What is Linport?
The Language Interoperability Portfolio (Linport) project 1 aims to develop a complementary pair of vendor-neutral, standards-based formats. One format describes an entire authoring, translation/localization, or publication project involving one or more languages. Each such description is called a portfolio. The other format describes one particular bilingual task within a translation/localization project. Each such description is called a package. A portfolio can be split into packages. When the tasks associated with the packages have been performed, the resulting packages can be re-combined into a portfolio. Linport will increase efficiency, tool interoperability, and data integrity.
The Linport project distinguishes between container and payload. A portfolio or a package consists of a container and various payload elements. Obvious payload elements of a translation project are the source and target texts, along with various resources such as translation memories, terminology databases, and styleguides. The container includes metadata about the project/task, such as structured translation project specifications. Linport has adopted the structured translation specification (STS) framework in ISO/TS 11669 (published May 2012). Likewise, Linport builds on existing standards, such as XLIFF, TMX, and TBX, for payload elements.
As one of the core deliverables of the GALA Standards Initiative, we believe that Linport is an important development for the localization industry. GALA funding has enabled Linport development to move forward and helped to ensure that the founding organizations (GALA, the European Commission Directorate General for Translation, and the Brigham Young University Translation Research Group) have a framework for collaboration. The Linport project is also engaging with other related efforts to ensure consistency and lack of competition.
Linport is closely related to the Interoperability Now! project (http://www.interoperability-now.org). TIPP, a package format from Interoperability Now! is currently being coordinated with the Linport portfolio format. When the Linport community feels the time is right, a Linport project will be started within the OASIS standards organization. This will be significant for the language services community since adoption as an OASIS standard would lead to adoption by clients. (GALA is an OASIS member through the GALA Standards Initiative).
By some estimates, 2 3 well over half of the costs in a typical translation project are spent on tasks other than translation: handing files, communicating, converting formats, resolving questions, etc. Linport is aimed at addressing these costs. Linport is defining a standard way to send and receive translation jobs throughout the supply chain, combined with detailed metadata about projects.
When implemented by tools providers, the Linport format will simplify the process of sending and receiving translation projects by eliminating much of the current diversity of methods—email, FTP, custom portals, etc.—that are currently in use. This level of technical interoperability will help reduce much of the friction we see in the industry when different parties use different tools and have to deal with converting formats or loading files manually.
At the same time as it addresses technical interoperability, it will also address business process interoperability, a topic scarcely touched upon in our industry until now. The use of project metadata (derived from the recently published ISO/TS 11669) will ensure that implementers and users will know how to deal with projects. For example, to complete a Linport instance (either a portfolio or a package), a user would either need to point to a profile for service or specify the values of all relevant project parameters prior to translation. These parameters define things like the subject field (domain) for the project, the intended audience, stylistic requirements, degree of localization, terminology, tasks to be performed by whom, communication channels should questions arise, deliverables, due dates, and compensation. By specifying this information in a Linport package, in a consistently structured format, requesters and suppliers can eliminate much of the uncertainty inherent in the translation process that can result in delays, confusion, and lower quality.
How Can I Get Involved?
Linport is an open project. Any individual or company is welcome to participate in development of the Linport formats. To get involved, we invite you to visit the Linport technical site at www.linport.org. We also welcome your financial contribution to the GALA Standards Initiative, which will help ensure that GALA can continue to support development of the Linport project.
 The Linport project is hosted by LTAC Global, a non-profit corporation.
Founding organizations: Brigham Young University Translation Research Group (TRG) ; Directorate-General for Translation of the European Commission (DGT) ; The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA)
Partner initiative: Interoperabilty Now!
Sponsoring organizations: Multiling
Supporting organizations: Lingotek; Multicorpora; Terminotix; XTM International
 Reinhard Schäler of the University of Limerick’s Localization Research Centre (LRC) has estimated that non-translation tasks account for approximately half the cost of “translation” in a typical commercial project and that only about 30% of the price goes to translators. (The remaining 20% is profit for the LSP.) Anecdotal evidence at the First Linport Symposium supports these general figures.
 Smith Yewell recently reported that individual translators spend approximately 30% of their time on non-translation tasks such as importing and exporting files, learning to use various translation tools, and managing communication.
Making Standards Work for the Localization Industry
The GALA Standards Initiative is a non-profit effort organized by the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA). Information contained in these pages is subject to periodic update. Questions and comments may be sent to .