation projects aren't cheap, but that doesn't mean that they have to break the bank either. However, if you don't fully understand the complexities that drive the cost of translation, including the many variables that can rapidly change, it's easy for the cost to get out of hand.

Translation Management Systems can also cut down on the amount of content translated by automatically translating commonly repeated strings. A TMS can also offer advanced analytics and reporting that make it easy to monitor what you spend, where the money is going, and how it factors into the bigger picture of translation.

With the support of a translation management system, your organization can quickly translate and localize content, with minimal cost and downtime. A TMS can also provide both in-depth clarity and automated project management throughout the process.

Your content and user experience are key representations of your brand. Therefore, it's critical to create a seamless and high-quality experience in every new region you conduct business in. Translation management systems can quickly and efficiently help you to get the job done, minus the headache.


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