Françoise Henderson, Author at Rubric

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How translation memory cuts costs and elevates Global Content

As digital information expands, translation memory (TM) evolves with it. And today, TM systems are the most used translation applications in the world. A TM system is a complex undertaking that requires a particular skill set.

What is translation memory? In short, translation memory is a comprehensive database that recycles previous translations to be used in new text. By leveraging past translations, a translator can assess whether an automatically generated suggestion is appropriate for the text they’re adapting.

Uwe Reinke of Cologne University of Applied Sciences explains it as such:

“The idea behind its core element, the actual “memory” or translation archive, is to store the originals and their human translations of e-content in a computer system, broken down into manageable units, generally one sentence long. Over time, enormous collections of sentences and their corresponding translations are built up in the systems.”

This process not only saves time and effort, but maintains a high level of quality and consistency across Global Content projects.

The key benefits of translation memory

  • Cumulative savings

    A TM database “learns” from previous projects. When you begin a new one, the new text is segmented and analyzed against past translations to produce matches in your database. Over time, the accumulation of translation memory “knowledge” decreases costs on future translations, while expanding the depth of your text database.

  • Quick Turnaround

    Rubric was tasked with delivering a new level of weather personalization and global localization with AccuWeather’s Universal Forecast Database. From English to Korean, Rubric was able to reduce 1,000,000 words for translation to just 50,000. And though it took a year, we consider the completion of a project this vast to be quick turnaround. For further information about AccuWeather, keep reading.

  • Superior translations

    TM also aids in a translator’s accuracy and output. By aligning your business’s vocabulary, tone, and style, you give a translator the foundation they need to produce high quality translations.

The role of machine translation in translation memory

Simply put, machine translation (MT) is the automation of the translation process by computer. Where translation memory requires a human translator, machine translation is used in combination with TM to hasten project delivery without the need for human input.

There are a number of MT engines available:

  • Generic

    Google Translate, Bing, and similar are grouped here. These platforms provide quick translations to millions of people around the world and can be purchased by companies for API-integration into their systems.

  • Customizable

    An MT element that can be used to improve the accuracy of a business’s vocabulary within a specific field, be it medical, legal, or financial. Customizable MT can factor in a company’s own style and lexicon too.

  • Adaptive

    Introduced by Lilt in 2016, followed by SDL a year later, adaptive MT has greatly improved a translator’s output and is expected to challenge TM in the coming years.

In all cases, MT will attempt to create translated sentences from what it’s learned. For example, it may parse two or three TM matches and automatically combine them to complete a sentence. The result is often the kind of garbled, ungrammatical translation Google Translate produces at times. Because of this risk, a human translator should be available to audit and edit the results for project success.

Gaining efficiencies from large, repetitive texts such as product catalogues is an art that Rubric excels at. We analyze and filter texts to breakdown the component phrases and reduce the unique text for translation. Here’s how we introduce the human element into the act of translation.

How does Rubric use translation memory?

We briefly mentioned our involvement in AccuWeather’s Universal Forecast Database. Through content analysis and manipulation, we were able to translate an exhaustive database of weather phrases into form forecasts such as “sunny, mostly clear, with changing clouds in the afternoon”. Because the component phrase ‘sunny’ was repeated in the file thousands of times, we wanted to ensure we leveraged one translation for all of the repetitions to save costs. We achieved this by translating the above example phrase and ‘sunny’ separately.

Translators were then able to focus on the unique component phrases, while checking them against full weather forecast phrases for grammatical accuracy. With this approach we were able to reduce the scope of the database project from 1,000,000 words to around 50,000. The resultant savings in both cost and time were staggering.

Previous translations where the source text is identical to the new text, or partially matches it, can also be stored in translation memory. In either case, the TM will propose any matching database entries for the translator to use as they see fit.

TM can also be programmed to store translations by product. This is vital for when you have a new product and want to prioritize the order of multiple product TMs to assess how appropriate multiple translations would be. For example, using Windows XP terminology versus Windows 8, or Android terminology against iOS.

 

 

Rubric is a customer-centric, Global Content Partner. We partner with multinational companies to help them achieve their global strategy goals. Need help expanding globally? A trusted Global Content Partner will guide, expand, and strengthen the quality and impact of your translation. Sign up for a two-day workshop where we’ll analyze actual content examples from your business to show you how we can house, maintain and manipulate your TMs in a structured, consistent way across markets.


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With 5G on the horizon and approaching at speed, AI, machine learning, and voice search will soon have a network to match their processing potential. But what do lightning-quick transfer times and cutting-edge comms tech mean for international brands? Let’s find out.

How artificial intelligence is changing global communication

Raconteur reports that “with the help of parallel text datasets such as Wikipedia, European Parliament proceedings and telephone transcripts from South Asia, machine-learning has now reached the point where translation tools rival their human counterparts.”

No longer the stuff of science fiction, artificial intelligence is powering text-to-speech and speech-to-text functionality across leading platforms and devices. In fact, Google and Amazon are in the midst of a battle to see who emerges as the king of speech technology. Google Cloud has just updated its AI-powered speech tools, meaning that brands and businesses can get access to additional voices and languages:

  • Google Text-to-Speech:

    The product now supports 21 languages, on top of 31 new voices courtesy of WaveNet, a deep neural network for compiling raw audio into realistic, natural voices.

  • Google Speech-to-Text:

    The customer usage data attained through data logging has enhanced Google’s models, enabling video transcription that has 64% fewer transcription errors.

Similar to Google’s Text-to-Speech, Amazon’s Polly is currently turning “text into lifelike speech using deep learning”. While Amazon’s Transcribe falls short of Google Speech’s supported languages, its custom vocabulary offering makes up for it. It’s a fair call to say that both products are equally competitive at the moment.

This leap in translation technology has remarkable implications for online translations and face-to-face communication. In fact, Skype’s Meeting Broadcast is already trialing real-time translation for video meetings, bringing us closer to demolishing the language barrier.

Consumers are demanding localized video content

Not so long ago — in a world of dial-up modems and 56k speeds — static visuals and reams of text were the only viable forms of content delivery. Fast-forward to today’s hyper-fast connection speeds and you have a fertile environment for the video format to thrive. Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find a social media post or webpage without an easy-to-digest embedded video. In fact, social media video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined.

With video now the most popular means of content-consumption online, users are demanding authentic localization from brands. Some considerations:

  • A well-delivered voiceover from a native language speaker conveys the cadence and emotional weight or subtlety of local communication in the region you’re targeting. However, it can be costly to translate and record dialogue for every country you’re delivering the video too.
  • Given that 85% of video on Facebook is watched with the sound off, it makes sense for a business to invest in high-quality subtitles. By accurately voicing (pun intended) the nuances of a country’s language through text, you go a long way towards fostering brand loyalty. Consumers are far more likely to choose a brand that’s taken the time and effort to craft content that’s unique to their region.

Your voice is the command

While we’re already witnessing the rise of Voice Search, it’s predicted that 30% of all website sessions will be without a screen by 2020. Now whether or not that comes to pass, there’s no arguing that Siri, Alexa, and similar have emerged as communicative powerhouses that demand attention.

And with great power comes SEO responsibility. Currently 20% of all Google searches are voice-based. And with this statistic expected to rise exponentially, Google is already ploughing resources into voice search optimization for more accurate website ranking, starting with conditioning users to use voice on mobile phones. To get the best results, it’s important to localize your content and SEO for a particular region so that native speakers can find your product or service with ease.

Make technology your friend with an optimized Global Content strategy

As video, text, and speech technology evolves to facilitate the quick translation of multiple languages, it’s vital your Global Content is aligned with innovation and correctly worked for its intended markets. A Global Content Partner has the experience and expertise to tailor and optimize your messaging to the regions you’re targeting.

If you think your organization might benefit from our managed Global Content services, be sure to sign up for a two-day workshop. In the session, we’ll use actual data and examples from your business to show you exactly what’s working in your processes and what can be improved.


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According to We Are Social’s Global Digital Report 2018, the number of social media users worldwide is up 13% year-on-year, with a total of 3.196 billion people having logged into their channel of choice last year. This unprecedented usage is fertile soil for brands looking to reach previously inaccessible audiences.

But with opportunity comes obstacle. In the past, language barriers have proven costly for businesses trying to penetrate new markets. Whether cultural or linguistic, your content translation could be the difference between a message landing or falling flat. And with the market as competitive as it is, where innumerable brands vie second-by-second for consumer attention, you can’t have your voice disappearing into the noise. To keep your organization at the forefront of social media, here are the trends that are expected to dominate our feeds this year:

The state of social media in 2019

In 2018, greater connection speeds and accessibility saw over 360 million people gain access to the internet for the first time. And when you consider a person spends an average of 2 hours and 16 minutes per day on social media, it’s not hyperbolic to call it the beating heart of the internet. To actively engage your audience across these digital touchpoints, Hootsuite advises that brands focus on the following three areas this year:

  • Rebuild trust:

    Consumer confidence took a knock in 2018. Cambridge Analytica and fake news dominated the headlines, making internet users weary of mainstream search engines and social channels, most notably Facebook. In 2019, brands and businesses need to be transparent and honest about how they are collecting and using customer data.

  • Say goodbye to silos:

    54% of businesses reported that departments beyond marketing have started using social media. By implementing KPIs across departments, marketers can help drive this digital transformation and reach new consumers, fostering brand growth, revenue, and user retention.

  • Unify your data: 

    In our fast-paced world, it’s hard to believe that people have enough time on their hands to manage 8 different social and messaging platforms. But it’s true! Brands can take advantage of this cross-channel usage by bringing together audience data for a unified, 360-degree view of the customer.

Connection speeds and accessibility weren’t the only areas to experience exponential growth. Voice search, AI, and augmented reality advertising in social media evolved into viable tools that audiences have quickly adopted.

  • Voice search:

    Thanks to Snapchat’s voice recognition lenses and Facebook’s testing of voice commands for its Messenger and Portal apps, voice-based search is on the increase.

  • Augmented Reality (AR):

    Last year, Facebook introduced its AR Studio, where users are encouraged to “create and distribute new, rich AR experiences with ease”. Snapchat recently released Shoppable AR, a tool that allows users to try out products via a lens. Retailers can then funnel said user to a purchase platform.

  • Artificial intelligence (AI):

    The explosion of consumer data across social media channels has given AI and machine learning unprecedented information to work with. In fact, a paper released in January describes an AI system that will soon be able to pair brands with the perfect influencers for specific campaigns.

  • Video is (still) king:

    Video is the most consumed form of content on the internet, with easy-to-digest one minute variations proving to be the favored length. Surprisingly, posting a one-minute video to LinkedIn gets you 400 to 500 percent more reach in comparison to Facebook.

  • Bookmarks and a new interface:

    Twitter’s once cluttered web interface has been cleaned up and a ‘bookmark’ feature introduced. Users are able to save tweets for later without liking or retweeting them, making for a more anonymous form of personal content curation.

Global Social Media Content. Global mindset.

Global Content is about more than creating content for people around the world — it’s about ingraining an international mindset into every business process, strategy, and activity. This philosophy of cohesion links each department and every office — no matter where in the world — to a global business mindset. With social media, consumers now have a real-time window into this organizational philosophy, from anywhere in the world.

Global Social Media Content — what do audiences want?

“Managing a global brand doesn’t have to be a logistical nightmare. With some planning ahead, a lot of documentation and everyone on the same page, you’ll be marketing in multiple countries in no time.” Sprout Social

Global audiences crave authenticity — it’s not enough to write a post in English and plug the copy into Google Translate. While it has its uses, such a tool doesn’t possess the contextual understanding needed to provide accurate translations for multilingual markets. To resonate across language barriers and international borders, consider the following:

  • Is your messaging aligned to the market you’re targeting?

    An extensive audit of your existing assets — from logos to catchphrases — is needed to determine whether your messaging translates. A great example is how Samsung — a South Korean company — went about entering the French market in 2010. They targeted the country’s love of all things art with an exhibition held at Petit Palais in Paris. The genius twist was that the pieces were screened on the company’s cutting-edge HD televisions. In its first month, the exhibition had 600 000 visitors.

  • Colloquialism and cultural sensitivity:

    While certain references may have been a hit state-side, the same phrases could fall flat with non-English speakers. Take some time to research the country’s culture and consider working with native speakers to ensure your content truly resonates with its intended audience. Take KitKat’s successful efforts to cater to Japan, for instance. Not only did they change their slogan to “Kittu Katsu” (Surely Win), but they introduced matcha green tea, soybean, and wasabi to sate the country’s appetite for savory flavors.

  • Consider multiple profiles if you can:

    The number of social profiles is dependent on your budget and the size of your team. A small team with a single profile can target messages by location — Facebook offers a multiple language functionality that does away with the hassle of having to repost multilingual content. If your team is bigger, consider implementing a number of location-specific accounts. These teams and profiles are by no means siloed, either: each plugs into your primary social media hub to ensure that all work is vetted and aligned to your Global Content strategy.

Solid, considered Global Content expands and strengthens your brand presence in key international markets and social media. And the right partner can guide and advise your messaging to ensure the optimal execution of your strategy.

With the above information as our guide, Rubric is broadening our reach and sharing our global outlook with more organizations.

If you think your organization might benefit from our managed Global Content services, be sure to sign up for a two-day workshop. In the session, we’ll use actual data and examples from your business to show you exactly what’s working in your processes and what can be improved in your social media strategy and beyond.


Françoise Henderson
October 19, 2018
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As a Global Content Partner, we often help our clients with a variety of translation and localization services. In doing so, one question always tends to rear its head: “What is your turnaround time?”

It’s fair question to ask, especially when a client has been burned in past — all it takes is one translation company to miss a deadline and then pile on the excuses for a client to err on the side of caution from then on out. The thing is, there are a lot more factors at play than one might realize, especially if you haven’t worked with each other before.

With this in mind, this blog post should help you manage expectations when it comes to translation turnaround times from a localization services provider.

Communication and transparency are non-negotiable

While unexpected issues may arise that delay or prolong a given translation job, you should never be left in the dark. Leaving a client hanging when an agreed-upon deadline as passed is never acceptable, no matter what. Even if a delay is inevitable, your service provider should notify you as soon as this becomes likely — and always well in advance of the deadline.

In our experience, clients are very understandable when a problem arises, and a solution needs to be found. As long as you’re fully transparent and it’s clear that you’re working with them and not against them.

Turnaround times generally improve over time

The first time you work with a localization service provider, the initially provided turnaround time is a lot harder to accurately predict. This is because time needs to be factored in to find suitable linguists, who can then be used for future translation projects. It’s also important to have a comprehensive style guide to inform and guide the translation process; however, this can take time to develop if you don’t have one readily available.

A glossary of key terms and their equivalent translations plays a key role in any translation process. This will inevitably be a work in progress, with new terms being added as the need arises, but its initial compilation phase can be an unpredictably lengthy and exhaustive process. That being said, once the glossary is up and running, the entire translation process will speed up.

Another key factor to remember is that the translation memory needs time to build up. This will progressively reduce the time needed to translate, as well as improve consistency across translations as previously approved translations can be reused.

How to get the most from a Global Content Partner

The best way to ensure a clear turnaround time without any surprises is to give your provider as much notice as possible ahead of the translation job. This is because great translators need to be booked well in advance; while they might have space for small projects at short notice, larger projects need significantly more time and planning.

Source content usually takes some time to create, so it’s important to let your Global Content Partner know about your translation requirements. This will allow them to plan and allocate resources appropriately. If there is a genuine rush — we know these things can happen — a trusted Global Content Partner will bend over backwards to make it happen; and if not, at least suggest a viable alternative.

If you’re interested in building a relationship with a Global Content Partner that you can trust to deliver, get in touch with a member of the Rubric team today.

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash


Françoise Henderson
September 28, 2018
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In today’s increasingly competitive international business climate, market leaders need to always be on the lookout for new ways to cut costs and boost ROI. In our extensive experience helping companies optimize their Global Content, we’ve identified a simple way for multinationals to do just that: and it involves their technical authors.

Tech authors are specialists at creating content about an organization’s products and services that’s easy for the end-user to understand. This information — in the form of instruction manuals, training guides, or online help tutorials — greatly reduces the burden on the customer support team. The thing is, the value of a technical author can be far greater than a multinational organization might expect. For instance, an author can actively increase company ROI by taking international factors into consideration when writing content.

Easily translatable content means higher ROI

Including the following content requirements in the briefing process will help maximize the value of any content created by a technical author:

  • Local technical constraints and standards
  • Language support
  • Legal issues
  • Language reuse
  • Ease of manipulation (appropriate file formats)

The above points are integral to cutting costs in the translation process for increased ROI. Reworking content isn’t as simple as just changing some text. In some cases, the entire asset — video, audio, or visual — will have to be adapted accordingly. By identifying key areas of content that will need to be translated down the line, the process will end up being far quicker, smoother, and free of expensive delays.

For example, Rubric recently quoted a client who’s been using content by different authors. While this helped vary the tone and style of the content, making it less monotonous for readers, certain content ended up being repeated across each author’s work. This unnecessary repetition quickly adds up when content needs to be translated and localized, leading to higher costs and a slower process. We calculated that by removing redundancy in the text, the company could reduce costs by 30%.

A Global Content Partner will help you analyze your business’ markets and come up with a gameplan to ensure your valuable collateral is translated accordingly. By integrating translation into the process from the beginning, you can avoid the unnecessary costs of having to reconfigure documentation further down the line. The Global Content process doesn’t end there, however, and Rubric will provide your company with a framework to monitor progress as you strive to improve your business processes to maximize your market potential.

Get in touch with one of our specialists today and find out why Rubric is the perfect Global Content Partner for your business.

 

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash


Françoise Henderson
September 7, 2018
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The fourth industrial revolution is here and organizations need to make some pretty fundamental changes to remain competitive. Manufacturing 4.0 is the name given to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It’s taking automation to the next level with the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), where vast amounts of information is collected and shared across a multitude of devices. Frankly, it’s a gamechanger for not just the industry, but the world too.


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