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What is Source Content Optimization and why do you need it?
Α well-written recipe is very likely to produce a tasty dish, but the outcome differs depending on the cook; a seasoned chef will most probably add his specialized insight to produce a unique dish, while a beginner is more likely to stick to the recipe and serve a good enough dish. Technical writing and content authoring can be a challenging task, and corporations may not always have the resources or budget to invest in a technical authoring platform.
Although technical documentation can be well-written, there are certain details that can increase savings in the translation phase. The use of a synonym word in the same sentence can lead to unnecessary costs as it will not be fully leveraged from the translation memory, while the same may hold true even with the omission of a period at the end of the sentence. The unit cost may seem negligible in absolute terms – a few cents – but if multiplied by millions of words, the spend is significant and could find better uses.
Also, your content is your brand. Carefully curated content is the key to a clear brand image and increased sales. And in addition to this, optimized source content, whether in your website or in product documentation, contributes to a well-planned globalization strategy while at the same time keeping localization costs low and allowing for a more efficient authoring and localization workflow.
Why should you optimize your source text?
- To reduce time, effort and money from creating new content
- To reuse, recycle and repurpose finished content
- To improve readability
- To contribute to a consistent corporate image and message
- To pave the way for your global strategy by facilitating the localization process
A well-written source text is not only what professional translators and linguists have always longed for; it is also the basis for a more affordable localization process since it optimizes the efficiency of C(omputer) A(ssisted) T(ranslation) tools by identifying identical sentences of content and leveraging previously translated content. This in turn does not only ensure an equally consistent localized content, but it also lowers costs as leveraged translations bear lower or even zero charge.
However, in an era of short content lifespan, where anyone from company staff can author content and the boundaries between various content types are blurring, why not consider source content optimization?
What are the benefits of source content optimization?
In technical documentation…
- To reduce translation costs
…by increasing sentence re-use
…thus ensuring higher CAT tool efficiency
- To ensure faster turnaround times
…by detecting and correcting errors and ambiguities
…thus eliminating query management
- To establish consistent terminology
…by identifying near-identical words and selecting the most appropriate
…thus facilitating terminology management not only for translators but for technical writers alike
- To offer better UX
…by adopting uniform guidelines for authoring
…thus enhancing readability
In marketing material…
- To prepare your message for a more appealing localized version by
…establishing the Global Tone of Voice &
…neutralizing the copy for localization
…thus allowing for a fully localized and culturally appropriate message