Automation is Key in Translating Digital Content

Dimitris Glezos
January 12, 2016
5 min read

Technology is changing the way we live, so much so that the “Internet of Things” has been coined as a way to describe our future — a world where all our needs are easily and immediately solved by the internet and technology. In the workplace, we’re using technology to automate the basic, daily tasks that take up our valuable time. Doing so allows us to become more efficient, and enables us to shift our focus to the other, more important activities on our seemingly infinite list of things to do. What we’re really trying to do is make life easier.

So if automation means making life easier, why should it stop at basic tasks like sorting emails and reminding us about our next meeting? For global marketers, app creators, and developers, automation should extend to all of the day’s activities, including the process of translating digital content.

A Vote for Localization Automation

When the Transifex team sits down to chat with new and prospective customers, automation is a topic that almost always comes up. Companies often ask why automating the translation and localization process is beneficial, and why they should depart from their current method of managing translations, which for most, is a manual process. Our answer is simple and goes back to why you automate anything — to make life easier. We’ll elaborate on this idea throughout this post, but it’s important to recognize how simple the end goal of translation management automation is. All the details and other benefits are just a bonus!

The General Use Case

To get us to the final goal of making life easier, we need to first establish the current process for companies looking to translate content. While all companies have different translation needs and thus different localization workflows, companies who aren’t using a localization automation platform often find themselves:

  • Translating content through a manual process like spreadsheets
  • Communicating with translators and reviewers through long, confusing email chains
  • Conducting an extensive and time-consuming review process
  • Halting development for translations and content changes
  • Expecting some degree of translation error

The above points have become what’s normal and expected when translating digital content from one language to another. The process is manual, lengthy, complicated, and not always perfect. It works, but it could work better.

Break Out from the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” Mindset

Companies who are following the above use case for translating digital content are leaving the traditional translation process alone, actively choosing not to correct, fix, or improve what’s seen as already sufficient. This implies that any attempted improvements to the current system are risky and might backfire. But what kind of companies do we hope to create if we don’t try to break out from the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset?

This is where the value of using a localization automation platform is unmistakably clear: you can release more accurate content, more frequently, in more languages with the same localization management resources than would ever be possible manually.

Localization automation opens doors for companies that understand the value of going global, but aren’t sure if they have the resources to support such a strategy. And in today’s growing digital and e-commerce world, the ability to reach a broader audience, and more importantly, connect with that audience in their native language, gives you an edge over your competitors.

How Localization Automation Platforms Work

A localization automation platform can connect with your website or mobile app and automatically collect content strings for translation. Strings are then stored in a central repository where translators can translate the collected strings to your target languages. Reviewers can see which translations are completed, which strings need to be reviewed, and add extra notes or comments to help ensure highly accurate translations. When translated content has been approved, the platform will automatically push the new, translated strings back into your product so visitors from all of the world can engage with your website or app. It’s a simple, yet automated and streamlined process.

What Making Your Life Easier Really Means

Using a localization automation platform sounds simple enough, but how hard is it to set up? Can anyone, with any skill level, use it? In fact, that’s one of the benefits of a localization automation platform like Transifex. The Transifex system was designed to make localization accessible to individuals in all industries, from developers to marketers (basically anyone with access to the internet), providing a user-friendly experience that automates a manual process that’s never been more than satisfactory. Here are a few other benefits of Transifex:

  • Minimal engineering dependences
  • Reduced translation errors
  • Increased translation consistency and brand messaging
  • One central place for translations and reviews to take place
  • Automatic publishing to show the latest content to users

Want to know how the Transifex localization platform can benefit your individual business? Reach out to a Transifex team member today. We offer free, 30-minute demos to walk through the product and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Dimitris Glezos
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