You can’t see them, but they have an enormous impact: we’re talking about interfaces in the translation process. Customized solutions and connectivity allow clients to send texts to their translation agency and get them back in an automated process without requiring any human intervention – saving both time and stress.
Managing translations makes up the majority of the time and energy businesses spend on language services. Those responsible for each project are constantly asking questions:
- Which files need to be translated and when?
- How do I send them to the translation agency?
- How will I get them back?
- How do I insert the new texts into our existing documents?
- How do I co-ordinate in-country reviews?
- How can I pass on feedback?
All this means conventional translation management workflows often involve a lot more work than you’d like. The necessary texts are usually copied manually from various content management or authoring systems and sent by e-mail to the translation agency. Then, once the translations have been sent back, they need to be checked in-house by staff at the various sites around the world – so the texts need to be e-mailed to them as well. After a potentially lengthy e-mail exchange, at long last the ready-to-use texts are sent to the person responsible for the project, who copies and pastes them into the system. But it doesn’t have to be like this: intelligent interfaces can make translation management much simpler.
No more copy and paste
State-of-the-art software creates interfaces which automate and simplify the entire process, helping it run smoothly and minimizing the stress of translation management. Letting computers and software do their thing gives you intelligent interfaces that benefit you in various ways:
- Automated data exchange
- Data security thanks to encrypted transfer
- Seamless integration of content
- No more copy and paste errors
- Save time and money
What are interfaces in translation?
An interface is the connection point between two information processing systems that work together to exchange data. In the translation industry, that means a client’s content management or PIM system, or sometimes simply an individual exchange folder, “talks” to the translation agency’s systems and exchanges translation data in a partially or fully automated process.
This communication relies on APIs (application programming interfaces) produced by software developers – but that’s only half the battle. In order for the various systems to talk to each other, to a certain extent they need to speak the same language. So a program code is required that allows System A to understand the API commands from System B, and vice versa: in essence, the code tells both systems what they should do and how the data should be exchanged over the interface. There are various ways this can happen, depending on the features of the APIs and the client’s needs.
The big advantage of intelligent interfaces is that they automate and simplify data transfer and allow you as the client to work in the software environment you’re familiar with. Either you can send the content to be translated straight from that environment to the translation agency, or the system will detect when new content is available and transmit it to the agency, who then translate it and send it back. In short, intelligent interfaces help optimize workflows between clients and translation agencies. And not only that: they also guarantee data security, as the connection protocols are encrypted.
Benefiting big projects in a big way
Establishing and using intelligent interfaces is therefore particularly beneficial when clients work with content management or PIM systems and regularly need to produce multilingual content – for instance, there’s enormous potential if they have dynamic websites that are constantly being updated. Another potential application would require no human involvement at all: text can be automatically sent to the translation agency, translated using their machine translation engine and be sent back to the client in a matter of moments. This can be useful if you simply need to get the gist of a text or to check that the layout of the translated text will work (this is known as pseudo-translation). So there’s a huge range of possibilities to suit clients’ individual needs.
Do you work with a content management or PIM system and want to make the most of intelligent interfaces? Talk to us and we’ll help you decide what’s best for you!
Main image: © Storyblocks