Preparing Content for a Global Audience – Part 2

Technology, the right resources, effective processes, and a well-thought out global content strategy play key roles in helping organizations manage content that achieves their global business objectives. Val Swisher, Steve Walker, and Diana Ballard, experts coming from varying content perspectives, all agree that simplicity is key to best practices in global content optimization. Continue reading ...

Preparing Content for a Global Audience – Part 1

Departments and teams responsible for preparing content for numerous internal and external audiences can no longer rely on English being “the language of business.” Content must be globalized, translated, localized and often transcreated to satisfy consumers who want to search, learn and buy in their own language in the comfort of their own culture. Continue reading ...

Bilingual TW in ESL environment helps with localization

Being Bilingual Helps: ESL, Localization and Technical Communication

"'Following your privies e-mail,' is 'privies' the correct word?" Questions like these are pretty common in ESL (English as a Second Language) environments, where you are one of the few, and possibly the only native English speaker in a team, department, or even the entire company. Working in an environment where everyone else is communicating in a strange language (i.e. not English) poses several challenges, especially during this age of globalization. Continue reading ...

Writing for Global Readiness: What Technical Writers Need to Know

More companies are translating more content into more languages. Sadly, translating content into multiple languages still costs too much and takes too long. It’s not that the translators or the translation companies are at fault. They are doing the best they can with the source English that they receive. The problem lies in the quality of the source content. There are many things that technical writers, editors, artists, and production editors can do to make English source content easier to translate. And easier content means that the quality of the translation will be higher, the cost will be lower, and the speed will be faster. The perfect trifecta! And for an added bonus, the English version will be easier to understand, too. Continue reading ...

top 12 technical communication articles 10

How to Choose a Translation Vendor for Tech Comm Projects

When a company identifies a need for documentation to be translated into new languages for both existing customers and new customers it is important to ensure you choose the right translation vendor. In doing so, it is necessary to identify options (with associated costs and risks) for meeting current demands, processes for handling future translation requests, and a big-picture strategy for documentation translation needs across product lines and worldwide needs. Continue reading ...

Technical Writing Tips and Tricks

Technical Writer Tips and Tricks: PDF and Online Help Documentation Translation

Over the past few years, I’ve had to manage the translation into French of user guides and online help for TSX SecureFile. The documentation consists of PDF user’s and administrator’s guides produced using unstructured Adobe FrameMaker, and web-based online help produced using Quadralay’s WebWorks ePublisher. This article is based on a relatively simple scenario – a lone technical writer with a small number of manuals being translated into one language. Continue reading ...

Austin or Bust for LavaCon 2011

Terminology Isn’t Just for the Documentation Department

The terminology underpinnings of your content strategy are often a much bigger undertaking and are infinitely vital to your company’s budget and brand. If you’re using the same terms in the same way throughout the user’s experience of content, then you’re maintaining a good relationship with them. If you don’t use the same terms, if you switch words and phrases, users are going to be confused first, and then simply not be able to find content. Continue reading ...

Understanding and Planning for Translation Services: Q & A

Why do technical writers need translators and translation companies? With all of the advances in computer technology, can’t I just use a software application or online translation tool instead? The past decade has seen significant advances in machine-translation (MT) technology. While MT is still a ways off its goal of replacing human translators, today it […] Continue reading ...