What is Behind a Simple Software Update

Marcos Chiquetto mar 1 2023

Monday, 8:00 a.m in São Paulo, Brazil. Nineteen new jobs coming from Shanghai are waiting for us (it’s 8:00 p.m. in China, so Monday has already passed for them). The week is just beginning at our translation agency.

One of the arriving translation jobs is this one:

Delivery EOB: on the same date, by the End of Business Day. A routine job.

The project came from a large IT corporation. On Friday, a software update had been released in Palo Alto, California, affecting 25 words of the original English user interface. As this software is sold in 40 languages, the people in Palo Alto sent a package with these 25 words to the company’s translation center in Shanghai. The Chinese project manager received the service order, exported the content to the translation environment and distributed the project to dozens of translation vendors spread across the world, including our company. Our part is to provide the translation into Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish.

That same day all translation vendors around the world, including ourselves, delivered their translations. On Tuesday, in Shanghai, the 40 packages were exported to the original software format and sent back to Palo Alto, where they were integrated into the software in all languages.

On Wednesday, users all over the world received an automatic update and began to use the updated software in their respective languages.

And they never even noticed that something had changed.

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