Our readers are familiar withlanguage afterthought syndrome, a term we coined in our report onMultilingual Product Content: Transforming Traditional Practices Into Global Content Value Chains.
Language afterhought syndrome refers tothat pattern of treating language requirements as secondary considerations within content strategies and solutions. Global companes leak money and opportunity by failing to address language issues as integral to end-to-end solutions rather than ancillary post-processes. Examplesabound. Source and translated content that should be reusable, but isn’t. Retrofitting content to meet regulatory requirments in different regions.Lost revenue because product andmarketing content isn’t ready at launch time. Desktop publishing costs that are incurred soley dueto reformatting in multiple languages. The list goes on and on.
One of the most effective defenses against language afterthought syndrome isbaking language requirements into the technology acquisition process, thereby embedding support intothe infrastructure as it’s designed, developed, and built out.OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) recognized this opportunity when it embarked on an ambitious transformation of its web content globalization practices. Debra Lewis, web content manager at OCLC, and our friend Andrew Lawless, principal at Dig-IT Consulting, shared their experiences in a terrific sessionat Gilbane Boson 2010 entitled “Next Thing YouKnow — You’reGlobal!”