Jaap van der Meer is a translation and localization industry pioneer. He is the founder and CEO of some of the largest global translation and localization service companies in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In 2005, he founded the Translation Automation User Society (TAUS). The 2013 TAUS annual conference recently took place in Portland, Oregon.
We asked Jaap to share his insights with us.
The one thing that sets TAUS events apart from other industry conferences is the genuine focus on what the [translation] industry NEEDS. Or as Alolita Sharma (Director of Engineering at Wikipedia) said at the end of the 2013 TAUS Annual Conference, “The TAUS annual conference pulls together an amazing diversity of platforms and people, all thinking about improving localization technology and supporting languages better. It was a great experience to learn what to avoid and how to reuse in localization technologies.”
Alolita Sharma from Wikipedia was one of the speakers on the Growth panel at the TAUS conference, responding to the question: How do we reach the next billion users? With support in 285 languages, Wikipedia breaks all the records (Google covers around 60 languages). Yet we need to think about how to add hundreds more languages in the coming decade.
Growth opportunities for the translation industry have never been greater. We at TAUS have labeled this as the upcoming “Convergence Era”. The global market has shifted from a couple of ten thousand companies exporting services and products to a worldwide customer base of 6 billion – all buying online, surfing, clicking, reviewing and EXPECTING that translation is simply always there, instantly and real-time. As an industry, we have to live up to that expectation.
What the industry needs… is an open perspective to change and cooperation. The main theme at the conference was the discussion that translation is becoming a utility, similar to electricity, the Internet or water.
I can’t wait to continue these industry discussions at the TAUS Industry Leaders Forum in Dublin in June next year and at our next Annual Conference, Vancouver, October 2014.
You can read more insights from LocLeaders Forum Silicon Valley and Localization World 2013 by visiting http://www.welocalize.com/events/locleaders-silicon-valley-2013/.