Getting on the Same Page
There’s really nothing cooler than reaching that moment in education when you’re ready to translate. Success can be measured many ways but one of the most effective is that you’re ready to transcend your native language and start educating customers in another language. The key phrases and stock analogies you’ve used so far are about to be put to the test. Can you help others in another language?
We were so excited in November when it was announced that Sumo Logic would shortly bring training to Japan. We had only a few months to translate materials, work with instructors and book translators. This meant a very close and enduring partnership with the regional office, and with our translation firm. We all had to pull together to make a February class happen. No one person could have made this Cert Jam possible.
Teamwork Saves the Day
Any translation project requires teamwork, so it’s best to get all the players aligned before you start out and make sure everyone is on board with the project. We were very fortunate to have:
- Enthusiastic instructors who were willing to work with a near simultaneous translation experience for our first class.
- A first-rate regional office who knew our customers and partners well and could set expectations with our first students and review materials and give us honest feedback.
- A patient and engaged team of translators at Simultrans who met both with us and the regional office to establish strong relationships as well as help keep us focused on the goals.
- An established goal for materials. There were a few changes, but for the most part we knew ahead of time what students would need and we were able to stick to it. This saved us time and money.
- Strong vendor support (thank you MindTouch!) for our translation efforts to get our Docs and our Training sites up.
A big goal of Sumo Logic is to have a well-balanced team where everyone can give feedback and contribute to the overall goal and we were fortunate to have everyone committed to this goal when we began.
Try New Stuff
This was a first-time experience for many of us both in terms of translation and teaching. No one was afraid of the risk, which made it a lot easier for us to move forward. There was no other option, we’d burned our boats behind us and committed to a February delivery of this material.
While I and one other team member had some localization experience, many involved learned firsthand the long and involved process of choosing the vocabulary for a product. Yes, machine translation has improved greatly but no one wants to trust a professional product to a literal word-for-word translation. So we had to ask:
- What terms should remain in English?
- What terms are a literal translation and which should be more figurative?
- Which technical terms require a very specific translation?
And this wasn’t always easy, but we held more than one discussion to resolve it and kept a glossary of translations as our guide for future work.
The other side of new experiences was for our local SE, who jumped right in to help with technical questions. Our professional translators in the class were fabulous, but Sumo Logic is a deeply technical product and it was wonderful to have Tetsuro jump in and help negotiate the technical subtleties for the instructors and the students.
Lastly my boss made the effort to learn Japanese. While for the most part Mario Sanchez taught in English, he did open the class with a few phrases that went a long way to encourage the class that we were committed as a company to take our place in the Japanese market.
Enthusiasm is Key
It’s always best to start a translation project with excitement and pride. We created our first certifications in 2017 and by 2019 we were teaching them in another language. By starting with the right frame of mind, we were were able to achieve:
- Two 30-person classes with a 90% pass rate for all certifications.
- An unheard-of 100% attendance rate. Thank you to the entire Japan office for such a remarkable success.
- A well organized train-the-trainer session to empower the local regional office to have all-native-language classes in the future.
This was amazing because our local regional office has a full-time day-job selling our product and they still managed to devote many hours of their time to help ensure materials were ready to go. We were also fortunate to have two full-time instructors devote a week to making the class a success.
About the Author
Stacy Kornluebke is a first-time visitor to Japan. She has wanted to visit Tokyo for some time, and was thrilled to have a Japan Rail Pass and Pasmo card all her own. When not traveling for Sumo Logic Certifications, Stacy likes to travel with her own family, take her dog Rosie on long scenic hikes, and ruthlessly spoil her two diabolical cats, Thomas and Yin.
Complete visibility for DevSecOps
Reduce downtime and move from reactive to proactive monitoring.