Role of Tech Writers in Continuous Localization


2019-10-08 22:10 clickhelp


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Modern businesses love everything seamless. Like, Continuous Integration is a new go-to for software engineers. The underlying principle is sharing code as often as possible, ideally, several times a day. This means new releases become more frequent than ever and other teams need to keep up. For technical writers this means that help topics need to be updated constantly. This thing alone is a challenge, but it becomes increasingly alarming when you have more stuff piling up on top of that like... continuous localization. Basically, user manuals need to be updated and localized almost instantly. Translation is done by translators, of course. But, technical writers are involved in this process as well. Let's see what techcomm specialists can do to make this whole thing more efficient. Improving Communication With Translators We've already busted the myth that tech writers are lone rangers going days without talking to anyone, just writing help topics. In reality, they communicate a lot. The most common discussions happen with their peers, especially with people working on the same project — editors, team leads, subject-matter experts, devs. When it comes to localization, translators are added to the equation. And, this quickly becomes a very busy communication channel. One of the reasons for this is that translators are not technical specialists and they most likely require consulting. Quality of the final output depends a lot on how well technical writers and translators can work together. Paying Attention to Cultural Differences This is an extremely interesting and controversial point companies doing localization can come across. One of the trends in techcomm is using a friendlier tone in technical documentation and even adding some humor. The thing is some jokes do not translate well, while others can be considered offensive in the target language. Another possible issue with localization is country-specific aspects, like, certain services may not work in countries of the target language and that means mentioning them in technical docs is not appropriate. These are just a couple of examples of what can go wrong. Each company decides whether they are going to tweak the localized versions or the source. If it is the latter, then the doc team is going to be affected. Truth be told, it is going to be affected anyway because when changes are made in a localized user manual version, their advice can still be required. Staying on Top of Deadlines Continuous localization is impossible without following through with plans in a timely manner. Time management remains an important skill for a tech writer no matter the work process. The ability to evaluate a task comes with experience, so if you haven't mastered this yet, no worries. A piece of advice: try improving time management from both sides - practice and theory. You might want to participate in several training sessions to get on top of your game. Also, don't get discouraged if deadlines are not met because of things you do not control as this is sadly often the case for technical writers. Conclusion The thing about localization, it has never been a one-off thing. It is a continuous process. So, the notion of continuous localization is an attempt to find ways to make this process smoother and less tiresome for everyone involved via automation and better workflows. Technical writing teams play an important role in continuous localization and they can contribute a lot to its success. Hopefully, this article is going to shed some light on what you can do to help your company succeed. Good luck with your technical writing! ClickHelp Team Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices
现代企业热爱一切。类似地,持续集成是软件工程师的新选择。最基本的原则是尽可能频繁地共享代码,最好是每天几次。这意味着新版本变得比以往任何时候都更加频繁,其他团队需要跟上。 对于技术作者来说,这意味着需要不断更新帮助主题。这只是一个挑战,但当你有更多的东西堆在上面时,它变得越来越令人震惊。。。连续本地化。 基本上,用户手册需要更新和本地化几乎立即。当然,翻译是由译者完成的。但是,技术作家也参与了这个过程。让我们看看 techcomm 专家能做些什么来提高整个工作的效率。 提高翻译人员的沟通能力 我们已经推翻了一个神话,即科技作家是孤独的游侠,不与任何人交谈,只是写帮助主题。事实上,他们沟通得很多。最常见的讨论发生在他们的同事之间,尤其是与从事同一项目的人——编辑、团队领导、主题专家、开发人员。 当涉及到本地化时,会将翻译员添加到公式中。而且,这很快就成为一个非常繁忙的沟通渠道.原因之一是译者不是技术专家,他们很可能需要咨询。最终输出的质量在很大程度上取决于技术作家和译者之间的合作。 注重文化差异 这是一个非常有趣和有争议的点,公司做本地化可以遇到。 techcomm 的一个趋势是在技术文档中使用更友好的语气,甚至添加一些幽默。问题是有些笑话不能很好地翻译,而另一些则被认为是目标语言中的攻击性。 本地化方面的另一个可能问题是特定国家的方面,例如,某些服务可能无法在目标语言的国家工作,这意味着在技术文档中提及这些服务是不合适的。这些只是一些可能出错的例子。 每个公司决定他们是否要调整本地化版本或源代码。如果是后者,那么 doc 团队将受到影响。事实上,它无论如何都会受到影响,因为当在本地用户手册版本中进行更改时,仍然需要他们的建议。 在截止日期前逗留 如果没有及时完成计划,就不可能持续本地化。时间管理仍然是科技作家的一项重要技能,无论工作过程如何。 评估一项任务的能力来自经验,所以如果你还没有掌握这一点,就不要担心。一条建议:尝试从实践和理论两方面改进时间管理.你可能想参加几个训练课程,以便在你的比赛中脱颖而出。 此外,如果没有达到最后期限,不要因为你不能控制的事情而灰心丧气,因为这对于技术作家来说常常是不幸的。 结论 关于本地化,这从来不是一次性的事情。这是一个持续的过程。因此,持续本地化的概念是试图找到方法,通过自动化和更好的工作流程,使每个相关人员都能更顺畅、更省力。 技术写作团队在不断的本地化过程中扮演着重要的角色,他们可以为其成功做出很大贡献。希望本文能对你能做些什么来帮助你的公司取得成功有所启示。 祝你的技术写作好运! ClickHelp 团队 跨平台和设备编写、托管和交付文档