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May 2, 2024

2 min read

Behind the Scenes of eCommerce Translation

Leveraging Technology for Efficiency and Consistency

Kendra, an e-commerce product manager, is preparing for the upcoming holiday season. She needs to translate a collection of product SKUs for her Quarter 4 Holiday Catalog, including product names, short descriptions, and long descriptions. Knowing that a similar translation project was completed for Black Friday last year, she reaches out to her ORCA Project Manager, Alaina.

This seemingly simple task involves a fascinating interplay of human expertise and technological efficiency. Let's delve deeper into the process:

Preparation and Project Management:

Kendra provides an Excel file containing the SKUs, target languages (Spanish for Mexico and French for Canada), and a project due date. She also references a previous project handled by her colleague, Dan, to leverage any existing translation assets.

Alaina reviews the information and utilizes ORCA's Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) software. Recognizing Dan's completed project from last year, she identifies a golden opportunity: a Translation Memory (TM) containing 100,000 words of translated content from English to Spanish.

The Power of Translation Memory:

By leveraging this TM, Alaina creates a new one specifically for Kendra's project. Applying the Black Friday TM to the Christmas Catalog results in a remarkable discovery: 50,217 words of 100% matches are identified.

In the world of translation, a "percent match" occurs when CAT software detects identical or similar segments in a new project that already exist within a TM. This similarity is measured as a percentage match, ranging from 0% (no match) to 101% (identical segment with preceding and following segments also matching).

Cost Savings and Consistency:

Essentially, by creating and applying the Black Friday TM, Alaina ensures Kendra doesn't pay to retranslate content already handled for Dan's project. This not only saves costs but also guarantees consistency in translation and brand voice across both projects.

Once Kendra confirms the quote, the translation process unfolds through ORCA's established 8-step workflow.

The Nuances of Language and Technology:

While both French and Spanish projects benefit from the efficiency of the TM, the Spanish translators have an additional advantage. For segments that don't constitute exact repetitions, the TM offers valuable context and suggestions through 50% to 99% matches. This empowers translators to maintain consistency and accuracy while adapting the tone and nuances to the specific target audience.

Verification and Continuous Improvement:

After all translations pass the Verification stage, ensuring accuracy and quality, the Spanish TM is automatically updated and a new TM is created for French. This continuous improvement ensures that future holiday season projects for Kendra and Dan will benefit from an even richer and more efficient translation experience.

In conclusion, the seemingly simple task of translating product descriptions for a holiday catalog involves a sophisticated interplay of human expertise and technological advancements. By leveraging Translation Memory, e-commerce businesses can achieve cost savings, maintain consistency, and deliver accurate, culturally relevant content to their global audiences.

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