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Global Business 03.23.17 BLOG 

Three Keys to Unlocking a Smooth Multilingual Publishing Process

By Johan Höök, Regional Director of Business Development

Multilingual Publishing Process

Three Keys to Unlocking a Smooth Multilingual Publishing Process

In a time where enterprise content is both omnichannel and digital, a well-thought-out multilingual publishing strategy is critical to the success of any global business.

Companies in all industries share similar challenges, including managing multiple content repositories, working with one or more language services providers, hitting rollout deadlines, and dealing with stakeholders in up to 180 markets.

Content is siloed—and often partially shared—across several standard departments and publication channels, including marketing, web, technical publications, HR, training, legal, and patents, as well as specialized areas like clinical trials, claims, and others. Plus, the volume of content and the number of target languages are rapidly increasing over time.

So, where to start with all this content?

Here are three keys that have proven time after time to dramatically reduce manual and duplicate efforts and shorten time to market, all while controlling costs and quality:

  1. Establish a Unified Enterprise Translation Process

    Ask stakeholders to identify major, mission-critical areas where multilingual content is produced. Document essential process steps for each area, and outline a process with the  common denominators. Then, look at variations required for each area and add these as sub-processes to make sure you cater to every area’s unique requirements.

  2. Automate Unqualified Tasks

    Once the essential processes have been documented, identify process steps that can be automated. In a typical translation process, it’s common to see 20–25 manual process steps, including steps performed by external language services providers.

    Using modern translation management technology automation, the workflow can be reduced to about five steps requiring manual input, shortening completion times from weeks and days to hours and minutes. Even fewer steps are required if machine translation (MT) is determined to be a suitable process component.

    Examples of steps suitable for automation are content extraction, transport of content between repositories and linguistic resources, re-use of previous translations, quote analysis, quoting, vendor assignment, and content re-integration.

  3. Centralization of Linguistic Assets

    Manually managing your language assets—including terminology glossaries, brand and style guides, and translation memory databases—is both challenging and risky. It is essential to the success of your translation efforts that linguists are always utilizing the latest approved versions, and even a small change to the source language can mean conducting updates, QA, and approvals across every asset for every language.

    You might technically own the linguistic assets, but in most cases your language services provider controls them. By using translation management software to manage your linguistic assets, you not only dramatically increase process scalability, you also increase your flexibility to add or change suppliers and your ability to control your costs.


By applying the three principles above, you will reduce internal project management, speed time to market, control costs, and improve process scalability. For rapidly expanding global organizations where accuracy is essential and timing is everything, these factors can spell the difference between success and failure in international markets. 

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