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Tag: Multilingual (Page 2 of 3)

Content Globalization: Hot Topics at Gilbane San Francisco

We’re featuring multlingual content strategies, practices, and technologies in four sessions on the San Franciso program:

  • Reaching Global Audiences: Case Studies in Multilingual Multisite Web Content Management
  • Breaking Out of the Silo: Improving Global Content Value Chains by Collaborating Across Departments
  • Content Metrics: Tools for Measuring ROI in Global Content Infrastructures
  • Eliminating the Multilingual Multiplier: Addressing the Cost of Producing Formatted Content in Multiple Languages

These topics are among the hot spots on Gilbane’s 2010 Content Globalization Heat Map, which identifies a set of key investments that companies can make today to advance their content globalization practices and overcome language afterthought syndrome. (See this presentation for more information on these concepts.)

We’re in the process of populating the sessions with top-notch speakers. Check the Gilbane San Francisco conference site for updates. Twitter is #gilbanesf.

How will the Apple iPad cause headaches for creators of multilingual content?

Apple recently unveiled its new iPad device with a flourish of global PR. iPads will go on sale in the U.S. around the end of March this year, and in other countries in the following months. Press and analysts have had a field day praising and condemning the iPad’s capabilities and features, predicting (depending on who you listen to) that the device will be either a terrible flop or another runaway success for Apple.

My analysis predicts that Apple will sell millions of units of its new “universal media device,” as analyst Ned May of Outsell Inc. describes it, but Apple’s success is not my subject today. Instead, it’s a warning: People who generate content for global markets need to know how the iPad might make their work more difficult.

The problem is caused by a technical gap the new iPad shares with its older siblings, the iPhone and the iPod touch. None of them can use Adobe Flash. (For more on Apple’s deliberate omission of Flash and its consequences, see this New York Times story and this one.)

Thousands of global businesses use Flash movies with captions or voiceover narration as quick, relatively low-cost ways to present marketing videos and user guides over the Web to multilingual audiences. For these businesses and the agencies that work with them, the Flash gap is a growing problem. Instead of Flash movies, millions of iPhone and iPod Touch users see blank white spaces. The iPad boasts a larger screen, with display capabilities that will be attractive for business tasks. But all those millions of Flash animations and interviews and guides and other videos will be invisible. Just blank white spaces, no matter what language you speak. That is the Flash gap, which the iPad will make worse.

The alternative is to deliver videos using HTML5. But not all web browsers work with HTML5. Neither do all devices, especially mobile devices. This means Web video providers need to research what specific devices their target audiences use, and what video technology those devices will support.

So if you provide multilingual video content, you have one more detail to pay attention to when you plan your schedules and budget.

Conference topics for Gilbane San Francisco – Updated

Though we are still catching our breath from the Boston conference and the holidays, it is time to get moving on our annual San Francisco conference, which the 3rd week of May this year. The conference site is http://gilbanesf.com, is still mostly populated with 2009 information, but will be updated this week with a new site design and current information. Content from the 2009 event is at http://gilbanesf.com/09/ will be moved to a subdirectory and continue to be available.

In the meantime, The description below is taken from the draft site and will give you a good idea of the topics we’ll be covering. If you are interested in submitting a speaking proposal, remember that the deadline for submissions is January 18. See https://gilbane.com/speaker-guidelines/.

Oh, and the Twitter handle is http://twitter.com/gilbanesf and the hashtag we’ll be using is #gilbanesf.

Gilbane San Francisco 2010
Web, content, and collaboration technology have reached a new level of maturity. This is true in terms of technology, but more importantly, it is true in terms of what businesses expect to be able to do with these tools. Web and enterprise content management permeate every aspect of an organization. Public facing internet sites are the front door to an organizations’ products and services, and where customers, partners and investors engage with the corporate brand and develop perceptions. Internal websites, whether in the form of intranets, blogs, wikis, or portals, provide knowledge workers increasingly efficient ways to collaborate and share knowledge. Customer and internal-facing applications share requirements that call for a number of enterprise content, publishing and infrastructure technologies, such as multi-lingual, social media, search, and integration software.

Gilbane San Francisco is organized into four tracks so that whether you are responsible for marketing, IT, a business unit, or an internal function, you will be able to easily navigate among the conference sessions. If you are responsible for customer-facing business activities start with the Customers & Engagement track, and then add appropriate sessions from the Content Technology & Content Publishing tracks. If your role is focused on internal collaboration, knowledge sharing or support activities, start with the Colleagues & Collaboration track, and supplement it with sessions from the technology & publishing tracks.

Track 1: Customers & Engagement
Corporate websites are now the most important public face of an organization, and the best way to grow, and communicate with, a broader customer base. Successful sales and marketing now requires Web sites that can reach a global audience, a mobile audience, and an audience familiar with social media and used to richer media. Websites also need to be findable, accessible, engaging, real-time & responsive, and have accurate and timely information that is synchronized with other channels. This is a tall order, but it is what your customers expect, and what companies are building.

Attendees:
For anyone responsible for marketing, business, or technical aspects of public facing websites, including, sales & marketing, digital marketing, brand managers, business units with P&L, Web strategists, IT, Web managers, business managers, digital media, e-commerce managers, content managers and strategists.

Topics:

Web content management, analytics, web design and UI, social media, rich media, global reach, multilingual practices, personalization, information architecture, designing for mobile, e-commerce, search engine optimization.

Track 2: Colleagues & Collaboration
Well-designed internal websites for collaboration on projects or operational activities, whether in the form of intranets, portals, blogs, or wikis are critical for supporting modern corporate missions. Social software has reignited interest in enhancing employee collaboration and knowledge sharing, and the right use of social software, alone or combined with an intranet or portal, is a competitive requirement. Employees already use it, and expect it, and can be much more productive with it. While some business use-cases are obvious, companies are a long way from having enough experience to know how best to integrate and deploy different types of social software to best support business requirements.

Attendees:
For anyone responsible for internal websites, portals, collaboration & knowledge sharing activities, including, knowledge managers, product managers, project managers, IT, and content managers.

Topics:
Collaborative authoring, intranets, knowledge management, search, wikis, micro-blogging and blogging, managing social and user-generated content, integrating social software into enterprise applications, SharePoint, portals, social software platforms, enterprise 2.0 strategies.

Track 3: Content Technology
There are many different technologies involved in building web and enterprise content applications. Some of them are simple and some complex, some are open source and some are commercial, some are available via license, some as a service, some are ready for prime time, some aren’t, and some might be ready, but are controversial.

Attendees:
For those who are either responsible for technology decisions, or those who need to keep up-to-speed with the latest technology for enterprise content applications of all types, including, central IT, departmental IT, strategists, and managers who need to know what’s possible and what’s coming.

Topics:
Multi-lingual technologies and applications, XML, standards, integration, content migration, mobile, search, open source, SaaS, semantic technologies, social software, SharePoint, XBRL, and relevant consumer technologies.

Track 4: Content Publishing
Multi-channel publishing
has been a goal of many organizations for years, but it is now more important than ever – and not that much easier. In addition to more traditional print and web channels, smartphones, e-book readers, other mobile devices, and even “in-product” displays need to be considered. In addition to more channels, there are more media types to manage. Dynamic publishing is a key business requirement for both single and multi-channel delivery.

Attendees:
For those responsible for content creation, management, and multi-channel/multi-lingual publishing, IT and others that need to learn about publishing technology because of new multi-channel demands, including corporate or commercial publishers, content managers, digital asset managers, documentation managers, and information architects.

Topics:
Multi-channel publishing, multi-lingual publishing, e-books, tablets, mobile, digital rights, digital asset management, documentation, structured content, XML, dynamic publishing, and publishing business models.

Gilbane at Localization World Silicon Valley

Mary Laplante, Senior Analyst, speaks on the topic of Overcoming Language Afterthought Syndrome:

Gilbane’s 2009 research on multilingual content indicates that global companies are making steady progress towards overcoming language afterthought syndrome – a pattern of treating language requirements as secondary considerations within their content strategies and solutions. This presentation delivers insight into how market-leading companies are adopting content globalization strategies, practices, and infrastructures that position language requirements as integral to end-to-end solutions rather than as ancillary post-processes. The session is designed for content and language professionals and managers who need to know how to bring capabilities like automated translation management, terminology management, multilingual multichannel publishing, and global content management into the mainstream. Takeaways include data and case studies that can be used in business cases to move language requirements out of the back room once and for all.

Localization World Silicon Valley, 20-22 October, Santa Clara Convention Center

Multilingualism and Information Technology

This is the title of the presentation I was asked to give at the Kites Symposium of Multilingual Communication and Content Management in Finland this week. The main point I will be making is that multilingual content will only become easily and widely available when multilingual technology is deeply integrated in information technologies. I doubt that this will be considered controversial by anyone, but both the market demand and the technology has reached a point where companies are looking for slow steady growth to be accelerated. Although this demand is naturally higher in Europe, the potential for reaching new, or deeper into existing, markets ensure that even small to mid-size U.S. companies will be looking to incorporate multilingual technologies as soon as the cost and ease of doing so allows for it (abstract appended below). For more on how companies are thinking about this, see the recent report by our Content Globalization practice Multilingual Communications as a Business Imperative: Why Organizations Need to Optimize the Global Content Value Chain.

As Leonor says, machine translation, which has been around for years, is going to play a large role in multilingual applications in spite of its limited capabilities. For example, you may have noticed the Google translate feature at the top of this page and a couple of our other blogs. This was free, took no more than 5 minutes to install, and is very useful – try it out.

Here is the abstract for my presentation:

Language technologies are becoming integral to content and information technologies. This is a slow process, but inevitable. There is no question of the requirement for multilingual functionality. Those who might have thought or hoped that we would be a monolingual world in the foreseeable future must re-adjust their view when looking at the behavior (good and bad) across the globe today. Even in the U.S., where most of the population has always had a narrow view of language, organizations are awakening to the need for multilingual capability. This awakening is sure to continue because of global commercial opportunities. And because of the inexpensive global access provided by the Web, multilingual requirements are increasingly important for even very small businesses. Meeting the full market demand for multilingual requirements at the scale necessary won’t be possible without multilingual technologies becoming an integral component of mainstream information technologies.

While language technologies are not new and processes for managing translation and localization are well established, there is still much to learn about how to integrate language and other information technologies. First, the number of organizations, and people within organizations, with deep experience in translation processes and technologies is still relatively small. Second, there is fragmentation in the supplier market, within customer organizations, and along the “Global Content Value Chain”, that together contribute to slower growth. Third, development of all information technologies continues to accelerate, challenging even forward thinking organizations with large IT budgets.

Because of the central importance of multilingualism, all organizations need to understand as much as possible, what and how language technologies are being used today, how they are, or are not, integrated with other technologies and applications, and how and when emerging language and information technologies will affect commercial and information dissemination strategies.

The information technologies most immediately relevant to multilingual applications are content management technologies, including authoring, editing, publishing, search, and content management. Recent research on the use of language and content technologies by organizations with deep experience using both kinds of technologies, reveals that there is insufficient integration and interoperability across authoring, content management, localization/translation, and publishing. Much can be learned from analyzing how some organizations have successfully dealt with this constraint.

Language and semantic technologies continue to improve, both organically because of a renewed interest in their possibilities, and because of increases in readily available computing power. In addition to small expert niche companies, very large developer organizations such as Google and Microsoft are investing heavily in language technologies. Machine translation is one example, and one that is increasingly seen as having a serious role to play in many, if not all, translation applications. However, to fully achieve pervasive multilingual capability technology integration needs to progress from the integration of individual software applications, to the incorporation into large mainstream enterprise applications, widely deployed client tools, and software infrastructures.

Technology integration is not the only barrier to market growth. Yet, as more of these technologies are integrated, it will become easier to implement multilingual solutions, they will be less costly, easier to use, and procurement will be simplified.

Multilingual Social Computing: Questioning the Wisdom of the Crowds

The holy grail in translation is the speed versus quality dilemma. That creates controversy. Here’s what we’ve noted after posting our Multilingual Social Networking Alert citing Facebook’s crowdsourcing effort:

No doubt that these references are the tip of an iceberg. How to say “poke” in different languages is clearly not the only conversation going on. And BTW, here’s Facebook’s Translation Application.

On Global Brand Management: An Interview with Translation.com’s Candy Moss

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Candy Moss, Creative Director with Translations.com, to discuss the importance of multilingual global brand management as a success criterion for global organizations.

LC: What role does a creative team play within Translations.com?
CM: Our Creative Team operates as a resource to our corporate clients’ marketing and advertising teams. Our Multicultural Marketing Department provides cross-cultural branding research, copy transcreation, and image consulting services as part of Translations.com’s core service offering.
LC: What is your background?
CM: 20 years in multicultural marketing consulting, with a background in content and creative design; my experience at Translations.com has increased my expertise in Hispanic markets in the U.S. as well as global markets considerably.
LC: How large is the Creative Team and what kinds of tasks are they involved with?
CM: We have close to 20 full time staff across multiple, global production centers. We also contract copy writers, graphic designers, and linguists. Our tasks include researching the impact of brand names, package design, website layout and content; any elements that impact of the global products nuances such as tone, style, design, content, format, color and illustrations.
LC: So that means your team does both transadaptation and transcreation work, correct? For global branding projects, which skill set is needed most?
CM: Both are important. However, adapting marketing messages has more to do preserving the concept (of the message) and changing the execution than with word for word translations. The example on “The Lighter Side” of our Web site demonstrates the challenge of dealing with the intricacies of culture.
LC: What kinds of research does the creative team rely on?
CM: We have extensive qualitative data based on 10 years of proprietary research. We develop customized survey tools based on each client’s needs. Once we get feedback from the target market, we work closely with the client’s creative team. This is also essential because they are the subject matter experts in their company’s product, positioning goals, and target customers. Generally, we function as an extension of a company’s brand champion team: the advertising agency is, in my experience, the group that is the first to recognize the need for our services. In the end, we team up with the agency and the company’s internal staff, serving as a general resource to the group.
LC: What are some of the best practices you have seen in global branding efforts?
CM: Understanding the need for due diligence in obtaining, understanding, and incorporating the voice of the local customer. And then, having the skills to distinguish between individual opinions and reactions to those of the larger culture. Overall? Understand your goals: why are you making these localization efforts and how effectively do they convey your company’s goals.
LC: And the worst?
CM: The idea that one person can assume what a culture will or will not bear. You really have to be open minded so that you are receptive to what impact a phrase or image will have in each cultural setting. A single line of copy or image can have a lasting impact — you want to do everything you can to be sure that impact is positive. Even after 20 years in the industry, and evaluating more survey responses than I can count, I learn something new every day.
LC: What is your advice for those striving to communicate the importance of the local in globalization?
CM: Ask your team to put themselves in the target market’s shoes. If that market receives only x percentage of localized content, the perception may be that they are only as important as the effort put into communicating with them. In terms of marketing and global branding efforts, think of the effort put into the taglines or slogans in the source language, usually English. When adapting the message to a different culture, give the effort the same level of respect.

SDL Buys Idiom: Not an “I”, now an “A”

Integration versus Acquisition, that is. Certainly the latter does not preclude the former. And we expect that it will most certainly not.

SDL and Idiom are making a strategic industry announcement with this move, with both obvious and subtle impacts on both the translation and content management industries. Most obvious is the influence it can have on the impact of integrating workflows, a year-long discussion we’ve having with the Gilbane community. Bringing more visibility to the Global Content Lifecycle and hopefully, more conversation on adding value throughout is a positive event. Ramifications on the state of content management interoperability, LSP neutrality, and market uptake for Idiom’s deep investment in the SaaS approach will be more subtle impacts, which will be important for our community to understand.

We’ll keep you posted as always, but note today’s facts:

  • This is not SDL’s first foray into merging the translation and content management technologies, demonstrated by May’s Tridion acquisition and the more recent investment in Trisoft, strengthening an already “deep” partnership albeit with no public announcement. Tridion caught the attention of marketing content management professionals; Trisoft should have caught the attention of techcomm content management professionals. Idiom will capture the attention of both.
  • As we discussed in Gilbane Boston 2007, organizations that understand the impact of multilingual communications on efficiency, brand, and revenue are moving globalization strategies upstream to “bake in” quality at source content creation. One of my favorite quotes during our Quality at the Source session was from Richard Sikes from the Localization Institute, who reminded our audience that “the whip cracks loudest at the farthest end.”
  • The acquisition announcement will trigger more conversation on topics included in our 2008 Globalization Wish List, in particular the idea of “closing the gap.”

See our post on the main Gilbane analyst blog. And stay tuned.

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