Four Key Highlights from TAUS Industry Leaders Forum 2015

tausWelocalize VP of Technology Solutions, Olga Beregovaya, recently attended the TAUS Industry Leaders Forum in Berlin. Olga participated in the forum as a panelist on the topic of “The Many Uses of Machine Translation Technology.” In this blog, Olga explains why she likes the format of TAUS Industry Leaders Forum and highlights her top four presentations from the event.

As I was flying back to the US after a month of traveling around Europe, I was browsing through my notes from the TAUS Industry Forum, which took place in Berlin on June 1 and 2 at the Harnack House, at the Max Plank Society’s Meeting and Conference venue.  I have been coming to TAUS events for many years, starting with the historical TAUS meeting in Taos, New Mexico in 2007, where many discussions took place that would later shape the industry.  After each event, I know I will always come back home with something that is highly relevant to my daily work, our customers’ requirements and my idea of what the future of our industry will look like.

olga_beregovaya_4I have always liked the format of the TAUS Industry Leaders Forum. It gives the stage to both the buyer and the services provider side of the equation. The event promotes free idea exchange between those otherwise competing in their everyday work, those looking for a partner to help them meet their global content needs and those who enable innovation through developing cutting-edge technology. The gathering in Berlin, which according to the university records took place in the very auditorium where Einstein first ever presented his theory of relativity, was no exception.

Working for one of the world’s top Language Service Providers, I am always very keen on participating in discussions about the present and the future of the localization industry. At the end of the day, what we really care to talk about is what challenges the industry is facing. How do we overcome these challenges and how do we forecast the “next big thing”, the “next big thing after that” and anything after that that helps the world become a truly global space?

All the TAUS presentations were extremely interesting and highly relevant to what we do day-to-day. For me, as someone coming from the vendor-side, the biggest gain is always to learn about the challenges our clients are presented with by their business requirements. As an LSP, it is essential for us to be relevant as a trusted partner and deliver value.

Apart from the very exciting announcement of the official release of the TAUS Quality Dashboard, which was the “opening act” of the conference, the following four discussion points and presentations were of particular interest to me.

  • Katrin Dreschner (Symantec) “Moving linguist to the Center”. Katrin made some interesting points in this discussion. Now, when content chunks are getting smaller and are published as a constant flow, it is more important than ever that the content is correct and engaging. Translation efficiency and output quality have now become unique differentiators for globalization. The linguists producing this global content need to be at the center of the process, having direct access to the source content creators, being able to exchange ideas with each other, regardless of what vendor company they work for, and cross-checking their work with the SME community.  KEY TAKEAWAY: In our field, great work comes from engagement and ownership.
  • Irene O’Riordan’s presentation on the use case for MT at Microsoft. Irene talked about the way content is handled between MT and human translation, where the decision on whether human translation is needed is made not before the content is published, but 5-10 days after publication, based on content performance. KEY TAKEAWAY: There is no better way of assessing the content importance than tracking its actual impact.
  • Stephane Domisse from John Deere shared his perspective on the use of MT for translation of non-conventional content that is not authored professionally. In case of John Deere, it is support queries from their in-country dealers. Stephane talked about the users not being linguists; they are not interested in detailed error type analysis or the standard evaluation “adequacy and fluency” categories. KEY TAKEAWAY: The MT engine is only as successful as the output is useful.
  • Finally, the panel discussion, hosted by Karen Combe from PTC on “How to implement an enterprise-wide language strategy.” Panelists included Jack Welde (Smartling), Renato Beninatto (Moravia) and Paul Mangell (AlphaCRC). The panelists discussed the “comeback of terminology,” which is again playing a key role in the enterprise language strategy, even more so when content has literally gone wild in its diversity. This makes terminology management one of the key components of ensuring brand consistency. KEY TAKEAWAY: You can’t necessarily control all your content creation channels these days, but you can manage the terminology consistency through the available new generation of tools.

In a nutshell, the TAUS forum was another interesting event with a lot of notes to go through and ideas to reflect on. It would be great to see more companies from a wider range of verticals join the discussion next time.


Olga Beregovaya is VP of Technology Solutions at Welocalize.

Welocalize are sponsors of TAUS. Please find the latest edition of the TAUS Review.