Medical software translation and localisation
Software Localisation challenges for the most technically complex clients
For more than 50 years, Oxford Instruments has been a premier British manufacturer of scientific products in the fields of nanotechnology tools and industrial products. The NanoAnalysis division provides the world’s most popular solutions for materials characterisation and nanofabrication on various types of microscope. Since 2011, CPSL has been working with Oxford Instruments NanoAnalysis to localise its software and Help into multiple languages to enable the company to market their products outside the UK.
Localising the Products – the Challenge
CPSL has worked steadily with Oxford Instruments to translate and localise its Aztec Microanalysis system into ten languages (Help into 9, software into 10), as well as continuous updates to the material. 3.1 million words have been translated to date. This has been a challenging experience, primarily due to the functionality of the client’s chosen software for managing the translated file; MadCap Flare. CPSL took on this challenge! A typical Help project needs file preparation and a deep understanding of how the client needs the localised files to be delivered. (This also applies to the software projects that CPSL translates and delivers using Passolo).
The client had a specific workflow established, and CPSL had to fit into that at the same time as working efficiently to its own quality standards and processes
One of the main challenges was that most translators qualified and experienced in this field do not use Flare. It has taken dedicated time and effort to set up the language and technical teams, establish the workflow and develop an effective set of processes for the client’s projects. This methodology has proven successful and continues to work well on both sides.
How we helped
The process began with CPSL evaluating what had taken place in terms of information and instructions on previous projects back in 2011, gaps in the workflow and how the Translation Memories were incorporated into the client’s tools. Once the issues that had caused previous problems had been determined (e.g. missing translations, duplicate entries, multiple translations for the same term) CPSL was able to develop a workflow with the client’s input in order to move forward without room for the same error types to reoccur. CPSL and Oxford Instruments also determined linguistic areas that could help to improve the quality of the final output, such as using shorter and more direct sentences, avoiding too much repetition, minimising the use of the passive tense in certain languages, such as Chinese, and merging a number of Translation Memories into one per language pair. This is the preparation part of the workflow that has since led to ongoing positive results:
- Full check to see what files are in the Flare project and filter them accordingly, so that only the files with translatable content will be put in the Studio project.
- Before putting them into a Studio project, the references in the Flare project might have to be left out. We leave them out commenting on them within the code of the files.
- We provide a list of the files to translate, so that the client can confirm that the scope is correct.
- CPSL prepares the files in Studio and pre-translates and analyses the files using the TM or TMs provided by the client for a specific project.
The files are then translated, reviewed and checked. They are quality checked linguistically and the original structure is recreated. It is then compiled in Flare and a PDF is produced. CPSL typically delivers a PDF (the result of the Flare compilation), the complete structure containing the translated files, and a TMX with the bilingual content of the files that have just been translated.
Results, ROI and Future Plans
The key factor in the success of the workflow between Oxford Instruments and CPSL has been the careful process of listening and establishing a set of solutions to reach a combined goal of successfully localising the software and Help of the Aztec product. CPSL has worked closely with Oxford Instruments to become its preferred localisation provider and to overcome the challenges that we have faced together. CPSL has been able to:
- Resolve issues with unclean Translations Memories and duplicate entries.
- Develop terminology glossaries and have them approved.
- Meet the client’s financial expectations, and the files are prepared in a way that we do not charge for full matches in the word counts.
- The client knows CPSL will deliver to expectations, on time and within budget, with no workflow complications.
CPSL looks forward to many more years of working with Oxford Instruments as it expands its global business.
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