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Sunday, September 21, 2014

MultiLingual is the leading source of information for the language industry and businesses with global communications needs. Published eight times a year plus an annual index/resource directory, it is read by more than 12,000 people in 67 countries. Information and current news are also provided by and the free electronic newsletter, MultiLingual News.

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Current Issue

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September, 2014


Columns and Commentary

Post Editing: Preventative medicine

That’s more or less how you’re supposed to approach business. Before anything ever goes wrong, you make sure your systems are robust and that you’re not wasting money on something that you really should scale back on for the sake of your own health. It’s like preventative medicine for businesses. This is all the more important when it’s a highly regulated sector with little to no room for error, such as life sciences....

Off the map: Indigenous issues

Because of their status as original inhabitants, their differentiation is often made explicit in the context of rampant colonialism that initiated during the Age of Exploration starting in the late fifteenth century. Thus some would define being indigenous as all the original occupants in any territories controlled and colonized by foreign powers, from the advent of the colonial rule until the process of decolonization was complete. Without question, the contrast between indigenous peoples and the colonial powers (primarily European in origin) that displaced them remains a major theme of discourse in many countries, with governments slowly taking action toward preservation and restitution of these unique cultures that aren’t necessarily bound to the mainstream national identity....

Macro/Micro: Innovation, creativity and heart

Between wrong and right, there is a world of gray. Surely we will all agree that to illegally steal the Tamiflu formula and use it to cook up your own knock-off for profit is wrong. But for Pepsi to make money off the words from scriptwriters throughout history is funny and clever. Where is the line?...

Perspectives: Surveying Russian LSPs

Is language business done differently in Russia? The answer is yes — to some extent. surveyed over 100 leading language service providers (LSPs) from Russia and Ukraine and released a report based on their yearlong 2013 results....

Perspectives: Managing home-based community teams

Managing worldwide, home-based community teams can be a daunting task for those of us used to managing workers in the world of cubicles, board rooms and coffee breaks. But there is a highly-trained, educated and specialized workforce full of willing and capable employees just ripe for the plucking if you can get yourself, and your company, into the mindset that this style of collaborating isn’t just an afterthought.

This isn’t a workaround or just a way to save money sometimes. This isn’t an option which exists only for making special concessions for certain special people. This can be, and especially in the world of global community management already is, the ideal way to set up your community teams....

Industry Focus

How life sciences companies can benefit from the LMM

Many firms face scalability challenges related to the amount of content they’re processing, the number of languages and markets they’re supporting, and the timeframes in which they must deliver all of this. Those in the sectors that make up life sciences — such as pharmaceutical, medical devices and biomedical technologies — have additional pressure from governmental regulatory bodies around the world. These firms require a framework to help them avoid making typical mistakes and to enable them to mature as quickly as possible when it comes to localization.

The localization maturity model allows life sciences firms to reduce risk — it’s all about mitigating risk for translation and localization managers at life sciences firms. This focus leads them to concentrate on predictability, reliable processes and knowing what to expect at every turn. The goal of these managers is to translate this effort into achieving compliance in local markets as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible....

Evolving the translation process for life sciences

From a translation services provider perspective, we hear the argument now and again that any translation process change, even for the better, takes time — which is something that executives aren’t too keen to expend. Any deviation from the status quo seems to present a disruption.

Then again, the cost of not changing a process that isn’t working well can be even more significant. This is abundantly clear from the unsettling anecdotes from clients' long-spanning careers in the life sciences....

Responding to translation price reduction requests

Translation has unfortunately made its home as an unwanted stepchild in the content development process. A common reason for this is that frequently within an organization there is no one who is truly responsible for translation. The task of managing translation is thrown on the shoulders of a technical writer, a project manager or someone else who doesn’t have the understanding, time or desire to deal with it, and is generally not compensated for this additional responsibility. Even in companies that have an internal translation manager or group dedicated specifically to overseeing translation, the company is generally too large or too decentralized to control this effort....

Wordscope: creating a kind of 'Google Health'

So in 2010, during meetings with our client on the subject of terminology, we asked, “How can our translators know your terminology preferences?” It was suggested that we take the documents previously published by the organization as our basis. We then asked if these documents were available and if someone could provide them to us.

This question is both a simple and complex one. Yet again, the size of the organization and the vast number of participants complicated this task. Not only were previous reports needed, but also the translations of treaties or conventions referenced in the documents, as the latter have legal value and so forth. It was of course impossible for such a large volume of data to be sent to us on any medium. Moreover, these documents would have had to be organized, sorted by language, subject matter and so on. We were back to square one....

Translating medical devices of the future

Traditionally, medical device industry translations are considered exceptional compared with the best practices of industries such as IT, and for good reason. This is a highly regulated industry, and the quality of translation is not just a matter of customer satisfaction.

However, these differences are starting to blur for two reasons. First, the world of medical devices is going digital. Content related to medical devices is appearing online, such as instructions for use (IFUs), support content, user-generated content or even instructional and promo videos. Medical devices also include complementary mobile apps or standalone software, or may themselves be medical apps. In addition, reporting of postmarket medical device adverse events such as medical device reports is more common, as are electronic ways to register new medical devices with regulators....


Plunet BusinessManager 6.0

Plunet BusinessManager is a web-based tool that runs on a Tomcat web server with MySQL database, though it has also been implemented with MS-SQL. The tool is laid out in a very logical way, analogous to the natural flow of a project. The next tab over on most every screen is the natural next step in a project’s workflow, which allows users to feel at home very quickly. The Home screen features a customizable dashboard that helps to keep project managers organized and on task. Most everything is immediately apparent from the dashboard and the details are a mere one-to-two clicks away. Via the main menu bar, the tool gives access to contacts, requests, quotes, orders and invoices, which are the primary functions used by project managers....


Understanding the global translator community

We recently commissioned a survey that paints an interesting picture of the global translator community. Among the few hundred respondents, a majority was female, with more than 40% being 26 to 35 years old, and nearly 38% being between 36 and 55 years old.

The majority of respondents were located in Europe, which may have something to do with the methods our European company used to apply the survey. This in turn may have affected the number of languages spoken by respondents (Figure 1)....


xml:tm — a new approach to translating XML

XML has become one of the defining technologies that is helping to reshape the face of both computing and publishing. It is helping to drive down costs and dramatically increase interoperability between diverse computer systems.

From a localization point of view XML offers many advantages: a well-defined, rigorous syntax backed up by a rich tool set that allows documents to be validated and proven; a well-defined character encoding system that includes support for Unicode; and the separation of form and content, which allows both multi-target publishing (PDF, Postscript, WAP, HTML, XHTML, online help) from one source....