The summer season of localization events were in full swing last month. It started for me at the TAUS Industry Leaders Forum in Dublin, then onto London for LocLeaders & LocWorld. Great people, great discussions and believe it or not, perfect weather.
Quite a challenge to capture everything I took away, there was so much. Here goes…
- We are experiencing changing business requirements: Translation is vastly more complex. Clients’ needs are no longer linear. Translation involves a matrix of various content types and snippets, from various sources, each with unique time, cost and quality requirements
- Quality needs to be aligned with the desired “voice”: I led the Day 2 keynote panel at LocWorld, and we presented an idea for matching content types to a target voice.
In my opinion, mission critical content must be matched to the strongest possible “customer voice”. This content requires an experienced (and highly-paid) team to translate, maybe even transcreate. At the other end of the spectrum, we may have user-generated content (UGC), only requiring lightly edited MT – at a much lower cost. So the content is understood, but not perfectly formed prose.
A client told me, “I am not asking for low quality, I am asking for different levels of quality, matched to my business requirements.”
- Invest in technology. Technology came up at all three conferences with “connectivity” and “interoperability” being the buzz. Welocalize is investing heavily in creating connectors between clients’ systems, GlobalSight and open source translation editors, (such as OmegaT). We have also begun to integrate project accounting data flow directly into our vendor’s systems greatly reducing “admin” time.
- MT is a must. When the MT topic came up at conferences 5 years ago, the answer was typically, “not for me.” Now, MT is a must. We have a rapidly growing MT division, headed up by Olga Beregovaya, our VP of Language Tools (and former President of ProMT). Olga recently posted a blog, MT is here to stay. She’s right.
This year showed record attendance at LocWorld. I’m happy to see our industry continue to grow and even happier to hear Welocalize is the second fastest growing localization service provider. (Common Sense Advisory report, June 2013,“The Fastest Growing LSPs”).
I look forward to seeing you at our next industry events this fall.