In the finale of our first series about E-Learning focusing mainly on language engineering, Word is our protagonist, the arch adversary to xml-based localization. Microsoft has been taking steps towards reinventing Word as a mature document processing tool, but its legacy still bogs it down and prevents it from being a full-fledged content management solution. After 30 years, it is still green around the gills. Mentioning Word in the same paragraph with the concept of content management might sound off to you who are familiar with Word’s capabilities, design and purpose; however, it is still in widespread use for creating localization-sensitive material and documentation due to its accessibility and soft learning curve.
The year is 2007. memoQ is in its infancy; Trados rules the LSP world. At that time, one of espell’s biggest localization partners cranked up the volume, and started to localize their software products and related documentation into 42 languages with high-frequency updates. As a result, we had to deal with copious amount of files, robust version control and maintaining 42 translation memories. Every time a new project arrived, the project manager had to empty the bitter cup and open every single TM by hand, do an analysis on the prepared files and export the results for each. After having wrapped all this up, it was also necessary to copy the results into an Excel file with more than 42 sheets, one for each language plus the summary pages. With no automation tool available, this process took up many unnecessary hours and required manual work, which was not only tedious and unproductive, but also prone to error.