What Are Your SAP Localization Experiences?
Thread poster: lw_james
lw_james
Local time: 05:58
Jun 8, 2010

I am interested to learn more from your experiences when localizing SAP systems. I have done some research and worked on a few minor projects and have seen that SAP work can be extremely unique in nature and often, can be extremely complex.

In your experience, are there major/minor differences between SAP and other software localization projects? What are the on-site vs off-site project drivers? Is it imperative to have SAP technical/linguistic expertise to deliver quality? And what other pieces of advice would you give that are specific to translating SAP systems (tools, resources, SAP consultants, etc)?

Thank you in advance for any insights you can give!

best wishes,

James


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Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:58
English to Serbian
+ ...
:) Jun 11, 2010

Hi James,

Are you translating in se63, on the web portal or something locally?

[Edited at 2010-06-11 12:28 GMT]


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lw_james
Local time: 05:58
TOPIC STARTER
Hi! Yes, I am familiar and we have been using SE 64. I was hoping to learn more about experiences Jun 11, 2010

lw_james wrote:

I am interested to learn more from your experiences when localizing SAP systems. I have done some research and worked on a few minor projects and have seen that SAP work can be extremely unique in nature and often, can be extremely complex.

In your experience, are there major/minor differences between SAP and other software localization projects? What are the on-site vs off-site project drivers? Is it imperative to have SAP technical/linguistic expertise to deliver quality? And what other pieces of advice would you give that are specific to translating SAP systems (tools, resources, SAP consultants, etc)?

Thank you in advance for any insights you can give!

best wishes,

James


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Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:58
English to Serbian
+ ...
:) Jun 11, 2010

I've been working on SAP projects translation almost daily in the past few years, so it's quite familiar to me

Yes, I guess the translation in SAP is somewhat unique and can be complex, though it's still translation in the end.

I don't think it is necessary to have SAP technical expertise in order to translate/to deliver quality, though I don't know whether you will be involved only in translation or you will have some kind of developer role as well?

It would be of course welcome to have experience in the areas/components you will be translating - finance, accounting, banking, HR, logistics, general IT, etc, but the same goes for any kind of translation work today, not just SAP related one.

As for the resources, do you have a c-user, that is, do you have access to SAP Service Marketplace? If you do, then you should by all means visit service.sap.com/translation and you can find a wealth of information for the new translators Being able to talk with a SAP consultant would be welcome no doubt, but don't forget that consultants are rarely linguists themselves, so maybe their proposals won't be the best solution every time.

If you have any other question, feel free~


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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:58
German to Spanish
+ ...
What Are Your SAP Localization Experiences? Jun 11, 2010

lw_james wrote:

I am interested to learn more from your experiences when localizing SAP systems. I have done some research and worked on a few minor projects and have seen that SAP work can be extremely unique in nature and often, can be extremely complex.

In your experience, are there major/minor differences between SAP and other software localization projects? What are the on-site vs off-site project drivers? Is it imperative to have SAP technical/linguistic expertise to deliver quality? And what other pieces of advice would you give that are specific to translating SAP systems (tools, resources, SAP consultants, etc)?

Thank you in advance for any insights you can give!

best wishes,

James


I am working as SAP translator (not as a L10N specialist) in Spain many years ago now (since the times of R/2...). SAP as like any other IT business has his own jargon which can be consulted easely trough the SAPterm database. Of course, to know what you're speaking about (I specialised in financials) is a strong point too.

As Miroslav told you already, if you have access to the SAP marketplace, you will find useful info for translation here: http://help.sap.com/erp2005_ehp_04/helpdata/EN/77/5719d2492011d1894a0000e829fbbd/frameset.htm. If you are a good translator and you adhere strictly to the sapterm database, SAP translation is not more complex as any other technical translation.

However, localizing is a different and quite more involved issue. I did it sometimes, but I had the help of SAP engineers. As you may know, each SAP object has an object identifier, (data elements, tables, views and so far), a unique name, etc. and the long of translation fields has to be taken in account for each type of object. Sometimes you can see the result in a life test system and sometimes not, and localisation are done in the system itself. No need of any other tools. But, imho you will not be able to localize correctly without SAP consultants help, at least in the first stages, and you won't find neither much localizing help outside SAP's world.

[Editado a las 2010-06-11 22:19 GMT]


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lw_james
Local time: 05:58
TOPIC STARTER
Team Set-Up & Scale Jun 12, 2010

Thank you for your comments Miroslav and Pablo - much appreciated.

You are both essentially saying the same thing which confirms some of my suspicions. SAP translation is no more difficult (we are dealing with out of context strings) than any other system/UI translation.

We have looked carefully at the NetWeaver platform, SE65 and all of it's components/elements. We have also looked at the SAPTerm resources available. In very nature of UI translation, where terms are out-of-context is usually highly dependent upon good terminology glossaries, which in fact does make the job easier

I believe - and would like your comments - that as a company that focuses on translation, that most of "difficult" work of extracting, preparing objects, conversion, eliminating redundant strings, etc - should be left to processionals with SAP experience. This would be our approach to such projects. Do you agree?

One last question: for a large (est. 2 million words) how you go about structuring the team of translators? Let's say they are using SAPTerm (a pre-requisite). So for example, would you have a team working on "manufacturing" modules and another team working on "financial" modules due to the different terminology? If so, how would you leverage work done between the teams? Or is this not possible?

Thanks for any further insights you can give!


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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 06:58
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
Translation and Localization is quite different in this field Jun 12, 2010

I have been in involved in the translation/ localization field for 20 years, and even during my sales roles at a large translation company focused on selling SAP Localization services, without having used the tools.

However, I have been working at SAP for the past year and a half on the enhancements of the whole range of SAP internal tools for R&D teams and this touches all areas of system and application use, including translation and localization and their workflows.
And I do knowledge transfer of such internal tools to newly acquired companies and teams.

And I would say that having been very involved in these applications at a very indepth view, and training teams of many different cultures and background languages on them, shows me that it is very different indeed.
And this is why some of the SAP certified vendor translation suppliers are very specialized in this area.

The recommendations on my LinkedIn profile from my SAP colleagues make it quite clear that this is not a simple thing, but it can be communicated in simple ways. That's what I spend my time doing.

Jeff


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Miroslav Jeftic  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:58
English to Serbian
+ ...
Hm. Jun 12, 2010

lw_james wrote:

I believe - and would like your comments - that as a company that focuses on translation, that most of "difficult" work of extracting, preparing objects, conversion, eliminating redundant strings, etc - should be left to processionals with SAP experience. This would be our approach to such projects. Do you agree?

One last question: for a large (est. 2 million words) how you go about structuring the team of translators? Let's say they are using SAPTerm (a pre-requisite). So for example, would you have a team working on "manufacturing" modules and another team working on "financial" modules due to the different terminology? If so, how would you leverage work done between the teams? Or is this not possible?

Thanks for any further insights you can give!


Not sure whether you are a SAP partner, that is, whether you will be translating officially or whether you will be working "privately" so to say for some company who bought SAP software? If you are a SAP partner, then I think you should be only translating, while all other work is usually handled by SAP. So it pretty much depends on what kind of relationship you have with SAP.

Yup, it would be a good idea to have teams divided according to modules where possible, but again, it depends which systems/modules and the volumes you will be actually translating.

[Edited at 2010-06-12 14:15 GMT]


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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:58
German to Spanish
+ ...
What Are Your SAP Localization Experiences? Jun 12, 2010

lw_james wrote:

Thank you for your comments Miroslav and Pablo - much appreciated.

You are both essentially saying the same thing which confirms some of my suspicions. SAP translation is no more difficult (we are dealing with out of context strings) than any other system/UI translation.

We have looked carefully at the NetWeaver platform, SE65 and all of it's components/elements. We have also looked at the SAPTerm resources available. In very nature of UI translation, where terms are out-of-context is usually highly dependent upon good terminology glossaries, which in fact does make the job easier

I believe - and would like your comments - that as a company that focuses on translation, that most of "difficult" work of extracting, preparing objects, conversion, eliminating redundant strings, etc - should be left to processionals with SAP experience. This would be our approach to such projects. Do you agree?

One last question: for a large (est. 2 million words) how you go about structuring the team of translators? Let's say they are using SAPTerm (a pre-requisite). So for example, would you have a team working on "manufacturing" modules and another team working on "financial" modules due to the different terminology? If so, how would you leverage work done between the teams? Or is this not possible?

Thanks for any further insights you can give!


Yes, I agree to the first question. To the second, at the very beginning I would have two differentiated teams: one for financials (FI, AM, etc.) and another for production (PP, MM, etc.). But, in the long run they will have to go more and more integrated. SAP standard version is like a puzzle in which all the pieces are fitting into each other. Boundaries are fuzzy and a quite good sample of this is FI-CA (financial cross application [my area of expertise] ) on wich relies the economic management base of any other SAP solution.

By the way, out of context strings are not so out of context if you know well the SAP tree structure, what the individual objects are intended for and you do not divide the job packages too much. So to say, if you give 50 strings of the same object to the same translator, with some training by doing he will be able to guess quite well to wich area it belongs. But, if you give 5 strings of 10 different objects to different translators, they hardly will guess what the object is intended for or to wich area it may belong.



[Editado a las 2010-06-12 20:15 GMT]


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lw_james
Local time: 05:58
TOPIC STARTER
Language Packs, SE63, STERM & Optimizing Re-use of Translation Jun 13, 2010

Hi All,

Thank you so much for your insights - they truly are very useful and I appreciate them highly.

Pablo - your comments/observations are great! Your comments about subject-specific teams and the SAP tree structures are great.

Here's a further scenario I would appreciate all of your thoughts on:

Scenario (the pre-requisite is that any translation work would be carried on outside the SAP environment):

*** Objects are exported from the SAP system
*** Objects are converted to XLIFF
*** Language packs are provided
*** SMET is used and converted to a CAT tool compliant format
*** SAP tree structures are observed and segmented for translation
*** A master translation memory is created which is "fed" by individual (module/tree based) translation memories
*** The master and individual TMs are updated instantaneously and shared to translators
*** XLIFF files are imported back into the SAP system
*** Linguistic testing (or spot checks) would be performed
*** No SAP consultants would be involved in the project

My questions are:

(1) Is this an efficient approach or not? If not, why, and what would you recommend?

(2) How would you go about maximizing repetitions within the translation process?

(3) What "remote" or on-site options/approaches would accelerate the linguistic spot checks and testing?

Thank you all for giving me valuable insights. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the above.

All the best,

James


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Pablo Bouvier  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:58
German to Spanish
+ ...
What Are Your SAP Localization Experiences?" Jun 14, 2010

lw_james wrote:

Hi All,

Thank you so much for your insights - they truly are very useful and I appreciate them highly.

Pablo - your comments/observations are great! Your comments about subject-specific teams and the SAP tree structures are great.

Here's a further scenario I would appreciate all of your thoughts on:

Scenario (the pre-requisite is that any translation work would be carried on outside the SAP environment):

*** Objects are exported from the SAP system
*** Objects are converted to XLIFF
*** Language packs are provided
*** SMET is used and converted to a CAT tool compliant format
*** SAP tree structures are observed and segmented for translation
*** A master translation memory is created which is "fed" by individual (module/tree based) translation memories
*** The master and individual TMs are updated instantaneously and shared to translators
*** XLIFF files are imported back into the SAP system
*** Linguistic testing (or spot checks) would be performed
*** No SAP consultants would be involved in the project

My questions are:

(1) Is this an efficient approach or not? If not, why, and what would you recommend?

(2) How would you go about maximizing repetitions within the translation process?

(3) What "remote" or on-site options/approaches would accelerate the linguistic spot checks and testing?

Thank you all for giving me valuable insights. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the above.

All the best,

James


My question is ¿why are you not able to translate short strings with the standard SAP translation system ; that is with the se63 transaction? I ask this, because once a short string is translated and approved, it goes to the proposal pool and you do not need to go trough all this involved process. And for long texts, you can use ORBIT wich is an integrated Trados Workbench interface to SAP.


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