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Back in October, Microsoft gave a presentation in regards to “the translation tools and technologies used for Microsoft Office localization.” At the end of the presentation, Office 14 was discussed in addition to future thoughts on localization beyond Office 14. Perhaps the right person out there will be interested in the following information. For those of you who don’t understand what this is, it’s essentially Microsoft’s plans for making Office as language-neutral as possible via methods of accurate and efficient translation. Discussed below are some of their tools and ideas for the constant evolution of this process. As written in the presentation:

Office 14 Translation Plans:

Translation Automation Internally:
- Automated word-count forecasting for accurate handoff volumes.
- Scalable process automation around word-counting, recycling analysis and machine translation.
- Integration of Helium, Trados and MSR-MT for post-editing. (UXEvangelist Note: All are internal localization tools but can be read a bit about here)

‘Tools Independence’ Externally:
- Translation vendors have flexibility to choose which recycling, MT and translation tools they want to use.
- Enabled by: standardized word-counts, standard quality expectations, XML-based file format.

O14 Language Technology Initiatives:

Raw-MT Piloting for Office Developer Documentation:
- Translation wiki for SDKs

Translatability Checking:
- Style checker tool integrated with authoring environment
- Reduces effort in editing, catches no-brainer issues
- Improves consistency and quality for translators
- Implements MSTP style-guide: Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications

The Version After Next – Thoughts for the Future:

Tools Independence:
- Move toward standards-based localization, giving translation vendor freedom to choose/innovate tools that works best to deliver on the quality defined by Microsoft.

Extend and Improve the Use of Language Technology:
- Investigate broader use of Machine translation, when appropriate and when the quality is there.
- Adopt advanced recycling solutions.
- Tools support for translation quality assurance.

Customer & Community Engagement

External Academic and Industry Engagement

Again, most of my readers won’t find this information particularly interesting but if you happen to be one who would like to further engage the aforementioned information, feel free to download the document I’m referencing. Likewise, feel free to leave comments and discuss this topic with others who may share your interest!

Reference: TM Europe 2008 Presentation

-Stephen

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