New Project to Standardize Translation Project Management and File Handling
One of the consistent challenges we face as an industry is in reducing the manual overhead associated with translation tasks. Currently we deal with multiple ways of sending and receiving files and communication: email, FTP, DropBox or other cloud services, phone calls, etc. A significant portion of the effort incurred by LSPs is spent in file handling, format conversions, clarification of intent and instructions with clients, checking for project completeness, etc. All of these things add up to significant cost (some estimates put these tasks at almost 50% of the cost of translation to the end buyer). One area where the GALA Standards Initiative is already active is in a new project intended to address these issues. The Language Interoperability Portfolio (Linport) project is a new proposal to define a standard format for representing and packaging translation projects and transmitting them through the entire production chain with full project metadata. The Linport project represents a merger of the Container Project and a European Commission project called Multilingual Electronic Dossier (MED). Both of these projects had very similar goals and the decision was made to merge our efforts. Our hope is that the Linport project will result in a unified format for sending and receiving translation and localization jobs that will simplify the process for all involved. We anticipate that as the specification develops we will also see the creation of model business resources (e.g., RFPs) that match the requirements of a Linport portfolio so that the business and technical processes of the industry will be in greater alignment. By doing so we will see reductions in the manual overhead associated with both business and technical processes in our industry, delivering benefits for all involved. An initial public draft of Linport is now under preparation by GALA, representatives of the European Union Directorate General for Translation, the Brigham Young University Translation Research Group (BYU TRG), and LTAC Global. This draft will unify the structure of the two projects into a unified format. As soon as this internal discussion is complete, the project will be opened to the public for feedback and discussion on an open mailing list. This working method will allow anyone to get involved with the project and contribute to it at no fee. When the project delivers a stable specification in this open forum it will then submit this specification for further development and ratification in a recognized standards-development body. In addition, we have scheduled two face-to-face meetings to work on this project. The first Linport Symposium will be held in Luxembourg on September 27. This one-day meeting, hosted by the European Commission, will be open to all interested parties and will focus on technical discussion about the project. The second meeting, a half-day working session on October 10 held in conjunction with Localization World, will also be open to interested parties and will build upon the results of the September meeting to develop the Linport specification further. More details about the venues and logistics will be available soon. To sign up as part of the Linport working group, we invite you to visit http://box456.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/linportmail_linport.org. By signing up for the Linport list you will be kept advised of all discussion and will be able to participate in the development of this important new format. More information about the project will be posted at linport.org as the project progresses, as well as on the GALA Standards Initiative website (http://www.gala-global.org/standards).