I have felt that it is also likely that other translation tools will also change to accommodate these new market requirements. TMS tools were originally developed and optimized for relatively static content, and have generally existed in isolation in localization departments. Over time they have started to get connected to content management systems (CMS) to increase production efficiencies. Very recently we have started seeing some of these tools becoming more collaborative and reaching out to translators to connect them into the content creation and translation management infrastructure. Automation, becomes much more imperative, as the volume of content that is translated grows. CSA has recently suggested that LSPs without a technology and automation strategy will become an endangered species. While there are a few new initiatives out there that help with these "new" problems, one of the more exciting ones I think is Lingotek.
I had an opportunity to talk to Rob Vandenberg at Lingotek about his translation collaboration platform or CTP as they call it. This is a web and cloud based platform and requires no local software to be installed. This to my mind is a next generation tool that is designed from the outset to incorporate and leverage TM, terminology, various MT systems and both internal and community feedback on translations in one common management framework. Lingotek is to some extent a TMS but much more community focused and content stream focused than any of the traditional TMS tools. Also like many of the best products out there it evolved out of a close collaboration with a customer; Adobe in this case, who by the way also uses a traditional TMS product quite intensively.
This differs from traditional TMS in that it “embeds translation tools within the content view” and is also designed to allow many different user groups (customers, partners, resellers, community and professional translators) to all work together on the same content.
Lingotek is focused on Community Content (like Dell IdeaStorm) and facilitates the translation of this content by either community, MT or professional translation and provides linguistic assets and a translator workbench to anybody involved in this translation effort. I have stated before that I think that conversations with real customers and partners is the future of building international markets, so I would expect that Lingotek and others like them will become much more important than the tools that focus on the traditional SDL (software and documentation localization) market. The graphics below shows what the translator workbench screen looks like and how a user can override an existing translation.
Lingotek is connecting to a growing set of community content creation & collaboration tools like: Jive, Drupal, Sharepoint, Oracle UMC and soon will connect to Alfresco, Telligent and Sales Force. They plan to continue to expand on the supported set of “content containers” mostly driven by the platforms used by their customers.
So content can be categorized as it is flows, by community administrators who decide how particular content needs to be translated by it’s relative value. So for example in the following hypothetical table, 1 is the least important content and 10 is very important content that requires and could only be done by professional translation processes.
|Content Value Index||Description|
|7-8||Marketing material, Basic documentation|
|9-10||GUI, Critical documentation, Product marketing materials|
So typically an administrator would decide about routing content to the following three translation processes based on an assessment of value and the required linguistic quality of the translation :
- Assign to professional translation
- Assign to community, MT + community post-editing or
- Process through customized MT
While I am often mistaken as an SMT evangelist, I am most excited by new models of man-machine collaboration that frees information, knowledge and makes it pervasive across languages. I am excited by the problem that Lingotek is attempting to solve as I think it is the most exciting place to be in the global-business-driven translation market:
- Making Community content multilingual
- Making dynamic and continuously updated content streams multilingual
- Allowing both internal and external professional translation resources to work together with community and crowd (think customer, not mob) volunteers
- Creating tight linkages to traditional translation tools (MT, TM, Terminology) and providing tools for any capable volunteer to participate
If anybody is interested in hearing the actual conversation we had, it is available here but be warned it is 50 minutes or so and was not intended to be entertaining.
I am planning on writing about crowdsourcing soon as I think it is a much misunderstood phenomenon that will become commonplace in the enterprise translation market. While I don’t claim to be an expert on this – I think anybody with an open mind can see it is inevitable and necessary.