Localization and a Pixar Movie

Translation of VideoLocalization, like a Pixar movie, is both Art and Science, fused together by People, Process and Technology.
-Nabil Freij, President of GlobalVision International Inc.

Unlike traditional animated movie makers, Pixar entered the business by depending on the use of the latest technologies in computers graphics, animation, simulation and rendering.

They invested heavily in these technologies to address many of the issues that were too expensive or too time consuming to address with hand-drawn animation techniques. They perfected the use of computers in the process and even built specialized software and customized hardware to help them achieve their goals. They influenced the entire movie making industry with their creative processes and technology.

But as we all know, technology alone is not enough to produce successful movies. Pixar had to enlist the help of talented authors, actors and artists to create appealing scripts and bring the characters to life.

Similarly in localization, we rely on a mixture of both art and science. Translation Memory tools and Translation Management Systems (TMS) are the foundation of the science used to facilitate the process, workflow, communication and collaboration aspects of your projects.

But no matter how sophisticated the science may become, people still need to be involved with many of the tasks and project issues. Even now, translation continues to be an Art in this regard. So localization, like a Pixar movie, is both Art and science fused together by process, people and technology.

Almost a decade ago, at the Society of Technical Communication’s 46th Annual conference, a paper was presented about Managing Large Localization Projects with Virtual Teams around the globe.

The authors started their presentation with the statement: “The challenge in managing large localization projects into multiple languages is to develop excellent project management processes…” Well, processes are made up of sets of tasks that take place in a workflow. The more these tasks are automated and streamlined the faster and more efficient they will become.

Then, they went on to say: “…while communicating effectively with virtual teams around the world.” This is particularly true with localization projects since we are dealing with in-country specialists living all over the world having different languages, cultures and time-zones. We need to communicate and collaborate with them more effectively than we have done in the past to reduce mistakes and unnecessary delays in projects.

They then continued on to say: “It is also keeping focus on the customer’s requirements in terms of quality, time, and cost.” As you know, your clients demand from you on a regular basis that you do your work better, faster, and cheaper. And you in turn ask that of your localization team as well.

With TMS, we can help automate the process, improve communication and collaboration, and facilitate the required tasks for all stakeholders. This will ultimately lead to reduced costs, faster deliveries and improved overall quality.

Today, nearly a decade later, these statements still ring true. We have TMS developed with Web 2.0 technologies specifically to address and minimize these challenges. Even so; TMS in itself is not a silver bullet, Art is still required.

Localization is not a simple push button procedure. TMS should be customizable to facilitate your workflow and tasks. Don’t rely on it to dictate your process or restrict your workflow. Pixar built its technology and processes based on input from animators and directors, not the other way around.

TMS facilitates online communication, collaboration and access to information. Moreover, it can provide transparency to the process and remove the black-box persona. But, it does not replace decision making and due diligence. Pixar relied on the strength of their project managers to deliver quality movies consistently. In the same way, even though you may use TMS to assist your localization projects, they will nevertheless continue to depend on good project management to meet client requirements.

Finally, TMS should not shrink costs and schedules by sacrificing quality! It is not Machine Translation, and will never replace quality people, experience and excellence in service. Without excellent authors, actors and artists using and pushing its technology, Pixar could not have guaranteed hit after hit, year after year.

When it comes to producing localized products or animated movies, it takes a strong team in both the art and science departments to seamlessly produce a masterpiece. Don’t short-circuit the process by relying on obsolete methods or technologies. Consider TMS and how it can help you succeed. Read the related blogs and articles or visit our site to learn more.

For information on translating video, audio, flash, multimedia, e-learning and other electronic media formats, visit: https://globalvis.com/services/voice-and-video-translation-services/

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