Languages

has anyone seen rip van winkle?

One fine autumn day in New York’s Catskill Mountains Rip Van Winkle shared in what was a bit too much liquor. It was offered in a seemingly innocuous way by a group of silent, bearded men playing nine-pins in a hollow along the mountain path. Making himself comfortable under a broad shade tree Rip soon dozed off. When he awoke after what seemed like a short nap – his beard had grown below his knees and the world had completely changed.

Have you seen any similar long-bearded, Rip Van Winkle types wandering the floors of Localization World? I could swear I saw him quietly manning a vendor booth or two with a neglected gaze!

Yes, it would not be too hard to wake up one day in this industry and see that the standard practices of the past no longer applied to the work of the day. For just as in the Rip Van Winkle parable, what has fundamentally changed in our industry is time itself.

Where has the time gone? Oh to pine for the days of localization projects measured in months, but anything measured in months now seems as outdated as Y2K. Regardless of location, language or culture – we expect everything from basic information to entertainment “now”.

Any content, any language, any device, anywhere in the world instantly is the rule of the day. There is enormous pressure on the “Clients” in our industry to compete at this level globally, however many historical, cumbersome and walled-garden “Vendor” offerings are simply not up to the task. There has been ample discussion on the topic, but who is really doing something differently? Well here is a Welocalize example of something very different.

In a recent three-month period for one of our clients Welocalize delivered:

· Over 19 million translated words

· Over 36,000 projects

· Average project size of approximately 500 words

· Average project duration of 48 hours

· Average quality score of 98%

This is continuous localization or what some call “on-demand translation” at its most challenging. Delivering small chunks of 500 words or less at large scale, high speed and high quality requires a new way of thinking in our industry. There has been a lot of discussion across our industry about “translation in the cloud”, “crowdsourcing” and “agile localization”. These are valid concepts but in and among themselves only buzzwords. Looking at the challenge from a broader perspective what is needed is a holistic supply solution that can deliver at scale through open collaboration and extensible automation. Clients, language service providers and translators must all be able to connect seamlessly and automate three key business processes:

1. Project accounting

2. Project management

3. Workflow creation and management

A “walled garden” approach does not address this challenge effectively. This is our philosophy at Welocalize – doing things differently leads to something extraordinary – and it is my vision to revolutionize the industry around innovations that support continuous localization or “on-demand translation”.

This is an open call for those in the industry who share the same vision to join Welocalize in open collaboration to re-shape the way translation services are performed and delivered across our supply chain. We are actively connecting MT tools, CAT tools and TMS tools to create an innovative and automated supply chain. Give us a call if you would like to participate.

 

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