Archive for the ‘Language Translation’ Category

Translate Large Volumes with Fast Turnaround

240,000 words processed across 11 languages in a week
SpeakLike Strings + Automated Translation Workflow + Human Translation

Our recent customer, a product manufacturer based in Europe, had a problem. They needed to prepare their website for 11 new languages in a week.  And they wanted simple handling and human translation of a large quantity of website and software content.

After a few setup steps, the custom translation system is ready for repeated use:

SpeakLike Strings handles website and software content
After our client downloaded their website content into a CSV file and set up SpeakLike quality tools (read further), they uploaded the file with close to 22,000 words into their Speaklike account at and selected their 11 languages from a list. SpeakLike translators started logging in to SpeakLike to transform the content. SpeakLike Strings accepts CSV or PO files and, for full automation, Speaklike services can be integrated with content management systems.  

SpeakLike quality tools help get consistent results
To get the best results, we worked with the client to set up their SpeakLike quality tools.

Style Guide: The Style Guide provides translators with high level guidance regarding the project, the content (in this case, marketing content), and other information. Translators often switch between different projects and look at the Style Guide for a quick reference.  Comments can also be added to individual strings for detailed clarification.

Terminology Manager: The Terminology Manager was set up to “package” their HTML code so that it can flow with the  content and be ready load in their website in 11 different languages. This packaging provides translators with guidance regarding context as well as flexibility to adjust sentence structures in their home language. The Terminology Manager can also be used to protect brand names and product names from accidental translation.

PhraseBook: The Phrase Book or Glossary helps guide translators with specific context or domain information on industry specific terms. When a word or phrase appears in the source content, the translators sees it highlighted and can reference a definition or description and a suggested translation. This glossary helps us deliver consistent results with a group of translators (more than 80 contributed to this project) and over time when updates are submitted.

Translator team building provides the best match
When quality is important, we work with clients to assemble a team of translators with high quality ratings and have a history with similar content (in this case, product marketing content) and meet our quality ratings requirements. Ratings are updated as translators do more work with SpeakLike. Many of the companies we work with choose to have SpeakLike reviewers edit content, while others use SpeakLike’s integrated review tools with their own in-country reviewers.

SpeakLike automated workflow reduces handling to save time and money
Once the original content is loaded, SpeakLike’s automated process kicks in. Jobs are set up in all 11 languages and broken into manageable chunks.  HTML code is packaged, brand names are protected, glossary items are marked, and notifications go out to translators in the special group.

Human Translation is the only way for business communications
Our translators, who have been tested, trained, and rated, log in to their SpeakLike accounts and start working on the marketing content. They have the Style Guide, protected terms, and glossary entries to guide them and, if they need help, can communicate with the SpeakLike team for assistance. With our global community of 1000’s of translators, translation continues on a 24 hour cycle, 7 days per week, every day of the year.

Human monitoring backs up the automation to deliver on time
But knowing there is a deadline, the SpeakLike team monitors the project. Unlike traditional translation firms, we don’t have project managers (except to get new clients started). Instead, we try to stay out of the way and eliminate unnecessary handling that is time consuming and expensive. We do closely monitor our clients’ submissions and translators’ work. We see where a project stands and what’s being worked on right now. Our team keeps things moving. 

Downloaded strings ready to use helps you launch
In this example, the first few languages were completed within 48 hours. Each time a language is completed, our client receives a notification and then logs in to their account to download the CSV file, ready to load into their website.

Ready for updates — only new content gets translated
SpeakLike now becomes an extension of the client’s content management system, storing translated versions in many languages. Any time new content is added to the website or changes are made, the customer can upload the whole website to process only the new or revised content. We don’t re-translate what is already done. The previous translations are returned from SpeakLike’s translation memory, ready to go. When its time for more languages, just log in to and add a language to the project. All of the quality tools are ready to use for updates and new languages. 

Send us an email to set up your free SpeakLike enterprise account and access SpeakLike Strings and the quality management tools:

The Translation Gap

I found an interesting blog post in the Korea Times about South Korea’s lag behind Japan with respect to translation. There are many similarities between Japanese and Korean, mainly grammatical structure and geographic limit of the language to their respective countries of origin. While Koreans claim their English skills are better than the Japanese, the lack of quality translation skills has led to some embarassing situations on the international scene.

SpeakLike recognizes the prevalence of both Japanese and Korean and has many well-qualified translators to help us provide fluid translations within our clients’ requested turnaround time.

Would a Rose Really Smell Sweet If It Had a Funny-Sounding Name?

Over four hundred years ago, Shakespeare penned the oft-misquoted line, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” Not so fast, Juliet. Here’s an interesting reflection on language from a design perspective. There is a lot of power in names and the sounds of words to make or break a product, and more attention is being given to multilingual compatibility. When Andersen Consulting rebranded as Accenture in 2001, which was derived from “accent on the future”, it researched any derogatory or awkward meanings in many languages before selecting the new company name. Besides the trademarks listed in the article, I can think of a couple others through history. Coca Cola transliterated in Mandarin means “bite the wax tadpole.” (huh?) Ford Pinto did not fare well with its fuel tanks causing injury and death in accidents, and in Portuguese-speaking countries it was hampered further since “pinto” is not a horse or a bean but a rude anatomical reference. SpeakLike is derived from our goal to help you “speak like a local.” As far as we know, there are no known connotations of SpeakLike that would sway one to think otherwise.

Zynga localizes their newest social game, CityVille, and the results are huge

Just like FarmVille and FrontierVille, Zynga’s newest game, CityVille, has experienced substantial growth in a very short period. But this game is different: unlike it’s two predecessors, CityVille is Zynga’s first game to launch internationally. And it’s Zynga’s biggest launch yet. Available in five languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German), CityVille has opened their gates to a global audience without the need for individual localization.


This has been key to CityVille’s jaw-dropping growth: in it’s first 24 hours, CityVille already had 290 thousand players, almost triple what FrontierVille launched to. Go back to Dec. 13, and the game already had 22 million monthly players (that makes it the second largest city in the world). Come back to today, and CityVille now serves 26 million monthly active users. It reached this number in two weeks. FrontierVille, on the other hand, took eight weeks to reach that mark.

Inside Social Games estimates that Americans only account for a quarter of CityVille gamers, meaning most of this growth is coming abroad. But why did Zynga focus solely on European countries? Simple: European countries are easier to monetize (players more likely to pay to play) than say Asian countries, where a game like this would be an instant hit. In addition, that region of the world not only has a lot more languages to translate, but the added challenge of localizing cultural customs.

Zynga is currently working on FarmVille in Japan, their second game to be localized for an audience abroad.