System Translation within the SAP ERP requires system knowledge. 

Here an overview of the core functionalities

This article will help you understand why it is crucial to have an SAP-accredited translation partner offering both linguistic and technical SAP-expertise for efficiently rolling out your multilingual implementations.
A partner can help you to choose the most effective localisation strategy, as well as the most appropriate language design and architecture, set up the translation environment, correctly scope the translation volume, avoid redundant work, increase linguistic coherence and define a robust, overall terminology approach for current and future projects.

For best results, remember:
  • Only work with SAP Language Services Partners: they know the system; they know the language and are accredited by SAP.
  • Think carefully about the pricing model: very often, the real benefits offered by slpp and tpmo are visible only after project completion.
  • Think long-term: define your linguistic assets and develop them for the long-term. Supplier continuity helps you achieve this goal.

The core translation transaction: SE63

Highly-structured environment

The central cockpit for translation activities within the SAP ERP

SE63 offers a structured environment for the translation of Product UIs and online help texts. UIs are structured according to object type, and each object type can be further sub-classified according to, i.e. client development, specific use domain or other classification criteria deemed appropriate:

Remember:

  • SAP offers its system in many language variants. But the translated functionality can vary between language versions.
  • For benefiting from the numerous saving options, the translation environment has to be set up professionally, ideally by an SAP Language Consultant.
  • If interested to understand how to work within the SE63 transaction, we offer tailored training sessions at your company, where and when you need them.

The SAP Proposal Pool: SLPP

Consistent translation throughout the system

Maximum consistency with minimal effort

Transaction slpp offers an excellent way to research the system and guarantee its consistency both during the translation as well as during the QA / Testing Step. With it you can access and directly edit the contents of the proposal pool (similar to the Translation Memory), otherwise performed at string level.

Remember:

  • It supports fuzzy searches (but you must know the relevant logic)
  • Can be used for terminology research and translation and
  • Understanding and defining abbreviations
  • .

Top Texts Strategy

Bulk translation and distribution of high-frequency UI-terms

Reduce your bill and enhance quality

This transaction collects recurring identical source system strings into virtual objects, limiting the translation effort to a single human intervention and then distributes the translations to the respective instances of the source text.

Remember:

  • Assign top-text translation tasks only to very experienced SAP linguists, with a firm terminological understanding and a sound knowledge of all system tools which can support their translation effort.
  • Have a policy in place which does not oblige the linguist to complete the task 100%.
  • Know that the transaction does not proof the proposed translation against the slpp. This means that mistakes are propagated as effectively as correct translations
  • .

Keep an eye on volumes: SLLS

Know how much there is to tranlate

And understand if the text is new or results from a change

This transaction can be used both by translators and by coordinators to evaluate the progression of the translation within the system. If used after a top text distribution, it offers a quantification of the translation effort spared thanks to the distribution. Statistics are generated by the system during the last step of an evaluation, but can be updated both by the translation coordinator and the translator, whereby the available functionality of the transaction depends on the authorisation profile of the user.

Remember:

  • Plean a regular update of the statistics to monitor the progression of your project.There are no other ways to understand how much there is to translate!
  • Agile and scrum allow for concurrent development and translation: this means the statistics could keep growing even after a good week of work!
  • As a general rule, new texts require a bigger translation effort. But there are exceptions to the rule.

Manage: LXM_MASTER

The translation environment

Unified cockpit for the translation coordinator

This transaction is at the heartt of the tranlsation process and is mainly used by the translator coordinator to distribute work between langauges and teams, monitor project progression, setting up distribution and identify bottlenecks.

Remember:

  • Always name an SAP translation project coordinator. She/he will be your contact person within the team, able to brief you and update you on the progression of the project
  • Always define the translation team and all relevant authorization prior to the commencement of the project based on the initial scoping. But stay flexible.
  • Set up a weekly meeting with the tranlsation coordinator for regular project updates.

An effort-based pricing model: TPMO

Take effective performance as a metre for your costing strategy

Precision and fairness throughout the supply chain

This transaction offers a granular table-view of the tranlsation work performed, organised by preferred criteria (translator/group/system/collection...). It also matches the volume against pre-existing content, discounting a relative percentage of effort.

Remember:

  • It offers by far the best project pricing model
  • It is available for releases > 7.0
  • It keeps everybody happy: clients and tranlsators.
  • It offers complete visibility on who performs the work

Audit your terminology: STERM

A good terminology is central to every translation project

This is a best practice that pays off in the long-term

System UIs need to use precise language: unique terms, unified acronyms and abbreviations, no synonyms. And the language used in your customisation or master data needs to be coherent with that of the SAP system in the target language.

Remember:

  • Always name a terminologist. It will be the person responsible for the coherent choice of terms throughout the project
  • Work only with translators who have experience in the use of the SAP Terminology Maintenance Transaction (STERM) in the target language and know the specific SAP product you use.
  • Plan for terminology validation runs at project inception and then at regular intervals

Language AI on HANA Platform: the STH

Develop in one language, publish the app in many

But do not forget to review the output!

The SAP Translation Hub, the machine translation tool offered on  the SAP Hana Platform, leverages 20 odd years of SAP linguistic assets and the power of Machine Translation, offering a quick way to "gist-translate" your app. It greatly simplifies the translation process of apps developed on the Platform.

Remember:

  • What is suitable for the developer might not be good enough for the user: always review the app texts to increase your product acceptance in the target market
  • The translation process can be further enhanced with proprietary tools which guarantee a better coherence, like the ASAP Globalizers Plugin to enhance the workflow with Translation Memory integration to save your customizations of the MT output for future releases.
  • Make sure your linguistic assets do not get lost and that you can reuse them for later releases, including the adaptations and corrections of the initial STH output.