Localisation Audit

Visit DIT

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is responsible for promoting British trade across the world and ensuring the UK takes advantage of the huge opportunities open to it. As part of its programme, DIT has developed and continues to update the website, aimed at overseas investors into the UK and overseas buyers of UK goods and services. This website needs to be localised into a number of languages to better attract and appeal to their target audiences. We carried out a full audit of the Department’s localisation workflow, looking at their current translation and localisation workflow, inc. technology, across Digital & Marketing, providing strategic direction.

Over the last few months we’ve been localising our content so it meets the needs of overseas buyers and investors. We’ve been on a journey and wanted a leading industry expert to review where we’ve been and what we’ve found. Russ was invaluable, thoroughly auditing our approach and making a set of very logical recommendations. We’re now implementing those and already are seeing the benefit of Russ’ industry insight.
Mark Hazelby
Head of Content, Department for International Trade

DIT had already started localising the content on the above websites, but came up against a number of issues and challenges as they progressed, which related to:

  • Briefing processes
  • Quality of translations
  • Translation Memories
  • Version Controls
  • Management of workflow, resources and costs

After their Head of Content had taken part in a training session on the management of a localisation project, facilitated by Audere’s Founder, Russell Goldsmith, we were invited to carry out a full audit of DIT’s localisation workflow.
The project involved a number of phases:

  1. Interviews with internal stakeholders
    We spoke with 16 people across the department with roles that included Digital Content Lead, Project Manager, Content Design, WebObs, Senior International Marketing Manager, Brand Manager, Delivery Manager, Solutions Architect, Digital Engagement Manager and Software Engineering Consultant. This shows the breadth of people involved in delivering content for the website.
  1. Review of website
    Looking at the current state of translated content on the sites and analysis of the user journey and expectations of how translated content should be presented.
  1. Review of current Localisation Workflow
    As translation is not restricted to the websites for DIT, we also took time to speak with the Marketing teams, including Social Media, to look closely at the current processes being used to source and deliver the translated files/documents.
  1. Review of current Language Service Providers
    There were a number of approved LSPs being used across the department and so, where possible, we spoke with them to get a better understanding of how they had been briefed, as well as looked at the output they had delivered.
  1. Review of Translation Management Systems
    It was very apparent that one of the options for DIT was to bring a Translation Management System (TMS) in-house so that the team could have more control over the whole localisation process, whilst having a central hub for file handling and version control, storing translation memories and glossaries, as well as keeping track of timings and costs.  We took time to investigate a number of potential suppliers that could integrate with the development environment used by DIT.
  1. Machine Translation requirements
    Given a core part of DIT’s websites is User Generated Content, where UK Suppliers can upload information about their company and add a case study of their work, a key element of the audit was looking into how best to deliver this aspect of the websites.  As this could involve localising what might potentially add up to 100s of 1000s of words in total, a machine translation option that could be easily integrated into the TMS, perhaps with post-editing, had to be considered.
  2. Recommendations
    Finally, a 45 page, 7000 word, Audit document was delivered including recommendations for how to progress.
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