[Follow-up] The Integrated Content Lifecycle

The Integrated Content Lifecycle

A quick post to update you on the Translation World session, “The Integrated Lifecycle: Creating a Foundation for Envisioning and Planning an Integrated Translation Lifecycle that I facilitated last month – A summary of the session, as well as the visual outputs, including a high-rez PDF, are now available on my site, here.

Overall I think the session went really, really well – we had a perfect mix of attendees (we had three of the four major stakeholders represented) and all had mixed levels of experience with integrated systems. I’m really happy with the final visual as well – I think we captured the important points and I know the attendees themselves gained a much deeper understanding of the process and discovered areas where integrating systems might prove valuable. Be sure to check out the full rundown of the session (including the process we used) and sneak a peak at the full-size graphic while you’re at it.

All of the outputs have been licensed under a Creative Commons, Attribution, Non-commercial, Share-alike license.

As a freelance facilitator and information designer, I can help your organization discover, define and develop your story so you can share it more effectively – If your organization could benefit from better explaining what it is you do, then I can be of help, contact me today.

Google Integrates Automatic Translation into Gmail

Not exactly a stunning technical development, but still pretty interesting: Google has gotten around to integrating their translation tools right into Gmail through their labs section. Once the “Message Translation” plug-in is activated Gmail will detect if an email is not in your default language and will automatically give you the option to translate it. You can see the “Translate message to:” option in the screen shot below:

autotranslate
Source: Google Gmail Blog

While they readily admit “it’s not quite the universal translators we’re so fond of from science fiction,” they do make a comment that I thought was pretty interesting:

“If all parties are using Gmail, you can have entire conversations in multiple languages with each participant reading the messages in whatever language is most comfortable for them.”

This is an interesting concept, and certainly for any non-mission critical exchanges will be quite handy – although I have to wonder what some of the quoted text further down in the email will look like after multiple runs through the machine translation system. I’ve found in the past even once through the grinder and back can leave the text pretty mangled, who knows what several exchanges back and forth will leave it looking like.

Either way an interesting addition to the Gmail system and another tiny step towards knocking down the language barrier.

Upcoming: Integrated Lifecycle Workshop at Translation World Toronto – May 13th

trans_worldNext week I’ll be running a half-day workshop at Translation World 2009 here in Toronto. It should be an interesting session, we’re going to work with the attendees to start to frame out a common language for specifying and mapping out integrations in the translation industry.

The full session description is below:

The Integrated Lifecycle: Creating a Foundation for Envisioning and Planning an Integrated Translation Lifecycle

Over the past few years, the translation industry has seen a huge evolution in the tools, technologies and standards available to help streamline the translation process. Clients, technology providers and language service providers alike are dealing with an ever-changing landscape of service and technology offerings claiming to help make the translation process more efficient. While many organizations are beginning to embrace this shift, the industry still lacks a common language to describe and specify how the various components relate to each other to create a seamless process. This workshop aims to begin filling that gap.

During this unique, interactive session, attendees will work together through a facilitated, visual process to define the components, standards and considerations for creating integrated, efficient, translation lifecycles. Further, we’ll look at how the various components and workflows work together. This workshop is ideal for anyone who has involvement in, or direct responsibility for the ongoing improvement of processes within their organization, whether they are on the client or vendor side.

Attendees will play an active role in shaping this common language and will leave the workshop with a new tool set for envisioning and planning integrated lifecycle solutions.

If this is up your alley, and you want to be part of shaping this critical tool set, I hope you can join us next Wednesday! Registration is $235 for the halfday session. All of the registration details and forms can be found here.

– Ryan

Move over America…

… China is about to become the largest online population. Between the end of 2006 and the end of 2007 China added roughly 73 Million users to the Internet.

73 MILLION.

To put it in perspective – even if Canada doubled it’s population and put an internet connection in the house of every man, woman and child in the country. We’d still come up about 7 Million people short.

On the flip side though there’s two factors at work here. China’s population is roughly 1.3 Billion right now which means a total user base of 210 Million is only a 16% penetration rate. In Canada we have a ~65% penetration and the US has ~71%.

India will no doubt pick up steam in the coming and will definitely rank in the number 2, if not number 1 spot.

So what does this mean for the Internet in general?

The connected world’s borders are no longer geographical – they’re lingual.

The world may be flattening, but there’s still a a few big walls running across the landscape. The reality is the “hidden web” is going to keep growing. As I’ve posted about before, your ability to access information online revolves almost exclusively around the languages you can read/write.

As countries like China & India continue to pump new users online more and more content will be generated in their native languages, likely invisible to you unless you speak (and search in) that language.

Google’s getting better and better with opening access to these sites through their machine translation tools but the reality is there just isn’t enough CPU horsepower to run every Google search through machine translation for all the different language variations.

Language Weaver, through Kontrib, is also making an interesting attempt at opening up more content to a broader audience through a Digg like portal. It’s a great idea although I think they’re going to have a hard time getting the traction it needs. I’d personally love to see them work with Digg directly instead and create a licensing deal similar to what my friends at Idee have done with their image duplication detection technology.

It’s going to be interesting to watch this story play out. Who ever busts the language barrier the mos effectively first will dramatically change the search game. Google is clearly out in front, and the most likely victor, but you never know who’s running in stealth right now and could surprise us all.

The unlikely whistleblower…

I got pointed to an interesting article today, by my friend Mark via Twitter, about a whistleblower who is sounding the alarm about the West’s nuclear secrets being sold on the black market.

While the story is scary, and worth a read there was an interesting tidbit that caught my attention. The whistleblower in question, Sibel Edmonds, is actually the translator who the FBI brought in to translate all of the covertly recorded tapes the agency had amassed as part of their investigation.

What actually surprises me is that it seems like the FBI let her listen to & translate hours upon hours of these tapes. I would have expected an agency like the FBI to chunk out the information to a bunch of translators so no one person could get a clear picture of the whole story.

That said, I can also see how it might make sense to let a few people become SME’s on the “story” so they can better translate as they get to understand the conversational styles and tones of the various participants. I wonder if they ever really stopped to consider how much information a translator might actually be soaking up in the course of doing their work…

It’d be interesting to see if the agency changes any of their procedures because of this (not that we’d ever know if they did).