Doc is a man of many tongues, though I only speak English. But I can appreciate how difficult publishing can be in multiple languages, which is surprisingly common in these days of global multi-national companies and a global product marketplace.
But developing a good document work flow is hard enough without throwing multiple languages into the mix. That's why a rather lengthy and complete White Paper caught my eye over at the Gilbane Group site for content management. The paper is free, though you will have to register to download it. But it's well worth the effort.
Titled, "Multilingual Communications as a Business Imperative: Why Organizations Need to Optimize the Global Content Value Chain," the paper is by Leonor Ciarlone, Karl Kadie and Mary Laplante. Here is a preview from the Executive Summary:
In today's global economy, multilingual communications are the conduit to multinational revenue profiles and global brand recognition. Buyers in countries large and small are increasingly demanding local-language materials as a condition for purchasing products. Laggards that deliver multilingual products and services late to regional markets lose market share in key geographies and see their global brand fragment and decline in value. According to McKinsey & Co., new product introductions that are delayed by six months or more lead to a 33% reduction in long-term profitability over the life of the product.
While most organizations recognize the need to address localization and translation in tandem with content creation and management, they are often stymied, even overwhelmed, by how to achieve this. Collective responsibility is the means to the global goal, but ad hoc, siloed approaches are the norm. What's more, many organizations omit localization and translation as part of the core content lifecycle, treating these processes as incidental black boxes from which "source content goes in and translated content comes out."
Despite trends toward local-language information as a factor for enhanced customer experience and competitive advantage, content globalization continues to be relegated to the final stage of product delivery. Although many organizations are currently producing content in a wide range of languages, conversations about improving processes and technologies have yet to rise from the departmental and regional level to an enterprise-wide discussion.
The Report goes on to cover all of the major areas of the Global Content Value Chain, and includes interviews with 40 content and translation management teams in multi-national corporations. If you do any global content management, you'll find it an interesting and informative read.