Aki Ito, Jost Zetzsche retire from MultiLingual editorial board

If a bit of good advice is worth its weight in gold, then Aki Ito and Jost Zetzsche are veritable gold mines.

Both language industry icons who have influenced entire generations of professionals, Ito and Zetzsche are also longstanding members of MultiLingual’s editorial board. With Ito joining in 2007 and Zetzsche in 2012, both guided MultiLingual magazine’s editorial decisions with their expertise built through long, impactful careers. So it’s a bittersweet experience to wish them both a fond farewell as they make substantial life changes and focus on other endeavors. 

“Aki and Jost were always an email away when we needed their input on editorial matters,” said Marjolein Groot Nibbelink, publisher and CEO of MultiLingual Media. “As a media company, our expertise is in curating and distributing news — we need an editorial board’s in-depth knowledge about the subject matter to make the best decisions. Some have dictated how readers can interact with our content today.”

For Ito, he’s easing back on obligations to spend more time on his musical interests. 

As for Zetzsche, he’s shifting his focus away from language-industry technology in the wake of an ongoing and ever-evolving technological revolution. Most of his time lately is spent on the Translation Insights & Perspectives (TIPs) tool, an effort in keeping with his longtime passion for the scholarship, history, and developments of biblical translation. A tool that aggregates and presents examples of the unique insights and nuances contained within individual biblical translations, TIPs offers a lesson in both the unique modes of thinking enabled by language structure and the religious traditions that flourished within those languages. It’s a great asset whether you’re one of the faithful looking to deepen your understanding of the Bible and international Christian communities or are simply interested in biblical translation and scholarship.       

“No one can be expected to serve on a board for eternity — that’s a rare requirement set aside only for Supreme Court justices,” jokes Groot Nibbelink. “Having been welcomed by Jost and Aki into the localization sphere nine years ago, we have all seen each others’ transformations. Their stepping down from the board will allow up-and-coming talent to leave their mark on MultiLingual.”

Aki Ito
Aki Ito

Ito and Zetzsche built their towering professional reputations over decades-long careers in translation and localization. 

Born and raised in Japan, Ito got his start in localization in 1996. His expertise spans various roles, including sales and operations management, project coordination, Japanese language oversight, consultancy, and managing translation memory tools. Before he entered the localization field, he worked as an account executive at Dell Computer in the United States and Japan. In this role, he focused on selling personal computers and network solutions to global companies for international operations. He was a member of the board of directors for the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) during 2005-2006 and took on the role of board chairman in 2006. Aki holds an MBA in international marketing and a bachelor’s degree in international relations.

Jost Zetzsche

Zetzsche, meanwhile, is an expert consultant in the translation industry and technology, a recognized author on diverse translation topics, and an ATA-certified technical translator from English to German. Hailing from Hamburg, Germany, Jost achieved a PhD focused on Chinese translation history and linguistics at the University of Hamburg. In 1999, he co-established the International Writers’ Group, LLC, based on the Oregon coast. His specialized journal for the translation sector, The Translator’s Tool Box — transferred to Slator in 2023 — is distributed to over 11,000 translation professionals.

Of course, that’s just a snapshot of the two’s interests, passions, and achievements. Much of their intellectual and professional work, in fact, is enshrined in MultiLingual’s back issues. What better way to honor their achievements than by revisiting their past writings? For Zetzsche, that includes Translation Tools Come Full Circle, The Language of Faith, and Things we can Learn from Saint Jerome on International Translation Day

“I’m sure we will remain in touch, as our interests align beyond the language industry,” said Nibbelink. “Aki continues to release his rock music on YouTube, and Jost shares a love for the inland northwest landscape.”

Industry veteran Edith Bendermacher has stepped in to fill one of the empty board positions, with the remaining vacancy to be filled in time. In the meantime, we wish both Ito and Zetzsche well and look forward to any future collaborations they may wish to pursue. 

MultiLingual Staff
MultiLingual creates go-to news and resources for language industry professionals.


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