LeSS In Arabic (ليس باللغة العربية)

12 Dec 2023  James  4 mins read.

اقرأ هذه الصفحة باللغة العربية

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Full Translation of All LeSS Content Now Available For Sponsorship

I have been working with Pearson/Addison-Wesley to gain their blessing and permission to provide Arabic translation rights of the three LeSS books by Bas Vodde and Craig Larman. Similar terms should be possible for other languages such as Spanish and Portuguese.

Generally speaking Pearson is only willing to do this with a traditional regional publisher, yet I have been able to convince them Agile Carpentry has the depth of publishing experience required.

This will only happen if I can find an appropriate sponsor to fund the effort. If you are interested in learning more, please contact me via email at james@agilecarpentry.com or via LinkedIn.

Relevant Slides

Here are a couple relevant slides from a presentation of mine.

LeSS In Arabic Slide

LeSS Books In Arabic

Economic Reality Requires Sponsorship

The economic reality is professionally translating and publishing all the LeSS books in Arabic or any other language will never pay for itself in terms of book sales. Similarly, professional translation of the entirety of the LeSS website does not make economic sense in and of itself.

Yet there is at least one context in which full translation makes perfect economic sense. If a large well-funded company based in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, or other GCC country is considering a LeSS-like adoption it would only makes sense to ensure everyone involved has a full understanding of the organizational changes involved. Although most Arab engineering staff is likely to be just as fluent in English as Arabic, other important parts of an organization may not be. Buy-in from other parts of the organization is likely to be just as important to creating the structural changes required to achieve organizational agility as buy-in within engineering.

Agile Carpentry therefore set out to identify every language obstacle impeding the ability to provide LeSS consultation, training, and related supporting content in any desired global language. Arabic provides a particularly good test case with a higher probability of achieving sponsorship than some other language choices.

Leveraging existing and newly formed relationships within the publishing community I have been able to identify exceptionally qualified Arabic translators, and interior layout designers with experience typesetting Arabic. From my conversations with Pearson/Addison-Wesley I have validated my ability to acquire translation rights for the three LeSS books.

I have also been coordinating with the LeSS Company. As a Certified LeSS Trainer this has been the easy part as the necessary relationships were already in place.

Translation Scopes

The natural translation scopes are as follows:

Based on initial rough estimates the translation cost for the entire scope will be at least USD$50k, and perhaps double that. When seen as part of a larger LeSS adoption effort this should be easy to justify. Agile Carpentry is uniquely positioned to add this as yet another line item in a larger scope of work if/when a client requires it.

Other Languages

Everything written above regarding Arabic is just as true for languages such as Spanish and Portuguese. At a technical level left-to-right Latin based languages are easy in comparison to Arabic.

As with Arabic the greatest remaining challenge will be finding sponsorship.

Current State of LeSS Content Translation

The current human translated LeSS content is summarized below. I expect the LeSS Company will eventually implement machine translation for any pages without human translation, yet for now only human translated pages are available as hosted content.

Existing Translated Website Content

A few pages on the LeSS.works website have been translated into other languages by the community. You can use the language selection feature in the upper right corner to select your preferred language. If you are lucky the page will be in your preferred language, if not you will be presented with the English version of the page. Other than English, German and Dutch seem to be best supported, although still only in part.

Using Google Translate or a browser plugin for machine translation is another another option.

Whether or not a particular page has been translated into a given language is somewhat random. For example, I am grateful to have had my LeSS case study translated into both Japanese and Chinese by the community.

Book 3: Large-Scale Scrum: More With LeSS

The 3rd LeSS book has been translated into both German and Chinese.

James Carpenter
James Carpenter

James is an expert in helping companies create effective engineering team structures and cultures.