June 16, 2015
Webinar Recap: Writing for a Global Audience: Methods & Tools

Ingeniux recently hosted a webinar with partner, KJ International, a leading provider of translation and localization services. The topic - How to ensure your content is developed for a global audience.

You may think it's easy to write great content and have it translated for multiple audiences in multiple languages, but English does not lend itself to easy translation.

Andrea Dahl, Marketing & Communications Coordinator at KJI provided a great overview of the challenges with the English language. She talked about the development of Standard - or Global - English as a structured approach to writing in English. She explained that Standard English is not a spoken language and unlike other languages that have standardized bodies governing how they are written, there is no official body governing how English should be properly written.

For many, American English is the spoken language, but when you attempt to translate it (especially with all its colloquialisms), it's extremely challenging and often translated incorrectly.

Andrea said that Standard English is the best way to write because it's more structured and is much simpler to translate because it:

  • Decreases read time for comprehension,
  • Improves accuracy, Increases consistency of translations, and
  • Lowers translation costs.

But while Standard English might be the right approach, it's not without its challenges:

  • It limits the message (limits word choice, tone and vocabulary)
  • It's difficult to do with multiple writers
  • Not always appropriate, so it needs to be driven from the top-down.

Something to consider when outlining how your marketing and communications messages are written is to develop a language guide - similar to a Web Style Guide - to ensure everyone understands the rules and guidelines for creating global content that can be easily translated.

In the webinar, Andrea provides some great advice for creating global content, such as the length of sentences, using active voice and more. She also recommends including context for corporate terms and acronyms for translators.

In addition text can increase or decreased based on the translated language, so you need to be careful with titles, infographics and graphics with text. Fonts and styles can also be limited depending on the language. 

Watch the webinar replay to get all of KJI's insights and advice on creating global content; we've only skimmed the surface here.

You'll also get a sneak peek at Ingeniux and how it supports multiple languages, including how content is structured and how to preview content in different languages on different devices/channels.

Nathan Eggen, Ingeniux Director of Product Development, also walked through a demonstration of the Translation Manager Workbench, which has a direct interface with KJI's proprietary project management interface (KJILink) to support structured publishing and translation and localization of content.

Using the Workbench, it's easy to create translation projects, send them for translation to KJI and then push the finalized translated copy back into the publishing environment.

If you work on a multilingual website, then Ingeniux offers the right tools to ensure your content is created, translated, and managed the best way possible.

Take some time to watch the entire webinar, we guarantee you'll learn something new that you can take back and apply to your work.

Posted by Barb Mosher Zinck
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