Simple translation jobs are great. You can focus solely on providing the best translation possible without any of that messy business that goes along with translating text.
Unfortunately, most translation jobs aren’t so simple or straightforward and instead involve an awful lot of that messy business.
Often translation jobs involve a lot of stakeholders – maybe from across your own organization, from the client’s organization, and then of course the subject matter experts (SMEs). Sometimes the SMEs come from a variety of companies, making the translation job even more complicated. It’s not uncommon for the number of contributors on a project to spiral – drawn from different companies, different professions and different countries, a nightmare to coordinate and manage efficiently.
With the best will in the world productivity and production times will inevitably slow, the more complicated projects become.
Collaboration is key
Whenever lots of stakeholders are involved in a project, effective collaboration becomes essential. Frustratingly, effective collaboration is often hindered rather than helped by technology and systems.
Although most people working within the same organization will be working on the same translation management system and are familiar with it if they use it regularly, those who use it infrequently, or have never used it because they sit outside the organization, often struggle to get to grips with the system and how to use it effectively. This is particularly true for SMEs, who are often asked to work on a multitude of different systems that they are largely unfamiliar with.
Not being able to use a system effectively or efficiently obviously causes delays – more queries, more miscommunication and more importantly, more time than the job should really take. And frustrations with the system inevitably lead to workarounds – fragmented communication, Word doc attachments in emails, flying backward and forwards, with very little to no version control.
There can also be issues with people on the same project using different systems, again hindering effective communication and collaboration. Problems with file and device compatibility can cause serious headaches and delays.
Making it easier to work together
Anything that makes it easier to collaborate and work together is going to help improve efficiency and help turn projects around quicker.
There will never be a perfect solution to what is so often a fiendishly tricky task, but the online editor, available in every edition of Trados, does at least eliminate some of the issues and help mitigate some of the others.
As popular as Trados Studio is, with over 270,000 professional translators worldwide using the software, it’s very unlikely that your SMEs will have it or know how to use it.
The online editor has a simpler, more intuitive interface than professional CAT tools, making it much easier for SMEs to get to grips with it. It also has a Microsoft Word-style review feature, making it easy to track changes and comment. These can all be made in one place, visible to all, making it much easier to collaborate with other SMEs and translators. Because it’s much easier to use than other tools, SMEs quickly become comfortable with it and soon learn how to use it effectively – leading to a more efficient review process, faster turnaround times, and higher quality translations. Good times.
Best of both worlds
One of the biggest hassles as a translator is pulling all the changes and comments from various contributors together. Keeping track of them across different systems or versions to ensure you’ve captured and implemented all the feedback is a headache you really could do without.
The online editor makes collaboration and incorporating feedback much easier as documents are accessible to everyone. It also has more advanced review options, so it’s much easier to see at a glance what exactly has been changed in the text. Having everyone able to see, review and edit the same document in the same platform makes a massive difference – significantly improving productivity and turnaround times.
Another bugbear for everyone involved in translation projects, but especially translators, is the time it takes for large files to load. Again, the online editor makes life easier by streaming portions of the content – rather than having to wait for the entire file to load.
The online editor gives you much greater flexibility over where and when you work. As it’s online, it’s much easier to put down and pick up projects or check in on projects while on the move – without being tied to a desk. And, of course, you can work from any machine with an internet connection and a browser.
Collaboration is key to improving productivity and making sure translation jobs go as smoothly and quickly as possible. The online editor capability in Trados has collaboration at its very heart – helping to make that messy bit around simple translations rather less messy and much more straightforward.