Curated content for content, computing, and digital experience professionsals

Day: April 24, 2008

Webinar Recording Available: Translation-oriented Authoring

Our April 16th webinar on translation-oriented authoring hosted by across Systems was an excellent 360 degree view of its value from a consultancy, language service provider, and end-user perspective. Thanks to Richard Sikes from LocFlowTech, Inc., Peter Argondizzo from Argo Translation, Inc., and Amy Karls from QuadTech for and a job well done! Access the recording here.

As Sikes noted in his opening remarks, decisions that get made in one part of an organization often show up as costs in another area. This is particularly true of translation and localization costs. Those who create and translate product content (user guides, operator manuals, quick start guides, online help, and the list goes on…) understand the downstream effect of decisions made under pressure all too well.

According to Karls, demand for multilingual product support content consistently is increasing, but timelines and resources are most assuredly not. Isolated story? We think not. Check out the webinar poll on the number of language outputs required from our audience, largely technical documentation folks.

Now check out the range of tools our audience is using to create product support content.

I believe there is not a single technical writer who intends to create inconsistencies or confusion for their translator counterparts. But stuff happens. Like “hurry up” pressure. Like “we lost our editor” pressure. Like “who’s got the latest version of the Style Guide pressure.”

According to Argondizzo, translation-oriented authoring has numerous advantages, among them:

  • Unlocks never before utilized value of translation memory database for writers
  • Strengthens partnership with language service provider and writers
  • Provides content creators with a different perspective of translation memory usage
  • Easy to understand and track savings
  • Time saved by author not rewriting text
  • Consistency for additional reuse in other channels
  • Regulatory concerns in rewriting text that already exists

I wholeheartedly agree. Check out the webinar recording. The advantages of “assistance” is demonstrable and impressive, whether one calls it authoring assistance, translation-oriented authoring, or controlled authoring.

MadCap

I’ve been intrigued by MadCap Software and their aggressive push into the documentation tools space. We just got an in-depth series of presentations on their products, and I certainly came away impressed. Mary Laplante is quoted in a related article over at EContent Magazine.