Expanding access to its search engines, SAS aims to create more cost-effective and efficient function for its localization software for users in the translation community.
SAS terminology manager Ronan Martin announced recently that the search engines in the SAS Portal are available to communities outside SAS. Already operating internally, these tools are used extensively by testers, technical support and in-house translators. Several factors have led to the decision to open the portal.
SAS uses language vendors for most languages and aims to provide better access to freelance translators, who can use the SAS firewall to review their own translations and compare translations of the same source text in other languages.
Along with granting better access to the translation community, SAS must localize software for contractual reasons. “A new generation of young analysts in non-English speaking regions who have only ever encountered many key terms in English,” said terminology manager Ronan Martin. “There is two-way push: translators and some older academics want to use localized terms, while younger people want to use the English terms. This is an ongoing struggle, but the portal at least provides a way of linguistically navigating the software for users who find themselves in this predicament.”
Martin also pointed out that localizing software is expensive and challenging from an engineering point of view. The company’s default position is to localize a software solution to the extent that there is a business case for it. This will usually encompass the user interface. Localizing documentation and user guides can be prohibitively expensive, as they are generally large. Responding to the barrier, users may interact with the software in their local language, and simultaneously delve into English-language documentation and guides. The portal can provide a bridge between the two languages.
Like many other software companies, SAS is moving away from shipping software packages and instead turning to cloud deployment using the DevOps approach. This entails developing discrete pieces of software that are slotted together in different combinations, known as a containerized approach to software development.
Academic environments are also of great interest. Students have free access to SAS software as part of the company’s academic programs.
“We hope that they will take this knowledge and experience into industry with them when they graduate,” said Martin. “We would like to support students, lecturers, course providers, researchers, authors and presenters of papers by providing terminology in the local language, to the extent we are able to.”
Furthermore, SAS expects an increase in situations where third party companies assemble apps using SAS containers behind the scenes. This could be an app developed in another language, or an English-language app localized outside SAS.
“This is a new exciting development,” said Martin, “But looking into the future we would like to establish an eco-system of SAS terminology that cascades down through the software, regardless of where, or in what language it is developed. We hope the portal will enable this to happen.”