Numerous translations in numerous languages...

SMEs in Germany export to an average of seven countries. This means that they need a number of translations into the languages of the target markets. In most technical writing departments, translation costs far exceed the cost of creating and distributing the actual documentation.

As a result, many companies are looking for options to minimize the costs and effort involved in translations. After all, dispensing with translations altogether is definitely not an option, both for legal reasons and from a customer loyalty perspective.

Did you already know...?

Translation management means more than just making sure that every document is available in the required language. Translation management means developing a reliable process and infrastructure, which can be used to produce translations of the relevant documents as quickly, easily, and cost-effectively as possible with a high level of quality and reliability.

Terminological standards need to be defined in order to establish a translation management system. A process needs to be in place that determines which document parts are relevant for translation. Tools and transfer interfaces between the technical writing department and (internal or external) translation service providers also need to be established. A process must also be defined to give technical writing departments an idea of the quality of the translated document even if they can't speak the target languages themselves. Translation management is therefore a complex subtask of technical writing, with various organizational aspects.

Why do translations often cause problems?

For most companies, translations represent an organizational bottleneck:

  • Since the translations are at the end of the process chain, delays and process disruptions that previously occurred in the development and technical writing departments tend to multiply here.
  • At the same time, the translation is typically the first process phase in which an external pair of eyes sees the content produced by the technical writing department. That's why, in this phase, there are lots of queries and clarifications of inaccuracies that previously went undetected.
  • However, the most pressing problem for most companies is the high costs resulting from translations, as each additional target language multiplies the company's communication costs.

The solution: SCHEMA ST4

Our component content management system SCHEMA ST4 is a solution to all the challenges described above. With SCHEMA ST4, managing your translations is a breeze!

As a component content management system, SCHEMA ST4 can reduce translation costs in a number of ways. It makes the content of a company's complete documentation available in the form of modules. Since these modules are often used in a range of documentation at the same time, every module has to be translated just once and can then be used in many different instructions.   

SCHEMA ST4 also provides powerful language management functions, where for every content unit (e.g., images, tables, videos), it can be specified whether the unit language-neutral or assigned to a specific language. In addition, SCHEMA ST4 offers its own options for managing terminology directly in the system, thereby ensuring consistent formulations as soon as the document is created. This is because identical formulations only need to be translated once in modern translation software, even if they pop up in very different places in the instructions. This principle is known as “reuse” – it reduces your costs considerably!

SCHEMA ST4 offers sophisticated mechanisms to support translation processes. Every content element is classified with respect to its translation status, which means that it “knows” whether there is already an up-to-date translation, whether the element is currently in translation, or whether there isn't a translation yet. Translation reports provide a clear overview of the progress made by the translation process at all times. Thanks to automation mechanisms, lots of work steps take care of themselves, e.g., an editorial check is initiated as soon as a translation is sent back by the service provider. Interfaces and standards (e.g., COTI, TBX) connect SCHEMA ST4 to all common translation tools such as translation memory software and terminology management systems.

There are various starting points in SCHEMA ST4 for minimizing queries and process disruptions. The better connection to translation systems alone makes it easier to collaborate; lots of processes can be automated. Well-maintained terminology data provide an important basis for functioning translations, ensuring that terms are used consistently. There are independent software systems for this purpose as well as internal mechanisms in SCHEMA ST4, which make terminology easier to handle. For instance, it is possible to output the terminology database within SCHEMA ST4 as a term browser and make it accessible to translators. Another advantage is that it only releases the content modules for translation that are actually required. However, the context is also important for translation service providers to make well-informed decisions. This can be included for both the source and target languages.

In SCHEMA ST4, the content is made available in the form of XML-based data. XML makes it possible to perform a range of automatic checks in terms of content and structure. You can check, for example, whether graphic labels have been translated in full, whether text segments are missing, or whether the content scope differs significantly between source and target languages (which indicates an incomplete translation).

SCHEMA ST4 also includes options to check content with respect to terminology and search it for different stylistic features (e.g., use of the passive, nominalization) using linguistic software. As a result, it's possible to determine whether the translation quality meets the requirements even without any knowledge of the target language.

  • Structural reuse of content: no duplicate translations of content components
  • Terminology already in the editor during content creation
  • Search for similar sentences in the editor: reuse at sentence level
  • Translations exports in established standard formats (XML / COTI level 1+2+3)
  • Automated export/import mechanisms (COTI level 2 / 3)
  • Rule-based content review prior to translation export in the Reporting Center
  • Support for translation-oriented writing
  • Language-neutral layouts – one layout for all languages
  • Language-neutral structures


You want to learn more?

Take a look at our Introduction to SCHEMA ST4!

Have we aroused your interest?

Ask now for a demo of SCHEMA ST4. Our consultants are happy to assist you!