Transparency through technology | Part 1: Accessibility

Following the discussion panel ‘Transparency through technology’ at the recent Localization World conference in Dublin, which featured Smartling, Runkeeper, Shutterstock and Anja Jones Translation, we wanted to provide a more in-depth overview of how language service providers (LSPs) in particular benefit from increased transparency in translation. In part 1 we take a closer look at accessibility.

Global accessibility

Smartling is a cloud-based translation management tool that can be accessed from anywhere in the world; all our translators need is an internet connection and a web browser. No software purchase, no installation, no regular updates to be downloaded. In fact, last week we conducted a mini-poll amongst our translators to see in which countries they have translated using Smartling, and incredibly we could name 20 countries, including far-flung places like Mauritius, Dubai, Australia and Costa Rica. Not bad considering we only specialise in three European languages (French, German and English).

Increasing the talent pool

In terms of recruiting new language talent, this level of global accessibility compared to traditional offline translation tools immediately increases the pool of potential candidates as it allows us to recruit translators purely based on their merit, not on the software packages they use.

Easy-to-use user interface

Beyond transcending geographical boundaries through cloud technology, Smartling promotes accessibility through an extremely easy to use interface that is intuitive and includes all the standard translation tools like style guide, translation memory and glossary.

Faster on-boarding

A sleek UI isn’t just an important aspect in terms of on-boarding speed for our new translators, but also for on-boarding our clients. When we show potential customers how Smartling works, they can really see how easy to use the tool is, how easy content can be ingested, approved for translation and tracked throughout the different workflow stages.

Higher adoption rates

This is particularly important for bigger companies who have in-country teams. It’s notoriously hard to motivate in-country reviewers to check translations (after all, this tends to be an additional task of top of their usual daily work load). Taking away any unnecessary technical complexity and offering a user interface that is as intuitive as using, say, LinkedIn or Facebook, will ultimately drive higher adoption rates among in-country reviewers.

In short, accessibility should be a key driver for all translation software, for freelance translators, LSPs and customers alike, because it creates a truly inclusive and collaborative environment.

In part 2, we will look at transparency through real-time visibility … stay tuned!

Image credit: Photo by okeykat on Unsplash

Comments (2)

  • @localization

    Unfortunate use of the term ‘accessibility’ as it will be confused with the concepts discussed here – – perhaps ‘ease of access’ might be more suitable. that said, good points. access of course needs to be secure, an issue very much to the forefront of every’s minds today.

  • Anja Jones

    Yes, I suppose ‘accessibility’ is quite a broad term in that respect 🙂 But to quote ULTAN Ó BROIN, the author of the article you mention, ‘Accessibility is about usability for everyone.’

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