Are you ready to translate your training material and make it available to your international audience?
Or, are you selling your product abroad and you want to equip your international buyers with training material?
Regardless of the reason, it's worth considering some potential worries and objections that may cause issues with training material translation.
We at ATL have answered countless questions of concerned clients who had issues with translating their training materials, or have expressed concerns regarding it.
Over the last 15 years, we have not only assisted our clients with localization services, but we have also provided them with solutions to their problems.
This article will discuss some of the problems associated with training material translation.
In most companies, there are internal marketing teams who are responsible for filling the communication gap between the company and their international audience. They are also responsible for translating content internally, especially in slowly-developing companies.
A lot of the US companies selling in Europe do not have any marketing division located in this area, even a year after entering the local market. And even if the company has a local marketing representative, this person is most often a junior representative.
Such people have a lot to do when it comes to their primary responsibilities. Adding tasks like translation can get very complicated. Marketers are paid for their marketing tasks. The time spent on translation is time not spent on their basic duties, or developing new marketing skills.
People who are not professional translators simply do it much slower than experienced linguists. Translation requires proper preparation and research. Translation needs to be checked, sometimes several times.
This means that marketing teams are often in a hustle between their regular duties and translation.
Also, is a member of your marketing team the most knowledgeable person to choose the best style for translating training material? Or, are they more of an expert in brand positioning, driving qualified traffic, or organic and paid acquisition channels?
So, if you are not going to translate content internally, then how?
You can choose from a wide scope of translation companies. Compare them and find the one that is best for you. There are also freelance translators to choose from, but translation is just one step in a bigger process required in translating training.
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Translation companies that meet ISO 17100:2015 standard requirements only cooperate with professional translators. A professional translator is either a translation studies graduate or a person that has a number of years of documented experience as a professional translator.
A translation professional must first and foremost be an expert in the subject matter of the text they translate. For example, a person who works on training material translation for a medical device must be familiar with how this tool works, what it does, and they have to understand the medical background for where it will be used. So, an expert in translating content related to the first aid may not be the right person to translate dentistry texts.
Translation companies employ vendor management departments that focus on establishing long-term business relationships with translation experts for clients like you.
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First of all, translation is an investment, not a cost. You invest in the ability to easily and clearly communicate with more buyers internationally. You invest in the possibility of increasing your international sales results. Basically, you invest in your global business growth.
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The use of CAT tools, especially the Translation Memory (TM), enables translation companies to reduce translation time and cost. The actual cost can be reduced by 25-36%. If your translation company doesn't tell you that - run!
Translation is fully created by a human but certain aspect of the localization process are facilitated by translation software.
There are a couple of ways to save money when purchasing translations powered by translation software. One of them is by applying discount for repetitions.
Repetitions are words in segments (smaller parts of the whole text) that contain exactly the same text, with identical word order and punctuation marks (coma, full stop).
The number of words that are repeated in these segments is calculated and presented in the statistics. Below you can see an example of repetitions and their translations found in a text document opened in one of the leading CAT tools.
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Translation services are priced per word, and you should get a discount for all the words within the repeated segments. This discount is applied due to the fact that in most cases, the repeated text doesn’t need to be changed.
Repetitions are charged because they need to be verified. Due to the fact that languages vary, (with regard to the grammar rules for example), the same text can be translated differently in a different context.
The number of repetitions is not influenced by the language you want to translate into. It only depends on the original document. If you want to translate a document into several languages like, Italian, Chinese, Korean and Dutch, the number of repetitions will be the same.
One of the reasons that you can use the savings for repetitions is the Translation Memory.
Translation Memory is a database that stores all the segments together with their translations. The translated segments stored in the TM allow us to reduce your cost of translation.
You will have at least as many translation memories as the languages you translate into. For example, if you translate your training material into 3 languages, Spanish, German and Japanese, you will need three TMs: one for English-Spanish, one for English-German, and one for English-Japanese.
Depending on the number of words translated into each particular language, the TM will contain more or fewer translated segments.
It is therefore different than with the case of repetitions. Here, you directly influence savings by purchasing more translations.
The more you translate into Spanish, the more translated segments your EN-SP TM contains.
This is very helpful when you need to update your training material. There is no need to translate everything from scratch. Translation companies will analyze the new material against the segments already translated and stored in your TM content. They will immediately tell you how many new words there are, the cost of the update, and how soon it can be completed.
No, you don't.
It is the localization company that buys, manages, sets up, and uses the best features of CAT tools, all in your interest.
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Let's do some math first.
One linguist translates an average of 3,000 words within 8 working hours. Two linguists can handle 6,000 words. Three will translate almost 10,000 words in one day, which equals about 30 MS Word document pages with no graphics.
But hold on! In order to have a consistent text, meaning the same terminology and style throughout the training material, you need another linguist to work on the final text. Also, it would be great if somebody could verify the translation, right? Add another person and you've got yourself a translation team to manage.
This is more or less what it looks like when you run a localization project in collaboration with freelancers. Do you have time for that?
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It is completely different, meaning easier, when you cooperate with a translation company. When it comes to translation companies, most work according to industry standards like ISO 17100:2015. This standard defines translation service as consisting of a translation step followed by the revision stage.
Revision is a bilingual examination of the original text against the translated text and correcting it, if necessary. This step is conducted by a separate linguist.
Translation companies also offer a number of different services supporting your localization efforts, like for example:
Translation companies orchestrate the simultaneous work of all these professionals in order to finish projects more quickly. As mentioned before, they also use CAT tools to accelerate the process.
No problem at all!
Translation companies can assist you with your video content translation. There are a several ways to do it and the cost of these services differ, so you have many options to choose from. Choose the one that best suits your training material translation needs.
Whatever solution you choose, start with transcription.
Transcription means changing the recorded text into written format with timecodes. It always needs to include timecodes. Timecodes are time markers, indicating when the original piece of spoken text begins and ends. You can do it yourself, use automated speech recognition tools, ask somebody else to do it, or leave it up to the localization company.
You may be tempted to skip the transcription part and ask for translation to be done directly while listening to the recording. Skipping the transcription phase is faster but has two serious disadvantages:
As soon as your video content is available in written format, you are ready to move on with your video content translation.
Subtitling is one of the ways to offer your video in another language. Everything that is said in the video is translated and added to the video as captions.
Closed captions provide text description of dialogue as well as all relevant parts of the video soundtrack. Subtitles focus only on the dialogues or narration.
This service is based on adding a lector reading the text of the video in another language. The voice of the lector is recorded over the original audio track, which can be heard in the background.
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It is one person reading the whole text in a neutral way. It doesn't matter if there are several people speaking in the original soundtrack, the localized version includes only one actor reading the text.
Another way of adding translated text to your video is by using the dubbing service. Dubbing, unlike voice-over, is when the original speech is cut out and the translated version is mixed with the original sound. Actors impersonate characters and express their emotions. It is the closest to acting and the most expensive service.
The recording you receive is mixed, no unnecessary sounds are present in the audio, and the recording goes smoothly, synchronized with the lip movement of the actors.
From the technical point of view, we may also define dubbing as the replacement of the original voice with one in another language, also referred to as re-voicing.
In terms of translation quality, the internal marketing team or local dealers can play an important part in the translation process. These are the people who can use their knowledge of the product and the translation language in order to help you assess the translation.
Translation companies seek feedback, and are happy to receive information that is as detailed as possible. The best scenario is when the whole team is connected and can work together.
Implementing changes in the training material without informing the translation team may lead to inconsistent translations left in your TM, which can later be populated in future translations or updates. This is something we want to avoid.
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Also, the deep understanding of localization rules and language nuances gives your translation team more perspective when it comes to properly introducing updates and cross-checking changes.
Yes, they will.
The typical EFIGS (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish) is what you can get in most translation companies. This is good to start with. But localizing your product and training material into another language is a bit like a tattoo. You get one, you want more.
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Translation companies, like ATL, can support you with just one language, or all the languages you need, all under one roof.
Any question or worries that you may have when it comes to translating your training material can be answered and overcome by a professional localization company that is experienced in this type of content translation.
If you worry that translation companies will slow you down - ask about the tools, processes, and integrations that can speed up the localization process.
If you're afraid that your training materials will be incorrectly translated because the translation provider doesn't know your company's mission and vision, share as much information and reference materials as possible.
If you're worried about spending too much on translation because localization services cost a lot, ask about translation tools and ways to generate savings on translation.
If you are not sure if you should even translate because these days "everyone speaks English", check out the stories of the big players in the international business. Don't fall behind, get started and get ahead of your competition now.
Allow your international audiences to learn in their preferred language and become their number one choice.