“Winning” in Emerging Markets: Localization of Multimedia Content

Pharmaceutical companies continue to expand their presence in emerging markets outside of the U.S. and Western Europe. However, penetrating and succeeding in emerging markets is often difficult. As indicated in this article in PharmExec, many factors account for this difficulty, including government protectionism of local drugmakers (mostly, in generics) and a lack of IP protection, since many emerging economies do not recognize international patent law. But the opportunity is there. A survey by Strategy& of 12 of the top 15 global pharmaceutical companies revealed that 52% expect more than 30% of their global sales to originate in emerging markets by 2018.

To reach new patients and consumers in these markets, global brands are using on screen text (OST) in the localization of their multimedia content to drive advertising campaigns and training programs in multiple languages. Global advertisements of drugs, for example, often include images of the product, taglines and sample text content to highlight certain features. Use of OST can also reduce any ambiguity and display legal or disclaimer content to meet local advertising standards.

The “winners” in emerging markets, according to Strategy&, will be those companies that know how to best balance their global competences with tailored approaches for local markets. To roll out advertising campaigns at a local level, content can be culturally adapted using OST localization techniques to recreate original effects and animations. OST localization can sometimes be more cost-effective and quicker than voice-over work.

Properly adapting and localization a multimedia campaign requires technical skill, creativity, local market knowledge and subject matter expertise. Michael Anderson, Senior Multimedia Engineer at Welocalize Life Sciences’ parent company Welocalize, explains how the OST localization process works:

Obtain video. Simple analysis of the original footage identifies what text requires translation and re-integration into the local language version, including all content, text and animation. Ideally, multimedia localization providers would have access to the original design files and artwork; however, quite often the original content is not available.

Create in baseline. Extract and transcribe the relevant text to generate translation and cultural adaptation. This could involve straight translation or linguistic copy writing. For more technical content, the translation will stay close to the source; however, for marketing content like taglines, this content requires recreating to suit the needs of the target demographic. Any local version of video footage, which will appear on broadcast media or for web advertising purposes, must look as if it has been created in that language.

Integrate new content. If the original design files are not available, then the new content can be “overlaid” and recreated onto the original text to display in local versions. Whether you have access to the original design files or not, most localized content can be seamlessly integrated to generate high quality localized versions of video footage.

Adapt special effects and music. Video footage, whether for global pharmaceutical advertising or employee training programs, often contain certain special effects that must be emulated in each local version. For example, the text fonts must be consistent, along with text shadowing and line breaks and synchronization to music. Quite often, the music track may be changed to suit the local audience and new content must be adapted to the new music. Working with localizing OST also involves a creative process, especially if the original design files and artwork are not available. Specialist teams work with large, high resolution files and must apply localization techniques and creative skills to generate high quality video output in multiple languages.

Content for medical and life sciences, as well as for pharmaceutical companies, is often highly detailed and lengthy, totaling thousands of words to document regulatory compliance in one project. The need for accuracy in translation is obvious, with consequences to health and safety at stake. For more information about Welocalize Life Sciences’ multimedia localization programs and industry expertise, contact us.

Moving Beyond Content

Written by Erin Wynn, Chief Customer Officer at Welocalize, the following article appeared in Multilingual Magazine, July/August 2017 issue. The article, Moving Beyond Content, is a thoughtful view on how client needs in the globalization industry have evolved from transactional translation conducted by multiple vendors to an end-to-end approach, with one provider servicing all localization requirements along the global journey.

DOWNLOAD FULL PDF OF ARTICLE: Moving Beyond Content

I have worked in the globalization and localization industry for nearly 15 years, nine of those with Welocalize and we have seen some big changes over the past couple of decades. We’re in the midst of one of the most revolutionary times in our industry, witnessing a shift from a myopic view of transactional translated content, whether marketing, UI or technical manuals, to language service providers (LSPs) delivering business solutions that serve all the “stops” on the global journey. Solution-selling has been part of the industry for many years, but LSPs now have the resources to address the broader scope. Whether it be through acquisition or maturation of the industry, buyers of language services in any industry no longer have to work with multiple providers to cover the many different global services needs on their globalization journey.

Global language solution providers must service multiple stops on the global journey – from filing a patent application right through to software testing and driving global digital marketing campaigns. Moving away from content and becoming entrenched in a customer’s business and global brand is the evolution. LSPs are becoming an extension of their clients. Many of the stops along the journey don’t have anything to do with translation. We’re not just delivering translation or pure language services anymore. A global digital marketing campaign with targeted SEO activity goes through transcreation. The testing of a localized software product requires engineering skills and an in-depth understanding of a client’s product and brand, not just linguistic skills. The development of APIs to ensure a streamlined workflow across the technology tools may process translations, but the skills required from LSPs no longer reside only in translation. Our industry is moving beyond content and original niche of linguistics and translation. LSPs that will succeed in delivering world-class solutions will service clients across the board, at all the stops, with forward-thinking solution selling and an innovative value approach.

The globalization and localization industry is a consolidating and maturing industry. In May 2010, the Common Sense Advisory (CSA) calculated that the market for outsourced language services was worth US$26.327 billion. Last year, CSA valued the market at US$40.27 – nearly doubling in six years. Some of this consolidation is driven by acquisition, enabling the delivery of solutions across many stops on the journey. In 2016, Welocalize acquired Spanish-based NOVA and Californian-based Global Language Solutions (GLS), in addition to the successful acquisition in 2012 of leading legal solution provider, Park IP Translations. These acquisitions pointedly look to grow solutions into life sciences, healthcare, legal, regulatory and compliance, to help serve clients, from the research and development stage through go-to market and final clinical trials. This year we continued to see further consolidation in the life sciences industry when RWS acquired LUZ, a company with its roots firmly in life sciences and the medical device sector. In May 2017, Amplexor, #9 on CSA 2016 list of largest LSPs, acquired US-based Sajan to increase presence in North America.

To better serve clients, it is an intelligent move for global LSPs to gain entry to specialist areas like life sciences and legal. It completes the full life cycle – the global journey – of bringing products and services to global markets. Our continued growth and expansion mean we are better positioned to mirror the industries we serve.

As we progress and continue to mature and consolidate, the industry will become driven by managed service providers and less language service providers. It’s about creating the ultimate customer experience at a global and local level and that will transcend translation and content.

Erin Wynn is Chief Customer Officer at Welocalize.

Welocalize Ranked in Top 10 Global Language Service Providers

Common Sense Advisory Recognizes Welocalize as the 7th Largest LSP in the World

Frederick, Maryland – July 18, 2017 – Welocalize, global leader in innovative translation and localization solutions, today announced its official ranking as the 7th largest language services provider (LSP) in the world and 4th largest in North America, based on 2016 reported revenues. The rankings were issued by independent market research firm Common Sense Advisory (CSA Research) in the report titled “Who’s Who in Language Services and Technology: 2017 Rankings.” In another recently released CSA report, “The Language Services Market 2017,” the global market for outsourced language services and technology has been valued at US$43.08 billion.

Welocalize recently announced its 20th anniversary, having been founded in 1997 by husband and wife, Smith and Julia Yewell. Welocalize has grown to become a world leader in managed language services and for the past six years, has consistently been ranked in CSA Research’s top 10 global language service providers.

“Welocalize is one of the most well respected brands in the language service industry and our regular appearance in CSA Research’s top ten ranking of global language service providers is testament to our incredible global teams located across our 22+ offices around the world,” said Welocalize CEO Smith Yewell. “Welocalize is celebrating 20 years in the industry this year and over the past two decades, we’ve gone from completing standard translation tasks to strategically managing content transformation across the whole global journey. As an industry leader, we will continue to drive innovation solutions to help global organizations to scale and grow faster.”

As part of the CSA Research study, the firm surveyed providers from every continent to collect actual reported revenue for 2015, 2016, and expected revenue for 2017. CSA Research, which has published market size estimates and global rankings for the past 13 years, found that the demand for language services and supporting technologies continues and is growing at an annual rate of 6.97%, representing an increase over last year’s rate of 5.52%. The language services market is predicted to grow to US$47.46 billion by 2021.

Welocalize Life Sciences provides specialized language solutions for highly regulated industries. Our solutions include industry expert localization and translation services for regulatory and compliance content, document translation, linguistic validation, interpreting, website and marketing localization, eLearning and multimedia services. Welocalize Life Sciences is an industry leader with proven translation and localization proficiency required for global clinical trials, pharmaceuticals, biotech companies, medical devices, healthcare brands, medical providers and government agencies. Welocalize is ISO 9001:2015, ISO 17100 and ISO 13485 certified.

Welocalize, Inc., founded in 1997, offers innovative language services to help global brands reach audiences around the world in more than 175 languages. We provide translation and localization services, talent management, language tools, automation and technology, quality and program management. Our range of managed language services include machine translation, digital marketing, validation and testing, interpretation, staffing and enterprise translation management technologies. We specialize in consumer, technology, manufacturing, learning, oil and gas, travel and hospitality, marketing and advertising, finance, legal and life sciences industry language solutions. With more than 1,500 full-time employees worldwide, Welocalize maintains offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Japan and China.

SUPER PMing: THE CONVERGENCE OF LEAN METHODOLOGY AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Lean implementation is a transformational process. Through lean and effective project management services, Welocalize Life Sciences has been able to eliminate waste from our translation and localization processes, thus creating robust and efficient workflows. These improved workflows enable us to provide greater quality across the entire process with faster turnaround times.

In this Q&A with Nandia Savvopoulou, a production director at Welocalize Life Sciences, we discuss how we are continuously improving our processes and creating new efficiencies that are adapted to meet our clients’ needs.

Welocalize Life Sciences: How does lean methodology impact the project management process?

Nandia Savvopoulou: It impacts the way a project manager is thinking. Once the way of thinking changes, so does the acting; the focus switches. People normally tend to use arguments like “human error” instead of thinking that the process in place might leave too much room for human error. When something goes wrong, or results are not the expected outcome, we leave the blame thinking perspective behind and instead focus on the process. Implementing lean in the services industry is challenging, but not impossible.

WLS: How do you define efficiency?

NS: Efficiency is the maximum use of resources while minimizing waste, while being innovative and automating processes. When a client has concerns about quality, a typical reaction might be to provide, as preventive action, a second round of revisions or QA. That is a fitting example of lack of efficiency.

WLS: How do efficiency and project management intersect?

NS: We believe that through a detailed project initiation and a smart linguistic selection we get the highest chances that a project will run smoothly. We spend hours or days, if needed, in preparing instructions, preparing files, creating macros, investigating machine translation best options, and convincing a certain linguist to accept the project. Our objective is to do things right in the first step. Nothing can go terribly wrong in the end if the project was properly started. 

WLS:  Can you give an example of a time consuming and repetitive project where lean methodologies and project management efficiencies helped smooth out the process?

NS: Although there is a continued push in the industry for automatization, there will always be projects that demand manual work. A good example is the translation of case report forms. With hundreds, or even thousands, of scanned pages filled with handwritten text, most of time very little is legible, you cannot automate these projects but you can take steps towards efficiency.

We recently had a tight deadline for the translation of more than 1,000 pages from German to English (DE-EN). We had an estimation of 150k words for translation and five weeks to complete it. In the past, we would send the file for formatting and we would then translate and review. Once ready, we would clean up the files and send them to the translator to fill in the translation of the handwritten text. This is a long and expensive process, and one that obviously involves manual, human translation and work.

WLS: How did WLS team resolve these challenges? Was it a successful project?

NS: First, we did not panic. We had faith that we would get the results we were hoping for and we did!

This time, instead of sending out the package for formatting we studied the files. During this process, we discovered patterns of repeated templates and text. So, we dedicated a week to creating a tracker, a report where the details of source files were registered. Then, we extracted the templates that were appearing only once and this way we spent minimum time formatting. Once we had the formatted files, we “built” the source files based on the info we had gathered. For example: File 1, use template X pages 3 and 4 for sources pages 7 and 8.

Another differentiation from the past was how we dealt with handwritten text. When translating from DE-EN, you have an EN native working on the project. However, natives of the target language do not always have great skills in deciphering handwritten text of the source language. We implemented a new step that involved a German native deciphering and typing all handwritten text.

Out of 170k words, there were only 15k new words. When the translation and review was over, the clean files came out impeccable. The QA took one-third of the time it usually takes, as we had implemented many QA steps and safety nets before starting translation. Costs were kept to the minimum possible. In addition, we had interns helping with the tracking and the QAs.

WLS: What is a typical mistake a project management team makes and how can this be avoided?

NS: One of the greatest—and most typical—mistakes committed is to start translating as soon as the project arrives. For example, rush deadlines “steal” focus and disorient the PM. The sole challenge seems to be the limited time. Even though the clock might be ticking, we need to stop – for a day, a week – and think. Think how we can do things better.

WLS: Any additional input or advice?

NS: I think you add value to a project by getting support groups involved (Vendor Management, Language Engineering, Developers and DTPers/Formatters) in the first steps. Project managers tend to only turn to these people when something goes wrong. Welocalize Life Sciences believes in having these team members add value to the first step, during pre-production, for a more holistic and effective project management roll-out and process. Lean says: Use talent. I believe there is great talent all across our company and the smart thing to do is use it.

Language Tips for Medical Tourists

Medical tourism is booming. According to Transparency Market Research’s report, “Medical Tourism Market,“ factors like aging population, escalating healthcare costs, and better exchange rates push the case for this rise in global medical tourism.

Besides escalating healthcare costs, many medical and surgical procedures are no longer covered by insurance providers. This has caused many Americans to cross borders in search of alternative, affordable options for their healthcare treatments.

But is it realistic (or safe) for travelers to only communicate in their native language when traveling to for medical care?

Medical jargon can be confusing in any language. Medical tourists can take several steps to ensure that they are linguistically prepared for their trip and avoid being lost without medical translation.

Translate your medical history before you travel. Detail any major illnesses, medication, allergies, etc. and avoid abbreviations. If you do have a medical emergency and no one can speak English, you can at least produce this document with your vital healthcare information. Find a professional translation agency to do it for you. Don’t rely on free websites or translation software.

Ask for information to b provided in your native language. If not, does the medical facility have access to on-site interpreters? Or, do they have other English-speaking staff?

Use a telephone interpreting service. There are several companies that provide immediate access to interpreters via telephone. You can also bring along a prepaid interpreter card. These cards provide pay-as-you-go interpretation between English and a number of other languages.

Know your emergency contacts. Ask the consulate, your medical travel agent, or hotel concierge if there is an emergency resource available, similar to a “9-1-1” service in the U.S. Note that in some countries, there are different emergency contact numbers for police versus ambulatory care. Tip: Here is a country-by-country list of emergency telephone numbers.

Bring resources with you. Carry a foreign language translation dictionary or a pocket translator with you at all times in case you do run into difficulties and need a little help making yourself understood. Most smart phones also have downloadable apps, however, keep in mind the cost of international data and roaming charges.

Ask for tools. Some facilities will have cards with common images on them where you can point to your illness, need, or food choice. You can also bring your own along. This is an especially good idea for people with severe allergies.

Learn basic phrases. It’s always a good idea to learn a few words and phrases before your trip. For example, “I do not speak Vietnamese. Do you speak English?” is a good start in addition to basic local greetings.

If your life depended on it, would you rely on using untranslated medical documents for your medical care or procedure?

Contact us if you’re in need of medical translation services.

Welocalize Celebrates 20th Anniversary

The 7th Largest LSP in the World Announces 20 Years in the Business

Frederick, Maryland – June 14, 2017 – Welocalize, global leader in innovative translation and localization solutions, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Since 1997, Welocalize has grown to become a world leader in managed language services and is one of the most well-respected brands in the industry, supporting businesses across the entire global journey from patent filing through digital marketing, localization and quality validation.

Welocalize founders Smith and Julia Yewell formed the company in 1997 in the basement of their home. The company has now grown to over 1,500 employees based in 22 offices all over the world. Welocalize translates and culturally adapts content for many leading global brands into 175 languages and 400 language pairs and last year processed 1.16 billion words.

“We started Welocalize in 1997 with the idea of helping businesses go global and 20 years later, many of our clients get the bulk of their revenue from overseas. The urgency and importance of Welocalize and the provision of language services has escalated over the past two decades, driven by globalization, increased business activity over the internet and the rapid uptake of digital content,” said Smith Yewell, Welocalize CEO and co-founder. “Welocalize is delighted to be celebrating its 20th anniversary and I’m proud of our hard-working global teams and appreciate the loyalty of our clients and employees whose professionalism has helped Welocalize to grow and succeed over the past two decades.”

“The first word Welocalize translated back in 1997 was pathfinder. We weren’t too sure how to go about translating just one brand name but we did what the client asked of us. We translated pathfinder into multiple languages and delivered it to the client,” said Julia Yewell, Welocalize Co-Founder. “That was one word and today we process billions of words per year. To see one word lead to where we are today has been an incredible experience.”

The Welocalize family of companies includes Park IP Translations, a leader in legal language services, Adapt Worldwide, a multilingual digital marketing agency, Agostini Associati, a leader in financial services translations and Welocalize Life Sciences. Welocalize has made a number of significant acquisitions since 1997 to help establish strong expertise across all industry sectors and to further enable clients to be supported across the whole global journey. In 2012 Welocalize acquired Park IP Translations to establish the company in the regulated industries space followed by the acquisition of Texas-based CD Language Solutions (CDLS) and Italy-based Agostini Associati in 2014. 2016 saw the acquisition of London-based Adapt Worldwide, formerly Traffic Optimiser, and the acquisitions of Europe-based Nova Language Services and California-based Global Language Solutions (GLS), both now known as Welocalize Life Sciences. In June 2015, Norwest Equity Partners, a leading middle market investment firm, announced that it had made a significant investment in Welocalize.

“Welocalize is now serving a wider range of clients and doing things we wouldn’t have dreamed would have been possible 20 years ago. It is the dedication to our four company pillars: customer service, innovation, quality and global teamwork that has kept the company ahead of the competition continuously delivering customer-centric solutions,” said Erin Wynn, Welocalize Chief Customer Officer. “Welocalize is proud to be celebrating its 20th anniversary and I truly believe it is Welocalize’s strong culture and talented global teams who have helped Welocalize grow from a small startup to become one of the world leaders in global language solutions.”

Welocalize helps businesses to communicate with customers, partners and employees around the world, launch new products internationally and deliver critical communications to their target audiences.

In 2016, Welocalize was named by independent research firm, Common Sense Advisory (CSA) as the 7th largest language service provider (LSP) in the world and 4th largest in North America. For more information, visit www.welocalize.com

Please take a look at a short video Welocalize created to mark the occasion.

Welocalize, Inc., founded in 1997, offers innovative language services to help global brands reach audiences around the world in more than 175 languages. We provide translation and localization services, talent management, language tools, automation and technology, quality and program management. Our range of managed language services include machine translation, digital marketing, validation and testing, interpretation, staffing and enterprise translation management technologies. We specialize in consumer, technology, manufacturing, learning, oil and gas, travel and hospitality, marketing and advertising, finance, legal and life sciences industry language solutions. With more than 1,500 full-time employees worldwide, Welocalize maintains offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Japan and China. www.welocalize.com

Going Global with your Social Media Strategy

Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social and rich media outlets, your customers and patients have a forum for voicing their opinions about your services. The rapidly evolving social networking landscape provides an open playing field for consumers to access your materials across global, cultural and linguistic lines. Social media is also increasingly becoming a useful and valuable tool for clinical trial recruitment through engaging with online patient populations.

The good news is that social media provides direct access to a global network that extends far beyond the reach of your personal email list. The bad news is that this network is made up of people who speak a lot of different languages and have a myriad of preferences and expectations.

Successful social marketers know that the success of their messages hinge on speaking to their buyers directly, and regional language and cultural preferences can greatly impact this success.

Social Media’s Global Landscape

The reality for global marketers is that the rest of the world is just as engaged—if not more so—in social media channels. According to a recent study conducted by The Nielsen Company, the reach and usage of social networking and blog sites in Brazil, Italy, Spain and Japan has surpassed the United States and United Kingdom. Further, Twitter’s blog states that at present, over 60% of Twitter accounts are registered outside of the United States. Thus, even for brands that originate here in the United States, the conversation had around that particular brand or product instantly becomes global when a social media presence has been formed.

Getting Strategic with Global Social Media

The ever-changing landscape of social media has made it no small feat to satisfy the needs of a diverse market. Yet, rather than cower at the vast sea of voices coming through the social media channels, some marketers have learned how to effectively harness these networks to truly listen to their customers voice and develop creative ways to speak to the masses as individuals.

According to Sasha Strauss, managing director and chief strategist at Innovation Protocol, a Los Angeles based brand strategy company, the age old tendency to aggregate consumer groups by demographic is not only unfair, but these categories are subdividing faster than we can keep up. Many of the old tactics employed by marketers in the past just do not work anymore under the current paradigm.

For instance, the notion that you can just swap out images in a campaign to make it appropriate for different countries around the globe no longer applies carte blanche. Plus, simply translating marketing messages without a clear indication of who you are taking to and what their expectations are does not work either. The present truth is that you are dealing with different demographics for each audience and they will expect different things as buyers.

Despite the similarities that tend to group people into a specific demographic, the fact that consumers have consistent access to all information put out through social media allows them to move back and forth between categories more easily. You can’t just assume that all women over 40 in Spain think and operate the same way that women over 40 do in the U.S.

According to Strauss, here are five things to consider when creating your global social media strategy:

  1. If you have a social media presence you have already sent an invitation to hold a global conversation.
  2. You cannot afford to get complacent. The difference between the old paradigm and the new is that information is moving fast, without keeping your finger on the daily pulse much can be missed by way of information that can help guide your efforts.
  3. Ask yourself, what is culturally relevant now? And do the research to back it up.
  4. Listen to your network! Companies and agencies have an obligation to ask their customers for guidance and when they respond, take the time to really listen.
  5. Social media not only makes your local networks global, but it also brings the global network to you. You can effectively use these channels to mitigate cultural or linguistic faux pas by tapping into them by way of a casual reality check. (Innovation Protocol often uses their social media networks to conduct small virtual focus groups – held in a secure environment – across countries, cultures, race, gender, etc. in order to get feedback and sense-check their brand strategy).

Tackling the Language Barrier

Language is just one of the many challenges faced when addressing a global network through a dynamic outlet like Facebook. When surfing the social media pages for various brands and products (maybe even your own) it is not uncommon to see commentary from people based all over the world. In capturing this feedback, language can sometimes serve as a barrier if your organization does not have in-house resources to read and effectively interpret these comments in other languages.

There are various online applications that will assist you in translating content for free using machine translation, e.g. Google Translate. While these are fine for simply getting the gist of what others are saying for internal purposes, please note that we have found on average that most applications are only 60% accurate and thus, should never be used to construct your marketing messages, lest you be left sounding like a babbling fool. Caution should be exercised even when casually responding to feedback. The best approach is to rely on an experienced agency or language services partner that can assist you in translating feedback and guide you in transcreating messages that would be appropriate for your specific target markets.

In short, there is no need to get washed up by a social media swell. With some careful forethought, active listening, and experienced partners to assist you, capturing the global voice through these channels is very doable, if not a must, in order to keep up.

Contact us for a free, no obligation quote of your marketing and advertising translation projects.

Selecting a Language Services Provider

Entering a new market can be challenging—from unfamiliar cultures and languages to different laws and regulations to localization considerations. How can you be sure you are selecting a translation team that has the experience and the training to accurately convey your message in the target language and culture?

Welocalize Life Sciences offers the following tips for selecting the right language services provider to ensure a successful translation process:

Price is only one factor. Quality, skilled translators cost more. However, selecting the higher priced language services provider does not guarantee the best translation or accuracy. Other factors to consider include experience, quality, technology and more. And, while the lowest price doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll receive a poor-quality translation, rock bottom pricing could mean providers are cutting corners. For example, they may choose not to follow a multi-step quality process. Instead, they use one translator and skip the editing and proofreading stages by other team members. Find out more about the true cost of translation.

Commitment to quality. Make sure that a defined workflow and documented quality assurance procedures are in place and are used at all times.  Look for a provider with a firmly established project management process involving different team members (translation, editing, proofreading). Don’t be afraid to ask the provider how they ensure quality. For example, Welocalize Life Sciences implements lean methodologies to create an efficient system of continuous improvement.

Staffing decisions. Just who is really doing your translations? Are you working with a one-person show, or does the provider have a large pool of translators to pull from? Were all those translators carefully screened and tested during candidate selection process? Does the agency require its translators to be degreed? Does it have an in-house certification program? Translator selection criteria should include native fluency in the target language, a linguistic degree from one of the world’s major universities or language schools, industry specialization demonstrated by an advanced degree or specialty translation experience and more.

Industry expertise. Not everyone who speaks a foreign language is a translator. Ensure your provider has experience in your industry, understands the regulations and nuances of your business or service, demonstrates an efficient quality process and can supply a reputable client list with references.

Local market knowledge. To resonate with a local market, sometimes translation needs to be taken a step further, which is where transcreation fits in. Transcreation is about taking a concept in one language and completely recreating it in another language – it is normally applied to the marketing of an idea, product or service to international audiences. The experienced translation agency will address region-specific cultures and dialects. Brand names may need to be adjusted to avoid different connotations in the target language that might not make sense or even be damaging or offensive. For example, Coca-Cola sells a lot of Diet Coke in the U.S. However, the company renamed it Coca-Cola Light to market and sell it in many countries where the word ‘light’ means fewer calories.

Use translation memory (TM) tools. Translation memory (TM) software analyzes repetitive text in the source documents and then queries a translation memory database to identify previously translated segments. TM ensures consistency of terminology, expedites future revisions, and reduces translation costs. Consistency is improved because the TM software will always propose the same translation for the same source sentence. Even a large group of translators, working from different locations, can produce consistent translations, provided they work from the same translation memory. TM, together with other tools such as computer-aided translation (CAT) tools and machine translation (MT), provide distinct advantages that create powerful tools to streamline translation and localization processes. Find out how Welocalize Life Sciences uses technology to speed up the translation process.

Centralize the translation process. Successful translation is also an internal initiative. Often time, global companies with several offices around the world rely on their distributors, agents and representatives in other countries to do the translations.  By “centralizing” translation management via one department, a core contact team, or even a designated project manager, companies can streamline all translation efforts and communicate their messages across to various countries more consistently, effectively and, often, less expensively.

If your materials, products or trials are crossing borders, contact Welocalize Life Sciences for more information about our professional translation and transcreation services for highly regulated industries.

 

Mitigate Risks and Improve Quality with Lean Methodologies

Lean implementation is a transformational process and should support organizational development alongside process improvement. Non-quality in clinical trials (e.g. late site activation or inaccurate data) can be costly and disruptive.

In this Q&A with Welocalize Life Sciences Senior Director of Global Client Services Consol Casablanca, we discuss why the cost of getting things wrong is perhaps the biggest area of cost and risk improvement for many organizations.

Welocalize Life Sciences: What is the lean concept?

Consol Casablanca: Waste is anything that does not add value; it only adds time and cost. Lean methodology consists of eliminating waste from processes so that they are efficient and effective. It’s based on two concepts: Doing it right the first time and Just-in-Time (JIT). Doing it right the first time means if there is a problem, work stops until the problem is resolved. The principle that underpins JIT is that production should be ‘pulled through’ rather than ‘pushed through’. This means that production is specific to customer orders, so that the production cycle starts once a customer has started a project—no more, no less; no sooner, no later.

WLS: Why should companies implement lean methodologies?

CC: Lean methodologies allow companies to: accelerate the transformation process; become more client-oriented; develop employees through empowerment; and create an efficient system of continuous improvement. The implementation of lean methodologies is a key factor for providing better service to our life sciences clients. Through lean, we have been able to eliminate waste from our processes, thus creating robust and efficient workflows. These improved workflows enable us to provide greater quality across the entire process with faster turnaround times. We are continuously improving our processes and creating new workflows that are adapted to our clients’ needs.

WLS: What are some challenges sponsors or CROs face when conducting clinical trials?

CC: There are several challenges sponsors and CROs face during the global clinical trial process. Here are just a few:

  • There is an increasing demand for clinical trials being carried out in Asian countries, however there are limited resources for some regional/local languages.
  • Ethics committees/Institutional Review Boards not accepting translations of Patient Information Sheets/Institutional Review Boards because of low legibility, causing a delay in the start of the clinical trial in that country or site.
  • Different documents need to be translated or can be kept in English depending on the target country.
  • Patient-reported outcomes need to be perfectly understood in the same way by patients in different countries in order to be able to pool the data across countries.

WLS:  How can Welocalize Life Sciences help with these challenges?

CC: With offices all over the world, Welocalize Life Sciences has easy and quick access to almost all possible target groups. Through standardized but flexible translation workflows we can guarantee quality translations even into languages where finding qualified resources seems impossible.

Thorough pre-production, expanded clinical investigation term data bases, translation memories of thousands of approved translated segments, support to translators throughout the life cycle of the projects and innovation in technology are only a few of the steps we take to guarantee high legibility in our translations.

To manage and eliminate non-quality in clinical trials, Welocalize Life Sciences implements lean methodologies. The result: Risk mitigation and improved efficiencies and quality.

WLS: Any additional input or advice?

CC: In addition to eliminating waste from our processes and creating efficient workflows, Welocalize Life Sciences works with qualified, experienced medical translators to doctors and healthcare professionals that provide advice and support in all regulatory and legal matters. Moreover, our production team is highly experienced and up to date with all new regulations and industry trends. Implementing lean methodologies, working with subject matter experts and client-focused processes are all key factors for providing better service to our life sciences clients.

Learn More

Consol will present at the Life Sciences Business Round Table at LocWorld Barcelona, June 14, 2017. Attendees will benefit from this session in multiple ways. She will show how to identify non-quality costs in order to reduce them by implementing corrective measures. Find out more or register at LocWorld.com.

 

Machine Translation Addresses the Need for Speed in Clinical Studies

Increasing the speed and efficiency of clinical studies is a well understood and agreed upon priority of most clinical operations professionals. However, according to CenterWatch 86% of clinical trials experience delays and 81% of these reach one to six months in length, with 5% of delays lasting even longer.  One approach to speed up the translation portion of the clinical process is the use of machine translation (MT).

MT is a technology that automatically produces translations of text without human intervention. MT output is frequently part of a larger translation workflow that involves humans as post-editors or reviewers. It requires previous production and consistent data collection to create a knowledge domain that will produce accurate outputs. In order to work with MT in a smart and professional way, it is crucial to work together with other market tools such as computer-aided translation (CAT) tools. This technology provides distinct advantages that create powerful tools to streamline translation and localization processes, including:

Cost reduction. Because modern MT systems can translate high volumes at low cost, they enable sponsors and companies to translate more text into more languages. For life sciences companies dealing with millions of source words, MT is a viable piece of the translation puzzle.

Faster time-to-market. MT systems can translate text at speeds that human translators cannot match. This enables them to meet on-demand requirements or to meet turn-around times that traditional processes cannot match.

Accuracy. MT systems allow for improved quality, in terms of accuracy, orthography and consistency. It avoids errors, especially omissions, that can sometimes occur with human translations.

Tool integration. MT systems are increasingly integrated with other translation tools, such as terminology and translation memory. The merging of these technologies has a direct benefit in terms of the quality of raw MT output, but also supports human-centered production methods that combine the speed and volume capabilities of MT with the quality and intelligence of human-translation processes.

Life sciences companies looking to decrease time-to-market and translation costs, without reducing quality, have a variety options. MT solutions can include various degrees of software training inputs combined with light or heavy post-editing to refine final proofs. The important thing is to find a language services provider with access to a range of solutions, including MT, and then works to best suit the needs of their client.

After more than a decade of training a specific MT engine tailored for clinical trial documentation, Welocalize Life Sciences is seeing incredible results. In an average 10,000 word document the average human intervention is only between 1,500 to 3,000 words. That means that 70% to 85% of the words are translated correctly by the translation engine, and the post-editor only concentrates on 15% to 30% of a document. The integration of MT solutions can lead to greater cost savings and faster market entry, making valuable therapies available to patients sooner.

Contact Welocalize Life Sciences for more information about our experience in translating multilingual documents for clinical studies around the globe.