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Tag: multilingual technology

W3C launches Multilingual Web Language Technology Working Group

W3C announced new work to make it easier for people to create Web content in the world’s languages. The lack of standards for exchanging information about translations is estimated to cost the industry as much as 20% more in translation costs, amounting to billions of dollars. In addition, barriers to distributing content in more than one language mean lost business. Multinational companies often need to translate Web content into dozens of languages simultaneously, and public bodies from Europe and India typically must communicate with citizens in many languages. As the Web becomes more diverse linguistically, translation demands will continue to grow.

The MultilingualWeb–LT (Language Technology) Working Group will develop standard ways to support the (automatic and manual) translation and adaptation of Web content to local needs, from its creation to its delivery to end users. The MultilingualWeb-LT Working Group receives funding from the European Commission (project name LT-Web) through the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).

Gilbane Group Releases New Study on Multilingual Product Content

For Immediate Release

Pioneering Research Describes Transformation of Technical Communications Practices to Align More Closely With Global Business Objectives

Cambridge, MA, July 28 — Gilbane Group, Inc., the analyst and consulting firm focused on content technologies and their application to high-value business solutions, today announced the publication of its latest research, Multilingual Product Content: Transforming Traditional Practices Into Global Content Value Chains.

The report is backed by in-depth qualitative research on how global businesses are creating, managing, and publishing multilingual product content. The study extends Gilbane’s 2008 research on multilingual business communications with a close look at the strategies, practices, and infrastructures specific to product content.

The research clearly shows a pervasive enterprise requirement for product content initiatives to tangibly improve global customer experience. Respondents from a mix of technical documentation, customer support, localization/translation, and training departments indicate that “global-ready technology architectures” are the second most often cited ROI factor to meet the directive. All respondents view single-sourcing strategies and self-help customer support applications as the two most important initiatives to align product content with global business objectives.

“Successful business cases for product content globalization address top-line issues relevant to corporate business goals while tackling bottom-line process improvements that will deliver cost savings,” commented Leonor Ciarlone, Senior Analyst, Gilbane Group, and program lead for Multilingual Product Content. “Our research shows that while multilingual content technologies are clearly ROI enablers, other factors influence sustainable results. Cross-departmental collaboration and overarching business processes, cited as essential improvements by 70% and 82% of respondents respectively, are critical to transforming traditional practices.”

 Multilingual Product Content is the first substantive report on the state of end-to-end product content globalization practices from multiple perspectives. “Gilbane’s latest research continues to show both language and content professionals how the well-managed intersection of their domains is becoming best practice,” said Donna Parrish, Editor, MultiLingual magazine. “With practical insights and real experiences in the profiles, this study will serve as a valuable guide for organizations delivering technical documentation, training, and customer support in international markets.”

The report covers business and operational issues, including the evolving role of service providers as strategic partners; trends in authoring for quality at the source, content management and translation management integration, machine translation, and terminology management; and progress towards developing metrics for measuring the business impact of multilingual content. Profiles of leading practioners in high tech, manufacturing, automotive, and public sector/education are featured in the study.

Multilingual Product Content: Transforming Traditional Practices Into Global Content Value Chains is available as a free download from the Gilbane Group website at The report is also available from study sponsors Acrolinx, Jonckers, Lasselle-Ramsay, LinguaLinx, STAR Group, Systran, and Vasont Systems.

About Gilbane Group

Gilbane Group, Inc., is an analyst and consulting firm that has been writing and consulting about the strategic use of information technologies since 1987. We have helped organizations of all sizes from a wide variety of industries and governments. We work with the entire community of stakeholders including investors, enterprise buyers of IT, technology suppliers, and other analyst firms. We have organized over 70 educational conferences in North America and Europe. Our next event  if Gilbane Boston, 1-3 December 2009, Information about our newsletter, reports, white papers, case studies, and blogs is available at Follow Gilbane Group on Twitter at

Gilbane Group, Inc.
Ralph Marto, +1.617.497.0443 xt 117


Meet Gilbane: SDL GIM Chicago

We travel to the Windy City on January 21 for the next event in SDL‘s series on global information management. Speakers from Fair Isaac and Garmin will share their experiences with creating, translating, managing and publishing multilingual content. Gilbane’s kick-off presentation looks at trends and best practices emerging from our research on how companies are aligning multilingual content practices with business goals and objectives.
Registration is open to anyone with an interest in managing content for global audiences.

It Starts with One Word: Lessons from the European Union

When applying the “one word” phrase to translation or localization processes, the “it” can be either accuracy or complete gaffe. Given the velocity of the Internet, an offensive or comical translation of just one word can proliferate faster than the designers of the age-old Faberge commercial could have imagined.

In fact, just one skewed word changes meaning, invites misinterpretation, and erodes quality. One inaccuracy; many consequences. Terminology Management (TM) should be a no-brainer, right? Unfortunately, we’ve seen TM listed toward the bottom of the priority list — or not at all — when discussing imperatives for the global content lifecycle within the content management community.

When I read SDL’s report on the TM benefits realized by the European Institute of Romania (EIR) during their accession process, I thought it was an impressive story. 158,000 pages of translation; 54,000 terms covering more than 8 languages; 23,000 validated terms submitted to the EU’s terminology database, Inter-Active Terminology for Europe (IATE). Hmmm. A collaborative, jointly-managed, and centralized terminology database with more than 8 million terms? Even more impressive.

Intrigue led me to SDL’s Christie Fidura, Senior Product Marketing Manager, which led me to Karl-Johan Lönnroth, the Director General of The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation (DGT). The Faberge commercial in action.

Described as one of the largest translation services in the world, the DGT provides translation services for all 23 of the European Union’s official languages, has a permanent staff of 1,750 linguists and 600 support staff, and currently translates over 1.7 million pages per year. If that’s not impressive enough, my interview with a very cordial Lönnroth provided even more insight in the EU’s commitment to citizen expectations for translated content, the value of TM, and the impact of cross-country collaboration.

Lönnroth began the interview with a simple, but compelling statement: “The support of 23 languages equates to 506 possible language combinations. Managing this is impossible without terminology management.” In managing the DGT as a service provider based on supply and demand, he also noted the continuing rise in expectations for translated content and with it, Web access to that content. Echoing the theme of the Globalization Track at Gilbane Boston 2007, Lönnroth’s message was that EU citizens are less and less tolerant of institutional and legislative information that is not in their native language.

So how does the IATE fit in? Lönnroth sees the multi-year effort as both a government and public service in “reinforcing the EU’s global interest in providing quality translations.” Over the last year, the merger of all European term banks resulted in a remarkable — and free — knowledge repository comprising 50 years of work. The repository is essential for candidate countries seeking accession and faced with the requirement to translate the EU’s Acquis Communautaire into their native language according to mandated deadlines. Such was the case for Romania and Bulgaria, which became Member States on January 1st, 2007.

As the Director-General of the DGT since 2004, Lönnroth is steadfast in promoting the EU principle of “unity in diversity” as well as the fact that multilingualism is essential. His focus on translation management is a critical part of the DGT blueprint for a multilingual European Union.

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