Prisma helps companies become global-ready through language translation, managed services, and cultural consulting.

Services that may be of interest to you:

Services and Practice Areas of possible interest to you:
CEOs

How do you grow your business and stay ahead of your competition globally?

Executing your global vision takes a global-ready organization. Our Global-Ready Group can help align the people, processes and culture to make your company truly global-ready, from strategy through execution.

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Marketing VPs

Tap into the power of culture to build your global brand

Our Cultural Marketing services bring our cultural know-how to help you design, drive and deliver authentic brand experiences across languages, cultures and global markets.

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Marketing VPs

An effective Translation Strategy is a combination of people, processes and the right tools.

Our integrated Global Document Lifecycle solutions are built using best-of-breed tools and practices. From strategy through execution, we can help.

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Consultants

Your clients demand flawless execution, and sometimes you need help.

We offer a full menu of best-of-breed globalization tools, managed localization services, and best practices. From strategic consulting to project management, we make your localization headaches go away.

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GSA and Government

The translation needs of Government are unique, from ballots to national security, forms to public service info.

Prisma is a GSA-approved contractor providing language services for local, state and federal government clients in over 188 languages and dialects.

Learn More

Getting Medical Translation Right

Setting Up for Success

Prisma

10 Tips for Getting Medical Translation Right

Medical translation involves a number of unique stakeholders and partners:

  • Regulatory
  • Labeling Engineering
  • Software
  • Marketing
  • Writers
  • Translators
  • Printers

The successful management of medical translations involves knowing how to bring together the various stakeholders at just the right time, with clear goals and responsibilities.

The following tips offer some basic guidance for medical translation best practices, and are intended to be customized to meet your particular corporate needs and culture.

Getting Medical Translation Right

Setting up for success

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1

Build a solid In-country Review Team.

Good localization practice includes an in-country review of translations. The team of reviewers may consist of distributors, local company staff, Sees, or in-country partners, and the management of the in-country review team is critical to success.

Start by defining roles and responsibilities, and using other tools such as approved glossaries and style guides to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Getting Medical Translation Right

Setting up for success

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2

Build glossaries and style guides for each language.

In the medical field, translation quality and consistency can be life-or-death.

To help ensure translation quality, develop glossaries of key terminology, have them approved by stakeholders, and create a shared online environment such as GlobalTerm™ to ensure controlled access and usability of your glossary across the entire team.

Getting Medical Translation Right

Setting up for success

Prisma
3

Identify standard content.

To improve quality and save time and money, identify warranties, product statements, address blocks and symbols that will be used throughout your documentation, or reused across all languages.

Regardless of how you manage your content—from a manual process to a sophisticated CMS—the first step is identifying and standardizing your basic content.

Getting Medical Translation Right

Setting up for success

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4

Determine standard applications, layout design, and sizes.

Standardize your production workflow, including:

  • Applications (such as InDesign)
  • Layouts (that accommodate multiple languages and scripts)
  • Print sizes (for IFUs, manuals, and the like)

Standardization will help you reduce costs, speed up the revision process, and even strengthen your brand.

Getting Medical Translation Right

Setting up for success

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5

Learn the requirements of your internal stakeholders.

To meet deadlines and avoid costly rework, consult with your stakeholders in Regulatory, Engineering, Packaging/Labeling, and Compliance to create an efficient process and a clear understanding of each area’s requirements.

Your translation partner should be able to contribute knowledge and experience of your stakeholder’s concerns and requirements, such as developing symbols lists and layout, packaging regulations, allowed font size, training and documentation for  in-country reviews, and more.

Getting Medical Translation Right

Keeping it moving smoothly

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6

Document your translation process.

You probably have highly-defined processes for managing your content, revisions, labeling, and approvals. Your translation processes should also be well-defined and documented.

The right translation partner can help you set up and implement a customized translation process that will scale to accommodate your growth into new markets and media.

Getting Medical Translation Right

ROI

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7

Reduce Translation Spend 20-30%

A cloud-based TMaaS can have a real impact on your translation budget, reducing your costs by:

  • consolidating multiple vendors’ TMs into a single enterprise TM
  • eliminating the need to send out many minimum charge jobs to your localization vendors
  • improving the authoring process, which improves leveraging
  • incorporating “legacy assets” into the TM

Our ROI calculator can help estimate the amount of savings you will realize by migrating to a TMaaS. You can find it here, or contact us for a personal walk-through.
 

Getting Medical Translation Right

Keeping it moving smoothly

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8

Have your translation partner manage the Reviewer relationships.

Managing your In-country Reviewers is frequently considered one of the trickiest balances to strike in the whole translation process. It is often best to turn the whole reviewer management process over to your translation partner to handle. Your translation partner speaks their language, can address their concerns, and will only escalate issues to your attention if necessary.

Getting Medical Translation Right

Keeping it moving smoothly

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9

Involve your translation partner in the printing stage.

Printing across many languages involves file formats, special fonts, multilingual preflighting, and many other specialized print management processes.

Getting your translation partner to work directly with your printer can result in fewer errors, better quality, and fewer headaches.

Getting Medical Translation Right

And finally...

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10

Choose the right translation partner

The most important translation decision you will make is to choose the right partner, one that will balance strategic needs and process with day-to-day operations and management of budgets, schedules and quality.

More

Getting Medical Translation Right

Contact Info:

Prisma

Contact Info

For more information on how Prisma's partnership approach can help you develop a seamless In-Country Review process, contact us:

Prisma International, Inc.
Main: +1-612-338-1500
info@prisma.com

10 Key Reasons You Should Consider TMaaS:

Prisma

TMaaS – Translation Management as a Service

TMaaS is an emerging, cloud-based approach to managing your entire translation and localization process. Think of it as a “Translation Center in a Box,” with all of your TMs, content assets, workflow and rules located in a single place on the web.

By locating your Translation Memory in the cloud, some cool things happen:

Instant, live, 24/7 access for all of your stakeholders (project managers, writers, developers, translators, and reviewers);

• You get instant improvement in quality, leveraging, collaboration, control and security;

• You get reduced cost and cycle.

In short, moving your translation memory to the cloud should be an easy business decision.

Over the next several slides we’ll give you 10 key reasons you need to consider TMaaS. And remember—it’s Translation Management as a Service. You don’t need to buy a thing.
 

10 Key Reasons You Should Consider TMaaS:

Control

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1

Own the TM Asset

Your translation memory (TM), like all of your documentation, is a key corporate asset. As such, it needs to be controlled, managed and secured like any other company asset.

With TMaaS, you control your TM—the access, the permissions, and the asset itself. Your localization providers (LSPs) have complete access to use the TM and even manage it, but ultimate control of this asset remains in your hands. Changing LSPs, translators, or even reviewers is as easy as changing login permissions.

In a TMaaS environment, there’s no vendor lock-in: you own the TM asset, and control remains yours.

10 Key Reasons You Should Consider TMaaS:

Setup & Security

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2

Improve your TM Security

Companies have strong controls over internal documents and communication, with firewalls, confidentiality rules and procedures in place.

However, translation memories are usually held by localization vendors. Typically, for each new project the entire TM is sent around the world to in-country translators, meaning that your corporate assets are only as secure as the weakest link in a complex translation supply chain.

In contrast, a cloud-based TMaaS uses a different workflow: translators around the globe access the TM online to carry out their work, and can only access the immediate content they’re working on, not the entire memory. This controlled environment means your TM remains secure and protected, while still enabling work to take place at the speed of global business.

10 Key Reasons You Should Consider TMaaS:

Setup & Security

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3

TMaaS is IT-Ready

With TMaaS, there’s no software to buy or install. Like any SaaS, you get instant access through your browser, avoiding IT hassles, compatibility issues, support problems, and lengthy software approval processes.

Further, when it comes to integration with existing internal systems, an open-source TMaaS can be easily “bolted” onto other apps using standard APIs that enable a cloud-based app to “talk” to others and play nicely in the sandbox.

In sum, a cloud-based TMaaS gives you all the benefits of a complete IT solution, with none of the IT problems inherent in selecting, buying, learning and supporting new software.

10 Key Reasons You Should Consider TMaaS:

ROI

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4

Improve Multi-Vendor Management

Many companies work with multiple LSPs (Language Service Providers)—from two, to over a dozen. With each LSP maintaining its own translation memory, that can result in overlap, inconsistency and waste. One HP study estimated the overlap at over 15% of the overall translation budget.

In a cloud-based memory environment, your LSPs all work from a single enterprise memory. The result is no overlap, better leveraging, greater consistency, and improved ROI.

Further, most TM tools force you to choose one vendor; with a TMaaS, you can have as many LSPs as you like, keeping multiple preferred vendors but tying them to a single enterprise memory.

Therefore, a cloud-based TMaaS approach gives you the best of both worlds: a single enterprise TM but the ability to work with multiple LSPs, located anywhere in the world.

10 Key Reasons You Should Consider TMaaS:

ROI

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5

Increase Your Translation ROI

Translation ROI is the result of many factors coming together to bring you the greatest value for your translation spend. A cloud-based TMaaS increases ROI in several ways:

  1. By offering a live working environment for translators, the TM is updated in real time, offering instant leveraging as other translators work on the same or similar documents.
  2. Cloud-based TMaaS systems use cutting-edge algorithms for leveraging and context matching, resulting in a higher degree of matching and therefore decreased translation costs.
  3. An enterprise TM means your various LSPs will benefit from a shared memory, increasing leveraging for all of them and improving your ROI.
  4. When your authors and content developers have access to your TM up front, they can check previous content to ensure consistent writing, which will improve leveraging and decrease costs.

In summary, placing your TM in a cloud-based, enterprise environment brings significant ROI benefit throughout the process, from source to target, authoring to leveraging.

10 Key Reasons You Should Consider TMaaS:

ROI

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6

Reduce Translation Spend 20-30%

A cloud-based TMaaS can have a real impact on your translation budget, reducing your costs by:

  • consolidating multiple vendors’ TMs into a single enterprise TM
  • eliminating the need to send out many minimum charge jobs to your localization vendors
  • improving the authoring process, which improves leveraging
  • incorporating “legacy assets” into the TM

We can calculate the amount of savings you should realize by migrating to a TMaaS. Contact us for a personal ROI calculation.
 

10 Key Reasons You Should Consider TMaaS:

Productivity & Collaboration

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7

Centralize Your Content To Enable Global Collaboration

Your content supply chain consists of many collaborators: authors, editors, approvers, translators, reviewers, approvers, etc. By centralizing their collaboration into a single cloud-based TM environment, you increase productivity by:

  • improving the workflows that tie them together
  • standardizing how each contributor interacts with the content
  • improving version control

Because the TM is at the heart of this global content collaboration, a cloud-based TMaaS is the best way to achieve these benefits.
 

10 Key Reasons You Should Consider TMaaS:

Productivity & Collaboration

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8

Decrease Content Cycle Time by Days or Weeks

Document cycle time is a critical factor in the all-important time-to-market. A TMaaS environment helps decrease cycle time of the Global Content Lifecycle by:

  1. automating version control, thereby reducing delays and possible errors;
  2. creating a real-time enterprise translation environment;
  3. automating the translation workflow, thereby speeding it up;
  4. speeding up the review and approval process with In-Country Reviewers

The net effect is faster time-to-market and optimized localization flow to achieve simultaneous release.
 

10 Key Reasons You Should Consider TMaaS:

Workflow

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9

Streamline Your Workflow

Locating your TM to the cloud allows you to streamline your workflow and thus realize several productivity gains:

  • authors and content providers will be able to do consistency-checks against the memory;
  • translators and editors will be able to work in real time, improving leveraging results;
  • layout, DTP and digital media personnel can improve the publishing workflows and speed up their process.

10 Key Reasons You Should Consider TMaaS:

...and finally

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10

Access Localization Reports & Metrics On-Demand

Access to localization metrics used to mean requesting numbers from your suppliers and compiling them into rolled-up reports. In contrast, a cloud-based TMaaS provides a real-time snapshot of a variety of metrics and reports on-demand. Types of reports you should be able to access include:

  • translation spend, by language, department, project type, etc.
  • turn-around time
  • vendor performance metrics
  • quality metrics

Suppose you need a quick snapshot of your translation spend for a meeting in 5 minutes, or a summary of translation activity YTD by language. In every case, a TMaaS offers you unprecedented access to such metrics, all via your browser.

10 Key Reasons You Should Consider TMaaS:

Prisma

LEX

LEX™ (Localization Enterprise eXchange) is Prisma’s own Translation Management as a Service, offering all of the benefits of a TMaaS without having to buy software.

To learn more about LEX™, click here.

To request a free Webinar on the benefits of a TMaaS for your company, an introduction to LEX™, or to speak with our Client Services team, click here.

10 Tips to Conducting a Translation RFP

Partnership and Coaching

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Conducting a Translation RFP?

If you are conducting an RFP (request for proposal) to select a translation & localization service provider, you probably already have a list of requirements and questions you want to ask. But in our experience, many “standard” translation RFPs miss some key points and questions that should be asked of all prospective suppliers.

Following are several tips, questions, and suggestions you may want to consider including in your RFP.

10 Tips to Conducting a Translation RFP

Asking the Right Questions

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1

Partnership and Coaching

A great translation company serves as your partner or coach, setting you up with Best Practices and solid processes.

Your RFP should ask:

  • What kind of coaching, guidance, or mentoring can you offer us?
  • Will we have to pay for that assistance?
  • Can you offer success stories where you’ve helped similar-sized companies get up to speed in managing translations?

10 Tips to Conducting a Translation RFP

Asking the Right Questions

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2

Training & Mentoring

If you have an internal department or person responsible for managing translations, they may need training or mentoring.

Your RFP should ask:

  • What kind of training programs, if any, do you offer to help companies better manage their translations?
  • Can you provide examples of a syllabus or curriculum showing the types of training programs you offer?
  • What are the costs associated with your training offerings?

10 Tips to Conducting a Translation RFP

Asking the Right Questions

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3

Strategic Solution

Translation management has grown to be highly strategic, and calls for enterprise-level solutions.

Your RFP should ask:

  • What is your strategic vision for managing our translation work?
  • Does your solution require special technology, an investment in resources, or a budget commitment? If so, how much?
  • How can I be sure your solution is tailored to our needs, not just a cookie-cutter solution that you apply across all clients?

10 Tips to Conducting a Translation RFP

Asking the Right Questions

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4

Project Management

You may have many translation buyers or requesters across your enterprise, and require a company with strong project management skills.

Your RFP should ask:

  • What kind of project management model do you use?
  • Do you have processes in place for handling complaints, changes of scope, corrective actions, and other quality management issues that arise?
  • How will your PM team handle varied requests from multiple sources? What project tracking technologies do you use?

10 Tips to Conducting a Translation RFP

Quality

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5

Quality

Translation quality is critical to every company. Ask for a detailed explanation of how the company achieves, maintains and ensures quality.

Be sure to include the following:

  • Do you have a quality system? Please describe
  • Is your company ISO-certified?
  • Do you use metrics to track and measure quality?
  • How do you handle errors?
  • How do you manage in-country reviews as part of the quality process?

10 Tips to Conducting a Translation RFP

Tools & Technologies

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6

Translation Memory

Translation Memory (TM) tools can save significant amounts of time and cost, but only if the tools are managed expertly.

Your RFP should ask:

  • What translation memory tools do you use?
  • What costs are associated with your TM management?
  • Who owns the translation memory?
  • Is your translation memory portable and open-source, or will I be locked into using you in the future?
  • Can multiple translation companies access the memory? What are the advantages and disadvantages to a shared memory?

10 Tips to Conducting a Translation RFP

Tools & Technologies

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7

Technology

In addition to translation memory, there are many tools and technologies that facilitate translation and translation management, reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Your RFP should ask:

  • What tools and technologies do you use to manage, measure and improve translation work?
  • How do you use technology to improve productivity and service?
  • How do you stay current with industry technologies and tools? How do you help your clients to stay current?

10 Tips to Conducting a Translation RFP

Management Issues

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8

Pricing

An apples to apples comparison of translation pricing across all suppliers is essential to an objective comparison of suppliers.

Your RFP should ask:

  • What are your pricing units? Per source-language word? Per-hour? Per-page? Other? Please define all units.
  • Are ALL costs associated with your service included in the pricing matrix?
  • Please define the exact process(es) covered in the rate: translation, editing, proofreading, QCing, etc.
  • Do rates vary by direction: English into target language vs. Target language into English?
  • What is your discount policy for translation memory? Volume discount? Other discounts?

10 Tips to Conducting a Translation RFP

Management Issues

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9

Management Reports

“If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” You will need regular translation management reports to track performance.

Your RFP should ask:

  • How would you track our company’s translation activity in a way that leads to clean, rolled-up management reports?
  • Can you provide examples of such reports, in addition to showing us how the reports are generated and accessed?
  • Will we have to pay for such reports?

10 Tips to Conducting a Translation RFP

Management Issues

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10

Liability, Errors and Omissions

Managing risk and determining responsibility for translation errors are important business functions.

Your RFP should ask:

  • How do you manage the risk of translation errors?
  • In the event a translation error is discovered, how do you determine responsibility for the error?
  • How do you determine the cost of the error, and who covers that cost?
  • Does your company have errors and omissions or liability insurance that covers translation errors? If so, what are the limits?

More

10 Tips to Conducting a Translation RFP

Prisma

Contact info

For more information on how Prisma builds great partnerships with medical device companies, contact us:

Prisma International, Inc.
Main: +1-612-338-1500
info@prisma.com

Download a printable PDF of the 10 Tips to Conducting a Translation RFP here.

Prisma

Translation Readiness Quiz

How well do you know your organization? Just how “global-ready” is your company? How prepared is your company to manage its brand, messages, and content in multiple languages to support your global customers?

On the following Readiness Scale...

  • We are Sadly Provincial
  • Just Getting Our Global Feet Wet
  • Been Around the Block
  • Pretty Globally Savvy
  • We are Citizens of the World

...where do you think your company stands?

Ok, tuck that away and answer the following questions as best you can. At the end, your score will indicate your “readiness level” for going global.

Start the Quiz

Translation Readiness Quiz

Just how "global-ready" is your company?

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1

Approximately how many countries does your company do business in?

0 points

The U.S. is a multilingual melting pot, with an estimated 50 million native Spanish speakers alone.

Even if you do business only in the U.S., you may need a multilingual business strategy.

 

+3 points

That’s a good start... but not necessarily a good finish

You may need a translation strategy to manage your growing international customer base.

+5 points

Great, assuming you are set up to manage and communicate effectively with your global customers.

Next

Translation Readiness Quiz

Just how "global-ready" is your company?

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2

Does your company have a content management system (CMS)?

+1 points

“Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow...”

Great line from Shakespeare; not a good translation strategy.

+2 points

That’s a start! But content management is all about integrating into a single strategy, not different, isolated applications.

0 points

A content strategy must start with senior management.

They need to recognize that a company's content is an asset that needs to be managed like any other corporate asset.

+4 points

Welcome to the next generation! And is it integrated with translation management? Even better...

Next

Translation Readiness Quiz

Just how "global-ready" is your company?

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3

How do you ensure translation quality?

0 points

Hope is not a business process.

Good translation quality actually costs less than bad, and a solid translation process reduces the liability associated with bad or incorrect translations.

+4 points

Nice. And if your current translation partner don’t have one, it’s time to find a new partner.

+1 points

If your translation quality is not up to par, you are exposing your company and clients to potentially significant risk.

Translation quality is the result of managed processes, not hit-or-miss luck.

+2 points

A good start! In-country partners can be invaluable for their subject matter expertise.

However, in-country reviewers usually do not have linguistic expertise, and usually lack both time and tools to manage content properly.

Next

Translation Readiness Quiz

Just how "global-ready" is your company?

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4

Does your company’s logo and tagline communicate your brand effectively around the world?

0 points

A good translation partner can also provide feedback on your marketing pieces, logo, tagline, etc.

Click here for a free no-strings assessment: How global-ready is our company logo?

 

+2 points

Just because no one has complained doesn't mean your brand is culturally-sensitive or global-ready.

A proactive global strategy is based on knowing your target markets, cultures, and languages. Your translation partner can help you get started.

+4 points

Impressive that you say so. But the real test is when your global customers say the same thing--in their language!

Next

Translation Readiness Quiz

Just how "global-ready" is your company?

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5

Does your company have a translation coordinator?

+1 points

Coordinating translations is frequently underappreciated and undercompensated.

A solid translation partner will help you build a translation management strategy that is scaled to your requirements and volume.

0 points

What you don’t know may be hazardous to your company. Depending on your volume, a translation coordinator can be a valuable asset.

If you don’t have the budget for a translation coordinator, your translation partner should be offering you ways to bridge the gap.

+4 points

If you coordinate translations, you need to be recognized and respected for the value of your efforts.

A good translation partner will help by arming you with reports and metrics that demonstrate savings and other benefits of solid translation management.

Next

Translation Readiness Quiz

Just how "global-ready" is your company?

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6

How many languages does your company officially support for your customers?

0 points

Our senior management’s philosophy is: “If they want it from us, they can learn English.”

+2 points

If you are only supporting customers in languages where you have local reps, you are probably putting out fires for every new opportunity or country that comes along.

A global translation strategy is a proactive way to handle new languages and markets, setting standards for you to manage new languages as your company grows and expands.

+5 points

Bravo! To quote Willy Brandt: “If I'm selling to you, I speak your language. If I'm buying, dann mussen sie Deutsch sprechen.”

Next

Translation Readiness Quiz

Just how "global-ready" is your company?

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7

Is your company’s Website in…

0 points

Then an estimated 70% of the people using the Internet won’t understand it.

+3 points

¡Excelente! Doskonałe. 很 好.

Next

Translation Readiness Quiz

Just how "global-ready" is your company?

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8

Does your company have an official multilingual glossary?

+3 points

Nice work. A glossary is key to maintaining global brand and communication standards.

+1 points

Take a point for at least knowing you don’t have one!

0 points

If you’re not sure, then it is probably of little use anyway.

Next

Translation Readiness Quiz

Just how "global-ready" is your company?

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9

Does your company have a translation portal to centralize and manage requests?

0 points

A translation portal provides an easy, Web-based way to request estimates, review project status, and manage your company’s translation activity and spend.

0 points

It should be in your present.

Your translation partner should be providing you with the tools to manage your translation activity.

+3 points

You are probably operating less-than-efficiently, and at a higher cost, to manage your translations.

+5 points

Way to go. The next step is to use it actively to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Your translation partner should be showing you how to make this happen so that your work is recognized by your senior management.

Next

Translation Readiness Quiz

Just how "global-ready" is your company?

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10

Does your company have in-country reviewers for each language you support?

0 points

It’s ok to ask this. Click here for a quick explanation.

+2 points

You’re not alone. In-country reviewers are notoriously tricky to manage and please.

The right translation partner will manage reviewers for you and get the relationship on the right track, in any language.

+2 points

Managing reviewers is all about communication, setting expectations, and using their time effectively.

A solid translation partner will work with the review team to gain their trust, buy-in, and approvals.

+5 points

 

Congratulations! Not too many companies can claim such success.

 

Next

Translation Readiness Quiz

Just how "global-ready" is your company?

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11

Do you use standard layout formats for your documents, or are they “all over the place”?

0 points

Standardizing layouts and templates is an essential part of achieving translation efficiency and maximizing the benefits of translation memory.

A good translation partner will help you optimize your templates for translation.

+2 points

Sounds like you’re on the right path.

Tip: You might want to get feedback from a translation memory expert, since how you standardize your templates can make a big difference in the actual efficiencies you gain from them.

+4 points

Congratulations! That’s no easy feat.

And be to make sure your templates and layouts are optimized for translation memory, which can save you thousands of dollars.

Next

Translation Readiness Quiz

Just how "global-ready" is your company?

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12

Does your company have a translation memory?

+1 points

Might be a waste of your time and resources. A good translation partner can usually manage TMs for less cost and better language quality.

+4 points

Excellent!

Tip: Make sure you own your TM, and have it in a written agreement.

+2 points

You should learn a bit more.

Your translation memories are important corporate assets, and you should know the answers to key questions such as who owns them.

0 points

You get an A for honesty.

A translation memory (or "TM") is a database containing all of your company's translated content.

Ask your translation provider for details, or ask us. We'd be happy to explain why a TM is important to you.

Next

Translation Readiness Quiz

Just how "global-ready" is your company?

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13

Does your company have a defined translation budget?

0 points

That’s very 1990s.

At this point, you should be planning, sourcing, and managing your translation spend the same as you do for every other good and service you buy.

+2 points

As they say in Six Sigma, if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

A solid translation partner can provide tools and reports to help you measure, analyze, improve, and control your translation activity and budget.

+5 points

Excellent--the way it should be.

Next step: make sure your translation partner is helping you optimize your translation process to get the most from your budget.

Next

Prisma

Your Score

Scoring

  • 0-15   You work for Provincial, Inc. Some mom-and-pop shops are more global than you guys. But no worries--recognizing your starting point is the first step on the road to becoming global.
  • 16-25 Just getting your global feet wet. Not bad for starters, but your company is not ready for global prime time yet.
  • 26-40 You've been around the global block. Next step is to bring it all together into a managed process.
  • 41-50 Pretty global savvy! Not many companies in this rarefied global space. You clearly have a commitment to being a global organization.
  • 51-55 Congratulations! You are a true Citizen of the World.

Getting Started in Translations-Strategically

What to Know

Prisma

Getting Started in Translations—Strategically

Managing translation and localization has become increasingly strategic. Most people by now are familiar with the usual “tactical” advice—develop a good glossary and style guide, leave plenty of white space for text expansion, etc.—but how can you take your translation management to the strategic level?

Following are 10 tips for getting a strategic start to managing translations—one that will ensure you are using best practices, thinking like a global communication manager, and scaling your efforts to optimize your translation ROI.

(For a quick refresher on basic definitions—translation, localization, interpretation, globalization, etc, hover here.)

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Getting Started in Translations-Strategically

What to Know

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1

Recognize that translation is a profession

Some say that translation is the second-oldest profession in the world. Nowadays, it has become the profession of managing critical content for global audiences, carried out by skilled linguists requiring formal education and preparation beyond language proficiency or native speakers. Translation is not an afterthought to writing content in English.

The technologies of the localization field are sophisticated and powerful, and in the right hands, capable of enabling you to reach your customers and content consumers around the world with highly-targeted, culturally-appropriate messages.

But it all starts by recognizing that translation is a profession, and that it must be planned, resourced, and managed using the best business processes and professional practices available.

Getting Started in Translations-Strategically

What to Know

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Think “global” from the start

Managing translations starts with learning to think globally and write for global audiences.

Learn how to develop content for a global audience, and some of the tools. Avoid cultural-centric references and messages. References to parts of the body can be risky. Think of how your users in other countries would use your materials (customer support, regulatory, date formats, currency, etc.)

Getting Started in Translations-Strategically

What to Know

Prisma
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Recognize that content is a key corporate asset

According to content strategist Rahel Bailie, your corporate content is a key asset, and “as anything in a company that has value, these assets must be stored, managed, and valued....".

Senior managers are rarely tuned into thinking about their translated content as a key asset, and frequently have no idea how to measure translation value or even the value of those managing translations. The result is often the dumping of translation management onto the backs of already-strained technical communicators (“here, deal with this!”) and even less understanding of multilingual content as a strategic corporate asset.

Getting Started in Translations-Strategically

How to Plan

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4

Develop a Translation Strategy

Like most complex things anymore, translation requires a strategy. In fact, that notion can be taken even further upstream to a Content Strategy, of which translation strategy is a major component.

An effective translation strategy takes into account several key components, including:

  • Content consumers

    Content consumers A term preferred by Content Strategist Rahel Bailie over end-users, readers, etc.

  • Your company’s business processes, culture and limitations
  • Technology to manage and deliver the content experience
  • The workflows and needs for developing and managing both source- and target-language content (authors, content managers, translators)

Getting Started in Translations-Strategically

How to Plan

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5

Train your Management

Develop a “business case” (what’s this?)

Business Case A business case provides justification for undertaking a project, in terms of evaluating the benefit, cost and risk of alternative options and rationale for the preferred solution. Its purpose is to obtain management commitment and approval for investment in the project. The business case is owned by? the sponsor. —Association for Project Management

In addition, you will need to build consensus and understanding of the impact of translations across your team or enterprise. Translation cost across many functional areas—from marketing to programming, regulatory to procurement, help desks to engineering. Your business case should consider both the impact on and support needed from each of your critical functional areas.

Getting Started in Translations-Strategically

How to Plan

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Consider Quality

Translation quality, like anything involving language, is both art and science. Consider the following strategic questions:

  • How do I measure translation quality?
  • How do I ensure we are getting quality translations?
  • How can I plan for a quality translation process?

A solid translation partner can address many of these questions, but will only be as effective as the partnership allows. Invest up front in framing quality as a central requirement, and work with your translation partner and your own management to build the processes to ensure you get it.

Getting Started in Translations-Strategically

How to Plan

Prisma
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Word$, word$, word$: What to translate?

The basic unit of translation cost is “per word.” So, it makes sense to manage cost by first asking a few basic questions: Does all of our content need to be translated? Might we be just as effective in our communication by translating only relevant sections or documents? Can we use techniques and strategies of minimalism? (what’s this?). Can we reduce translation volume by using images, pictures, and diagrams?

These basic questions can result not only in lower costs, but in sharper, more effective messages for your global audiences.

Getting Started in Translations-Strategically

Who to Measure

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Translation Metrics I: Setting up to measure performance

Measuring translation performance is key to tracking, improving and optimizing your translation management. Metrics can also be critical to justifying decisions and demonstrating the value of your efforts to a senior management that only speaks the language of numbers.

But what exactly are metrics? Companies use metrics—or measurements and reports—to show performance in many different settings, from manufacturing to profitability, throughput to quality control. Such metrics cover both internal performance and supplier efforts. Business process improvements such as Six Sigma, Lean, and many others are based on effective, thoughtful use of metrics.

Translation metrics are no different: by measuring translation performance, we can improve performance, deliver more value and achieve the best quality possible.

One more thing: If your job includes translation coordination or management, you should be gathering translation metrics to demonstrate to your management the results you are delivering to your company, which then becomes—ideally—the basis for recognition of the value you are delivering as a translation coordinator.

A strategic Translation Partner will make sure you are set up with the right metrics, and offer you a translation portal that captures most of the inputs as work occurs.

Getting Started in Translations-Strategically

What to Measure

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Translation Metrics II: Some examples

Translation metrics cover a set of performance factors that span the full gamut of business indices, including:

  • Translation Quality
  • On-time delivery
  • Cost savings via Translation Memory
  • Reduction of Help Desk time
  • Speed-to-market improvements
  • Global customer satisfaction
  • Reduction of source word count
  • Translation vendor performance

To be most effective, your metrics should be customized to your company’s needs and culture, such as:

  • Your divisions or departments
  • Your product lines or brands
  • Your budget categories
  • Your languages by region or geography

A strategic Translation Partner will offer you a metrics-based translation portal that, with or without customization, can set you up with the right metrics to measure, improve and optimize performance—both yours and theirs—over time.

Getting Started in Translations-Strategically

And Finally...

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Choose the right translation partner

Not all translation companies think strategically. In fact, most do not.

The most important decision you can make that will affect the success of your translation efforts is to select the right translation partner—one that thinks strategically and who can advise, lead and coach you along the path.

The right partner will give you just the amount of information you need—not drown you in details, or leave you with a lack of communication.

If you’re conducting an RFQ or RFP to select a partner, click here for FREE advice on the right questions to ask.

Getting Started in Translations-Strategically

Prisma

Contact Info

To learn more about how Prisma builds great translation partnerships, contact us:

TMaaS Instant ROI Calculator

Prisma

Welcome to the TMaaS Cloud.

 

TMaaS (Translation Management as a Service) is a cloud-based, enterprise approach to managing your TM (translation memory).

Just as SaaS changed the model for software from “owning” to “pay-as-you-use,” TMaaS is changing the way companies use and manage TMs.

What does TMaaS do? It harnesses the power of your TM and uses it to bring the many benefits of the cloud to help manage your Global Content Lifecycle.

How much benefit? Easy! Using our Instant ROI Calculator,  we can show you what a TMaaS approach can save you in one year.

And don’t worry—our ROI Calculator is anonymous: none of the information you enter will be captured or saved.

 

Let’s get started!

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TMaaS Instant ROI Calculator

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1

Annual Budget

Enter your approximate annual translation & localization budget (in $):

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TMaaS Instant ROI Calculator

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2

Number of LSPs

How many LSPs (Language Service Providers, i.e. translation/localization companies) does your company work with across the enterprise? Make sure you count agencies used by your local offices around the world. If you aren’t sure, make a good guess!

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TMaaS Instant ROI Calculator

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"Legacy" Translations

“Legacy” translation assets are various materials that your company has had translated in the past that are “sitting around” in file cabinets and various places in your company’s networks or servers, either locally or in offices, domestic or international.

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TMaaS Instant ROI Calculator

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Minimum Projects

Minimum projects are small translation projects for which LSPs usually charge a minimum fee. Five words may result in a $150 minimum charge.

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TMaaS Instant ROI Calculator

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Authoring & Content Management

Many companies do their authoring and content management in-house, then send updates to their LSPs for translation updating.

If you had access to your TM, would you use it to check the English text for consistency?

Calculate my TMaaS ROI!

TMaaS Instant ROI Calculator

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My TMaaS ROI

Print Report
Current Annual Budget
Savings With TMaaS:
Cloud Consolidation & Improved Analytics
Legacy TM Consolidation Savings
Minimum Project Savings
Single Sourcing & Authoring Reuse
Workflow Automation (People, Process, PM)
TOTAL:
TOTAL COST WITH TMaaS:
ROI (Percent savings by using TMaaS): %
And furthermore... Over Five Years:
Savings over 5 years by adopting TMaaS ($):
Savings over 5 years by adopting TMaaS (%): $

Next Step

Current Annual Budget
Savings With TMaaS:
Cloud Consolidation & Improved Analytics
Explanation: If you have multiple LSPs (translation providers), each with their own TM, you realize benefit by combining them into a single enterprise memory and eliminating overlap. The greater the number of TMs you consolidate, the greater the savings.
Legacy TM Consolidation Savings
Explanation: If you have legacy translations that have not been captured in a TM, you are losing benefit. By adding your various legacy translations into your TMaaS, you gain additional leveraging, commensurate with the amount of legacy translations you have.
Minimum Project Savings
Explanation: If you do labeling, small one-off translation jobs, and the like your minimum jobs are adding up. Those costs can be reduced if you have access to your TM and can use it to search out small amounts of text that can be reused. Note: This does not eliminate the need for a linguist to be involved in the process, but it can save on certain types of exact-match jobs.
Single Sourcing & Authoring Reuse
Workflow Automation (People, Process, PM)
TOTAL COST WITH TMaaS:
Explanation: Total cost of all of the above line items with savings.
ROI (Percent savings by using TMaaS): %
Explanation: Percentage of estmated savings by migrating to a TMaaS, based on your responses calculated using industry standards and certain ROI assumptions.
And furthermore... Over Five Years*:
Your 5-year Translation Spend (without TMaaS):
Your 5-year Translation Spend (WITH TMaaS):
Savings over 5 years by adopting TMaaS ($):
Savings over 5 years by adopting TMaaS (%): $
*assume your translation needs grow by10% each year

TMaaS Instant ROI Calculator

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LEX™: YOUR TMaaS "Translation Center in a Box"

Prisma’s TMaaS is called LEX™ (Localization Enterprise eXchange). LEX™ is a cloud-based TMaaS that performs all of the functions described herein and is powerful, easy-to-use and proven.

Click here to learn more about how LEX™ can dramatically improve your translation ROI, or...

Contact us to schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation on TMaaS and how it may apply to your organization.