Sustainability in the translation industry

The key concept of the 21st century is sustainability (in French: durabilité, in Dutch: duurzaamheid and in Spanish: sostenibilidad). Not only the ecosystems, the agriculture, the technology or the architecture need to become sustainable in our age but also the translation industry.

Why? Because it saves money and energy. The translation industry is one of those necessary evils: how much easier and cheaper life would be if everybody spoke the same language!? Back to the Tower of Babel! But since we don’t speak the same language and English hasn’t become the lingua franca yet, translations are unavoidable… and expensive.

 translation-management-system

What is the solution? To attain sustainability in the translation industry, translation agencies need to start/continue implementing and exploiting Translation Management Systems. Through different work-flows, TM Systems automate the whole translation process from the moment a text arrives at the agency until the translation is delivered to the client.

Using TM systems, translation agencies can save time (sentences which were translated earlier and which are already stored in the translation memory, can be re-used in the automatic or semi-automatic translation of new texts). For the same reason, using such systems also saves money and since the terminology of the client is used consistently thanks to the Terminology module, it also results in translations of a better quality.

An ideal TM System is web-based, multi-user, with integrated import/ export possibilities, easy-to-use, contains a Translation Memory- and a Terminology module, flexible, has a rich user hierarchy, supports different standard formats etc. Such systems are usually very expensive. To begin with, you need to buy the licences, have it installed on you server and shape the system according to your needs. The initial costs can be over the 10.000 euro. Then the system needs to be regularly updated and upgraded. You can count on an extra 100 euro or more on a monthly basis for keeping your TM system “alive”. A much cheaper solution is using GlobalSight (an open source software) offered by ExacTerm as Software as a Service on www.exacterm.com. More on this another time.

Briefly, sustainability in the translation industry can only be reached, using a TM system.

ARE YOU READY TO TAKE UP THE CHALLENGE… and enter the next level in your translation business??!!

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