In 2015, our translation agency received a call from Khomp, a Brazilian company that produces and exports telecommunication equipment and software ( At that time, they were seeking a solution for translating their marketing materials and technical manuals, written in Portuguese, into English and Spanish. Being a technology company, the solution had to offer a high level of technical quality in translation. In addition, the solution had to offer a competitive cost for the company whose rivals are in China.

In regard to the need to offer high-quality translation there wouldn’t be any problem, since our translators are very experienced. However, the cost for the translation of manuals, which involves a large volume of text, represented a difficult problem. At that time, the company created its manuals in the MediaWiki platform, which is a good tool for writing and formatting documents. However, they used an inefficient process for translation, exporting the Portuguese text from the PDF format to DOCX (see our article about pdf), performing the translation in DOCX, and, then, reinserting the translated text back into MediaWiki to create the manuals in Spanish and English. The drawback to this process was that it involved a great deal of cutting and pasting of text, increasing costs, wasting time and opening the door to human error that could only be detected through meticulous revision of the PDF of the translated manual. In the end, the entire process was expensive and, to make matters worse, it often took much too long.

To lower costs and guarantee consistency, the solution we came up with involved the use our translation memory tool, SDL Studio (see our article on translation memory). Nevertheless, the main problem was the inefficiency of the process as a whole.

Based on my knowledge of other desktop publishing platforms, I was convinced that MediaWiki could be used for exporting the documents to a standard format in order to enable the exchange between other systems, and this would probably be done in the XML format. I talked to the technical people at Khomp and suggested that they investigate the tool to see if there was an option for exporting to XML.

And a few days later, Bingo! Khomp let me know that MediaWiki could indeed export/import XML files. So, I asked them to send me a few XML files exported from the tool and their respective PDFs. I made a careful analysis of the XML commands used and prepared a customized configuration for SDL Studio, to make it possible to perform a direct translation of the files. With this, all Khomp needed to do to translate a manual was to export the XML file, send it to us, receive an XML file in return with the translation, load it into MediaWiki and generate a PDF with the translated  manuals. All of this while only having to pay for the translation of new text, since the translation memory would pick up and use anything that had already been translated.

The end result: the time frame for translation of a manual was reduced from weeks to just days, it was no longer necessary to perform a final revision of the PDF to look for human error, and the overall cost went down considerably. A problem was solved and a new client was firmly established.

From 2015 until today, we have performed approximately 500 translation projects for Khomp, including pre-sale materials, website content, and, of course, manuals.

Among all of the things that I have done at Latinlanguages over the last 35 years, this is one of the projects that I am most proud of and that has given me the most satisfaction. The solution was only possible because of my background in engineering, decades of experience in the publishing market and the expertise I have gained with the translation memory tool (I was in the first group of Brazilians who learned how to use this tool, in 1994, in a course offered in Ireland). On the other side, it was the technical abilities of the team at Khomp that enabled the implementation of the solution.

For a company like mine, I couldn’t have asked for more.

Marcos Chiquetto

Founder and director – LatinLanguages

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During the decade of the 1980s, Brazil imposed a total restriction on imports in the computer market, which gave rise to a domestic industry in this area. Responding to the industry’s demand for technical writers, our company, the brain child of an electrical engineer and a systems analyst, was founded to provide the services of creating user manuals for information technology products.

One day, I was at the print shop to deal with the printing of a manual, and the manager said to me:

− Our shop prints the manuals for HP calculators. They asked me if we could also translate these manuals. Do you guys do that?

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In April of 2006, our translation agency was approached by Vagas, a Brazilian company that operates a site offering employment and career services ( I had met the company’s founder sometime around 1985 when we both worked at a Brazilian factory that assembled computers, and I knew that he was a professional deeply interested in technology and dedicated to quality. For this reason, I went to the meeting fully prepared for some type of challenge.

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