Terra Participates in Scale Up Milwaukee’s “5 Questions With”

What is Scale Up Milwaukee?

With a mission to transform culture and spread inclusive economic prosperity, Scale Up Milwaukee is an accelerator program launched by the Greater Milwaukee Committee. The organization’s goal is to connect ambitious entrepreneurs with resources, tools, and a network that accelerates substantial growth. Diversity and inclusion is now a fundamental value for many organizations. Scale Up promotes this ethos by providing greater access to information as well as an opportunity for businesses from various backgrounds to get the assets they need to succeed.

Proud Scale Up Member

As a thriving translation company in Wisconsin, Terra Translations is a member of Scale Up. Since joining the community in 2019, Terra participated in numerous events and one-on-one mentoring sessions. These bespoke experiences are designed to inspire and cultivate economic advancement within Milwaukee.  Members are challenged to go outside their comfort zones and discover new ways to approach their business goals; by sharing their fears and confronting difficulties, Scale Up members support one another. They also offer valuable best practices that have the potential to transform their businesses entirely. Even amid a global pandemic, the organization continues to host virtual events and provide beneficial content to their community. As many businesses have faced set-backs due to COVID, Scale Up members are sharing how they’ve learned to adapt and pivot through these unprecedented times.

Driving Diversity and Inclusion

Scale Up prides itself on creating inclusivity throughout the city of Milwaukee and beyond. One of the most obvious ways to achieve a more equitable and accessible business is through proper localization. There are over 55 million Spanish speakers in the U.S. alone illustrating the potential reach translation services can provide businesses. Additionally, studies have shown that 50-60 percent of consumers will not even consider purchasing from a company whose website is not available in their native or preferred language. Businesses may be missing out on potential customers simply by not educating themselves regarding these consumer behaviors and preferences.

“The major reason a company should consider translating at least their website, if not all of their written content, is pretty simple,” explained Colleen Beres, Director of Business Strategy at Terra. “It all comes down to the reach of your audience.”

If localized accurately, translated websites and collateral materials will often provide an unexpected return on investment as well as breeding brand loyalty. But translation services in Milwaukee should go further than just offering multi languages via marketing channels. Localization is part of the customer experience. It’s important to create an inclusive space where what matters to your customer, matters to you.

“We all want to develop new relationships. The easiest way to do that is to speak the same language,” Colleen added. “Communication is an innate component of being human.”

While services like Google Translate feels like an accessible resource to employ for translation needs, proper localization of your materials should be left to professionals in order to properly resonate with the intended audience.

5 Questions with Terra Translations

Colleen recently participated in a Scale Up video series. The series is titled “5 Questions With,” in which Colleen offers insight to the Language Service Provider industry and explains why businesses might hire a translation service in Milwaukee versus utilizing software like Google Translate.

In the video, Colleen answers the following questions, shares an impressive case study from Amtrak, and offers a complimentary one-hour consultation to Scale Up members:

1. Why should I use translation in my business? 

2. If I use translation, should I have a bilingual staff?

3. Why should I use a service provider over an engine like Google Translate?

4. What kind of ROI can I expect from using translation?

5. I’m interested in translation, but where do I start?

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Terra Passes ISO Audit Amid Challenging Times

There’s no question that the world is undergoing troublesome times. Even amid a global pandemic, the Terra team has managed to band together to continue our commitment toward providing quality work for our clients. This promise for quality is demonstrated through our recent accomplishment of passing the annual ISO audit. 

What is ISO Certification and Audits?

ISO stands for the International Organization for Standardization that provides the framework to certify quality management procedures. This Quality Management System (QMS) improves the development of tools for process control, organizational performance evaluation, and continuous improvement. The formula has proven to generate a virtuous circle of continuous improvement through planning and verifying. In addition to ISO 9001 certified (process-based), we achieved ISO 17100 certification (requirement-based) in April of 2019. The rigid standards of ISO 17100 indicates an even further dedication to quality and timely translations.

“Being ISO 9001 and 17100 certified is so much more than a piece of paper for us,” explained Marina Ilari, CEO of Terra Translations. “Our team is truly invested in the continuous improvement of our processes and making sure we are always exceeding our clients’ expectations.”

In addition to the meticulous certification process, we must undergo annual ISO audits and recertify every three years. These certifications ensure our teams align with solid processes that meet international industry standards. These systems hit the needs of all key stakeholders that include our organization, collaborators, customers, and suppliers.

Passing ISO in a Global Pandemic

Our ISO audit was especially unique in that it occurred at the height of the quarantine and self-isolation. Until nearly the final hours, the Terra team did not know if an audit was possible. The certifying body and powers that be made an unprecedented decision: to conduct an audit completely virtual. Upon notification on the updated methodology, we quickly established the team that would participate. As a fully remote team, we were agile enough to quickly pivot.

The audit lasted two full days which is typically based on the size of the organization and scope of the services to be certified. Traditionally, the auditor surveys the data and verifies that the organization complies with the certified standards. In Terra’s case, the certified standards under review were ISO 9001 and the ISO 17100 fundamentals specific to translation services. According to procedure, the auditor must set meetings with various members from the organization and ask specific questions on daily processes and compliance. The auditor will provide suggestions for improvement according to his or her experience. For Terra’s unconventional audit, the auditor adapted perfectly to the rare situation. Overall, the entire experience was both fluid and dynamic. 

Passing the certification has only provided further confidence in the Terra team on the ability to provide outstanding service, even in arduous circumstances. 

“It is a great responsibility that becomes an enjoyable task because I am part of such a committed and continuous improvement oriented team,” said María del Carmen, Accounts Payable for Terra. “I have been working with quality standards for 11 years and it is a subject with which I feel comfortable. With the day-to-day management solid and orderly, I believe that the certifications provide additional value to every project.”

With our credibility recognized by the translation industry’s highest authority, our clients can trust in us. We take every audit as an opportunity to learn and improve our practices.

“My experience in ISO audits is extremely important to me. I have gained extensive knowledge and self-assurance from my participation in reviews over these three years,” said Natalia Atab, Account Manager for Terra. “I am truly proud to be part of this certification, now more than ever.”

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Terra solidifies top spot as a boutique translation company on the Slator 2020 LSPI

We are honored to announce that Terra has made the list of the Slator 2020 Language Service Provider Index (LSPI) as a boutique translation company. The annual index is a ranking of the world’s largest language service providers, translation agencies, localization providers, interpreting services providers, and language technology companies. Slator sense-checked the primarily self-reported LSPI data. This data is independently verified by Slator using publicly accessible sources such as annual reports. The LSPI is an important resource for language industry stakeholders such as vendors, buyers, advisors, consultants, and investors. It also provides language service providers insight into where they rank among competitors and colleagues. It is Slator’s mission to help the industry make sense of developing technologies, emerging trends, and funding news in our fast-changing marketplace.

As language service providers navigated the integration of machine learning with traditional translation tools, 2019 proved to be the year of transition and growth. In addition to “Super Agencies and Leaders” and “Challengers,” this year’s 2020 LSPI expanded to include a new group of “Boutique” translation companies. Overall, 2019 was a positive year for the industry, with double-digit growth for many language service providers.

What are the benefits of a boutique translation company?

There are a multitude of reasons for clients to select a boutique translation company for their translation and localization needs. One of the biggest benefits is the unmatched customer service. Because boutique agencies are smaller than larger firms, the client gets a dedicated team of experienced professionals. Providers truly get to know the clients and form genuine relationships. This allows for a more personalized and bespoke approach to translation projects. One-on-ones with expert talent is available to customers to ensure a successful outcome for every project.

At larger firms, a highly bureaucratic company structure slows down processes and decision making. For boutique firms such as Terra, we can work swiftly and nimbly across accounts, pivoting with the needs of our clients. The boutique structure allows the language service provider to accommodate the needs of the customer and provide them with a tailored solution quickly. This flexibility has proven invaluable and supports customer satisfaction.

Lastly, many boutique translation companies specialize in a specific language combination or industry. As the saying goes, Jack of all trades, master of none. Boutique agencies don’t attempt to be language generalists. Instead, boutique firms tend to become experts in a vertical or language combination therefore they thrive in their specialty. As specialists, boutique translation companies become true thought-leaders in their area of expertise.

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An Insider’s Guide to the Role of a Quality Assurance Manager

The key to any successful translation project is quality. Assuring the highest quality work is what sets Terra Translations apart from other language service providers. With quality as a cornerstone of our workflow, we designed a process that supports error-free deliverables. One of the essential steps in this flow is led by the Quality Assurance Manager (QAM). 

The Role of a Quality Assurance Manager

After the translation and editing process, the Project Manager (PM) assigns the translated project to the QAM for a final review. The primary role of the QAM is to check the accuracy of the edition. 

“I ensure that the text reads naturally and smoothly in the target language,” explained Celeste Moreno, QAM for Terra. “The reader shouldn’t notice that the text is a translation.” 

Accuracy includes grammar and style. The QAM may also compare the edition to the original text to ensure the sentiment and meaning remains intact. It’s important that the translator properly conveys the tone and register of the original text to the target market.

“We’re the last step of the quality control chain,” Celeste said. “So it’s a great responsibility.” 

In addition to this process, the QAM will use the quality assurance features offered by Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools. The technology is leveraged by the QAM to catch mistakes and achieve consistency. The audit of the software provides another layer of quality assurance.

After the QAM reviews and finalizes the project, he or she sends it to the Account Manager (AM) for client delivery. The QAM will also send feedback to the translator and the editor. This step is valuable because, through this, the linguists have an opportunity to improve. Constructive feedback will enhance the overall quality of the team.

A Quality Assurance Manager’s Core Skills

Similar to a PM or AM, a QAM’s day is highly deadline-driven. The QAM must ensure that all assignments are reviewed and returned within the allotted timeline. This requires an individual both organized and self-motivated to remain on track. Another pivotal skill is attention to detail. Because some errors can be as minor as format consistency, the QAM must be precise and thorough when reviewing the edition as well as the original brief. There could be special instructions in the brief that were overlooked and need to be addressed. Lastly, an asset a QAM can hold is confidence. There are many moving parts to any translation process. Projects can quickly present unforeseen challenges and easily trigger stress. A proficient QAM will remain calm under pressure and tackle their work with certainty and focus. 

Why is a Quality Assurance Manager Essential?

The additional oversight the QAM provides is fundamental and should be a requirement for every translation project. Even one poorly translated word can affect the entire meaning of content. This, in turn, affects the credibility of what needs to be conveyed and audiences will never connect with the translation. Quality assurance is at the core of an impactful and meaningful translation project. 

“If a company doesn’t have a Quality Assurance Manager, an editor, or someone who reviews a translation, it could be a recipe for disaster,” said Celeste, “You always need an extra set of eyes on a translation.”


Spanish Variants Explained: What are they and which should I localize to?

As the official language of 21 countries, Spanish continues to evolve and establish itself as a globalized language. There are currently 577,256,327 Spanish speakers in the world according to a 2018 report from the Spanish government’s Cervantes Institute. This figure is five million more than the previous study published in November 2017. Although the number of Spanish speakers is on the rise, it’s important to note that within the single language are significant differences in speech. Grammar to expressions vary within the Spanish language highly dependent upon geography and migration. In addition to vocabulary issues, there are words or phrases that are actually inappropriate in some countries but not in others. In translation, the most common Spanish variants include LATAM, Mexican, U.S., European or Iberian, and neutral. 

So what variant is best for your translation and localization needs? Let’s take a closer look at Spanish variants around the world.

What is LATAM Spanish?

The culmination of Spanish, Portuguese, and French, Latin America is a group of countries that stretch from the northern border of Mexico to the southern tip of South America. There are 33 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean today, according to the United Nations. Out of these 33, Spanish is the official language of 18. Because the territory is so large, there is no “uniformed” Spanish. Every country’s dialect is unique and varies greatly. In order to cater to the majority of Latin American Spanish speakers, translators developed what is referred to as “LATAM Spanish”. This “Generic LATAM Spanish” avoids country colloquialisms but still sounds familiar with the general audience. LATAM Spanish is considered to be a broader variant than Mexican Spanish.

When localizing cultural references such as food, pop-culture, legal, and marketing texts, in-country linguists may be best to accurately reflect the target country’s expressions. However, in many cases, LATAM Spanish will suffice for the localization. 

What is Mexican Spanish?

Although Mexico is considered part of Latin America, the region has a variant all of its own. From vocabulary to idioms, there lives a dialect that is unique and specific to the country. In many cases, Mexican Spanish is the selected variant because of its large demographic and reach. When compared to other Spanish-speaking countries in the Americas, Mexico is ranked first. In the U.S., Mexican Spanish is often studied in schools more than any other dialect. This variant works perfectly for a Mexican audience but won’t effectively garner desired results in other Spanish-speaking markets. 

What is U.S. Spanish?

At over 50 million Spanish speakers, the U.S. now has the second-largest Spanish-speaking population in the world. There is a misconception that its proximity to Mexico means the U.S. Spanish variant is predominantly a Mexican variant. In actuality, the U.S. displays vibrant influences of Puerto-Rican, Dominican, and other Latin American countries. The influence of Hispanics who have migrated to the U.S. from various Latin American countries over generations has cultivated a Spanish variant of its own. The coexistence of the English and Spanish language has also transformed the way U.S. Spanish is spoken and written. The most distinct characteristic of this variant is that it reserves many of its the English formatting conventions such as date, decimals, time, and even capitalization.

What is European Spanish or Iberian Spanish?

European Spanish (or Iberian) is truly unique because it is the most isolated dialect from the rest of the variants. The Spanish spoken in Spain is called Castilian, a term that refers to the province of Castile located in central Spain. It is said that the Spanish language originated there.

Take an in-depth look at its vocabulary, grammar, and phonetic in our blog post Latin American Spanish vs. European Spanish.

What is Neutral Spanish?

Neutral Spanish is the “universal” variant. From the U.S. to Europe to Latin America, this variant can be understood on a global level. Neutral Spanish is the attempt of linguistic authorities to standardize the language across borders. Determining a common vocabulary is designed to ensure maximum understanding amongst speakers and readers, cutting out local variations and colloquialisms.

For technical and specialized texts, a universal Spanish could be acceptable. Unlocalized variants that don’t reflect specific regions or communities also work well for the translation of informative texts such as instruction manuals, medical prospectuses, and the description of products. 

Despite offering an efficient solution for technical information, this model is not recommended for translations related to artistic or creative activities such as literary translations, film subtitles, video games, and advertising. Failure to localize can disrupt engagement and negatively impact source credibility.

In conclusion, know your audience!

Neutral Spanish is an acceptable practice that most Spanish speakers will easily understand. However, to truly resonate with an audience, it’s best to localize to your target market as closely as possible. By taking the extra step to understand and learn the culture as well as the dialect of the target market, you will create materials that genuinely relates to audiences. Your audience will feel closer to your message and your business will gain a higher opportunity to engage. A strategic and successful campaign will be the launching pad to expand to more countries and craft messaging to new local audiences. 

When launching a project, marketing campaign, document, book, or movie in a Spanish-speaking market, be sure to do your research. Depending on what you’re creating, you may need to use a more localized Spanish dialect for maximum impact.

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4 Benefits of Website Localization

The business landscape continues to shift into an emerging global economy. The most powerful and cost-effective channel to reach an international audience is through a company’s website. A multilingual website is imperative for success in a global marketplace. One of the biggest challenges businesses face when expanding business outside of their country are language and cultural barriers. The English language only has 25.3 percent of internet users worldwide according to Statista statistics. While still the dominant language on the internet, there are many languages such as Mandarin and Spanish that closely rank and continuously grow. Localizing your website to your desired international market is essential to effective communication and growth strategy.

There are many benefits to website localization.

1) Increased Sales

The low hanging fruit of translating your website to other languages is an increase in sales or leads. In a report called “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy” by Common Sense Advisory, researchers found that 85 percent of all consumers will not place a purchase if content is not readily available in their native language. In another study conducted by Harvard Business Review, 56 percent of consumers consider the ability to get information in their local language more important than price. This has a powerful impact on the bottom line and lends itself to an opportunity to grow your business significantly. 

2) Connection

Research shows that people want to consume content in their native language. Common Sense Advisory found that 72 percent of consumers said they spend all or most of their time on websites in their native language. Localization by a language service provider goes beyond rendering one language to another. A properly localized website considers culture and context. With fewer distractions from inapplicable references, locals will better connect with the content. 

In addition to culture and context, proper localization also ensures that the translated website is compliant with local accessibility laws. Similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 508, different countries have their own guidelines and restrictions regarding  website accessibility. Not only is it mandatory in some cases, but abiding by these guidelines promote inclusivity and will reach a wider audience.

3) SEO and Visibility

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most essential and complex drivers that increases traffic to a website. Expanding SEO strategies to other languages will positively impact ranking for all sites. For Google’s algorithms, behavioral factors, such as time visitors spend on websites, factor into SEO. Therefore, if a company promotes a website in the wrong language, the website will receive a high bounce rate and the ranking will take a significant hit.

There’s evidence to suggest that a translated website will increase traffic within weeks. Popular marketing consultant Neil Patel increased search traffic by 47 percent in three weeks when he translated his content into 82 languages. Patel noted that impressions for search queries also increased thus growing his prospects.

4) Authority

Translating your website into multiple languages will increase the awareness surrounding your brand. If you are among the first to reach a foreign market in your industry, you’ll not only attract new customers but become an authority in your field. The localized content will bolster trust and familiarity among locals. Customers will begin to associate your brand with a specific service or product. This builds your reputation abroad and solidifies your entrance into the global market.

The greatest part of website localization is that results can all be tested, measured, and tracked. Landing pages can easily be A/B tested for conversion rates and you can determine what language truly resonates with target demographics.


A Step-by-Step Guide to Project Management for a Language Service Provider

The project management process is where Language Service Providers (LSPs) can offer the most value. Project management involves managing resources strategically and efficiently. The goal is to ensure that tasks can be completed within deadline and the clients receive quality deliverables. Resources include people, time, technology, and budget. With a systematic framework that includes initiating, planning, and executing, project management is often recognized as a core function of an LSP. Furthermore, project management allows LSPs to meet the needs of their clients and consistently deliver quality projects.

The Process

Every client and project has its own unique scope and specified criteria. The typical project management process flows as follows:

  1. The Account Manager (AM) receives the project from a client, analyzes it, and asks any questions that may arise from the team.
  2. Next, the client receives a quote. To align with requirements from ISO 17100, there must be a clear agreement on deadlines, language pairs, resources, etc. After both parties align, the AM passes the brief to the Project Manager (PM).
  3. The PM reviews the request and takes into account all instructions and requirements from the client. The PM plays a vital role in crafting a strategy and approach to reach these goals. This includes selecting the proper Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tools that fit the needs of the project. The PM also decides which translators work best for the scope and if subject matter experts need to be assigned. To select the appropriate team, the PM takes into account additional requirements from ISO 17100. 
  4. After ISO 17100 requirements have been met, the PM assigns the project to the appropriate linguists. 
  5. During the process, the PM relies on project management technology to oversee every step. Terra has developed a proprietary management portal called TerraSoft. The software allows PMs to track project status from start to finish and ensure the highest quality in their deliverables. The objective is to build effective channels of communication between the linguistic team and the AM at every stage of a project. Failure to properly manage a project can result in poor quality work and unanticipated delays. 
  6. The completed project is delivered to the client by the AM. The AM keeps track of the client’s responses or comments ready to share feedback with the team.

Why is an experienced project management team important?

Regardless of size, there are many moving parts and varying degrees of difficulty to a translation project. A seasoned AM and PM are imperative for the execution of every successful project. AMs and PMs skillfully navigate and coordinate efforts so that delivery is made on time and with the highest quality. Communication is a crucial element to this coordination, therefore, AMs and PMs must be well-organized and effective communicators. 

Although more and more functions of project management are being automated as technology evolves, AMs and PMs provide a “human element” that is essential and can never be outsourced. Overvaluing technology can lead to gaps in genuine connection and no opportunity to build rapport with clients. Additionally, unlike machines, AMs and PMs develop expertise in identifying key, high-performing teams of translators, editors, and quality managers to meet project requirements.

Lastly, the AMs and PMs strategically analyze each project with a focus to efficiently maximize budget. This includes identifying repetitive text and creating translation memories for future leverage. They must also ensure a termbase is created and maintained so that it, along with the translation memory, become assets for the client and linguists. Proper maintenance and updates to these resources have a positive impact on the quality of the final project. 

Why does ISO compliance guide project management?

The ISO standard is a globally approved management process. ISO requirements are important throughout the process to properly guide the team toward the highest quality of work. ISO cultivates continuous growth and improvement through guidelines, planning, monitoring, and verifying. These integral guidelines also promote consistency and client satisfaction. Dedicated to strengthening our practice, we proudly earned an ISO 17100 Certification.

To learn more on why the ISO 17100 Certification is a valuable recognition in the industry, read It’s Official! We’re ISO 17100 Certified.


An Insider’s Guide to the Role of an Account Manager

The heart of every translation or localization project is communication. Key to this complex flow of information between clients and translators is the Account Manager (AM). As the liaison between the client, the Project Managers (PMs), and linguistic team, AMs are vital to the scope of every project.

A Day in the Life of an Account Manager

Similar to a PM, no two days are alike in the world of an AM. The primary role of the AM is to be the dedicated point of contact for the client. Their responsibilities include confirming projects, delivering drafts, preparing quotes, negotiating rates and deadlines, on top of attending regular meetings, webinars, and events. AMs are a resource to the client and building a proper rapport is of the utmost importance.

An Account Manager’s Core Skills

AMs with a strong set of soft skills tend to excel at their role. One of the strongest skills that AMs can have is the ability to critically think and problem solve. Often times, AMs must address difficult issues with clients such as negotiating the budget or pushing back unrealistic deadlines. It’s important for AMs to strategically analyze the situation and make informed decisions. All this while still maintaining a healthy relationship with both the client and internal team.

Another valuable skill to have as an AM is collaboration. Not only do they work with clients, but AMs must also harmonize with Vendor Managers and PMs. They need to work effectively with the teams, accepting and offering feedback in a productive manner. With many moving parts of a translation or localization project, it’s important that every stakeholder is on the same page.

Lastly, AMs should encompass empathy. The ability to understand and anticipate the needs of both the client and the team will proactively halt problems before they start. For example, a client may submit a scanned document with illegible parts to be translated. The linguistic team will do their best to recreate and transcribe all of the legible content. The AM must let the client know that they need clarification regarding its cryptic parts in order to provide a complete translation of the document. This sets realistic expectations for the client and the linguists don’t have to worry about issues post-delivery.

The Decision Makers

AMs see every project through from start to finish, understanding projects on a variety of scales and scopes. Because of this, they’ve developed extensive knowledge that empowers them to step up during difficult situations. When a dispute needs to be resolved, AMs masterfully navigate everyone to a peaceful resolution.

“I’m proud that we can play a part in the decision-making process,” explained Natalia Atab, AM for Terra Translations. “Many times the PMs come to the AM with an issue and it is the AM who has to make an executive decision. We analyze the impact of our decisions and learn.”

Although making crucial decisions can be stressful, AMs are rewarded by the valuable relationships they build across the organization.

“As we work hand in hand on projects, I truly enjoy getting to know the other AMs and PMs,” said Atab. “We get a glimpse into each other’s lives and realize that we are not so different.”



What is Desktop Publishing (DTP)?

The greatest benefit of using a translation company over Google Translate or freelancers is the superior quality of work. This is due to the systematic process and additional oversight put in place by the Language Service Provider (LSP). An integral part of this process is Desktop Publishing (DTP). Typically one of the final phases in a translation or localization project, DTP is the redesign of a translated document using page layout software. 

Translating or localizing does not always end with the rendering of one language to another. The translated text will often have different sentence structure and length when compared to the original. German, for example, can be up to 30 percent longer than when translated from English. Arabic is written right-to-left, therefore, translations from Arabic require modifications to the entire layout. From typesetting to graphic placement, many projects need a redesign post-translation. Re-formatting may be necessary for brochures, newspapers, collateral materials, booklets, and manuals. 

The Process

If a document requires heavy formatting, the client will typically send the file in an InDesign or exported PDF file. Translators will work on these files by means of Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools. The tools allow them to focus solely on the text, ensuring quality in the translation and consistency in the terminology. Formatting is a focal point for the DTP specialists, not the linguists.

DTP usually falls near the end of the project management process. After a translation is complete, the project goes to the DTP specialist. The DTP specialist will import the translated text and work on the design. The goal is to mirror the formatting of the original document. They also take a look at numerical formats and ensure they reflect the local currency, time, and date. Lastly, they confirm images are appropriately localized to their target region.

Upon DTP completion, the linguist performs a post-layout review. Educated in specific rules of the target language, linguists leverage their expertise accordingly. They check for new typos, flag incorrect line breaks, and note unnecessarily truncated text. Comments made on the file, typically a PDF, indicate to the DTP specialists exactly what needs to be edited before exporting the final version.

The Benefits of DTP

In-house DTP teams are a great benefit because they add an extra layer of quality assurance in the translation process. DTP specialists are well-versed in design so that linguists can devote their full attention to localizing with the utmost accuracy. 

Additionally, DTP often speeds up a project’s timeline. Because they are highly trained in their skill set, they are able to work quickly to format a project in a variety of programs as specified by the client. This saves the client time from plugging in the translated text themselves and risking the possibility of error if they are unfamiliar with the target language. The DTP specialists can make informed design choices quickly and reduce the risk of inconsistencies.


Which Type of Language Service Provider Should I Choose?

The number of people employed in the translation and interpretation industry has doubled in the past seven years according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor. Many of those professionals work for companies known as Language Service Providers (LSPs). An LSP is a company that provides translation, interpretation, localization, and additional language services. This can include language translation, telephone interpretation, website translation, digital content creation, and multilingual narration. The structure, support, and expertise from these highly-skilled providers produce quality results. The language service industry has evolved into LSPs in order to provide a framework that saves companies from costly mistakes from poor translations.

There are several types of LSPs categorized primarily on structure and services offered.

Single-language Service Provider (SLSP)

A SLSP offers services with a specialty in one language. Many SLSPs staff native speakers of the target language who are well-versed on a particular language style, terminology, and usage. SLSPs are often smaller providers associated with a customer-centric approach to projects. Additionally, these companies typically have a large staff of in-house translators and reviewers. 

SLSPs are usually adept in a variety of dialects for their specialty language. They can accurately navigate the complex world of metaphors, idioms, jokes, and sarcasm from region to region in the target language. Terra Translations is an example of a SLSP with a heavy focus in Spanish. 

Multiple-language Service Provider (MLSP)

A MLSP can handle and execute projects in a variety of languages. In contrast to SLSPs, MLSPs hire experts in a variety of languages, offering translations that vary in size and need. For companies with plans to expand into several foreign markets, MLSPs are often selected. One firm streamlines the entire process of multi-language translation projects. Often times MLSPs will collaborate with SLSPs on specialized projects to leverage their language expertise. 

Massive Multiple-language Service Provider (MMLSP)

MMLSPs are the translation industry’s heavy hitters. They offer translation services that cover nearly every language that exists. These are often global firms that work on large-scale projects. Because MMLSPs need to sustain a large structure and program, these firms commonly have higher rates.

In order to select the best LSP for your company, it’s best to analyze your current and future translation needs.

Is my company growing into other foreign markets?
Does my content need to be 508 compliant?
Does my company have a need for a specific language or a large list of different languages?
Do I need written (translation) and/or oral (interpretation) language services?
Do I need additional services like DTP or voiceovers?

After evaluating and carefully reviewing target markets, opt for a provider that meets your language service requirements. The LSP can grow with your company and you will avoid unnecessary inconsistencies or inaccuracies down the road.

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