internal communication desk laptop computer translation buyer

The Changing Needs of the Translation Buyer

The typical translation buyer has changed over the last 25 years. Simply providing high-quality and error-free translation just isn’t enough anymore.

Today’s translation buyer needs their translation vendor to work in multiple formats including help systems, e-learning platforms and content management systems. Translation projects must be exchanged automatically via API (Application Programming Interface), webhook or some other process requiring little to no human intervention.

The evolution of the translation buyer is evidenced by the client requirements detailed in a recent Multilingual Computing article titled Client Talk by Terena Bell. The article discusses the work carried out by the director of product field support and communications, digital globalization for Marriott International. Marriott is the largest hospitality company in the world with properties in more than 100 countries.

The article details four types of content required by the hotel chain – transactional information (rates and room descriptions), product information (property information and feature descriptions), website content (branding information, loyalty programs, merchandising/deals, meetings/events information and corporate information) and finally software strings from the translation of their mobile application.

This mix of project types and file types is common with translation clients today. Translation projects used to be simple files containing extracted text in MS Excel or MS Word. This left a lot of work for the client to create those files and then reintroduce the translations. Language service providers now parse almost all files directly in their translation management systems (TMS). This saves valuable time and money at the beginning and the end of the project by eliminating the need to extract the content from the source file (e.g. WordPress, InDesign, iOS/Android XML or Powerpoint) and the need to reintroduce the translations into the final format.

Time Sensitive Projects

Transactional information or translation needing immediate attention is another area of interest for translation buyers. Many companies sell products or services online that require frequent updates, including updates to translations. These systems are typically managed by a PIM (Product Information Management) system. The PIM typically houses product or service specifications, and descriptions and pricing. PIM systems can typically be connected directly to translation management systems so that previously translated items are leveraged and reused automatically. New content is automatically submitted to translation teams based on the type of content.

Interested in learning more about PIM systems? Download our ebook here.

Interpretation for Groups

Meetings and events with speakers of multiple languages were typically handled by in-person interpreters requiring expensive sound booths, transmitters, headsets and receivers for attendees and an audio engineer to run the whole system. Planning for an event like this took days and the expenses were very cost prohibitive. Remote interpreting has completely changed the landscape by offering a cost effective alternative all while using the customers own device (tablet, computer or mobile phone). Telephonic interpretation is also a viable option for smaller meetings.

The leaps in technology that allow for smoother and faster exchanges of content for translation is certainly a positive step forward. Yet, all translation projects are not created equally.  We continue to look for areas of standardization and automation while we continue to discover new workflows and processes that improve the translation.