"It seems like the MadCap developers were thinking about localization with Flare. Then when I saw a mainstream company like MadCap produce a product specifically for our world with MadCap Lingo; I was shocked. It was the first time anyone had done that."| Argo Translation, Inc.
Founded in 1995, Argo Translation has always believed that technology innovation is a critical component of providing world-class language services and solutions for foreign language translation, software localization, website translation, multilingual desktop publishing, interpretation and project management. Today the company is using the native XML MadCap Flare authoring tool and MadCap Lingo integrated translation memory system (TMS) and authoring solution in combination with the Across Language Server to deliver consistent high quality and cut project time by more than 25 percent.
"MadCap Lingo and Flare were easy to use with Across from the start, and we immediately recognized greater efficiency and quality in our translations," said Peter Argondizzo, president and operations manager of Argo Translation.
Three years ago, Argo Translation implemented the Across server-based TMS to support its network of more than 800 translators. At the same time, Argondizzo was looking for a newer authoring product that would provide better support for translation. Argondizzo's search brought him to MadCap Flare, the XML-based authoring software featuring full Unicode support, making it inherently designed to handle both single-byte and double-byte languages. He also learned about MadCap Lingo, then in beta, and after becoming a beta tester, Argo purchased both MadCap Lingo and Flare.
"I've been in business 15 years, and for many of our projects, we had used the Adobe RoboHelp authoring tool. However, it wasn't designed to support localization, and we could never count on what the outcome was. If we had a ten-language project; we would have to remedy it in ten different Help systems," Argondizzo recalled. "Flare is very dependable, and it seems like the MadCap developers were thinking about localization with Flare. When a change occurs in Flare, it gets reflected in all the language versions. Then when I saw a mainstream company like MadCap produce a product specifically for our world with MadCap Lingo; I was shocked. It was the first time anyone had done that."
Argo's first opportunity to work with Flare and MadCap Lingo came when its customer, Onset Computer Corporation, needed to translate an online Help system for its industry-leading data logging solutions. Onset had developed its Help system using MadCap Flare, which is tightly integrated with MadCap Lingo. In turn, the combined TMS and authoring functionality in MadCap Lingo eliminated the need for file transfers in order to complete translation, preserving valuable content and formatting.
In one translation of Onset's updated Help system alone–from English into French–Argo was able to cut 26 percent of the project time and costs. The savings were from a combination of 100-percent match deductions, fuzzy deductions, and repetition deductions per word, and they trimmed the project costs from $40,748 to $30,051.
"The Onset Help system was for a major product release, so there were a number of new features," Argondizzo noted. "In minor product upgrades where much of the content remains the same, the time and cost savings are even higher."
"We've gone through two translation cycles with Argo," said Erich Roth, Onset Computer Corporation software engineering manager. "They have gone above and beyond to deliver documentation on time and within budget. I highly recommend Argo along with the use of MadCap Lingo and Flare for any localization project."
Since adopting MadCap Lingo and Flare, Argo Translation has been using it in combination with the Across Language Server to facilitate localization. Argo first pulls content into a Flare project to review and understand the documentation or Help system. Then the project is imported into MadCap Lingo where it is mapped. Next the project is moved to the Across system where most of the translation occurs. Finally, the project is imported back into MadCap Lingo for final quality assurance (QA).
"I really like the fact that MadCap Lingo and Flare, as well as Across, are all based on industry standards; it makes integration between the products much easier," Argondizzo says. "Across also has a nice utility for mapping to MadCap Lingo, but it doesn't grab snippets, keywords or skins, so we send the translation back to MadCap Lingo to ensure that all of those elements are in place."
Because MadCap Lingo can publish in multiple Web, print and digital formats, this helps Argo Translation support customers requiring multiple outputs–for example a customer that has Web content, a print version, and then additional cover page material all requiring translation.
More recently, Argo Translation has taken advantage of the Project Packager function introduced in MadCap Lingo 3.0. Project Packager helps manage the translation process by allowing the author to package all required files (content, image call-outs, glossary files, etc.) into a single ZIP file, which is then sent to the linguist. No translation candidates get missed, so there is no back and forth between author and translator. MadCap Lingo's built-in reporting engine provides full transparency during the translation process, allowing both the author and translator to view project statistics for each file in the project such as the total number of words translated or the number of words still pending translation. Once the translation is complete, one of Argo's editors opens the translated file in MadCap Lingo to QA and check project formatting, run statistics again, and confirm the completeness of the translation.
"I really like the Project Packager and the statistics you get in the latest version of MadCap Lingo; it's very easy to see what has or hasn't been translated," Argondizzo says. "With MadCap Lingo 3.0, the Project Packager also allows us to more accurately quote translation projects, which benefits both us and our customers."
"Based on our early success with these projects, we're seeing growing demand for translation projects using MadCap Lingo and Flare," Argondizzo notes. "The quality, consistency and efficiency we're seeing with the seamless workflow enabled by these products represent the future of translation and localization."