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Meeting Recap: Developing Documentation for Global Users
2013, Q4 (December 19, 2013)
by Ralph Besser, Carolina Chapter Volunteer

Meeting Recap
Tom Knupp, manager of CIM Information and Engineering and Globalization at Teradata, spoke about developing documentation for global users at the September chapter meeting. He stressed the collaborative nature of developing software for non-English speaking users.
He began by defining some terms. “Internationalization” refers to the software coding; “localization” refers to the translation of the user interface and documentation. Together, internationalization plus localization equals “globalization.”

Developing a globalization strategy requires the collaboration of both internal and external partnerships. The internal partners include product managers, who decide where to sell the software; engineers (both in the U.S. and local field engineers), testers, and information designers. The external partners include the local service providers who perform the translation of the user interface and documentation.

Flags of the world map
Together, internationalization plus localization equals “globalization.”

Using DITA and XML for globalization reduces desktop publishing costs and increases efficiency by allowing the reuse of text for various outputs. In addition, Teradata has developed an in-house localization tool set to increase their efficiency. The tool set includes a translation repository in XML, a translation migrator, and an automatic translator. The tool set enables the globalization team to reuse already translated terms and to isolate the updates that require translation for each release.

Ralph can be reached at ralphabesser at gmail dot com. End of article.

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