Global Content Insights

Connecting content and translation management

[fa icon="calendar"] Nov 12, 2015 5:37:09 PM / by Lise Bissonnette Janody

Too many country web managers get CMS notifications of new or modified content that don’t apply to them. One reason this happens is because companies are not connecting content management with translation management.

Few companies today translate all their content.  And most don’t apply the same translation rules for all their languages either.  Large portions of content are translated into hub languages like Spanish, French and German, or into languages that represent huge market opportunities – Chinese and Russian, for example.  Content then gets translated in smaller proportions into the languages of company tier 2 markets.

Yet the content production process is still too often disconnected from the translation production process.  The two often exist in parallel universes, and are often managed by separate teams.  This leads to costly processes and translations that are published long after the English source version. 

Connecting content management systems with translation management systems makes it possible to:

  1.  identify which pieces of content are ready for translation and which languages they should be translated into;
  2. automatically send the content from one system to another and back again through a connector;
  3. allow reviewers to validate their translated content directly online.

Benefits of connecting CMS and TMS

The results?  You no longer have to cut and paste content and its associated metadata into a Word file that you’ll then mark up with instructions for the translator and send by email.  You also no longer have to cut and paste the translations you receive into the CMS.  That removes a lot of manual processes, which can take up more time and money than the actual translation itself.   

However, automation doesn’t mean no human oversight at all.  Someone on the CMS side of things has to tick off those boxes that say ‘yes, this content is ready for translation into these languages’.  Indeed, you need a well-defined translation policy that outlines what content gets translated into which languages, by whom and on whose budget. Meanwhile, the TMS, just like the CMS, needs to be managed, though this responsibility is often devolved to the language service provider. 

Different connection options

There are different ways to handle your CMS and TMS connection.  You can develop a homegrown API, or use your translation vendor’s proprietary version (if they have one). There are also independent, off-the-shelf connectors like Clay Tablet, which can sit in the middle between multiple content sources (different CMSs, DAMs) and multiple translation vendors. 

Be careful, though:  using a connector doesn’t always give you the desired results. For instance, it can be easier to get content out of the CMS than it is to get it back in, which almost defeats the purpose. However, a successful implementation will not only save you time and money, but is also likely to improve the performance of your country websites. Whatever you choose to do, get an expert to help you set it up, and ask for references. 

This post is part of the series '7 things that make it harder to manage your  multinational websites'


Topics: Connecting content and translation management, CMS and TMS connection, content management systems, translation management systems