Translation Technology

What is Continuous Translation? The Technology and Process Explained

Learn more about continuous translation and how the process of providing frequent translation updates to new content can be seamless.

Dominic Dithurbide's avatar
Dominic Dithurbide

March 28, 2022

5 MIN READ

Entering the global marketplace can unlock your business growth. First, you must communicate well with your audience. An interconnected world needs website content translation and localization to satisfy customer needs wherever they live.

Research shows that translating a website into seven languages – Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, and Italian (along with English) – enables you to reach 80% of the online purchasing power globally. In addition, Fortune 500 companies reported higher revenue when they invested in translation, and businesses that increase their translation budget have a 1.5 times higher chance that they’ll experience revenue increase. So how can you ensure an investment in multilingual websites will keep your business competitive? The following method can help!

What is Continuous Translation?

Continuous translation (also known as continuous localization) is the process of managing translation and localization of content, simultaneously and perpetually, through software, rather than occurring as a separate, disjointed workflow.

Fueled by global growth, companies nowadays want to release content in multiple languages and formats. Modern content management tools make it possible to update content anytime and deploy it easily online. Continuous translation automatically collects text as changes happen and assigns “segments” of new content for translation. It enables you to achieve a constant flow of updated information when there’s a need for new translation or localization.

The Process of Continuous Translation

Continuous translation works precisely as the name implies – it’s an approach to translating content that relies on continual, simultaneous processes that create effective results. By using website translation technology, continuous translation is a seamless way to keep websites optimized. Here’s how the process works:

Base Translation and Localization is Complete

MotionPoint’s technology continually “crawls” websites for translatable content, both as a website is initially translated and when updates are required. As a result, the technology learns the initial content and makes adjustments quickly.

What it Means for Content to be Updated on the Site

Translation technology automatically picks it up for translation and localization when new content is ready. Continuous translation uses the element of automated website translation technology to keep content up-to-date. As a result, you do not have to manually provide updated content. Instead, the technology works automatically and independently to eliminate the time-consuming process.

The content updating process can occur through more than one system. Content Management Systems (CMS), or multilingual CMS platforms, are robust workflow systems that create and manage multilingual websites for multiple markets. However, they also have limitations that affect content translation. For example, CMS connectors send entire pages of content for translation and localization instead of picking out new content. This is where proxy-based technology comes in. Proxy-based solutions complement CMS and don’t replace them – instead, the proxy system automatically handles all translation workflows.

Content is Translated and Localized

Next in the process is how website content will be translated and localized, depending on your business needs and budget.

  • Machine Translation (MT) uses artificial intelligence (AI) to translate content without any human input automatically. As a result, MT is fast, translating millions of words almost instantaneously while continually improving the process as more content is translated. MT also works with CMSs to organize and tag content. That makes it possible to retain organization and context as content is translated into multiple languages.
  • Human Translation (HT) isn’t about simple translation. Instead, HT uses critical thinking and cultural awareness to convey messages that resonate with each market’s audience. HT is considered “continuous translation” because the automated side of MotionPoint’s proxy is constantly crawling for new content. MotionPoint proxy technology sends content through HT, then automatically updates the site as soon as it’s complete and vetted for accuracy.

Typically, human translation is used for highly-trafficked pages where messaging is crucial, while machine translation is utilized for less brand-sensitive content. Approaches to the translation process can differ, however. For example, some customers only want their content looked at by human eyes. Or, a customer may first have new website content machine translated to go live and then have a human translator take a look and edit content. MotionPoint supports businesses by creating a hybrid continuous translation and localization model, depending on customer preferences.

Continuous Translation Technology

Technology that supports continuous translation does so from beginning to end. First, translation memory (TM) is a database that stores both original and translated content in segments. TM is used to eliminate any redundant translation of relevant, already translated segments. Once something is translated, it is saved in TM and reused as needed. MotionPoint’s e-book on translation memory covers the function and benefits of this unique technology.

Neural machine translation (NMT) keeps the translation process moving quickly. NMT is a cutting-edge, automated, AI-powered translation service to overcome common weaknesses of classical translation methods. NMT takes advantage of deep “learning,” which results in cleaner translation, and leverages existing bilingual databases that contribute to the constant improvement of its efficiency, speed, and quality. Our neural machine translation e-book explains more about this powerful translation functionality.

Finally, during the translation process, quality assurance brings all the work together to ensure that updates are completed successfully. Since one customer’s website has the potential to need translation and localization in a variety of different languages and cultures, quality assurance checks both linguistic and design reviews. This is crucial for reviewing and correcting the TM for best use cases, terminology application, and content context.

Benefits of Continuous Translation

Continuous translation takes the stress out of updating content. Each update is handled quickly and simultaneously; it’s essential to understand that the number of languages and localizations updated doesn’t influence the length of time the translation process will take. This is a stark contrast to traditional methods of translation, which can take valuable time away from bringing new content to customers.

Additionally, global customers will view website updates in their preferred language, which keeps user experience high and business running smoothly.  When your website is fully updated, your website will not suffer from gaps in search engine optimization (SEO) either. Finally, continuous translation can be a more financially efficient option than paying for a price-per-word translation model.

Choose a Translation Partner That Understands Your Needs

Continuous translation is a time-saving, behind-the-scenes, technology-driven part of maintaining multilingual websites to allow businesses to grow wherever they want to be. Support from a translation partner who understands your business needs is key to successfully maintaining multilingual websites to successfully compete in a global business landscape.

MotionPoint is a localization company that successfully strategizes and implements multilingual website translation and localization for your business. MotionPoint’s advanced technologies and efficient, cost-saving continuous translation systems will create world-class content to support your customers globally.

Last updated on March 28, 2022
Dominic Dithurbide's avatar

About Dominic Dithurbide

Dominic Dithurbide is a creative, goal-driven marketing leader that’s dedicated his career to the translation industry. Dominic brings proficiency in global marketing, demand generation, and go-to-market strategies to MotionPoint’s marketing team.

Dominic Dithurbide's avatar
Dominic Dithurbide

Marketing Manager

5 MIN READ

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