The central data hub of VDMA publishing house - The translation management

17.05.2016 Carsten Müller

Contents can be maintained in 10 different languages in Tango (German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Polish, Russian and simplified Chinese). Due to the geographic location of VDMA and the fact, that contents are mostly maintained and imported in German, the primary language in Tango is German.

There are several ways to translate contents into one or more languages in Tango:

first option for translation is to go to the German version of a content, or to create it. Here you can click on the button/link . An overview of the available languages will follow with an indication stating if a content has already been translated into this language. If you click on a language into which the content has not yet been translated, a form for this content will be displayed and the boxes are pre-filled with the German contents. The user can then translate the contents in the individual boxes and subsequently save the form. With this, the content is saved in the relevant language. If a language is selected in the overview for which a translation is already available, the form will be displayed with the respective translation. This way the content can be edited in the corresponding language. Additionally, in the overview as well as during editing there is a display of the language abbreviations in which this content has already been translated. If you click on an abbreviation a display will open up in the respective language. This way, aside from contents like news, products, services, etc., individual categories from the nomenclature of a professional association can be translated as well.

In addition there is a specific translation management for an individual professional association. With this translation management it is possible to implement a particular process for the translation of company data. Describing the whole translation management here would go beyond the scope of this text. Roughly said, there is coordinator that controls the process of the translations. It starts the process for all or individual companies of an association. With the beginning of a new translation process the company gets versioned in the system, the new version gets revised while the old version stays online until the new version is completed. Initially the relevant company will have to revise and update the German company profile, since this will be the starting point for the translations. Once this revision is completed, the translations will get started. For this purpose specific translators can register in Tango backend and carry out the translation of the respective company data. This way it is also indicated how extensive the changes from the previous to the current version are. Upon completion of all translations for the company, the translation process for this company is finished and the new version will be published.

There is also a third option to translate contents. The ITS 2.0 standard was developed in the course of a cooperation of the MultilingualWeb Initiative with the W3C and the European Union, which makes the preparation of translations even better and easier. Here, the Tango project served as a practical example for the integration in Drupal. With the help of this implementation it is possible to head for an external translation service and to transmit the contents to be translated to them. They will get translated by the translation service and transmitted back. Here you can go for both manual translations as well as machine-based translation services. A combination of both is also possible.

First translation option preferred

Each professional association can choose which of the translation processes mentioned above they would like to use. Most associations use the first version which allows for a quick and straightforward operation in self production. Because of the complex terminology of the contents specific translators who are familiar with the technical vocabulary are often needed. For this requirement the second option is particularly useful.