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The Advantages of Single Sourcing for Technical Translations

The use of single sourcing can be beneficial for the management and use of technical documentation. With single-source authoring, a writer can re-use the same content in different materials, and it can be used in a broad range of different formats.

To put it simply, it is a process that allows you to write the content once, and then use it as much as it is needed. As an example, a company might have a range of products that are in the same line. Much of the necessary information for the different products is going to be the same, but there are also some differences. Single sourcing would allow you to keep a database of all of the content that is the same and then use it across all of the manuals.

While single sourcing is great for the re-use of content, it also has its advantages for the translation of technical documents to foreign languages. Below are some of the advantages that come with using single-source software for technical translation services.

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Less Repetition

This is one of the core principles behind single-source authoring, and it lends the same benefit to technical translations.

In sticking with the analogy of instruction manuals, instead of having to get each manual translated individually, you would get the single source content translated. This could save you the money and time on having to get the same text translated repeatedly in each manual. You could then apply the same translation to each guide.

Improved Consistency

With technical documents, you want to maintain consistency in the text. When you re-use content through single-source, it makes this much easier to achieve. If you have a range of materials that all require the same information, you can simply write and translate the content once, and it can be shared across different documents. This helps to ensure a more consistent use of terms across different materials, and it also helps in upholding tone and style.

Centralized Control of Content

Single-source authoring can help to maintain standards in publishing. When all of your translations are based on the same single-source content, you can easily arrange and publish content in different languages while being confident in the finished product.

You already know that the different translations work for the intended purpose, so you do not need to worry about getting new ones. Instead, the current translations can be used across a broad range of applications.

Format Options

One of the other key benefits to single-source authoring is that you can easily publish in a range of different formats. Instead of having to rewrite or convert the content for different formats, you can quickly publish across formats like HTML5, PDF, MS Word and more. You can do this with the content in the original language, and it can also be applied to translations into other languages.

Cut Publishing Costs

With some single-source environments, the software can be used to standardize features like page layout, font size and logo placement across a broad range of different materials. By having standardized rules for style and layout, it makes publishing in multiple languages much easier and much more cost-effective. It also presents a more cohesive brand image for your business.

When it comes to technical translations, single sourcing can reduce the costs, improve the end result, and cut the time it takes to get materials ready for a move into a foreign market. You do have several single-source authoring solutions that are available in the form of professional translation agencies, so it is important to compare the options if you want to find the best fit for your content management needs.

*This is a guest blog post

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