Product Design and Collaboration in Multiple Languages

Manufacturers are going global these days. Nobody is surprised to have design, manufacturing and support are going across the globe. However, when it comes to collaboration of people working on multiple continents, it can get very complicated. I read an article – RSS Feed Translation for Bloggers and Social Networking firms. It made me think about a possible role of standards protocols like RSS and translation capabilities to provide a multilingual support in PLM and other enterprise systems.

Information Distribution

Product development system can separate information into multiple channels depending on the need. The major differentiation can be between systems that need to operate in a real time (i.e. designers are working together on the same issue) and asynchronous systems. In my view, the second group is much bigger than we are expecting. Most of the cross-continent communication is going asynchronously anyway because of natural time difference. Asynchronous information cane delivered with involvement of mechanisms similar to RSS that will make translation services easy to implement.

On-demand Translation Service

The first time I’ve been thinking about such a translation service was a year ago when I experimented with Google Wave translations. Take a look on the demo of translation work presented by Google Wave.


So, there is a potential of the translation robot that can do work on-demand. However, the idea of YYZ Translation is interesting since it assumes mixed translation models with partial people involvement.

What is my conclusion? Mutli-language is a big problem. In my view, global companies are spending money to make it work. It is probably a time to make translation more natural and allow to people to consume information in the language, they can do it the best. I’d be interested to learn more how your company working in a multilingual product development and manufacturing environment. Don’t tell me everybody speaks English, please :).

Best, Oleg


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