Françoise Henderson, Author at Rubric

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A Translation Management System (TMS) aids localization by automating parts of the translation process, centralizing resources, and simplifying workflows. But establishing what features you really need and considering the many options available, it’s difficult to choose one that ticks all of the operational boxes. From file format and user access, to translator visibility of context and CAT compatibility, the considerations can seem endless.

 

Gather key stakeholders early on

Identify the stakeholders and understand what is the problem you are trying to solve. Collect data on the scale and cost of that problem. Stakeholders should agree on who will use the system, what’s required of it, and whether the business actually needs one. It’s a fine balance of cost, functionality, and interoperability:

  • Do you need your TMS to function both offline and online?
  • Can the TMS integrate with your CMS?
  • How will the integration of glossary checks and customizable QA tools affect compatibility with the existing CAT system?
  • How much support will your internal team need from the TMS suppliers?
  • Do you have the budget and resources necessary to operate on your own?

Taking on TMS administration is a complex endeavor that could cause workflow bottlenecks and drain resources. Consider enlisting the services of a Global Content Partner. Typically, these professionals will be expert at using an internal TMS, allowing you to leverage their skills and experience.

 

What are your operational requirements?

The translation files and what the system is expected to do with them are crucial factors in selecting a TMS. For example, can content be translated in its native format? By minimizing the need for file conversions, you reduce the risk of compatibility glitches.

It really boils down to a business management decision: do you utilize a traditional, developer-friendly localization process, or do you need an advanced set of features that make the translation process easier for non-technical stakeholders, like content marketers?

 

What level of support do you need?

From the outset, companies should identify and prioritize their needs against the costs of development and maintenance.

Weigh up the value of each feature against your localization process to better understand potential ROI and total economic impact (TEI). A crucial consideration is whether you can afford to take on the management and maintenance of a TMS yourself, or if your business would be better served by enlisting the help of a Global Content Partner and their own TMS.

Because a range of TMSs are available — each with varying degrees of development and configuration support — it’s incumbent upon the business to assess each tool and decide if the “out of the box” features suit their content ecosystem and budget. As the system is provided by an external supplier, IT maintenance and software updates may be infrequent or fall short of a business’s requirements.

 

Complete support relies on trust

When in doubt, trust your Global Content Partner and their tried-and-tested TMS.

A Global Content Partner offers full support in establishing a managed and easy-to-maintain translation process, bringing their expertise and experience to the table and taking much of the burden and stress from your plate.

By weighing up the costs and features of a TMS against your needs and wants, Rubric can help you make an informed decision. Partnering with us means reduced overheads, as you can leverage our skills, our knowledge, our own TMS, and our bespoke process-building capabilities. We take pride in supporting our clients and giving them a better understanding of their localization needs.

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If you’ve ever been involved in the content authoring and publication process, you’re probably already familiar with how quickly costs and timelines can get out of hand once you factor in localization. Even for a short document, when you’re translating into 10 or more languages the workload can be immense.

But this doesn’t have to be the case. If you take localization into account right from the outset when you approach global content authoring, it is possible to drastically streamline the process and make major cost savings.

The key here is writing English content that is both easy to translate and easy to reuse. When your original text is clear and concise, it will be cheaper to translate. And if your content can be reused across multiple deliverables, you only have to pay for that translation once. It’s far more efficient to optimize the English version at the beginning of the process than it is to fix individual translations that were based on unsuitable source material.

As with most simple ideas, following these principles is easier said than done – so we’ve put together this article to share our best practices for authoring with localization in mind. Applying these tips should help you save time and money on translation, while maximizing the quality of your localized content.

 

English as one of many

When writing your initial English content, think of it as having two purposes: it’s not just for consumption by English readers, it’s also the master template for all the other localized versions you’re going to create. It’s important to balance both of these purposes, and that means creating content that is both effective in English and easy to translate.

In practice, writing translation-friendly content comes down to clarity and concision. The shorter the document is and the easier it is to understand, the faster and cheaper it will be to accurately translate. And as the potential for errors drops, the quality of the content will rise. Keep it simple with these guidelines:

  • Avoid ambiguity – Try not to use words or phrases that could have multiple meanings. For example, “manual” could be both a noun or an adjective, but “user manual” and “manual pump” leave no room for misunderstanding. Ambiguities can easily lead to misinterpretations and translation errors.
  • Be clear – Ensure content is easy to follow by avoiding long, nested sentences. Even when multiple thoughts are closely connected, it’s best to separate them into simple, discrete sentences. In particular, it is essential to ensure that the subject of each sentence and clause is clear, since in many languages the subject directly influences word formation for the rest of the sentence.
  • Keep it consistent – Don’t use synonyms for their own sake. If you mean the same thing, use the same word or phrase. Keeping terminology consistent will make the content much easier to follow for both translators and readers. (More on this later.)
  • Short and sweet – When it comes to translation, every word costs money. With that in mind, you should ensure that each word in the English version is delivering value and deserves to be translated. Avoid using many words when a few would do. Modern content typically aims to inform readers rather than overtly sell to them, so there’s no need for flowery language – the goal should be to clearly convey meaning in the most concise way possible.

 

Writing for reuse
The value proposition

Before going any further, it’s worth taking a closer look at how translation costs are typically determined. The primary factor is word count, and the best way to reduce the number of words that need to be translated is by reusing existing content that has already been translated in the past.

Translation memory software stores all your previous translations, so if you employ exactly the same English phrases or sentences that you’ve used before, there won’t be any translation cost. That being said, the match has to be perfect. The smallest inconsistencies – even as minor as a single space or capitalization – will turn a precise match into a “fuzzy match” that still needs to be translated (albeit often at a reduced rate).

ORIGINAL CONTENT RE-USED CONTENT CHANGED CONTENT
46 words in English =
598 words in 13 languages
Exact matches 18 new words in English =
234 new words
28 edited words in English =
364 edited words (fuzzy matches)
$140.78 $0.00 $100.20
The motors are reversible and come in 12V DC versions with a choice of speeds. The motors are reversible and come in 12V DC versions with a choice of speeds. The motors are reversible and are available as 12V DC and 24V DC versions with a choice of speeds.
They are robust but very lightweight and are easy to use. They are robust but very lightweight and are easy to use. They are robust but very lightweight and are easy-to-use.
The motor weighs 2.6 pounds with a maximum rotational speed of 50RPM The motor weighs 2.6 pounds with a maximum rotational speed of 50RPM The motor weighs 2.6 pounds with a maximum rotational speed of 50 RPM
Simple installation with simple instructions. Simple installation with simple instructions. Simple installation with simple instructions.

In this example, we have 46 English words that need to be translated into 13 languages. The first time we translate this content (column 1), it will cost $140. In a subsequent project (column 2), we have an opportunity to reuse the original content word-for-word, so there is no translation cost at all. However, if we had instead rewritten the original content with minor changes (column 3), rather than exact matches we would have 18 new words and 28 fuzzy matches. As a result, we would have to pay $100 to translate the changed content – effectively paying 70% of the cost again due to trivial differences that add no value to the new copy.

Consider your content landscape

From a mechanical perspective, using the DITA content authoring framework is an excellent way to simplify reuse. DITA encourages a modular approach to writing, where sections of content are designed to stand alone and can easily be pulled into many different documents. But this is only one piece of the puzzle. DITA is a great tool for content reuse, but it won’t work without the right mindset.

In our experience, authoring in a vacuum is the most common mistake among businesses creating global content, and it’s the biggest obstacle to effective translation reuse. Content doesn’t exist in isolation. It’s part of a wider landscape that spans different deliverables, products, and brands – and authors should always consider this landscape when working on new projects.

This comes back to the point we made earlier about consistency: if a customer starts by looking at a product brochure, and then decides to read the datasheet for that product, they should encounter the same terminology and messaging. This is a perfect opportunity for content reuse. A datasheet author that is aware of the wider content landscape will know that they can leverage a significant amount of text from the existing brochure. By reusing the content, they will improve their own productivity and cut hundreds of words from the translation workload.

To maximize consistency when it comes to product details, we recommend treating your product information management (PIM) system as the single source of truth. Whatever type of content you are creating, you should be able to pull the same data and copy from the PIM system every time. Errors in technical details are unacceptable, so having a master version to draw on is invaluable for both accuracy and localization efficiency. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog where we’ll dive deeper into the best ways to leverage PIM systems.

 

Send us your content!

If you’re curious about the potential improvements and savings you could make in your own localization process, why not send us some of your collateral? We’ll assess your content for repetitions, and we’ll get back to you with advice on how you can optimize your approach for ease-of-translation, reusability, and quality.

At Rubric, our specialists have almost 25 years of localization experience, and they are ready to provide their best practice expertise to help you transform your content strategy.


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Rubric is pleased to announce that we’ll be attending The Society of Technical Communication’s (STC) 2019 Summit! Now in its 66th year, the STC Summit is the premier conference for the technical communication world.

STC is the largest and oldest professional association dedicated to the advancement of technical communication. The expo brings together our peers for in-depth discussions and presentations on key trends, issues, and cutting-edge solutions.

What is technical communication?

Technical communication simplifies technical or specialized subject matter, such as medical procedures or computer algorithms. STC defines the benefits:

“The value that technical communicators deliver is twofold: They make information more useable and accessible to those who need that information, and in doing so, they advance the goals of the companies or organizations that employ them.”

Who is Rubric?

Founded in 1994, Rubric is a trusted Global Content Partner with a track record of helping multinational companies achieve their global strategy goals via targeted translation for multilingual markets. Some of our clients include Amway, AccuWeather, and Toshiba.

Last year, and with the help of CSA Research, Rubric underwent a re-brand that saw the company pivot to a consumer-centric strategy centered around Global Content. Our new descriptor — your ‘trusted Global Content Partner’ — was born from this shift in focus. As a trusted Global Content Partner, we thrive on collaboration with our clients to solve the challenges and complexities of Global Content. Rubric offers a wide spectrum of localization solutions for organizations that want to market their services globally. This includes translating product and training manuals, ensuring digital content is aligned to a region’s language, as well as market research and guidance from asset ideation through to delivery.

Why did Rubric opt for this model? While traditional translation services may save a company costs, the strategies employed do not deliver the long-term transformational ROI that a trusted Global Content Partner can offer. In fact, by shepherding content from creation to translation to market release, we have proven that a company will save on costly reworks down the line.

What kind of clients do we partner with?

From localizing Amway’s multimedia training collateral to delivering a new level of global weather hyper-localization for AccuWeather, Rubric has delivered translation solutions to some of the world’s largest organizations. We offer solutions in the technology, manufacturing, and software spheres for companies that want their products and services translated for multilingual markets.

Who you’ll meet at the STC Summit

Our management team will be manning the booth — make sure to say hi, they’re looking forward to meeting you!

  • Ian Henderson, Chairman and Chief Technology Officer: Ian is the co-founder of Rubric and has devoted more than 20 years to Rubric’s growth. His foresight and communication prowess has been instrumental in helping clients reap the rewards of globalization and benefit from agile workflows, while still guaranteeing the integrity of their content.
  • Françoise Henderson, Chief Executive Officer: Françoise is the co-founder of Rubric. With over 20 years of experience in corporate management and translation, her leadership of Rubric’s worldwide operations and strategy has proven invaluable. Under her guidance, we’ve generated agile KPI-driven globalization workflows for clients and reduced time-to-market across multiple groups.
Where you’ll find Rubric at the STC Summit

Come meet us at Booth #304 and see some examples of our Global Content Partner strategy in action!

In the meantime, connect with us on social media:

Facebook

Twitter

Linkedin

Here’s to a memorable STC Summit 2019!


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Whether you’re dealing with an aircraft, an industrial robot, or a pump, when it comes to configuring and maintaining machinery there is no room for error. Mistakes during installation or servicing can lead to equipment failure, accidents, and even fatalities. That’s why it’s so important for technical documentation to be clear and concise, with no room for misunderstanding.

But achieving this level of clarity can be a major challenge, especially when you factor in language barriers: even though English is the prevailing language for technical documentation, engineers and end-users are not always native speakers.

Standardize and simplify

The proven solution to this problem is Simplified Technical English (STE). Originally developed for the aerospace industry, STE is a controlled language that utilizes a limited vocabulary where each word has a single, clearly defined meaning. By keeping word usage and linguistic construction simple and consistent, STE minimizes the potential for misunderstandings.

Today, STE is seeing growing popularity outside of aviation. In the manufacturing sector in particular, businesses and technical communicators are increasingly seeing the advantages of employing a preexisting, standardized framework for their technical writing. Internal style guides and glossaries are not new concepts, but developing them from scratch and keeping them up-to-date can be immensely time-consuming. In contrast, STE is a premade and proven system, and organizations can easily adopt it with just minor customizations to suit their industry.

But how can you tell if STE is right for your business? Well, consider this question: Is proper understanding of your installation and maintenance documentation critical to safety? If your answer is “yes”, then STE is almost certainly a good fit.

From simplified English to simplified translation

STE is an excellent way to make your technical documentation more consistent and easier to understand for non-native English speakers, but it isn’t always enough on its own. Sometimes you will need to go one step further and translate your content.

Target audience is the biggest factor here. If your end user doesn’t speak English at a high enough level, or at all, then translation is obviously the best option. This situation is especially common in B2C scenarios where the customer base is wider and potentially more varied.

When localizing technical documentation, STE still offers the ideal starting point, since the benefits of STE (reduced ambiguity, improved clarity and consistency) are passed on to the localized content.

By localizing your existing STE style guide and glossary for each of your target languages, you can maintain the same degree of clarity in your translations as you have in your source content. This approach reduces ambiguity from the localization process, minimizing the risk of misunderstanding or error and resulting in a higher quality, easy-to-use end product.

Additionally, authoring source content in a concise and standardized way will enable you to make the best use of translation memory (TM) technology. TM systems automatically provide suggestions to translators by remembering past translations. And when sentence construction, word usage and grammar are kept consistent in the source language, the potential for TM leveraging – and the resulting time and cost savings – goes up significantly.

Benefits for writers, readers, and businesses

Improved end-user safety is the main reason for adopting STE and standardized translations, but it is far from the only benefit. The approach we have described in this blog can make life easier for technical writers, translators, and customers, while also delivering considerable savings to your business., using the same controlled language across all projects makes content creation much more straightforward. With this methodology, technical communicators typically make fewer errors, spend less time worrying about word choice, and gain more benefit from TM systems – all of which help them to work more effectively and productively.

  • For writers, using the same controlled language across all projects makes content creation much more straightforward. With this methodology, technical communicators typically make fewer errors, spend less time worrying about word choice, and gain more benefit from TM systems – all of which help them to work more effectively and productively.
  • From the business perspective, STE keeps content concise and wordcount low. This leads to lower translation volumes and lower costs, especially when combined with improved TM system utilization.
  • Last but not least, implementing these standards will greatly enhance the consistency of technical documentation across your company as a whole. When instructions are always written in the same way, repeat customers will have a far easier time safely getting to grips with new products.
Partnering for success

Adopting STE principles in other languages can seem daunting, but that’s where Rubric comes in. Our expert team will work with you to develop bespoke localization style guides and advise on how to embed best practice terminology processes into your business.

Our experts can also help inform your decisions on the tooling and architecture used in your localization process. These choices will have a major, multiplicative effect on the quality of your content and the efficiency of your processes – so the earlier you involve us, the better!

If you’d like to learn more about STE or our localization services, we’ll be at the STC 2019 Technical Communication Summit & Expo in Denver, CO next week. Come visit us at Booth #304 from May 5th-8th – we’d love to meet you! If you aren’t in the Denver area, be sure to follow us on social media for the latest updates.


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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


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