There are numerous factors to consider for the localisation of content in InDesign files. Any text that is formatted as an image (e.g. each letter is a picture) or any text within an image (such as words that cannot be selected) will need to be extracted manually. If only certain parts of the content require localisation, this would need to be isolated from the body of text. The layout of the document will need to be adjusted if the spacing is minimal as text normally expands when translated. As each of the above points can be quite time consuming, we can help with file preparation to produce content that is easy to work with.
For the delivery of print ready files where we re-create the exact original document with the translations in place, all fonts and artwork will need to be sent to us. If we need to convert any Mac fonts as we work in a PC environment and we will find the most cost effective option if certain fonts cannot be converted. As our team consists of native speakers, all the final documents are reviewed to ensure that no language errors are present.
We know that managers, website owners and globalization teams need to justify constantly their budgets to their directors. More often than not, we hear arguments against translating websites or product information, such as “A lot of people understand English, so we don’t really need to translate that.” A survey by Common Sense Advisory, Inc. estimated that a billion people around the world are studying English and a few hundred million speak it natively. The survey also indicated that over half do not comprehend English well enough to navigate successfully through a website.
Time and budget constrains are the typical reasons why many companies do not localize their websites into local languages. From the survey, it was also evident substantial drop-offs in browsing, consideration, and purchasing that tracked directly to respondents’ ability to read English. Their desire to buy correlates directly to that ability.
When considering translating or not your website, I think a key aspect is to visualise your potential customer experience and go through the motions. Your site in English will probably turn off people who don’t read the language. Some may feel disrespected and leave on principle. People want to products or services with information on specifications that they can read; without it, they wouldn’t be able to assess the inherent value or functionality of your product. And post-sales support is just as important. Imagine your customers trying to deal with your technical support in a language not their own. Not that you need to have call centers for each target markets, but translating some portion of your online help, frequently asked questions, and knowledge bases can help.
The right Language Partner will work with you to identify and establish the priorities and scope of your translation needs.
Most of the training and development programs have in addition to content in Microsoft Word, presentations for translation on Powerpoint. When creating material such as tables and/or forms, it is important to consider if there is sufficient space as text will usually expand when translated. This point also applies to the Powerpoint presentations and will require additional time for editing/formatting.
We will work with you to create a project brief (for our teams to familiarise themselves with your company processes and/or equipment) and style guide (to understand your brand and tone of voice). A glossary of company specific terminology will be prepared; we are also able to extract these key words for each project which can be sent with the corresponding translations to you for approval. Should there be any preferential amendments to be made after the project has been completed, these can be done on bilingual Word documents so that any changes made can be captured in a bilingual doc to be saved in our system for future projects.
As I board my plane back to Barcelona after visiting TJX’s Distribution Centre in Wroclaw, Poland, I can’t stop thinking how useful and beneficial this experience has been. It was great to finally meet everyone in person. We’ve been working together for several years and exchanged hundreds of emails and calls over the course of the relationship. It felt as if we’ve known each other for ages, but nothing really beats a true face-to-face meeting.
The objective of this visit was for us to have a better understanding of the processes within the centre, and how our translations supported the training programmes that are given to the new associates at the centre. Part of the objective was also to better understand TJX’s internal language and jargon, which needs to be applied consistently across the board.
Together with Tomasz Fortuna, one of our TJX Polish team leaders, we were received by Marta Dyjach, TJX’s QMS Specialist who gave us a 4-hour tour of the distribution centre facilities that covered many key areas and stations. Marta was incredibly helpful and explained to us how it all works behind the scenes at the distribution process. It was incredibly powerful to see first-hand how their products are processed once at the centre, which allowed us to have a much better understanding of the challenges being faced from a language perspective.
Next we will continue with the improvement process by capturing all of the knowledge gained during our visit and updating and adapting our style guides and terminology databases, so that the Polish teams working on TJX projects going forward will be able to maintain the same level of consistency, both terminological and stylistic. I really can’t wait to hear TJX’s feedback once we complete the first series of training materials under this new approach.