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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Localization Trends That Never Arrived: All translation will be done online

Over the years there have been many exuberant predictions of change that would fundamentally alter the localization business. However, most of these dreams of the industry have never come to pass.

Trends that never arrived: All translation will be done online

This is really the dream--that project managers and SLVs can be eliminated by somehow automating the process flow of localization. This posits that project managers and engineers do not really add anything valuable to the localization process and can thus be factored out of the equation.

Many of these systems succumb to the lure of being used to lock clients in to proprietary methods and raise the cost of switching to the competition. Those in localization production hate such systems when end clients, allowed to log on and check the progress of their jobs, use them to second guess project managers on projects they think are behind schedule.

Ultimately, the online translation model is predicated on the idea that all content can be economically produced or molded to fit such a system. The reality is that content most often comes in many non-ideal forms (non-unicode websites, scanned pdfs, legal exhibits, quirky elearning platforms, etc.) and these kinds of projects are higher volume and thus higher value.

The online model might be suitable for translating a couple page Word document, but when it comes to complex source files--not to mention layout issues later--a simple online translation system is not going to get the job done.

NEXT: Trends that never arrived: All translation will be done online, for free