An index finger points to a computer screen set against the backdrop of an abstract map. The photo suggests the global nature e-commerce and represents the need for translators to be matched to retail translation jobs quickly.

The E-Commerce Disruption Series: How Lionbridge Uses Applied AI To Select The Perfect Translator

Lionbridge's innovative technology solution instantaneously evaluates translators and assigns work to a qualified translator in minutes

This is the seventh piece in the Lionbridge E-commerce Disruption Series, which explores changes in the e-commerce space as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the first article here.

Multilingual translation is becoming increasingly important for retailers  as COVID-19 accelerates e-commerce. Statistics collected by DataReportal indicate that overall global e-commerce transactions increased by approximately 20% in July when compared to the beginning of 2020. Moreover, GlobalWebIndex reports that 50 percent of worldwide survey respondents expect to shop online more frequently following the pandemic.

With emerging data pointing to the staying power of e-commerce, companies will need to come up with strategies to stand out in the increasingly competitive digital market. Turning to a Language Service Provider (LSP) for professional translations is a smart move, but only if the provider can quickly secure the right translator—so you can move products fast. With a global network of over 1 million experts, Lionbridge has an array of resources to choose from and leverages AI-powered matching to find the perfect translator for your job without delay. Visit our e-commerce page here to learn more. 

Applied AI considers more parameters than a rules-based approach,” says Robert Norton, Lionbridge VP of Corporate Development. “We can find the best quality translator in the least amount of time. It’s clear and proven.”

Lionbridge’s automated technology solution instantaneously selects a pool of qualified translators. An available translator from this pool typically picks up the job via the Lionbridge Community Xchange (LCX) platform within 10 minutes. Gone are days of relying on agencies or in-house project managers to find qualified, available translators, a manual method that adds considerable time to the process.

As part of its solution, the Lionbridge Quality System constantly validates the performance of the translators in the pool, and the system considers other important factors when selecting translators.

What Are the Top Four Considerations When Matching a Translator To an E-Commerce Job?

The Lionbridge community is a highly diverse cohort, representing age groups that range from 18-59. Collectively, they speak 350+ languages and come from 450+ locales. Lionbridge focuses on four main factors when assessing translators from within this crowd.

#1 Language skills

An obvious, but essential, criterion for translators is their proficiency in both the source and target languages. But a translator must be more than book smart to help retailers win the hearts and minds of consumers.

Lionbridge has a comprehensive evaluation process to ensure translators know how people in the target market speak, which includes their use of colloquialisms and idioms. Translators are also expected to be aware of regional, cultural sensibilities so they can come up with the right tone and meaning for words and expressions that don’t have a direct translation from one language to another.

#2 The content

If the content is highly technical or specialized, as is the case for life sciences material, Lionbridge selects translators who possess domain expertise. These translators will have the background to understand the terminology that is specific to the subject matter. Similarly, Lionbridge will select translators with high-end fashion experience to translate product descriptions (SKUs) for luxury fashion retailers. Learn more about Lionbridge’s partnership with a leading German luxury fashion brand here. In addition to its expertise in the retail industry, Lionbridge routinely works in many other verticals including consumer packaged goods, technology, automotive and industrial manufacturing.

If the content requires a rewrite, as opposed to a strict translation, Lionbridge will select a translator who is a proficient copyeditor and who has the expertise to transcreate content. Transcreation is when a message is adapted from its original language and made culturally relevant to its new target audience.

#3 The market segment

Marketers focus on demographics when selling their products and Lionbridge makes sure the translator is matched to the target audience. For instance, if the online merchant wants to reach younger consumers, it is critical for the translator to understand local youth culture and know the vernacular that is spoken by young people in the region.

#4 Familiarity with the merchant’s product

In certain cases, Lionbridge seeks translators who use the client’s products or understand the brand. While it’s not necessary for the translator to always own the product, familiarity with the company and its jargon will provide context that is helpful to the overall process.

People are using their mobile phones and a laptop at a café. The photo suggests the prevalence of online shopping and the need for translators to be matched to retail translation jobs quickly.

How Can a Company Work with Lionbridge To Help a Translator Excel?

A lot goes into translation. Doing some extra upfront work to create assets for the translator can go a long way towards achieving intended results and will be worth the time investment in many cases.

Creative briefs

A creative brief is the starting point for any transcreation or copywriting project. It tells the company’s story and guides the translator on how to write. The brief manages expectations, so everyone involved understands the operational requirements and how these requirements align with the company’s vision. Success depends on a well-written brief, which includes the company’s communication objectives and defines the target audience. The creative brief provides all the information needed to create local text that is on point.

Style guides

A style guide lets the translator know how the company wants the translation to be seen in market. It will include the company’s preferences on a variety of topics. It may provide instructions on the use of acronyms, specify predefined names for colors or notify the translator whether the consumer should be addressed in a formal or informal manner. If a company doesn’t have a usable style guide, Lionbridge can help create—or update—one.

Glossaries & “do not translate” lists

A glossary contains key terminology in your source language and an approved translation for that terminology in your target language. A “do not translate” list consists of terminology that should be kept in the source language. It is most often used for product names or taglines for certain markets. Both items are invaluable to a translator to ensure that specific terminology is adhered to.

Reference texts

Add a reference text-–an existing example that the translator can refer to-–and you’ve bolstered the translator’s ability to bring your vision to life. A reference text may include things like completed category pages, past SKUs or customer emails in both the source and target languages. Reference texts give the translator context that can’t be captured through words alone.

Why Lionbridge?

Some of the world’s biggest and most iconic brands count on us for their e-commerce multilingual needs because of our expertise and wide array of offerings.

With solutions that fit all segments of the market, we can provide instant machine translation for low visibility content that is short-lived or produce high-quality translations for niche products. Our extensive talent network enables us to handle any project of any size and in any language so you can scale when you need to.

We are able to quickly select the right translator for your work through applied AI and provide that translator with the tools needed to excel. These are essential steps in ensuring that you keep pace with the evolving online market and achieve your international e-commerce objectives.

Start a Project with Us

Interested in seeing how Lionbridge can secure the perfect translator to help you expand your online markets and reach customers no matter what language they speak? Reach out to us.  

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Janette Mandell
Janette Mandell