The Role of Continuous Translation in agile Software Development Workflows

· 5 min read

International software engineering teams develop amazing products using agile methodologies. These agile development cycles require agile translation in order to meet deadlines. Global organizations are challenged to unify these totally different and unique workflows. This blog post tells you why and how Continuous Translation integration improves agile software development workflows.



What is Continuous Translation?

Continuous Translation is the counterpart to traditional translation cycles. The following key differences cause a whole new workflow and speed in Continuous Translation:
Traditional Translation Workflow Continuous Translation Workflow
Drop frequency of projects low high
Size of projects big small
Turnaround slow quick

Why Continuous Translation Management?

#1 Meet Release Deadlines

Traditional translation workflows usually start at a very late point of the development cycle. Developers meet release deadlines while translators have just started work. This causes half-done or delayed product releases and developers waiting on translations for days or weeks.

Continuous Translation enters at an earlier stage of the development process. Translators have enough time to work out high-quality translations and meet release deadlines too.

#2 Send out Software Updates, Features and Bug Fixes quickly in all Languages

The release of a product no longer represents the end of project but the beginning. After the initial release continuous updates, improvements, bug fixes etc. are processed in software development teams. Hence, global organization roll out updates more frequently and translations need to keep up with that speed. It wouldn’t be tempting if updates are available for just a small group of local customers because translation lags behind. Customer expect a fully functional and updated product in their native language. Thus, your localized product requires translated text for every update.

Continuous Translation parallelizes software development and translation. Fully integrated translation workflows empower ship-ready products for all locales at the same time. Local customers will always use the latest version of your product in their native language.


#3 Automate Translation Workflows

You can no longer afford to send translation texts by e-mail and copy paste translations from a spreadsheet into your product. This manual translation process is time consuming, inefficient and doesn’t meet agile standards.

LingoHub’s Continuous Translation system integrates the two very different processes, development and translation, and automates many steps along the path to a localized product:

  • Connecting your repository/development systems and translation management tool automates transfer of translatable content.
  • LingoHub auto detects changes or updates in source texts so you don’t have to worry about outdated or duplicate content.
  • Translation speed increases because your entire translation team receives notifications if there is a need to translate or edit strings.
  • Once translations are approved they can be immediately published. LingoHub fully omits the additional manual workaround of copying/pasting translations. You can push back final translations to repositories at the push of a button in order to release them.

#4 Implement more transparent and predictable Workflows

Continuous Translation unifies your development and translation teams making the process more transparent for both parties.
  • For translators: Auto synch of translatable content ensures updated texts for your translators. New texts are immediately passed on to your translation management tool so your translation team doesn’t waste time.
  • For developers: Translation management tools like LingoHub track the translation progress. Developers know at any time of the development process how translations are going and when translated content is expected to be delivered.

#5 Collaborate more efficiently

Developers and translators have long worked separately. Thus, collaboration and information flow have been limited and slow. Developers can use early sprints to collect new key terms, information and interface screenshots for translators. LingoHub’s Continuous Translation System makes it easy to share such valuable information across departments:
  • Term Base: Developers can share technical or product related terms and clarification text in Term Bases. They can add these terms directly in LingoHub or collect them in a separated CSV file and import it at a later stage.
  • Comments: Developers can add comments for certain texts directly in resource files which are then imported as descriptions in LingoHub. They automatically share this valuable information with translators upon import.
  • Quality Checks: Developers and UI designers know the layout of a software by hard. You cannot expect that from your translation team especially when you work with external freelance translators. Product managers, designers or developers can define quality checks for text length, line breaks, placeholders, HTML tags and terms in LingoHub. These checks are automatically controlled and enforced so translations won’t break your software.

Wrapping it up

In fact it seems logical that agile software development needs continuous translation. One without the other won’t meet customers’ expectations of frequent multilingual product updates. Fully integrated agile development and translation workflows shorten turnaround times and cut localization costs. Continuous Translation accelerates the overall localization process and spurs productivity in your development and translation team as they no longer work independent. Convince yourself and start your free trial today!
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