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LocLeaders Offers Valuable Insight

Smith Yewell 2013 LocLeadersWe recently held another LocLeaders forum event. This time the location was Silicon Valley, alongside the Localization World Silicon Valley conference.

The Welocalize LocLeaders event series are gaining a strong following and great reputation, swiftly becoming recognized as being one of the key forums for localization leaders from global brands to convene and discuss ideas and challenges.

This LocLeaders event featured a panel of industry leaders that I put together to continue our evolving discussion on Time, Cost and Quality.  I created a video to kick-off the event and spark the discussion.  You can watch it here.
LocLeaders 2013 Forum

Alison Toon from Hewlett Packard, Wayne Bourland from Dell and Tim Young from Cisco explored changing trends and driving change in localization.

We know there are more words flowing through the translation process, often in smaller chunks and with greater complexity.  We know video is a rapidly developing content type that is complex to translate, and we know that user-generated content (UGC) requires solutions that can scale at a lower cost point. Many global brands are asking the same question – what IMPACT will this translation have on my business objectives and ROI expectations?

As I wrote in my last blog, these questions are prompting a re-evaluation of traditional translation workflows along with time, cost and quality expectations. I’d like to share a few things with you:

  • (Surprisingly) The process of defining time, cost and quality expectations in a Service Level Agreement is not always completed.  This is a required first step.
  • More clients are asking for transparency and access to our “translation experts”.  For mission critical, brand-related content, this helps to avoid misunderstandings.
  • A combination of improved time-zone coverage and interoperable technology is required to create a tighter team of client staff, vendor staff and translators.  Welocalize along with various industry groups (such as TAUS) is working to drive interoperability, but I would like to see it move faster.
  • Machine translation (MT) has greatly improved, but efforts to train translation post-editors have not kept pace with technology advancement.  Welocalize is now running on going post-editing training opportunities across our supply chain of translators.
  • Pricing options for different quality requirements: Welocalize is actively piloting new models in this area.

In summary, it was another great LocLeaders, but I feel we need to move on these challenges even faster.  Here is one of my favorite quotes on the need to move quickly:

Every day in Africa a gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle.
When the sun comes up, you better be running.

Abe Gubegna, Ethiopia, circa 1974.

Thank you to all of our LocLeaders participants.

Smith

Visit http://www.welocalize.com/events/locleaders-silicon-valley-2013/ for a full LocLeaders Forum Silicon Valley wrap-up.  

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