It is a translation technique that has been created or enabled by modern translation technology where multiple participants can collaborate on the same document simultaneously, generally sharing a Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) interface that includes tools for collaboration. Collaborative translation should not be confused with crowdsourcing: the two are very different, although the techniques can be used together.
Features of a truly collaborative translation platform.
These days, content volumes are growing faster than ever, and “going global” is a major trend in many industries. But some localization customers feel that traditional LSPs (Language Service Providers) are unable to easily tackle large and urgent projects. In need of a better solution, they turn their eyes to “crowd” translation platforms. Popping up like mushrooms, these claim to provide the “good new way” to localize.
1 – Interactive collaboration between translators
Many “collaborative” Computer-assisted Translation (CAT) tools require cutting large files into smaller parts to be distributed among translators. The project manager will have to make sure that each translator gets a relatively equal volume to work on.
A truly collaborative translation platform rids you of the need to split or glue anything. The manager will just assign certain document parts to individual translators, and if someone finishes early, you will reassign more segments to them. Every translator will be able to see what others do and, if needed, bring attention to their mistakes, omissions or inconsistencies.
2 – Collaborative translation and editing
But in terms of translation, unedited work is such a work in progress TEP (Translate-Edit-Proofread)! If the editor has to wait for “their turn,” a whole range of issues may arise such as:
- The translator is busy with another assignment by the time the editor asks a question and cannot recall the subject in detail.
- The editor finds an error after it has been replicated tens or hundreds of times in the document and has to correct them all.
- An experienced editor may not have the flexibility to move from project to project as urgencies might require so.
The Computer-assisted Translation (CAT) tool must provide both horizontal and vertical collaboration. In other words, the editor must be able to start working on the document well before its translation is completed. The same goes for proofreading and any other stages you need.
3 – Context-specific communication
One thing that sets collaborative translation apart from mere crowdsourcing is the degree of communication between collaborators. Translators, editors and other participants must be able to discuss both the project in general and its specific parts in context. Context-specific commenting ability is one of the main quality drivers in the projects they do on the platform.
4 – On-demand scalability You don’t always know in advance if a project will need scaling. Sometimes, a customer wants you to translate just a page on their website, but then realize that they need it in whole. Or request to translate to 10 other languages. Or their business grows unexpectedly and demands more localized content and a stronger localization partner. With Computer-assisted Translation (CAT) tool if you need to translate more content, you just add files to the project. If you want more languages, you add languages. If you need more people, you just assign more of them.