Technical localization challenges

When you need to localize your technical content especially if you are working in a very specialized field, selecting your technical translation partner is a real challenge:

– If you don’t have any expertise in the target language, you will have to trust the translator who will claim he is an expert in your domain, thus putting your brand image in his hands.

– If you have the expertise in the target language you will ask plenty of translators to pass a dedicated test. This will be a long and costly process and the chances that you get a satisfactory result are extremely low. Furthermore if you eventually find the ideal technical translator, he will be far more expensive than average and you will be relying on his availability. And you might have to start the process all over again at any moment.

Read our whitepaper on choosing the right localization partner.

Another challenge lies in the content format. Very often technical translation content is provided in specialized formats such as dedicated DTP tools like Framemaker or more and more specific XML formats from different authoring tools or CMS like XML DITA or MapCadFlare, AuthorIt and so on. Very few specialized translators can handle efficiently these formats.

WhP has long understood this concern from the many companies who have approached us desperately looking for a professional long-term solution to this dilemma and consequently has developed a dedicated technical translation methodology.

WhP is your language partner in technical translation. We have accumulated rich experience in highly technical translation and localization projects: advanced training on international accounting standards, such as a dam project in Ecuador, glass inspection machines, weapons for an international supplier targeting professional audience, etc. No matter how professional and technical your project will be, WhP can localize it into target language in a cost-effective, time-efficient and culturally-adapted way. For all the technical translation projects localized by WhP, we will transfer all the IP rights of terminology and term base to the end customer.

WhP technical translation process

As a professional language service provider, WhP shall set up a technical  translation process to deliver good quality, at a reasonable cost and high flexibility:

  • Knowledge transfer

– WhP selects technical translators from its global network with relevant expertise in related domains

– Organizes a web session where the client’s expert gives a brief overview of the technical translation project. This allows translators and WhP PM to get hold of the product before the terminology preparation and translation phases are launched.

– WhP gets all reference materials from customer (style guides, translation memories, testing manuals, multilingual reference documents…)

  •  Selection of specific translators

– Work with customer to prepare a dedicated test to select specific translators

– From its network of more than 1,000 translators, WhP tests and selects qualified translators dedicated for your project

– From a specific search on the market, WhP’s vendor management manager will check references and launch the standard selection process and prepare dedicated tests.

  • Terminology build up with Customer SME

– Extract and define key terminology used in the original content, including terms that must remain in English (e.g. acronyms, brand- or product names); the resulting terminology list will be used as a basis for the target language glossary

– Translate the key terminology; this translation will be performed by WhP lead linguists

– Submit the glossary to client experts for review and approval. If the client does not have experts in the selected languages, WhP will search for relevant local expertise in the academic world and propose this expertise to the client

– Implement changes requested by client’s reviewers and finalize the glossary for use by the translation team. This term base is integrated into our CAT tools

– For each significant technical translation project we re-run this cycle (extraction, translation, validation). For smaller and faster projects, the translators will indentify the missing terms during the translation phase; suggest the addition of terms and their translation in the term base subject to the approval by the SME and ICR through the query management process.

  • Translation / review:

– Translate the content using the approved terminology and query management process

– Internal review within WhP of the translated technical content

  •  In-country reviewers

– Selected in-country reviewers ( or technical expert if customer cannot provide in all languages) will review the proposed terminology

– Translated content (all content or samples) will be reviewed to ensure quality.

  • Virtuous learning cycle

– Feedback to the translators so that they learn from the ICR corrections

– Capitalization of the knowledge in the term base, translation memories and query data base.