Translating for Technology - 5 Localization Trends in 2013

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We believe there is an air of optimism noticeable in the translation world. It has to do with how multilingualism is gaining momentum across the globe, fueled by the web and the increasing number of applications in people’s daily lives that are global, and used by everyone, in their native languages.

The great thing is that professional localization for multilingual, globe-spanning services is becoming more common. At the same time, the nature of the translation business and profession is changing. It seemed for some time that translators would have to become multi-talents, dealing with all new technologies and adapting to faster product life-cycles, and companies that operate in radical new ways. Luckily many have, professionals are adapting and expanding their skill set. However, we think “outsourcing” the handling of technology in the localization process to translators is not sustainable, and unnecessary. Why? We believe translators should be able to focus on translation, and not have to deal with files, formats, versioning, backups and all that stuff that should never even be a problem in the first place. It’s not just a matter of convenience: the technology is here to get all that out of the way and let people do their actual job.

Here are 5 changes we believe will contribute to the positive transformation of the localization market next year and beyond.

1) Do translators need expensive programs to open and deliver all kinds of resource files?

We think that in today’s market, and with today’s possibilities, putting the burden of file-handling on translators is not justified. That’s why with lingohub we deliver a platform where translators can just login and start working (from wherever they are), let lingohub and the software developers worry about files, formats and specifications. There will always be a need for special work processes, but for most of web and mobile development, we think translators should not have to burden themselves with things that can be solved more elegantly.

2) Do translators need to know how to deal with different versions of texts?

We think that versioning and dealing with constantly changing software, apps and websites, should not be the job of a translator. lingohub integrates software development and translation seamlessly (for example by providing an easy hook-up to Github). If the software producer changes something, lingohub will detect if strings have changed or were added, and a translator receives a notification about the new/different strings. That’s all you need to care about and we think that’s all you should ever have to care about (more strings, more money, of course).

3) Do translators need to know all about the technologies they are translating for?

Definitely not. While it helps translators a lot to understand the market and products in general that they translate for, we believe it’s the client’s job to ensure that whoever they contract the translation to is properly informed about what they are translating. We’ll one-up this, by integrating context-awareness into lingohub. Starting with description, commenting and screenshot uploads, we make sure you know what you’re translating - without having to study the technology (or even running the product in your own office to do that).

4) Do translators need to deliver the results in the formats required?

As mentioned above, we believe translators shouldn't have to deal with files and formats in the first place. On lingohub, the software developer or producer uploads or integrates the text onto the platform, the translator does his work on the platform, and then the software developer downloads or synchronizes the results. Translators are done once they’re done translating. Simple and convenient. If you've ever worked in global teams across multiple versions of office word processing software you know the headaches of dealing with converting, importing, exporting and the like.

5) Should translators bear all the risk and shop around on different portals, going through cumbersome hiring processes over and over again?

Frequenting only a single channel in order to find work as a freelancer is usually not a strategy. Neither is trying to cover every portal there is, in what has also been characterized as a race to the bottom in commercial translation. We believe there should be a convenient market for translators and clients, and in the age of the internet there is no reason why there shouldn't be a great place for supply and demand to meet and enter really meaningful business relationships. lingohub offers that. Not only do we provide a great way for translators to build their own profile in this sector of localization (for free), we also offer the first platform that hosts both software developers as well as translators, cutting down unnecessary hassle to zero, letting everyone dedicate their resources to what they can do best.

In short, we believe the web 2.0 effect (to use that catch phrase) has entered the translation market and will make lives easier for everyone. Quality and will increase, as customers harness new services for quicker, global and time-critical roll-out. Trust matters, so delivering high-quality localization on-demand is a key factor for successful global business. lingohub is going to push the envelope on headache-reduction-technology, making localization a breeze and translation a service you can trust. We’re looking forward to working together with you to make that happen, to create a platform that you’ll love.