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Agile Content Requires Agile Translation

So, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, of course.

A big elephant to eat today is translating all the content that’s continuously generated every second of every day about everything by everyone. Content comes from all corners of the world in every language – social and news (even if fake…), new companies, new products, new ideas, new reviews, new everything. And yes, you are doing it too!

With all that chatter, how do you, as a business, compete for the time and attention of your audience? Which link will your customers click on? Which emails will they read? How can you make sure your daily message (or daily changes to your message) reaches every one of your customers in a timely manner? And if your business is international, your struggle is globally amplified: if your content is not in the customer’s language or doesn’t appeal to them culturally, it will most likely be ignored entirely.

In the days of the typewriter and printing press, the constraints of the content supply chain itself (namely, time and space limitations) kept things under control. Content was fairly static, predictable and micro-managed. It would be fully created, and only then would you address your international audience’s needs. But that’s what everyone expected anyway. In Brazil, citizens willingly waited six months to see a movie made in the US.

But now… If you still rely on the traditional translation process comprising of 35 steps (yes, 35!), your message might be obsolete by the time it is translated.

Be agile: localize continuously

Today, you need to be agile.

The concept of continuous localization originated from the need to keep up with Agile continuous software development cycles (sprints), and to prevent flaws that break the code if they’re found too late. A continuous localization process also ensures that the latest versions of the software is simultaneously available to all customers worldwide. After all, you can’t just release an update to your English-speaking customers. How impressive is it when Microsoft releases an update to all users, no matter where in the world they are?

With the evolution of technologies and processes, continuous localization is no longer restricted to software. With the right technology, it can be applied to any content type. Since nowadays pretty much all content is created in a continuous fashion – often in small bits, much like software development – continuous localization is the method of choice for anyone who wants nearly immediate results.

Technology and automation are key

Frequent, smaller translation handoffs will allow you to keep up not only with the competition, but also with what’s happening inside your own company. Quickly publishing any updates to all supported languages enables you to respond to market changes with appropriate quality and less waste.

To achieve this perfect state, it is essential to create an end-to-end automated continuous localization workflow based on the needs of your content production process, including source content extraction from your CMS, project creation and forwarding to professional translation (or MT if you want it faster),

and reallocation of the translated content where it belongs. SDL can provide you with the all the technology and services you need.

Forget Waterfall – step up Continuous Localization

Waterfall is dead. You can no longer afford to create your global content in the traditional way – from idea to delivery, that could take months. From software and websites to product documentation and online reviews, every piece of information is now dynamic and ephemeral.

This means localization must happen soon, before your content is obsolete. It can no longer be an afterthought, but an integral part of the process. After building and testing, you can only consider your sprint (or your content production cycle) complete once the new content has been translated.

Treat your content like an elephant and tackle it bit by bit. Added a new paragraph? Translate it. Changed contact information? Update it in every language. Now.

So you know what you have to do. But how? Download our Continuous Localization eBook and find out! Or if you’d like to find out more about how content will be agile in 2018 and beyond, please read our Five Future States of Content.