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Written by Emma Green
on May 21, 2024

The world of translation and localization has undergone a remarkable transformation over the years, greatly influenced by the advent of technology. What was once a manual, time-consuming task is now streamlined and efficient, thanks to content routing automation. Let's delve into the evolution of these processes and explore the modern tools that have changed the face of the industry. 






The Evolution of Content Routing in Translation and Localization 

The Past: The Era of FTP and Email 

In the early days of digital translation and localization workflows, the process was far from efficient. Teams had to manually export files from their content management systems (CMS), compress them into zipped folders, and then use FTP or email to send these packages to their localization service providers. This process was fraught with potential issues – it was not only time-consuming but also lacked visibility and control once the files were sent off. 

Once the translation was complete, the waiting game began. There was a lot of uncertainty - would the files come back on time, and in the correct format? Upon receiving the translated documents, the teams then had to download the files and reimport them into their original systems, often tracking the status of each translation task through cumbersome spreadsheets. This approach was slow, error-prone, and hardly sustainable in the long term. 

Does this all sound too familiar? If so, please get in touch! 


The Present: The Dawn of Connectivity and Automation 

Today's landscape is vastly different. Thanks to connectors, APIs, and client portals, content routing automation has taken the stage, enhanced efficiency and reduced errors in the translation and localization process. Let's explore these modern solutions:  

  • Connectors: These powerful integrations link various storage systems, such as SharePoint, Google Drive, and Dropbox, with versioning software like GitLab, GitHub, and Bitbucket, as well as CMS platforms including WordPress, Marketo, Adobe Experience Manager, and Sitecore. This seamless connectivity facilitates easier content transfer and synchronization. 
  • APIs: For unique requirements and personalized features, APIs provide a direct pipeline between systems, allowing for custom solutions that cater to specific needs while maintaining the automation of content routing. 
  • Client Portals: The perfect starting point for many client portals offers a cost-effective and rapid way to manage translations. Users can upload content, track progress, and receive translations without the need for complex integrations. 


Phrase: A Translation Management System Perspective 

Taking a closer look at Phrase, a leading Translation Management System (TMS), reveals how modern TMS platforms have revolutionized content automation: 

  • Detection of New Content: Phrase can automatically identify new or updated content within a connected system, such as a CMS, that is due for translation. 
  • Real-time or Scheduled Hand-offs/Batching: Decision-makers can configure Phrase to either instantly hand off content to translators or schedule it in batches, depending on project requirements and workflows. 
  • Linked Translation Workflows: Content can be channeled into tailored workflows depending on its type – UI, blog posts, or product descriptions – ensuring the right translation process for the right content and/or language. 
  • Automatic Quoting: Phrase can generate immediate cost estimates for translation projects, which helps with budgeting and planning. 
  • Real-time Analytics/Progress Reporting: Live updates and analytics enable project managers to monitor progress and address bottlenecks promptly. 


Pros and Cons of Modern Content Routing Automation 

The shift towards automated content routing has numerous advantages. It minimizes manual intervention, reducing the likelihood of human error. It also accelerates time-to-market and improves scalability as businesses grow and their translation needs become more complex. Moreover, it offers greater transparency and tractability, since all actions are logged, and content status can be tracked in real time. 

However, automation isn't without its challenges. Initial setup and integration of such systems can be complex and may require a skilled workforce. There might also be a learning curve for teams to adjust to the new workflows, and the over-reliance on technology could lead to a new set of issues if those systems fail. 

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Nonetheless, the benefits of content routing automation in translation and localization far outweigh the drawbacks. As we continue to move toward a future where global communication is pivotal, these technologies play a crucial role in bridging language gaps efficiently and effectively. With the continued refinement of technologies and tools, such as Phrase, we can expect this trend to not only persist but thrive in the years to come.

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