Based in the UK, Daniel Williams is Global Marketing Project Manager at Videojet Technologies Inc. In this blog, he shares the experience of his first-time at a Welocalize LocLeaders event.
“What is a LocLeaders Forum?” I remember asking myself as Welocalize invited the Videojet team to attend. I’m fairly new to localization having joined Videojet in 2013. I’ve only recently become aware of Localization World and the events that take place around it. I discovered the purpose of LocLeaders and it became clear just how valuable this session could be to me.
Videojet have partnered with Welocalize since 2012, localizing marketing materials into 12 languages for use in 20 countries around the world. Using human translation, we have implemented a five day translation cycle > five day in-house translation review > five day DTP and distribution process for our translation packages. Like any global organization, we face localization challenges with translation quality reviews, inconsistent glossaries across global subsidiaries and meeting deadlines. One of my reasons for attending LocLeaders was to see how we could deal with issues in the quality review process and also find out how other Welocalize clients dealt with similar localization challenges.
My first impressions were good; the relaxed and friendly atmosphere among both clients and vendors was refreshing and complimented beautifully by the impressive Marker Hotel venue on the Dublin Docklands. After an insightful introduction by Welocalize CEO Smith Yewell, we moved into a discussion on the right quality models. I was particularly looking forward to this panel discussion.
Although the context of the conversation focused primarily on technical documentation and machine translation (MT), I was intrigued to hear Wayne Bourland explain how Dell (amongst others) choose not to complete translation reviews, instead taking a sampling and scorecard approach, stripping out the QA process. The quality is controlled by a style and brand guide for every language, an interesting idea for us to consider based on a strong translation memory.
The participation of translation vendors in the room also provided me with a perspective on the challenges they face with matching translation quality to our expectations, something I could suddenly empathize with but had frankly not considered. We often demand a quick turnaround without clearly articulating the purpose, particularly for case study outlines into International English, where the quality level does not have to be perfect in comparison with the final piece. As Smith talked about when he opened the LocLeaders day, all teams involved in the translation process need more metadata to further understand the impact and final destination of the content they are translating.
During the afternoon, we moved on to the topic of MT. Machine translation is used successfully by many of the LocLeaders’ participants; however, not yet by Videojet. As the panel debated UGC and when to use QA to manage quality, I found myself wondering…could this be used for our more structured marketing materials? Web copy, print sample guides and specification sheets are consistent in their structure with many repeating words, could we use MT to reduce costs and then review a sample of the text for QA instead of the whole document? Could MT be used to enforce process discipline across our subsidiaries once we have a detailed glossary and translation memory in place? The discussions provoked lots of questions and ideas that I could take back to my teams at Videojet.
The content and dialogue within LocLeaders raised lots of questions for me, many of which I don’t know the answers to yet. What I do know is that I am in a much better position to understand the full range of tools available to tackle the challenges localization throws at us on a daily basis and how my industry peers manage similar challenges.
Daniel Williams, Global Marketing Project Manager, Videojet