LEVERAGING INTERNAL LANGUAGE SKILLS: ADOBE’S “WOLF” PROGRAM

As a global company, Adobe has a wide variety of people from all over the world that speak a multitude of languages. When it comes to quick translations – maybe you have a short email you’d like to send in another language? or you’re in between a few versions of a phrase for a product or document? – who can you ask for help?

That’s where leveraging the global talent of our employees comes in.  We had the opportunity to sit down and interview one of the original founders of the program, Mayank Dutt, based out of Adobe’s Noida, India office. We wanted to learn a little more about the forum that helps us leverage over 22 languages.

What inspired “WOLF” (World Feedback Central Forum)?

It was a set of a couple of instances.

One day a customer reported a translation issue for Japanese for the product I was working on. As a usual practice, I went back to our translation partner to check on the quality.  I was told it was just a ‘Preferential Change’ and not a ‘Wrong translation’ per say.  We were on a tight schedule and wanted to close the issue as soon as possible. But, I wanted ground level feedback. Feedback from someone who spoke that language (preferably native). That’s when I thought of a colleague in the Adobe Japan office who would be able to help me. I sent her both versions of the translation and asked her which one would be more appropriate and meet Adobe & Japanese standards. To my surprise, I received a response within 5 mins of time.

The second time, I needed an urgent translation into German for an English string. Instead of sending it to a linguistic partner, I sent it to a colleague of mine based in the US who was fluent in German. I received a response in less than an a minute.

That was the moment when it clicked with me! Adobe is a multinational company with employees from all around the world.  Would they be interested in helping us? Why couldn’t there be a platform where such volunteers could be available for anyone to reach out to for help? It all started from there.

You’ve mentioned a few different instances for the forum, but what was its original purpose? 

We launched WOLF – World Feedback Central as a forum where we could discuss foreign language issues. We aimed to improve the International quality of Adobe products.  For instance, if we were testing a French installer and we needed quick feedback on a French term, we would post a screenshot on the French Forum and the French community within Adobe (our WOLF French volunteers) would provide us feedback. We wanted to keep the discussions focused and active, centered around foreign language issues: term appropriateness, truncations, typos, other translation options, and inconsistencies.

We started with 5 languages and very soon onboarded over 20 languages.

Can you share a “win” with us? Or maybe some interesting stories from when you were running WOLF? 

**Editor’s note: Mayank has since passed on the torch of WOLF to other colleagues. 

Frankly, when we started WOLF, we weren’t sure of where it would go. Would it be successful or would it fail? It was quite surprising how it evolved at such a fast pace. There were two interesting things that happened:

Volunteers getting more volunteers – The word of mouth publicity. The volunteers we on-boarded spread the news about the forum to their friends/colleagues who then volunteered. It’s a confidence boost when you hear a couple of folks talking about WOLF in hallway!

Volunteer community interactions – It was amazing to see that the language volunteers were appreciating each other. They were sharing their views and creating discussions.

Example 1
Example 2

It was also amazing to see people from different work roles participating – a true community was built. We had people who were Corporate Trainers, Marketing Managers, Engineering people.. people from Germany, US, Japan, India, Romania, etc.

So to me, WOLF is a great example of Crowd Sourcing with a twist. So I call it, ‘Crowd Sourcing; Sourcing your own Crowd’.

I leave you with a fun fact – the average ‘first’ response time over a query/task was ’15 minutes’ at any time of the day.

Multilingual support for Adobe Experience Manager

With increasing access to the web,  online content has become the ‘first’ customer interaction point for most brands. As businesses go global, the end user expects the brands to host their content specific to their region/preferred language.   To facilitate and support the requirement for global presence for businesses, Experience Manager has built tools for content translation. Using out-of-the-box multilingual features, customers can translate

  • Site pages
  • Assets
  • Forms

to any locale.

In-built functionality for Multilingual support in Experience Manager includes:

  • Translation projects

To get started with translations, a Translation project should be set up. It requires specifying source and target language, translation method(machine/human translation), translation provider and the content to be translated. Any type on content – page, assets, tags, i18n dictionary etc can be added to a project
More information: https://helpx.adobe.com/experience-manager/6-3/sites/administering/using/tc-manage.html

  • Sites/ Assets UI support

A content author or review can remain in the Site/Assets UI in Experience Manager and set up their translation projects . This can be done by

  • Using Reference Panel to detect language copies, in which the content can be translated.
  • Language copy wizard takes care of creating the language copy as well the translation project. Multiple projects , have same source but different target languages, can be created at the same time.
  • Translation Integration Configuration

Translation Integration Configuration gives choice as to how to translate reference content inside a site page. If user wants to translate the site page but not the images inside it, it can be achieved using this configuration . More information :  https://helpx.adobe.com/experience-manager/6-3/sites/administering/using/tc-tic.html

  • Content Update scenarios

The user would want to update the translated content if the source content has changed. Smart translation feature detects which source pages/assets have been updated, deleted or created. Only these pages/assets are send for translation, thereby reducing the cost of re-translating entire site.

  • Component property based translation

Using Translation Rules UI , component property/s to be translated can be selected. This ensures that non-relevant content is not translated.  More information : https://helpx.adobe.com/experience-manager/kt/sites/using/translation-rules-editor-technical-video-setup.html

  • Content type supported

Multilingual workflows are supported for

  • Site pages
  • Assets
  • AEM forms
  • Content Fragments
  • Experience Fragments
  • I18n Dictionaries
  • Tags

These content types can be extracted from a page where they are referenced. Hence, user doesn’t need to know the location of the referenced content.

Beyond Experience Manager features, an ecosystem is built around multilingual support.

  • Translation Partner connectors
    To support content translation there needs to be a translation connector. Adobe Exchange (https://experiencecloud.adobeexchange.com/ ) host 19 translation connectors to choose from, depending on partner vendors or translation method. By default, Experience Manager ships with Microsoft Connector which supported Machine Translation.
  • Sample translation connector
    Sample connector, called Bootstrap connector, is provided for customers or service providers who want to create their own custom connector. The connector is build using the latest Translation APIs. GIT : https://github.com/Adobe-Marketing-Cloud/aem-translation-framework-bootstrap-connector
  • Best practices and documentation

For optimum utilization of out-of-the-box multilingual functionality, documentation around best practices is available.

About the Author: Harpreet Neelu is an engineering program manager at Adobe based out of Noida, India.

Adobe Globalization Goes to MAX

We like to think of it as the Creativity Conference of the year. Welcome to MAX – where over 3 days and 300 sessions , 12,000 attendees from over 68 countries get creative. This year a few members of our Globalization team attended to get the international scoop.

Adobe_MAX_2017

What is Adobe MAX?

MAX is Adobe’s digital media user conference. We attract creative leaders, designers, film and video pros, tech and business strategists, photographers, and more who are looking for training and inspiration in their work. Everyone at MAX is focused on building great creative experiences.

The International Perspective

Adobe_MAX_2017

Paola Gutierrez, Volunteer, Information Booth

Being at my 3rd Max as a volunteer and having the opportunity to interact with attendees from all over the world reminds me of how important our localization job is and the big impact we have on our costumers. I had the pleasure to talk to two creatives from Colombia, who shared that they love that Adobe thinks globally. “It is easier for us to have the tools in Spanish, that facilitate our navigation on the tools. We can actually digest the material better when something new comes up.”

Gen Watanabe, Attendee

I attended as a customer this time and did not keep my mind from the international perspective, but I ended up thinking about how globalization is important in every area of Adobe products, services, and support.

It was the biggest MAX (12000+ attendees from 68 countries) and the biggest gathering of creatives in the history, in Las Vegas, Nevada. In order for every story to reach every surface in any language and any country, customer expectation of globalized products and services has never been higher than today. Adobe Globalization team is the key to such success and we can do it.

A few more photos from the event

Adobe_MAX_2017

Create text layers in Indian languages | After Effects CC

With Adobe After Effects CC you can now create text layers containing Indic languages and animate them with all its cool features. This capability is provisioned via the Adobe World Ready Composer, which also powers the likes of Premiere Pro, Photoshop and InDesign. The Indian languages supported are Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Punjabi, Bengali, Telugu, Oriya, Malayalam, and Kannada. In addition to this, After Effects also supports Arabic and Hebrew in the RTL type setting.
This capability also enables cross product workflows between After Effects and Premiere Pro, both of which support these languages.

Setting Indic Preferences.
To use After Effects CC to create a text layer, all that you need to do is to enable the Adobe World Ready Composer. This text engine switch is a necessary step to make After Effects start handling complex Indic scripts.
1. Go to Preferences>Type

2. Select ‘South Asian and Middle Eastern’ in ‘Text Engine’

3. Select ‘Indic’ in ‘Languages Selection’
…and you are all set! Create a new text layer and start using your Indic fonts and keyboards to create text effects on your videos.

In addition to that, video animators will be able to do a lot more than before with After Effects including:
– Indic text will support all the styling capabilities from the character and paragraph panels.
– The 3D animation feature set, type features, and animation presets
– Track Indic texts to the motion of the video
– Export composition for Adobe premier Pro project
– Export as Motion Graphics Template

Indic fonts:
After Effects will now support all Indic Unicode fonts. In addition to that Adobe also offers beautiful looking fonts in most of these languages, and you can access these Adobe fonts from Typekit using the Creative Cloud Desktop app.

See what’s new in the latest release for Adobe Creative Cloud video and audio tools, including Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Character Animator, and Adobe Stock here.

Regional Innovation Drives Global Features in Adobe Products

powerpoint_adobe_stock_partnership

Product development has evolved dramatically in the last couple of decades. Engineers these days are a lot more internationalization-savvy when it comes to developing and testing global products. The advancement in tools and technologies is also making the process of handling input methods, date/time formats, global characters, and other such aspects, integral to a world-ready product development process. Adobe too has a state-of-the art globalization framework and a dedicated globalization team to help product teams meet diverse regional and cultural needs with ease.

Recently, the Adobe Japan engineering team – in their quest to add more value to regional customers – proposed extending Adobe Stock’s capability into Microsoft® PowerPoint®. The idea was simple; integrate Adobe® Stock®, which offers millions of images, graphics, templates, and other assets, with MS PowerPoint, which is one of the most popular products used for creating great presentations. For the Japan market, this integration meant a perfect tool for increasing the visibility of Adobe Stock, a relatively new product in the Japan market. However, we realized that the idea was compelling, not just for the Japan market, but for markets across the globe.

The Adobe Japan team collaborated with cross-functional teams within the organization, including the Stock product team, to vet the idea. A proof-of-concept was built, as this capability was new for Stock too, and presented for validation to key stakeholders in engineering and other business functions.

After the go-ahead, a cross-campus team was set up to implement the idea. Along with the Stock team, the India-based Globalization Technologies team contributed to make the integration happen.

A key learning from this project was that features requested by the regional markets need not be region-specific. Conceptualizing a feature that is universally relevant has a greater chance of being prioritized in the product development process.

The Stock-PowerPoint integration is a true example of geo-driven global feature development. Although a feature conceptualized for the Japan market, it became relevant to users world-wide.

For more information about the plugin, please visit the Stock-Powerpoint HelpX site.

Understanding the Local User’s Keyboard

Understanding our international customer was never more important than it is now. In some of the Adobe products, the number of local consumers have been recorded as high as 50% of total unique users and it’s only increasing!

Given the plethora of devices and media through which the end customer is reaching us, we have a demanding task at hand of identifying the typical use case of user input method. There are a huge variety of keyboards for each Geo, locale and language. Before coming to how to zero in on what to go ahead with, let’s look at why that is important. There are easily as many as 11 different layouts for a French keyboard on Windows alone, for example, the French Belgian keyboard has the & symbol with number key 1, but French Canadian key has it with number 7.

How do you define the best shortcut for your software and how do you ensure everybody is at least enabled to use your application with a keyboard of their locale? When you go buying a Spanish keyboard, some very different options are available, depending upon the manufacturer and region. Some stark differences are highlighted below.

mexico_keyboard
Mexican Keyboard
spain_keyboard
Spanish Keyboard

Does it mean we could assume that two keyboards of different language from the same region would have the same layout? The answer is interestingly NO.

French_keyboard

In one of the Creative Cloud releases, French users who bought their keyboard from Europe instead of the US or Canada could not even sign-in to the Creative Cloud Desktop App. The reason being, the @ symbol is a shift sequence in American or Canadian layouts, but is a Alt-Gr combination for European layouts. When Creative Cloud disabled special characters in Adobe Id’s, the @ symbol on the Belgian keyboard also got blocked.

Keyboard shortcuts are the most adversely affected area as they often combine special characters, Alt, AltGr, Alt-right, Cmd and parenthesis keys which are placed at different locations on a keyboard depending upon the region (not language)!

For the engineering side, it’s unavoidable to understand how, why and what of “differences in input methods”.

Exercise caution while designing your software. We could be blocking out the Currency symbol due to a special key combination for local currency in a currency field, just like the @ issue mentioned above.

While testing the software,

  • We should never assume the keyboard layout is going to have much to do with OS or application locale.
  • Watch where you buy your keyboard from, amazon.com offers only French and American layout for French language, but local sellers and users certainly use a different one in Belgium, as mentioned above.

Concluding this, I’d say a problem well understood is half-solved. Awareness of your keyboard and its region is key to designing with defect prevention in mind.

Introducing Source Han Serif, a new open source Pan-CJK typeface

When we released Source Han Sans in 2014, the news made a huge impact among the millions of people who rely on Pan-CJK typefaces for their day-to-day work. Today we’re delighted to announce the release of its serif counterpart, Source Han Serif.

Both of these typefaces support Chinese Traditional, Chinese Standard, Japanese, and Korean languages, and also provide Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic character support. In short, these are among the most extensive typefaces we offer at Adobe, with tens of thousands of glyphs, and an effort like this would not have been realized without the support we got from our partners: Google, Iwata, Sandoll Communications, and Changzhou Sinotype.

You’ll find the Source Han Serif fonts on Typekit for web and sync use, and the open-source font files are also available on GitHub.

See our Source Han Serif landing page for full details about the typeface and to learn more about the collaboration behind it. More language options below!

Source Han Serif 源ノ明朝 発表 (Japanese)

Source Han Serif 본명조 발표 (Korean)

Source Han Serif 思源宋體 公告 (Chinese Traditional)

Source Han Serif 思源宋体 公告 (Chinese Simplified)

Original article was featured on the Typekit blog and written by Sally Kerrigan.

Reflecting on the Globalization Mini-Summit

| Organizing the Summit |

The G11n Innovation and Technology Summit 2017 was held at the Adobe HQ in San Jose on February 9th. The planning committee started with the vision to host an event whereby Adobe business leadership would discuss the steps Adobe is taking to increase revenue in international markets. To get a pulse of the industry, globalization thoughts leaders from Google, Microsoft, Intuit and SalesForce were invited to share their thoughts and global vision for their respective organizations.

The registration was open to all Adobe employees and our sessions quickly became filled. The audience included engineers, product managers, program managers and customer engagement teams from across Adobe offices worldwide.

The summit was dedicated to our dear colleague Warren Peet, who in his engineering manager role was a pillar of our Globalization team and one of the longest tenured employees in the company. He will be deeply missed.

The summit was dedicated to our dear colleague Warren Peet, who in his engineering manager role was a pillar of our Globalization team and one of the longest tenured employees in the company. He will be deeply missed.

| Attending the Summit |

The day started with an interesting keynote from Ajay Pande, VP, Engineering, Cloud Technology, Adobe. He talked about the ability to start at the developers’ code base, localize it with the vendor, and ship for all markets along with the English release. The way we at Adobe are striving to get the customer experience right is by running various experiments and have the global products change incrementally at a faster pace than ever before. He focused on using deep learning and related technologies to use data to get to a level of accuracy and correctness much more than ever in the past.

Ajay then handed it over to Macduff Hughes, Engineering Director, Google Translate, Google.  He discussed the transition of Google translate from Phrase-based Translation to Neural Machine Translations.

There were two plenary discussions focusing on internal and external trends. The internal panel titled “Leaders’ Speak” comprised of :

They talked about what can be done to enhance the global customer experience and what it means to expand international outreach and business.

Meanwhile, the external panel was titled “TED-G” – the panel discussed the top challenges faced by their companies and innovative business models built to meet those challenges in the international markets. Panelists also touched upon topics like, Compliance, Regulations, Market specific features, scalability, Analytics and various best practices. The external panel comprised of :

These were followed by interesting demos and discussions hosted by Globalization engineers. The topics included:

• Basic NLP services                                                                                                     POS tagging, Dependency tree, Tokenization, Stemming, Decompounding, Lemmatization, etc.

• Advanced NLP services                                                                                  Keyword extraction, Categorization, Named entity extraction, Wikification (entity linking with Wikipedia)

• Multilingual text analysis                                                                            Language detection, Language analyzers for processing multi-lingual text in various languages

• Machine Learning/Deep Learning based solutions                            Sentiment analysis, Spam detection, Semantic similarity, Auto-tagging text using multi-label classification techniques

• Augmented Reality

| Reflecting on the Summit |

After the summit, we received some interesting quotes and feedback from our attendees and speakers:

“The panel discussion showed the passion we all have for our global customers.  It was also a reminder that each of us must question the value of the work we’re doing for our customers.  If we’re translating content that isn’t used, we have to question how our resources could have been better spent to help customers succeed.” – Chris Hall

“It was great to attend the Globalization mini-summit this year. The planning and content of bringing not only people in from across Adobe to speak to various issues, but having external speakers come to talk about their companies and experiences was a brilliant idea.  It made for very interesting sessions.” – Priscilla Knoble

“The summit was a good chance for me to share how Japan teams work with other teams to support local business from G11n perspective, also had a good interaction with other leaders and attendees to discuss how we should work together to achieve Adobe’s strategic goal in coming years. At the same time I learned a lot about how other companies are working on G11n, what are their challenges, how they deal with the issues, etc. “ – Xiang Zhao

For questions regarding this article, please contact author Akulaa Agarwal at akulaa@adobe.com

Byte Level Research Releases 2017 Web Globalization Report Card

MultiLingual News – March 15, 2017

2017 Web Globalization Report Card

Byte Level Research, analyst of the art and science of web globalization, has released its 2017 Web Globalization Report Card analyzing 150 global websites across more than a dozen industry categories. Analysis is performed on how web designs are shared across countries and mobile platforms, noting languages used on every website and studying local content, social media and navigation.

Adobe is #12 among the Top 25!

Byte Level Research, www.bytelevel.com
Web globalization in interesting times

http://bytelevel.com/reportcard2017/

International Women’s Day

In more than 100 countries, March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day.

Its origins can be traced back to various socio-political movements in the U.S., Russia, France, and other parts of Europe, in the early twentieth century. However, it was not until the United Nations General Assembly recognized 1975 as International Women’s Year that March 8 was designated as official International Women’s Day.

The History Channel notes that this day is celebrated in unique ways across the globe. In Argentina, men gift the women in their lives with flowers. China holds beauty events and fashion shows. In 2016, a group of Chinese men wanted to “experience the hardship” of being a woman, so they climbed a mountain in dresses and heels.

Whatever the true origin, there is a renewed focus on IWD’s roots. This year, women and men across the United States will participate in “A Day Without A Woman” in order to draw attention to the issues women still face, such as lower wages, sexual harassment, discrimination, and job insecurity. This day also highlights the important role that women play in the global economy.

Let us know how this day is celebrated in your part of the world or what meaning it holds for you!

Sources:

  • http://www.history.com/news/the-surprising-history-of-international-womens-day
  • http://fortune.com/2017/03/07/international-womens-day-history/
  • Official IWD logo https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Logo