Monday, February 3, 2020

New Year! New Us! New Website!

In the second half of 2019 we decided it was time for an update to our website. Our trusty old website has been more or less the same for about a decade, so we figured as a way to ring in the new year we would overhaul everything! Our team has been diligently working to combine a brand-new aesthetic with content that concisely conveys our services and qualifications.
We decided that in general short and sweet was better than our older longer versions of the same content. Our hope is to quickly draw the eye and present a very professional look, without overwhelming potential clients with too much information.
We are immensely proud of the final product, so please feel free to click on the link below to check it out! Let us know what you think, and of course if you have any constructive additions you would like to see added!

CES – Looking at the Future of Technology

The Consumer Electronics Show is the countries largest consumer technology show hosted at the start of every year in Las Vegas. This year some of the PLG team went out to look at some up-and-coming technology as well as make new business contacts looking for translation services. The show was filled with astounding technology and innovations hitting the market, and two companies particularly caught the eye of our team.
Aftershokz was debuting a new line of headphones that don’t go in or over your ear. As crazy as that sounds the earbuds rest outside and just in front of your ear. The headphones are meant to conduct sound through the bones in your skull and ear. Goodbye to earbuds falling out, uncomfortable headphones, and you can listen to music while still being able to hear noises around you, so you can be alert to your surroundings. Hopefully, we’ll be able to help them offer user manuals and more in multiple languages!
Goal Zero, meanwhile, offers the perfect solutions for charging your headphones or any other electronics while camping or travelling. Their new solar-powered power stations are free of noise, fumes or maintenance while offering a portable, convenient power source. These products are the newest innovation in generator power and may come with state of the art PLG translations in the future!
Did you or your company attend CES, did you have a favorite display or presentation? Let us know!

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Translation Expectations

Translation is a unique art which requires great attention to detail, creativity, and a vast knowledge of two languages. It also requires open conversation between the original content creator and the translation team to achieve the best possible results.

As a rule, our job as a translation firm is to adhere as closely as possible to the original content being translated, while appropriately conveying the information in the new language. However, this is not always what the client is expecting or looking for in a translation.

At times, a client may need a very literal and exact translation for legal or other reasons. In this case, the translator will often forego alterations that would make the translation sound more natural in the new language. They will adhere to the same structure and syntax as provided in the original.

In other instances, the client will not be looking for adherence to the original at all. They may be open to the translator altering sentence structure or order, even omitting or adding information that is not in the original. These cases are a bit trickier, as it takes more knowledge of the source document, the intended target audience, the nuances of the meaning in the source and how those meanings may be best conveyed in the target language. Our translation team is often able to provide this to a degree, but this is where we must have more extensive conversation with our clients.

After some conversation, for example, we may discover that the client isn’t really looking for a translation at all. Afterall, a translation implies having a source document, and bringing that same content into a new language. However, sometimes what a client is really looking for is for new content to be created specifically for a new market. In cases, like these we may advise our clients that what they actually need is a marketing team in place in the new target country to handle creation of the new content. The marketing team will have a better understanding of the product or service, and the intended effect the content is supposed to have on the new audience.

It is important to chat with your translation vendor about your intended goal and audience for content you are bringing into a new language. With a brief conversation our team will be better able to advise on how you may wish to approach your translated content.

PDF Files – Useful for translation?

PDF files are a great file type for sharing content. PDFs can be generated from almost any software as a way to exchange data easily without any specific program requirements to read the content. Anyone with a phone, tablet or computer should be able to view a PDF without issue. PDFs, however, are not design files and are not meant to be edited or altered. This makes them problematic to use for translation.
Most of the translation work completed by our company and other translation vendors like us, involves overwriting the source text of the original file. This involves opening the file in the original software which created it and replacing all text with the appropriate translations. Unfortunately, PDF files are not designed to be overwritten. Without the flexibility of design software, our ability to replace the original text with the translations and then format the translations is greatly restricted.
This does not mean that we can’t work from a PDF, just that it typically involves a little more work. If the PDF was generated from Microsoft word or Excel, it may be a simple matter of saving the PDF back to that file type, at which point we can begin work like normal. However, if the PDF was generated by more complicated software like Adobe InDesign or Illustrator, we would need to recreate the file from scratch, in order to allow our translation teams to properly work on the file. This is a more time-consuming process, and often involves extra charges.
If you have a PDF that needs translation, send it over to a PLG team member today and we will be happy to chat about the best way to handle it!

Friday, August 9, 2019

E-Learning and Translation

Technology has changed the way the world learns. With information just a few clicks away at any given moment, E-learning has continued to expand as a primary method of education in the 21st century. With education programs accessible from anywhere in the world, it is increasingly important for companies to recognize the role of translation in their programs. 
Our client, Mastery Coding (, has been working closely with our team to have their coding education programs localized into Spanish. Our work together includes several courses being taught over multiple semesters, over 100,000 words estimated for translated content and many hours of voiceover. 
As a translation service provider, our goal is to integrate new languages as smoothly, and seamlessly with your product as possible. When it comes to E-learning, and computer coding in particular, there are several unique difficulties which have to be confronted when translating:
  1. Voiceover – E-learning often comprises of educational videos and corresponding worksheets, tests and quizzes. In order to ensure that all students receive and understand the same content, it is important to have content available in their native language. This includes providing narrators and educators who speak their language. Video voiceover with an experienced team greatly increases students’ comprehension of the material. Considering the tone, vocabulary and syntax used in videos is important across all languages to ensure the same quality of content is being provided to all students regardless of the language they speak.
  2. Technical Content - Computer coding is often a daunting topic with complicated jargon, so when teaching the topic to new students, it is vital that the vocabulary is nailed down in all languages. We work closely with our clients to make decisions regarding terminology, syntax and tone of any content we translate. In some cases, that means leaving the term in English and in others it requires extensive research to find the right term or phrase. 
  3. Audience – At the start of any project we inquire about the intended audience for the translated content. In E-Learning this is especially vital as it can influence the tone and vocabulary used. Is this for young students with no current experience in the subject, or is it for experts who are learning about the newest innovations in their field, or is this for a corporate training event?

If your company is looking into providing training programs, videos, worksheets, or other educational material for an international audience, give us a call and we can discuss how to best prepare your multilingual content!

Preparing for International Trade Shows

Tradeshows are becoming larger and hosting more international companies than ever. The 2019 International Home and Houseware show boasted more than 2,200 exhibitors from over 50 countries. While the 2019 International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago is slated to host over 100,000 visitors from over 100 different countries. With an international presence like this, many U.S. businesses are finding it necessary to provide their marketing materials in multiple languages. 

While the tradeshow circuit tends to slow down during the summer, it is important to prepare in advance for the coming events. If your company is looking to attend any shows or expos near the end of the year, we would suggest that you begin discussing what international markets you want to target now. Below are the most common types of materials that are translated before upcoming trade shows: 

  1. Bilingual Business cards – Have one side of your business card in English and the other in another language. Most common languages include Japanese, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and French. 
  2. Brochures – Translate your brochures and sell sheets to have available at your booth. If costs are a concern, you may want to only translate important or key information or brochures for your top products.
  3. Product Catalog – If you are looking to attract buyers from around the world, it may be beneficial to have a full catalog of your products available to peruse in multiple languages. 
  4. Slideshows or other sales materials – If you have a slideshow or other digital presentation at your booth, you may also want to translate that too.  Give your guests the option to receive a copy of the presentation as well, either through a CD or through e-mail. 

By preparing for the international visitors at whichever trade show you will be attending you are showing that your company has a global presence, interested in selling internationally. By presenting information in their native language, your customers will be able to absorb the message that you are trying to send. You may also have potential buyers out there that are going to go with you instead of one of your competitors because you have your materials translated when they do not. Being prepared could mean the difference between solidifying a sale and having the client walk away.

Friday, June 28, 2019

5 tips to stay on budget with your translations

  1. Discuss your budget goals with your translation service provider
    • A key part of our business is forming partnerships with our clients. As a trusted advisor and service provider for our customers, we are always happy to discuss budget, timeline and any other details as you begin looking into a potential translation project. If a client of ours has a strict budget, we are always happy to chat beforehand and discuss, if the budget seems reasonable for the project, or what we can do to help them stay within their desired spending range. This could involve changing the project scope, timeline, languages or other key details to ensure we meet our clients’ goals. Reach out to us early on during your project planning phases, and we will be happy to provide estimates, and provide helpful advice to lowering the cost, turnaround, or any other special requirements you have. 
  2. Send larger volumes of text at one time
    • One of the most important factors on project pricing is the volume of text we are translating. The more text we are translating, the better per unit rates we can offer our clients. Whenever possible we tell our clients to combine files together into one project. Grouping as much text together as possible will provide you the cheapest possible per word rates. Smaller projects are charged more based on the time involved than the amount of content being translated, so this results in higher per unit costs. If you find yourself frequently sending small projects for translation, see if you can hold off and group several of the projects together. This helps streamline our processes, utilizes fewer resources and can therefore offer better prices. 
  3. Translation Memory (stick with your LSP)
    • Our translation memory system is crucial for offering discounted translations, improving accuracy and consistency across documentation, and speeding up turnaround times. However, this only works to its maximum potential when we have been working with a client for a significant amount of time. If you are frequently switching language service providers, or using multiple vendors, it is possible that you are increasing your spending and missing out on translation memory discounts. The longer we work with a client the larger our database of translations grows for their company. The larger that database grows, the more likely it is that we will have translated some similar content in the past. Some of our largest customers wind up with more than 50% off their translations, or even getting translations back for free, simply because most of the work is already completed through our TM. If you find a translation provider who does good work, is quick and professional, stick with them and you will see even greater benefit down the road.
  4. Sort through your text first, keep a record of previously translated content
    • If you frequently translate very similar content, another way stay on budget is to keep a record of and store anything you previously had translated. Some of our clients keep an excel sheet with content that has already been translated. They can then do a CTRL + F search in the sheet to find the content and its corresponding translations. This can save some serious time and money by not having to resend content you’ve already had translated. You can use this tactic to eliminate pages from a catalog or paragraphs on a brochure that no longer need to be processed or worked on by your LSP.
  5. Leave plenty of time for translations
    • The final big impact on translation cost is time. Our highly budget conscious clients know that translations take time, and so to avoid paying higher fees, they ensure that they have plenty of time allowed for our translation teams to do their work. Our team is always prepared to meet a tight deadline, work overnight, or through holidays, but this typically comes with added costs to our clients. If you know you have a project coming up in need of translation, and you already have a set deadline, reach out to us early on. Even if your content isn’t finalized or ready to be translated yet, giving our team a heads up can go a long way to ensuring we have our resources in place and can help keep the cost lower. Sending something with no heads up and needing same day or next day translation, will almost always require our team to add rush charges. 
Use these 5 tips as you plan around your translation needs, and you will be sure to keep your budget under control!