Handling High Volume Translations in the Age of Automation and Cloud

By Renata Sternfeld
Mar 6, 2017 · 4 min
Handling High Volume Translations in the Age of Automation and Cloud | One Hour Translation

In the global reach of the internet and the juxtaposition of global commerce and language, even a relatively small translation project of 2,000 words can become complex when you need to translate it into 35 languages.

What if you operate a company that does international business like a travel company, online booking or technology company like Oracle.com? You need millions of words translated into dozens of languages, and you need it fast. You also need it on a daily basis, continuously.


In short, here is the challenge:

  • High volume text needs to be translated every day
  • Tight deadlines in different hours of the day and night
  • Complex files handling in different languages and different expertise levels

Distant Past

How was it done in the old days of the internet? Mind you, e-commerce started in the beginning of 1990. 27 years ago can sound like ancient history in today’s fast moving world.

In the past, many agencies tried to tackle the problem by employing many translators working at the same time, across time zones, segmenting the files and giving them to local translation agencies. Everything was done via email or even worst - snail mail.

At the same time, as the internet became faster, customers’ habits begun to change. They became used to getting answers fast. Shorter turn arounds became the norm. Companies were struggling to keep up with the demand and automation was needed to keep track of all this. It became too cumbersome, complicated, and time-consuming to do it manually.

Recent Past

And as always when there’s a need, there’s a way. BMP (Business Process Management) a systematic approach to making an organization's workflow more effective, more efficient and more capable of adapting to changing environment, was adapted to translations. Part of the process became automated and local servers, such as WorldServer, were used to speed the process up.

The workflow became more manageable, but the speed of the translations still left a lot to be desired.


Then came cloud technology and the API.

Cloud technology enables access to translation and editing platforms, and customer’s resources from anywhere, without being tied to a physical device. It saves money not only by offering backup and storage but mainly because it allows translators to work in multiple parallel workstations, for example from their home office. It allows sharing joint Translation Memory resources and to communicate in real-time about the project with the other team members.

Since there’s access to different programs, why not have them talk to each other? Application Program Interface, API, is a “pipe” through which a customer can send and receive source file and translated files. This way, content can be translated dynamically. Cloud editing and API combined are a “power couple” that speeds up the translation workflows.

The age of One Hour Translation

If you have a large volume of material in a Content Management System (CMS) that needs to be translated in real time, One Hour Translation’s API is designed to do just that. Scaling with the needs of the company, it integrates seamlessly into your CMS. All that is done on the cloud.

When new material is posted, it is translated automatically, without any further investment or staff training necessary. The final translated files are posted directly back to the clients CMS.

How is it done? 100% of the process is automated, starting with an API request once content is published on the customer side, then thousands of projects start at once. Thousands of translators are working on the cloud on XLIFFs files, collaborating.

Creating and using Translation Memory is another way of shortening the translation time and cutting costs. It means re-using previously translated common phrases and sentences instead of translating them over and over again. It involves creating and maintaining a database of previously translated sentences, such as ‘Terms & Conditions’ or ‘Privacy Policy’ for example. Translation memory databases reduce costs because the translators can concentrate on the more challenging language that machine translation cannot handle.

Which challenges are solved?

  • High volume - The One Hour Translation API is designed for high-capacity clients. Aside from the most cutting-edge and most stable technological in the translation industry, there are over 15,000 certified translation experts standing on the other side of the curtain as well. There is no upper limit on the amount of text the API can process – and no lower limit, either.
  • It’s fast -  Once your CMS is integrated into the Human Translation API, there is no additional steps needed. There is no need to log into anything, no need to upload or prep files. Certified translation professionals get to work, and the translated material is loaded back into the CMS.

It’s easy and cost effective – Once the API is integrated into the client’s CMS, there’s nothing the client needs to do. Since the client’s workflow remains unchanged, there is no further investment in extra staff or extra resources. Everything proceeds as it always has. The translation work happens the way it’s supposed to – magically and behind the scenes.

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