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Term of the Week: Leverage

What is it?

Leverage means re-using (parts of) a given text, both in content creation and content localization.

Why is it important?

The main goal for all localized content should be to achieve the highest quality, in the shortest time, at the lowest cost. Leverage can help make content more consistent. This increases the quality and makes localization efforts more cost-efficient.

Why does a technical communicator need to know this?

Leverage allows us to produce more consistent, higher quality content, while at the same time working faster and saving costs.

Segmenting the text as granularly as possible increases the opportunities for reuse. Usually, localization specialists keep track of the text segments in a Translation Memory (TM), and match it with a target language. When translators use a Computer Aided Translation (CAT) tool, it enables them to store the TM and make sure they only translate a particular text segment once. When they find a similar – but not identical – text segment, the tool flags it as a fuzzy match and displays it in the CAT tool so the translator can evaluate the match.

On the content development side, the term leverage is often referred to as reuse, which means that the same or similar content is used in multiple places in the source content. This type of leverage also improves consistency in the source, as well as the target.

The benefit of leverage is seen in consistent translations and a decrease in cost for similar text. Often, the client views leverage as positive (we can save money), while the localization vendor views it as negative (I am getting paid for only a fraction of the work I do).

All stakeholders in the localization industry should embrace leverage: content developers, translators, localization project managers (vendor- and client-side), localization managers, and quality assurance specialists[Ray 2015][Batova 2015].


About Patricia Doest

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Patricia Doest is a global content expert with over 10 years' experience in the localization industry, both on the vendor and the buyer sides. As Manager of the Globalization department at Spil Games, she successfully set up a global content strategy, created visibility for localization, and transformed the department from an operational bottleneck into a well-oiled machine. Her mission is to break down barriers between buyers of language services and localization service providers (LSPs) by educating both sides in how to set common key performance indicators (KPIs) and communicate in a transparent way.

Term: Leverage