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I'm coming from an SDL Tridion perspective. Paul suggested I could ask about how SDL clients choose their source and target translation language (pairs).
In SDL Tridion (Web Content Management), our settings are fairly straight-forward and include settings for TMS or WorldServer for where Translation Manager, the connector between Tridion and translation management systems, sends/receives translations to be stored in Tridion items (technically XML that we call Components).
But usually the languages and regions/countries are already chosen (e.g. English for the US as a source with maybe Spanish for the US as an initial target) when it comes time to Tridion configuration. I'm interested in learning about what's practical or common so I can recognize patterns and gotchas when say a US client says they want to "add translation" to their sites.
So some questions I have are:
Any feedback, leads, or even questions on the Web Content Management (Tridion) side appreciated. As a Web Content Management "professional" I'm not looking to understand everything, but I do want to be a little more familiar with what SDL clients face when they start "translation" projects.
Alvin Reyes said:SDL software ecosystem? Maybe I should also start with a fairly newbie technical question: are SDL WorldServer or SDL TMS related to the SDL Open Exchange? Or if so, how are these related?
It seems you've asked a few tricky questions, so I thought I'd answer the third one at least, The first two are really better answered from people with experience working with organisations at that level.
The SDL OpenExchange is part of the overall SDL Language Platform. It essentially comprises two parts:
At the moment the solutions on the OpenExchange available for sharing are predominantly solutions for the Translation Productivity users. So this would be SDL Trados Studio, SDL MultiTerm, SDL GroupShare and SDL Passolo. But we are beginning to see some applications created using APIs for SDL Language Cloud.
So, where does SDL WorldServer and SDL TMS fit into this? Studio (I'm dropping the SDL part of the name now) is the desktop client used by Translators, Reviewers, Post-Editors and Project Managers when working on projects that might have originated from WorldServer or TMS. So many SDL customers working with these products use the OpenExchange to create specific solutions for themselves, solutions that are never made available for download by other users. These solutions might be as simple as automating access to internal databases to help provide better context, integration with internal data management systems such as Sharepoint or to customised machine translation engines developed with any technology and not just SDL Language Cloud or BeGlobal. They might provide customised views and functionality within Studio itself using resources that are only available within their own organisation.
So the OpenExchange is a complementary solution provided to all licensed users of the SDL Language Platform, and as this grows we'll see a wider range of solutions available. It could be used for solutions made specifically for WorldServer or TMS too, but as these tend to be very customer specific it's a little less likely that we'll see them being made available for anyone to download. It's the desktop products used by everyone where the shareable value is greatest.
Hopefully that provides the sort of answer you were looking for, and maybe someone will be able to give you an experienced response to your first two questions... or add to my thoughts on the last one.
Great insights, Lydia, and thanks for sharing. I might ping you for other questions, but I appreciate having the points available here to anyone interested in learning about CMS and translation. :-)
Regarding "English for a given country," yes I was thinking about source content and its impact on translation. But I've also seen customers deal with translation from English for the US to English for the UK. Interesting note on pharmaceuticals. I imagine the regulations aren't necessarily related to translation as much as they're country-specific (which means they impact translation).
Let me follow up with a semi-technical question on Single vs. Multiple Source Translation Setups and some parallels with the rest of your response. Basically I see the same themes in enterprise Content Management. :-)
In our documentation we describe scenarios of taking source content in one language (Japanese was one example), translating it to international English and then to other languages.
The single content source setup should be familiar to Tridion customers and consultants:
The Tridion setup is on the left (English for the US is missing at the top). On the right is one of the three Translation System options (SDL TMS, SDL WorldServer, or SDL BeGlobal). The configurations differ, but functionally they all end up providing translated content in various target languages. Each customer will have its own set of languages and setup.
What I haven't seen yet is taking this translated content and re-translating it to other languages (multiple source).
Does this scenario come up where content translated from French for France gets translated to English for the US, and then back to French or another language? The diagram can also cover scenarios where three groups of authors originate content in different languages, which then goes to English, which sort of acts as a "Single Source."
I have a hypothetical example that might fit where someone might change a description of a holiday to a region-specific version (Halloween, All Saints Day, and/or Día de Muertos). But then you might also want these translated descriptions available in other languages.
This is related to your description of "linguistically correct, but also regionally correct" content. SDL Tridion has a "localize" feature to take any source content and change it in a different Tridion Publication (the largest folders in the CMS as seen in the above diagrams). We have to be careful with this term though, because it could mean either linguistic translation and/or a change for a given region or market. Tridion's "agnostic" of how you use a given Publication setup (which we call a BluePrint).
Do you have more on "authoring with localisation in mind?" That could be a blog title! :-)
I've seen similar challenges with content management, including confusion on who owns content. Usually it's in the form of one group thinking another group produced or owned something. We find out later it's much more involved and there's an ecosystem of authors, approvers, and tools.
Rather than groups believing they are the source originators (or wanting to be the source), the groups I work with sometimes want someone else to own either the creation or publishing of some content. After a few years of enterprise consulting, I admit being less amazed now about how parts of a business are not aware of the rest of the business. :-)
Like any other large organization, I think SDL faces the same challenges. But things that show we hopefully "get it" more than others include:
Also, I like promoting the Marketing template and style guide so we're seeing consistency across SDL (Web) Professional Services . I know a few of my colleagues could write their own style guides and templates, but why spend the extra effort to be different when someone's already created a template, prototype example, and recommendations on how to use them? :-)
Interesting that you found a Terminologist. I've seen something similar on my side and found one person with the title Content Strategist. We almost always have power users, who tend to see everything right and wrong in an implementation, but don't always have the power to influence the requirements or implement changes (to the setup, to code, etc.).
As a CMS, SDL Tridion might be as central as a company would like. But with any software it's very easy for a department, or even an individual, to choose the tool they like. For example, I've seen a dozen tools in a company to make PDFs. For CMS, there's Tridion, but also legacy systems, competitors, SharePoint, the internal CMS, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and so many others. Occasionally even one of my colleagues might suggest yet another tool for a project, and I'll suggest we use one of the existing options. :-)
Tridion attempts to "play nice" with these and can make external content libraries visible to CMS users to place on pages or publish. Tridion can also add anything during publish (it's a corporate team player).
The "orchestrate" part of the Customer Experience Management story probably won't ever go away.
To make sure I follow, do I have the terminology right?
Feel free to comment or ask about anything in this post. My only real question is if translating back-and-forth between language is a common setup? I've yet to design a Tridion BluePrint based on this, but maybe it happens before or after the CMS.