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May 12, 2017

Event Report

Content Supply Chain – Latest Technology for Technical Writers and Translators

Ildikó Feher

49 people (30 of them tekom members) came to the Austrian Chamber of Commerce in Vienna to join a cross-border conference organized by tekom Österreich, tekom Magyarország, AATC and Proford on May 12, 2017.

Welcome Session

The program was kicked off by the representatives of the four organizing parties, tekom Österreich, tekom Magyarország, Proford, the Hungarian Association of Professional Language Service Providers, and AATC, the Austrian Association of Translation Companies.

Lost in Localization? – Language Technology for Technical Writers and Translators

Martina Fischer (GORNIK Translators for Industry) presented about translation topics from a practical perspective relying on their extensive knowledge in translation-friendly technical writing, terminology management and localization of graphical user interfaces. Her examples were based on real problems faced during translating real technical documents.

Preparing Single-Source-Publishing Projects for Localization

Meinrad Reiterer (MEINRAD.CC Communication Consulting) started out his presentation with the main concepts of single-source writing and publishing, like single sourcing, localization, internationalization, globalization. After definitions, we jumped into benefits, challenges, process views, and useful tips and tricks.

Two important take-aways from Meinrad's presentation were:

  • Always coordinate with your language service provider (LSP)! It was an important message Meinrad emphasized and we should really all take the good advice.
  • You can use MadCap Capture, which offers easy screen capturing and image editing, for incorporating images into textual content, re-cropping, re-capturing, adding and managing captions and other things. Also, you can enter call-outs and import them to a CAT tool and work with the textual content of image files.

Standardize and Connect – Boosting interoperability, automation and innovation with industry APIs

The main theme of Klaus Fleischmann’s (Kaleidoscope) presentation was how collaboration and interoperability can be supported and boosted with APIs.

Systems and tools within the translation/localization industry work with different file formats and interfaces. Connecting and harmonizing these proprietary formats, interfaces and APIs tie up increasing resources in maintaining complex systems. Klaus shared information about initiatives like COTI (Common Translation Interface) and TAPPIC (Translation API Class and Cases) that aim at harmonizing translation/localization ecosystems. The presentation focused on the status of TAPPIC and Klaus invited all participants to join them as it is an ongoing collaborative community effort open to anyone who wants to get involved.

Using memoQ for Linguistic Source Text Control

In his presentation, Meinrad Reiterer shared some useful hacks for controlling terminology and quality in your source texts and to save translation cost.

Meinrad's presentation showed some very useful and practical hints on using memoQ for source language control, pseudo translation for checking filter setting and reviews with two languages. He showcased these CAT tool hacks through demos.

Dynamic Content Delivery

Péter Ács (DTC Enterprise) discussed dynamic content delivery in his presentation. Why we need it, why and how it can help to solve publishing and other tech doc issues, how to build dynamism and what the foundation is for our future. Participants received information about the main characteristics: of dynamic publishing and could look at the main features & functionalities of a dynamic delivery system through a quick demo. In the closing part of his presentation, Péter talked about some future potentials of technical documentation. For example, how IoT-based content can change our lives or how predictive content & support can revolutionize content development and information usage.

Controlling Technology Along the Language Supply Chain

The panel consisted of Trisha Kovacic-Young, Martina Fischer, Meinrad Reiterer and Klaus Fleischmann, the discussion was moderated by Franz Steiner. Audience members could come up with topic suggestions for the discussion. The following list was compiled:

  • future trends in technical communication
  • cloud & technical writing
  • how machine learning can change technical writing

A couple of future trends mentioned were (1) consumers taking quality decisions whether to go for free, utility type of lower quality content for instant use or prestigious, boutique services and translation content (2) using actual content for marketing purposes. Also, the issue of data security and the rise of Chinese and exotic languages as a potential trend were brought up.

The discussion then jumped to how technical writing/translation can be made 'sexy & attractive' to young people. This initiated a lively discussion with many participants sharing their views and experience about the topic. Some were a bit skeptical about cooperation and improvement initiatives with the academia, but others were more optimistic saying that as the university world is getting more and more competitive, it will be in their own interest to provide practical knowledge close to what industries look for and cooperation between technology and linguistics will develop.

The next discussion topic was cloud & technical writing emphasizing the collaboration aspect and pulling content together from different sources. With agile SW development methodology getting more and more widespread, cloud technology becomes an integral part of technical communication.

The last topic of the panel discussion was machine learning. One opinion was that maybe we should not let society get as far as assuming that artificial intelligence/machines can replace humans. Machine learning can help in distilling information and making predictions based on previous patterns.

Happy hour

The day ended with drinks and a lively discussion among presenters and members of the audience. The Happy Hour was sponsored by AATC, participants could enjoy beer, wine and soft drinks while rounding up the day's program.


A heartfelt THANK YOU to all speakers, sponsors and participants!

Ildikó Fehér, tekom Magyarország