Global manufacturers rely on Multilingual Knowledge Systems to make their documentation and communication processes more effective and efficient. Products, large machines, are highly complex devices, engineered and assembled for instance in Middle Europe, sold and used worldwide. The documentation department is responsible for high quality product information in dozens of languages.
It is a best practice to rely on terminology tools to collect relevant concepts and terms in all customer languages that describe the products and services. This ensures consistency in wording, alerts about misleading terms, and ensures correct translations. It is a strategic goal that this growing resource will not only be of use for authors or translators, but evolves into a knowledge treasure for all employees, suppliers, and customers. However, a tool that lists thousands of terms only alphabetically is insufficient. It requires rather a solution that models a concept system: a structured, interlinked set of concepts with all their terms in all languages. A concept, a unit of thought, is only well understood through its context: the more general, the more specific concepts, and its siblings. Consider the concept ‘Tuesday’: it is explicitly defined and delimited by and through the existence of its siblings ‘Monday’ and ‘Wednesday’.
When introducing an MKS it is a best practice to start by focusing on one machine: All modules, devices, sub-devices, handles, and parts are stored as individual but linked concepts. For authoring and translation purposes, all terms, preferred and forbidden ones, as well as image illustrations, definitions, and further clarifying attributes can be added. Thus a knowledge graph, richly illustrated and available in many languages is built. Through this systematic method redundancies are then avoided. Users are no longer exhaustingly browsing through long word lists. Instead they semantically navigate smoothly through a rich, visual map of connected concepts. After an initial phase, more colleagues can be involved. Ideally, a browser-based, SaaS solution means no installation and very little learning effort. Contributors from other departments can join instantly.
After the starting phase, a decision to deploy an MKS enterprise-wide is also driven by factors like an innovative, very appealing user interface and ease-of-use. This differentiator is key to company-wide acceptance.
MKS’ keep large and growing knowledge resources under control while ensuring top quality. The visual concept map enables the semantic exploration of product information. Wordlist-like data collections that originated from authoring and translation are now usable for all knowledge workers and systems. Multilingual Knowledge Systems have become part of companies’ information infrastructure.