E-Marketing in Minneapolis David Vinge, eMarketing Dashboard: Intranet Translation Statistics

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Intranet Translation Statistics

Based on the 2007 Global Intranet Strategies Survey by NetStrategy/JMC

The second annual Global Intranet Strategies Survey conducted from June through August 2007 revealed some starting facts about the true state of globalization behind the firewall. 78 organizations around the world participated, representing 45% headquartered in Europe, 43% in North America, 10% in Asia-Pacific and 2% in other parts of the world. Over half have more than 15,000 employees, including 8% with 50 to 100,000 employees and 13% with over 100,000 employees.

Single language is prevalent, translation is rudimentary
The study shows that although two thirds of the participating companies are present in many countries, they tend to have a single corporate language. Approximately 3 out of 5 say they are primarily a “single-language” organization and have “single-language” intranet.

Those who do deal in multi-language contexts struggle with translation issues. The translation process is largely a manual one, with few that using technologies such as integration of the translation process into the CMS or translation memory software solutions. The percentages below show the proportion of companies saying the tool or process either exists throughout or in some parts of their organization (figures based on the 72 out of 178 companies who translate intranet content):

Multi-lingual glossaries – 38%
Machine translation – 19%
Translation memory software - 10%
Integration of translation into the Content management system – 11%
Definition of a clear process among the people involved in translations – 31%

35% of the companies in the survey population have a globalization strategy, which was defined as “defining systems, procedures based on the whole organization, such as global teams, standardizing intranet-related processes across the organization, sharing resources across the organization.”

28% say they practice internationalization, defined as “creating models for templates, guidelines, content that can easily be adapted to local needs without needing to revise the model, such as menu structures, customization, navigation, meta data.”

Only 24% have localization strategies, defined as “procedures for adapting internationalized models to meet local needs, such as specific navigation, template adaptations, content strategies, language, etc.”

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