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  • It is very important, before you start work on the project, that you know exactly the scope of the project �C the budget assigned, the size of the documentation, the size of the UI, whatever special instructions you will need to give your vendors, the approximate schedule, the testing plan, the payment schedule, and any additional material that you will need to have translated.


    The more you can find out and plan at this stage, the smoother your project will run. While a good vendor will handle your last minute changes cheerfully and helpfully, you can make things much easier for everyone by having a careful, detailed plan.


    Here are some things you need to look at to make sure that everything will go smoothly:

  • Know the documentation set: Be sure that you have up-to-date book and chapter lists, and that you have an idea of which books/chapters will be ready for localization at what time. Summarize the documentation set in a Bill of Materials (BOM) that you will send to the vendor and will be the main reference for all documentation. The BOM should contain everything anyone would want to know about the documentation �C the books and chapters, the filenames in the input formats and whatever publication formats you will want (for source and target languages), page- and word-counts, conditional text settings (critical information for the vendor), lists of images, etc.


  • Know the software UI: Ensure that the vendor can work with the format of your resource files, and ensure they have the correct version of your Computer Assisted Translation tool. Make sure you collate, write and supply to the vendor any special instructions regarding the translation �C for example, if a certain character can harm the functionality of the software, the vendor needs to know this right from the beginning.



  • Be certain of the relationship with the vendor: This can be specified in a agreement that covers the overall relationship (a Service Level Agreement �C SLA), an agreement for an entire project, or even an agreement that is signed for each estimate or bundle delivery. The level of agreement you will arrive at depends on the depth and breadth of the relationship you have with the vendor. Whatever that relationship is, at the project level it must cover the overall cost, the payment schedules, the precise deliverables, ALL detailed costs (for example, some vendors charge extra for things like dialog box resizing, bug fixing and engineer time to set up test environments �C make sure these are all covered), the payment schedule, and any other items you and your vendor may want to cover.



  • Make sure you know the entire scope of the project: While a project��s main elements may be software UI, documentation and website localization, you may also want to consider localization of the End User License Agreement (EULA), CD labels, package contents sheets and other marketing material that accompanies the delivered software package. Make sure all these things are listed for the vendor, budgeted and entered into the delivery timetable. Make sure that the personnel who need to supply you with the source material, know exactly when that needs to be done and are reminded regularly so that their deliveries are on time.

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