Blogger: Craig Roth
I’ve posted up a 4 part podcast series on “What IT needs to know about content globalization, localization, and translation”. While the audio stands alone, I figured it would be nice to post up this companion blog entry. This way you can find the URLs for the websites I recommend in the podcast, you don’t have to take as many notes, and you have something to stare at while listening (PowerPoint has corrupted us!). It could also provide some basics for you if you don’t want to listen to the podcast.
I thought about creating PowerPoint slides to follow along, but I think it’s better to just list the bullets in text here. This way the whole series prints on one handy page and you don’t have to download a big file just to get some simple text bullets.
So, here it is. Your Cliff’s Notes for part one of my 4 part podcast series and report.
Part 1: Repeatable content globalization: Ignore it at your peril
Audio URL: Download Globalization Part 1
- IT needs to get more involved in content globalization
- Currently IT is often not involved since a marketing or product team just creates content (e.g., web site, technical manual), throws it over the wall to translators, and gets a pack of translated versions back
- This process works, but content owners are going to be feeling a lot more pain soon if they don’t prepare for an increase in globalization needs
- Decisions about content globalization are business decisions with large potential impacts on customers, employees, and brands. A poor content globalization strategy can hamstring those efforts
- IMF data: growth for the G7 major advanced economies has been about 2-3% while various measures of new markets (such as newly industrialized Asian economies, emerging and developing countries, and central and eastern Europe) have grown at 5% or more
- For statistics on growth in specific countries or regions, go to the IMF’s website (http://www.imf.org), click on “data and statistics”, and (if desired) “by country groups”
- According to comScore “the U.S. share of the world's online population has fallen from 65 percent to less than 25 percent in the last 10 years"
- comScore (www.comscore.com) tracks measurements about consumer behavior on their internet
- Localization applies even to U.S.-centric organizations.
- 2000 U.S. Census: 17% of households speak another language at home (8% speak English less than “very well”)
- Some states have high proportions of non-English speakers: in California, 21.0% of respondents reported they speak English less than “very well”
- Check U.S. census trends (www.census.gov)
- When you make quantum leap in the number of locales supported, you need a subsequent increase in the level of sophistication with which content globalization needs to be addressed
- Increased complexity
- Poor governance
- Timing and responsiveness
- Safeguarding brand image
- Containing or reducing costs
- These drivers have been around a long time. Why change now?
- The pace of globalization is increasing rapidly, therefore ensnaring more and more organizations (see IMF, comScore, and census information above)
- Improvements on the technological front
- XML and related Standards, and Meta-data
- XML is great for content globalization since it encourages dividing documents into content components, supports any linguistic encoding including right-to-left (RTL) languages, and enables creation of meta-data
- Component-Oriented Content
- Analogous to service-oriented architecture (SOA) in that it relies on the value of dividing up work into components that are independent, managed, and assembled into composite applications
- Component-oriented content systems can handle content components that are decoupled from a specific document
- Component-oriented content can help as there is an increase in
- The number of localized variants the content will be translated into
- The number of formats the content will be distributed in
- How granular the translations need to be if it’s not the whole document or website at once
- How frequently the content will change
- See the CCS document “Content Reuse: DITA, XML, and Other Ways to Keep from Reinventing the Content”
- Repeatable processes for content globalization are going to be essential for helping the business to meet globalization goals. You only ignore the processes and new technologies that can help at your peril!