A Few Words

Getting the Most From Your eLearning & Training Investments

Posted by Annette Heidrich on Oct 15, 2015 10:06:00 AM

“The World is Flat,” declared Thomas Friedman in his 2005 examination of global business and competition. He said that through technology such as social media and ecommerce, the business world is experiencing globalization at hyper speed. The World Trade Organization bears this out: in 1980 there were 27,000 multinational corporations. There are 128,000 today.

When a company expands internationally, they face new challenges training their global workforce. Even for domestic-only companies, there are 41 million native Spanish speakers living in the U.S. among a growing number of other foreign language speakers.
In the recent U.S. Census, 24% of those that speak another language at home admit to speaking English “not well” or “not well at all." Since it is difficult to divulge this in the workplace, it has become a business imperative to conduct employee training in multiple languages.

HR, Talent and Learning consulting firm Bersin by Deloitte has found that top-performing companies allocate more money to talent development than other companies. Bersin calls them “high-impact learning organizations,” and they reap the benefits of investing in training and development by financially outperforming their peers. They produce profit growth three times that of their competitors (Bersin, 2012).

Today, the best way to make employee training engaging is with eLearning platforms such as Moodle, Edmodo or Blackboard. But to maximize the value of this investment – and more importantly to ensure that health and safety information is quickly and completely learned – delivering employee communication in the language of the workforce is essential.

eLearning course content translation can be complex. There are difficult challenges, such as the need to quickly translate high volumes of content, often in multiple types of file formats (such as Flash, XML, and other multimedia formats). Voice-over content needs to be transcribed and re-recorded or edited down for subtitling. Then all localized components must be smoothly integrated back into the eLearning environment.

Our deep experience with eLearning platforms and related technologies ensures a smooth localization process and high-quality results. We want to make sure that all of your employees receive the same benefit and value that the best employee training provides. Elanex delivers eLearning localization services to enable your organization to respond effectively to the exponential growth of the non-English speaking world. Contact us today to learn more.

Topics: Localization, Employee Communication and HR, Best Business Practices

expressIt New Features and Updates

Posted by Cindy Dufty on Oct 13, 2015 9:30:00 AM

Elanex is pleased to announce new features and updates for expressIt, our self-serve high-quality professional translation service. expressIt provides all the depth, nuance and quality of the world's best human translators, delivered with unprecedented speed from our powerful automation technology.


expressIt now natively supports a broader variety of file formats. You can upload a PDF document and expressIt technology will determine if it is machine readable, or use advanced OCR technology to convert the scanned document into Word. This all happens automatically in the background, providing a seamless price quote and delivery options experience. expressIt also accepts .resx files, ideal for Agile developers needing to keep their Sprints on schedule. In addition to standard Office file formats (.docx, .xlsx, .pptx), expressIt also accepts legacy Office format documents. For users with .indd or any of hundreds of other file formats, expressIt will automatically route the request to Elanex’s global professional services team for a prompt, personal response.

Responding to demand from customers around the globe, expressIt also provides a number of currency options for credit card payment. In addition to USD, now YEN, GBP, EUR, AUD, and CAD are available to match budgeting requirements and avoid F/X charges. Corporate users can continue to receive monthly billing in a variety of currencies.

Other new features include ability to upload support documentation, such as existing glossaries, style guides, or even screen shots. Special delivery instructions, such as sending to multiple recipients, can also be specified. Our corporate clients can select and include their specific glossaries and style guides already stored in the Elanex system.

With expressIt, you can order high-quality professional translation online in minutes – just upload your documents and instantly receive a quotation with delivery options. No calls, no delays waiting for emails, your documents will be professionally translated faster than you expect for less than you thought possible. Try it at expressItnow.com!

Topics: Agile Translation, Announcements, Translation Tools, expressIt

Making the Most of In-Country Review

Posted by Agnieszka Ostrowska on Oct 8, 2015 10:47:00 AM

in-country-reviewMany organizations rely on “in-country” reviewers to check translations before release. Since no one knows the subject matter, tone, and content better than someone in the company, this is a valuable step for any translation project. However, many reviewers are doing this as an additional task, and just because they are bilingual does not mean they automatically understand the role. Here are some best practices for getting the most from your reviewer and keeping your translation project on time and on budget.

 “The translation is bad”

Too often, reviewers operate without receiving instruction on what feedback is required. Since writing style and phrasing are subjective, “translation quality” is difficult to define, so one person’s poetry can be another person’s poison. Frequently, when reviewers don’t like the style (or even the original source content), they edit heavily and share their opinion that the translation is “bad” or “wrong”. The challenge for the reviewer is to understand the role, which is to confirm that the translation meets the agreed standards they helped to establish. This will create a repeatable and scalable process. 

Establishing standards – for language and reviewers

The saying, “prior preparation prevents poor performance” is especially relevant for translation projects. Here are some suggestions to establish clear expectations with your in-country review team:

  • All in-country reviewers should be briefed in advance on the purpose, scope, and style choices made for the source-language content.

  • In-country reviewers should approve the project translation glossary and style guides in advance of translation.

  • Consider establishing consistent “error” categories (e.g. Accuracy, Language Standards, Readability, and Compliance) and severity levels (e.g. Major, Medium, Minor, and Preferential). Your translation vendor should have a standard quality scoring procedure they can share with you.

  • Introduce the reviewers to your translation vendor, who will share additional briefing points and provide a language liaison to discuss language-related issues.

  • In-country reviewers should be briefed on the project schedule and know when their efforts will be required and for how long. Respecting project milestones will help the translation vendor keep your project on schedule.

  • For larger volumes of work, the translation vendor should provide the in-country reviewers with a preview of the work product (“first page translation”) to get feedback and guidance before the main translation is started.

The review process

Now the process is in motion – translated content has been delivered by your translation vendor and your in-country reviewers sit down to work. First, consider that the role of a professional translator is to express the meaning of the source content accurately and completely in the target language, as though it had been written by a native-speaker. Unless specifically asked, they will not add to or subtract from the content. This guideline applies equally well to your in-country review team. With that in mind, here are some best practices for your in-country reviewers:

  • In-country reviewers should understand that the purpose is collaborative fine-tuning of the translation — they are not being asked to edit the entire translation.

  • In-country reviewers should be aware of the various types of changes they might recommend:

    • Company-specific terminology (this should be communicated as an update to the project glossary).

    • Company-specific “voice” — phrasing that is unique to the company and supports its brand (this should be communicated as an update to the style guide).

    • Correct misrepresentation of the source text by the translation team.

    • Correct objective errors (grammatical, typographical, etc.) — these should not happen, but in the event that they do, the translation vendor should correct them immediately and at no charge.
  • In-country reviewers should also know what not to do:

    • Minor changes based on the personal preferences of the reviewer that do not fall into the categories above. These should be avoided as they add to cost and increase the likelihood of project delay. Personal preferences cannot be codified in the style guide, so they are not repeatable for subsequent translations.

    • They should not re-write the content to fit their view of how the source should have been written (you might be surprised at how common this is). Their job is to review the translation against the source document and verify it meets the company’s objective standards.

    • If your internal team changes mid-project or a different in-country/native-speaker reviews the final work product, make sure they are provided with the same instructions and reference materials used by the original reviewer. Otherwise, they may lose valuable time making suggestions that are not consistent with the instructions.
  • Post-project

    • If edits to the work product are made after the translation vendor has delivered, it is important that those changes be provided to the vendor so that translation the memory database can be updated, keeping future translations consistent. This helps lower your long-term translation costs, maintains quality, and helps reduce turnaround time. 

Having the resources of an in-country review team is a valuable asset for any translation project. Establishing clear expectations for roles and responsibilities – the ground rules – can help keep your projects on schedule and on budget and reduce unnecessary iterations that consume precious time. It also produces good quality, consistent translation and a rewarding experience for the translation team. Elanex is happy to share best practices with you, including our matrix of translation error categories and severity, which you can download by clicking this button:

Get the Errors Chart 

Let us know
 if we can help you further. We're here for you. 

Topics: Best Business Practices, Translation Basics

Language Melting Pot

Posted by Elanex Marketing Team on Oct 1, 2015 8:25:00 AM

This set of "viral maps" was created using data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. It's a fascinating look at the languages spoken in each state other than English and Spanish.


For example, did you know that Vietnamese is the most popular language in Texas outside of English and Spanish or that Navajo is commonly spoken in Arizona and New Mexico? Swedish is the most commonly spoken Scandinavian language in the U.S., and Hindi wins for the most prevalent Indo-Aryan language across all of the states. Kru, Ibo, Yoruba (which the Census lists as a single language) takes first place for the most widespread African language in America.

Which language does your state speak most, outside of English and Spanish? Check out the maps here.

Topics: Resources, Language Information

The Family Tree of Languages

Posted by Elanex Marketing Team on Sep 25, 2015 12:35:00 PM

This beautiful infographic provides a comprehensive overview of the Nordic languages in their old world language families.

Click the button below to download this infographic.



 Download: Family Tree


Topics: Infographic, Language Information

Choosing The Best Translation Method 

Posted by Elanex Marketing Team on Sep 17, 2015 5:36:00 PM

You may be familiar with these three translation methods: human translation, machine translation (MT) and post-edited machine translation (PEMT). Each has its strengths and weaknesses - how do you pick the best one for your specific needs? 

To help you make an informed decision about which translation method to choose, Elanex has created a simple chart that compares each method in six different areas: translation method

  • Quality
  • Time
  • Cost
  • Volume
  • Style
  • Subject Matter

Want to learn more? Click the button to download our infographic:


 Get the Chart


Topics: Infographic, Resources, Translation Basics

Elanex Celebrates 13 Years of Fast, Accurate and Easy Translation

Posted by Donald J. Plumley, CEO on Sep 10, 2015 9:56:00 AM

Thirteen years ago Jonathan Kirk founded Elanex with the mission of becoming a new kind of translation services provider.  He set out to marry the Art and Science of Translation to establish a new level of performance in the industry.


Elanex delivered on this vision. Since then, we have developed our own best-in-class technology platform to connect the world’s specialist translators with clients seeking efficiently delivered, high quality language translation services. From our pioneering centralized production platform to the launch of expressIt, we have been an innovator in advanced translation technology, further realizing the Art and Science of Translation.

Today we celebrate the technology and the team that routinely delivers fast, accurate, and easy translation. Our platform is in the cloud. Our clients and our team are global. We deliver an amazing breadth of languages in specific subjects. Elanex has evolved and grown into a truly trusted provider, an essential partner to many global clients. Each and every day we take on the challenges of transforming the written word for our clients’ customers around the globe. 

As we take a moment to look back, it is clear that we have much to be proud of, especially our commitment to providing excellent service to our clients.  This promise to serve remains a constant and fuels our desire to continually improve and achieve. At a time when instant communication makes the world seem like a smaller place, language and culture remain as a reminder of our differences – and our important role in helping to bridge those distances.

Happy Founder’s Day!

Topics: Announcements

English: The Most Common Second Language Learned in Europe

Posted by Elanex Marketing Team on Sep 4, 2015 10:13:00 AM

This infographic, from the Irish Independent, shows the most common second languages learned in Europe. Perhaps it's no surprise that English tops the list in most European countries.



Topics: Infographic, Language Information

Quick Language Facts: Portuguese

Posted by Elanex Marketing Team on Aug 20, 2015 12:53:00 PM

Portuguese. An official language of the African Union and the European Union. The language of explorers - spoken in communities across five continents: Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas, it includes loanwords from French, Spanish and English.

Download this amazing infographic to learn tons of fascinating facts about Portuguese. 


Download: Portuguese


Topics: Infographic, Language Information

33 Useful Translation Industry Abbreviations

Posted by Troy Helm on Aug 13, 2015 9:24:00 AM

We always try to be efficient in our use of language.  That’s why we make use of so many acronyms and abbreviations.  Here is a list of the most common abbreviations you may run into when working with an LSP.

API Application programming interface; a set of programming instructions that allow web-based software applications to communicate with each another.

CAT Computer-assisted translation; when a human translator uses computer software to help make the translation process more efficient. Not to be confused with MT, but typically uses TM.

CJK Chinese, Japanese, and Korean – a common Pan-Asian language combination.

CMS Content management system; tool that stores, manages, organizes and retrieves data, such as content for websites.


DNT Do not translate; a label to assign certain phrases and words that are typically not translated, such as trademarks

DTP Desktop publishing; the use of software, such as InDesign, to create precision layouts of documents, such as brochures or manuals.

FIGS French, Italian, German, and Spanish – a common European language combination. 

GE Graphic editing; the process of editing graphic files to update text elements with translated copy. 

GILT Globalization, Internationalization, Localization and Translation 

G11N Globalization; in the hierarchy of L10N and I18N, the overall planning context by an organization to develop products and support customers in multiple language markets. Also used in macroeconomic contexts to refer to the expansion of international trade. 

ICE In context exact; used in reference to a TM match that occurs in exactly the same context 

I18N Internationalization; the design and development of a technology or product that enables easy localization in different languages, such as externalized text strings.  

ISO International Organization for Standardization; ISO 639 is a standard to classify languages in two or three letter codes. Some of the more common 2 letter language codes include:

ar - Arabic
de - German
en - English
es - Spanish

fr - French
hi - Hindi
ja - Japanese

pt - Portuguese
ru - Russian
zh - Chinese

L10N Localization; Process of adapting content or a product for a locale or market. Translation is a step in the L10N process, which may include modifying design or layout, adapting formats such as dates and phone numbers, or addressing legal/local requirements.

LE Layout editing; adjusting a text and graphics layout in documents and websites to accommodate text changes after a translation.    

LSP Language service provider; a company that provides services such as translation, localization, and/or interpretation.

MLV Multi-language vendor; a language service provider (LSP) that offers services in multiple languages. 

MT Machine translation; the automated translation of text by software.

OCR Optical character recognition; the conversion of printed or written text by a computer into machine-readable format.

PEMT Post-edited machine translation; when a human translator edits machine translation (MT) output for the purpose of improving the accuracy and/or readability.

PM Project manager; an individual who manages and coordinates all tasks of a translation project. 

PPW Price per word.

RBMT Rules based machine translation; machine translation systems based on linguistic information about source and target languages commonly retrieved from dictionaries and grammars.

SLV Single language vendor; a language service provider (LSP) that provides translation and/or localization into only one language.

SMT Statistical machine translation; statistical probability models for how text should be translated by machine translation. 

TEP Translate-edit-proof; a common set of steps to ensure translation quality. 


TM Translation memory; pairs of previously human translated text segments stored in a database for reuse.

TMS Translation management system; the combination of tools, typically including a glossary tool and translation memory, that are used to manage a translation project. 

TMX Translation memory eXchange; a standard data format enabling the exchange of translation memories between translation technologies. 

UI User interface; the means by which a human interacts with a computer or software, typically meaning the text elements to be localized.

V/O Voiceover; the voice of an unseen narrator. 

XLIFF XML localization interchange file format; an XML-based data format to standardize the way localizable data are exchanged between tools during the localization process 

XML eXtensible markup language; a markup language that defines a set of rules for encoding documents in a format that is readable to both machines and humans

Topics: Resources, Translation Basics

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