Another Day Another Webinar…

Every time I say I’m too busy to sit through yet another Webinar, I get a few more emails promoting Webinars that just might be worth sitting through.

Here are two that caught my eye — and might be worth an hour of your time…

Interwoven, Hilton International, and Translations.com to Host Webcast on Improving Customer Experience Worldwide through the Delivery of Personalized, Localized Content
Okay, so it looks like Interwoven installed the software, Translations.com did what their name says they do, and somehow Hilton Intl. got roped into doing a Webinar about it all. Actually, I do love a good case study and the hotel industry has been very agressive lately about Web globalization. I sat in on an SDL/Best Western case study awhile back and learned a good deal. Hotels have major content management challenges — from decentralized content creation, often-chaotic franchise/corporate business structures, and complex transactional and search challenges. According to the email:

    Hilton International operates over 400 hotels across Europe and Asia including 260 Hilton-branded hotels as well as an additional 140 Scandic properties. In 2002, Hilton International outlined an aggressive strategy to build a series of highly-personalized and localized Web sites for its largest markets including the UK, Germany, and Japan. As part of this initiative, local language Web sites were also to be developed for the Hilton-owned Scandic brand hotels across the key Scandinavian countries and Finland. The company was faced with a number of challenges in implementing this new strategy. The project required the translation and editing of more than 4.5 million words of content and over 25,000 individual content files.

(UPDATE: I gotta keep up on my email. This one happend two days ago. But you can still catch the recording…)
(UPDATE, Part 2: Okay, I just listened to the Hilton call. The sound quality was horrible and the intros took forever, but there was some good meat to it. For instance, Hilton had estimated that it would take three years to pay back their Web globalization investment and found that they hit payback in 1.5 years. Translations.com says that the translation memory database is so built up now that they leverage a whopping 70% against new translation; what this means is that only 30% of new content needs to be translated by humans. )

And here’s another Webinar that might squeeze another hour out of my day…

Using XML for Product Information Publishing – The Road to Success at Siemens Medical Solutions
This Webinar is put together by Astoria, SDL, and Frank Gilbane, publisher of The Gilbane Report. The medical device community has been grappling with major content management and translation issues for years now — and the EU keeps increasing the number of languages they have to support just to do business there.

This call looks interesting because it promises to shed light on a real-world DITA application. According to the email, you’ll “learn how an effective information architecture can help you reach global markets faster and easier. And from Tanner AG, the information architects, learn how Siemens Medical went from strategy to solution implementation to publish its 2,200 product operation and maintenance documents in over 22 languages.”

Spanish Harry Potter Coming Soon

The Spanish-language edition of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is due out next week. Now this begs the question: Which Spanish is it being translated into? According to the press release:

    As with the five preceding Potter books, the Spanish-language publisher,
    Ediciones Salamandra, will publish three different versions of the same
    translation, which reflect the idiomatic differences of the Spanish language
    in Spain, Argentina, and the rest of Latin America. The total print run is
    expected to exceed one million copies. The popularity of the series is
    universal. More than 300 million copies of Harry Potter books in 63 languages
    have been sold worldwide.

I have two great articles on the challenges (and business) of translating Harry Potter. Both are free and located here in PDF form:

Translations.com Acquires Ex-Transware Team

Milen Epik, former VP of Global Services at Transware, has joined Translations.com as part of a newly named division: Epik Global Solutions. Epik Global Solutions is based in Boulder and consists of 15 people; all, I believe, are former Transware people.

It looks like Translations.com made a smart move with this acquisition. It gets some very skilled talent and a close-knit group of people. Keeping this group separate from Translations.com, in name at least, is interesting. Translations.com and sister company TransPerfect have been smart about creating very targeted divisions aimed at verticals and services. This new group could be positioned as a sort of high-level consulting group within the company, free to engage clients across verticals.