Juggling languages got you feeling like a one-person translation machine? Between tight deadlines and ever-growing content demands, keeping up can feel impossible. But what if you could automate repetitive tasks and reclaim your sanity? Imagine churning out accurate translations effortlessly, freeing you to focus on the nuances and creativity that make you a linguistic rockstar. That is how the magic of automating your translation workflow works.
Modern people are born with technology at their disposal. And automation is one of its primary components. About 94% of companies nowadays perform repetitive tasks. The introduction of automation allowed them to provide a safe and effective work environment for employees while increasing productivity by 66%.
Translation workflow is the roadmap guiding your content from its native language to its target audience. It covers the following steps:
· Content preparation: Formatting, terminology management, and resource gathering.
· Content translation: The actual process of converting text from one language to another.
· Editing and proofreading: Ensuring accuracy, fluency, and adherence to style guides.
· Quality assurance: Final checks for errors and inconsistencies.
· Delivery: Sending the translated content to the client.
While the ideal workflow runs smoothly, various challenges can arise:
· Manual tasks: Repetitive tasks like formatting and terminology checks consume valuable time.
· Communication gaps: Miscommunication between team members can lead to errors and delays.
· Inconsistent terminology: Lack of a centralized system can lead to inconsistencies across projects.
· Version control: Difficulty managing multiple versions and revisions of documents.
· Scalability: Difficulty adapting to increasing translation demands.
Automation is all about getting things right, being reliable, and delivering promptly. It defines how your target consumers perceive your brand. By delegating a share of your responsibilities to automation, you get the following benefits:
People spend hours on repetitive tasks like formatting documents, applying basic edits, and managing terminology across different languages. Automation tools help cope with these tasks with the greatest precision and free up time for higher-level tasks (e.g., strategic content creation and communication with clients).
Aside from that, it reduces the need for manual data entry and error correction, minimizing the risk of costly rework. Such a workflow upgrade with automation tools will enable you to translate more content in less time, save costs, and boost profitability.
Humans are amazing, but even the most skilled linguists can miss subtle nuances or inconsistencies in translated content. Automation tools like translation memories (TMs) store previously translated segments, ensuring consistent terminology and phrasing across your content library. They leverage machine translation (MT) engines to generate accurate pre-translations, which human translators can then refine, resulting in consistently high-quality translations that accurately reflect your brand voice and message.
Imagine a world where tedious tasks handle themselves while your team focuses on what they do best. Automation upgrades team from data entry experts into strategic content creators.
Automation allows you to adjust your workflow to meet growing translation demands.
Real-time collaboration platforms facilitate seamless communication and feedback exchange among team members, regardless of location.
Every automation tool is equipped with a range of features (e.g., translation speed, accuracy, etc.). Thanks to insights from them, you can optimize your in-house processes for better performance.
The capabilities of automation have the potential to improve your workflow routine and provide greater efficiency. This step-by-step guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools to automate your translation workflow:
Before diving into automation, you must research your relevant workflow. Find time-consuming tasks. Look at what tools you already use and assess how they affect the workflow. If you deal with numerous spreadsheets and various data, consider using a translation management system (TMS). It will consolidate your workflow information and processes into a central platform.
Next, delve into the exciting world of automation tools:
· Machine translation (MT) tools: Leverage tools like Google Translate or DeepL for initial drafts or low-priority content.
· Translation memory (TM) tools: They store past translations, so similar operations in the future get done faster and stay consistent, saving you tons of time and effort. Explore Memsource or XTM Cloud for user-friendly options.
· Terminology management tools: Maintain brand voice and accuracy with solutions like XTM Terminology Server or MultiTerm. These tools centralize approved terms and suggest them during translation.
· Project management tools: Streamline project tasks with Asana or Trello.
· Collaborative translation platforms: Facilitate real-time communication and co-editing with platforms like Memsource or XTRF. Imagine translators, editors, and reviewers working seamlessly on the same project, regardless of location.
This step involves putting your automation solutions to work:
· Integrate MT and TM tools: Most TMS integrate seamlessly with MT engines and TMs. Utilize MT pre-translations for faster drafts and leverage TMs to populate recurring segments, saving precious time.
· Leverage terminology management tools: Integrate your chosen terminology tool with your TMS and translation software.
· Automate project management: Set up automated workflows within your TMS or project management tool. It lets you do things like assign jobs, send alerts, and double-check quality all automatically, without you having to lift a finger.
· Collaborate efficiently with translation platforms: Utilize shared workspaces and comment functions on your chosen platform to facilitate seamless communication and feedback exchange among team members, accelerating the translation process.
Successful automation requires ongoing effort. To benefit from using automation, consider the following:
· Customize and fine-tune MT engines: Train your MT engine with domain-specific content to improve accuracy for your unique needs. Regularly review and edit MT output for professional quality.
· Regularly update and maintain translation memories: Continuously add new segments and update existing ones in your TM to ensure their relevance and effectiveness.
· Establish clear communication and collaboration channels: Clearly define roles and responsibilities within your team, especially when using collaborative platforms. To avoid misunderstandings and keep the project buzzing with progress, set up communication guidelines.
· Monitor and evaluate automation performance: Keep an eye on things how fast translations happen and how good they are. Assess their cost as well. It will help you see how well automation works and tweak it as needed to make it better.
While automating your translation workflow, you must be prepared for potential hurdles, including:
· Dealing with linguistic challenges: While MT advances, complex cultural nuances, and idiomatic expressions might require human expertise. Utilize automation for straightforward content and rely on qualified translators for intricate projects. Navigating the selection of translation workflow management tools is difficult without prior knowledge. It is where localization platforms like Centus can help you by offering a comprehensive suite of tools and services that seamlessly integrate automation with human expertise and ensure the highest quality translations.
· Addressing technical limitations: Be mindful of the potential technical limitations of automation tools. Ensure your internet connection and system configurations support the chosen tools.
· Managing resistance to automation: Change can be unsettling. When people on the team are worried about automation, remind them of its benefits – less busy work and fewer mistakes. Then, give them a helping hand to learn and use the new tools smoothly.
Automating your translation workflow is your cheat code for efficiency. Remember, automation is not about replacing human expertise. Let technology perform the tedious tasks, so you can focus on what requires attention to detail.