Education means different things in different places — or at least it looks different. When I taught English in Taiwan, students rarely spoke up, even if you asked them to. When I taught English to students of the same age range in France at a lycée professionnel, I had the opposite problem — class tended toward the vocally chaotic, although it depended on the track. Within the same professional school in France, you have differently-oriented vocational and post-baccalaureate classes, almost their own mini-schools.
Frankly, and unsurprisingly, I found it easiest to teach English in America, to people whose culture I more or less shared and whose language I could speak without sounding uneducated. Call it the home court advantage. Possibly, I also enjoyed talking about rhetorical choices and compelling arguments more than I enjoyed teaching basic vocabulary. Although the grading was a lot harder the more complex and subjective the assignments became.
For this education issue, our articles touch on language and localization education from the standpoint of different cultures — we have one on linguistic education in the United Kingdom, and a Ukraine-based study comparing academic expectations with localization industry realities. We have another article on incorporating translation tools into classes in Turkey. We have more general education articles as well, touching on post-editing education in various locales around the globe, and on what makes for a good training course. Andrew Lawless’ column posits that formal education may be less important in the workplace than on-the-job training. Our news section covers a few education initiatives as well.
Additionally, in our technology segment, Sarah Calek explores something I’ve never seen mentioned before anywhere: the potential of using multiple source languages for fuzzy matching in translation memories. This is highly culture-specific, as the languages need to be mutually intelligible on some level or the exercise is pointless.
There are also articles covering the changing face of worldwide search engine optimization, the Women in Localization nonprofit, and more. Typical of our end-of-the-year issue, we have a few sponsored white papers featuring advertisers offering their own take on what they believe people should be educating themselves on.
Whatever your take on formal education and job training, and wherever in the world you live, never stop learning. Let your curiosity drive you, and may you always find the resources you need.