Forward-thinking manufacturing companies have always invested in labour-saving technology, so it’s no surprise to see sector leaders taking a smart approach to translation management. In fact, manufacturing and translation are on parallel paths. When people speak of us being in the age of Industry 4.0, it strikes a chord with language service professionals. Just as industry has passed through three industrial revolutions – from the age of steam to the age of electricity and the age of computers – translation has had its own three phases. The origin of paper-based written language was followed by the sharing of language via electronic means, then the development of basic machine translation tools. In both cases we’re now in phase four. Systems are communicating with each other to automate processes to our advantage.
Machine involvement in the manufacturing process is becoming more intuitive. At the Ford Transmission Plant in Michigan, the company that introduced mass production to the automotive market is now using Artificial Intelligence to teach robotic assembly tools to build cars more efficiently.
At the same time, Artificial Intelligence is proving to be the language service professional’s trusted ally, automating routine tasks that free up the linguist and project manager in ways that would have been unheard of a few short years ago. In both cases, the role of the human overseer hasn’t been diminished. The value of expert supervision and quality checking is clear.
So is the value of what we call Intelligent Simplicity?
Manufacturing leaders understand the advantages of structured content. Use of XML files enables the separation of content from format, so that once a piece of content is created it can immediately be reproduced in different formats. They also understand the advantages of creating content in OASIS Open Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA). DITA enables the re-deployment of content for different products. One act of creation in one place instantly offers you multiple uses. It’s simple. It’s intelligent. It works.
XTM Cloud’s enhanced DITA functionality takes the manufacturing client’s use of this technology to a higher level.
Content submitted in DITA is immediately analysed and an informed decision about the level of file joining that benefits the client and the project. So instead of having hundreds or even thousands of small content files to deal with, linguists and project managers can choose to work with a single DITA file for translation. Nothing is lost, and no data is compromised. The exact structure of each file will be preserved, regardless of what level of file joining has been applied. And even more importantly, this action enables visualisation in context. XML files are raw content. Translating them without making any reference to what the target files will actually look like is complicated and precarious. Enabling visualisation opens the eyes of language service professionals to the task at hand. It’s simple. It’s intelligent. It works.
The manufacturing and localization industries are moving forward in highly sophisticated ways, and XTM International is proud to be at the forefront. But we believe there will always be a place for intelligent simplicity.