Post Editing: Good sports

World Cup mania and an election campaign were both in full swing when the Localization World conference took place in Barcelona (see our report in this issue). Football shirts and team scarves dominated the souvenir shops, and brightly colored political banners hung from standards on the streets. It was a chance to learn about Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (Ronaldinho), Football Club Barcelona (FCB or Barça) and Catalonia/Catalunya’s relationship with Spain.

Midfielder Ronaldinho, it turns out, is also a World Food Programme Ambassador Against Hunger. He appears in a delightful public service announcement (see it at and a print version at right) that is currently circulating in at least 17 language versions including Indonesian, Greek, Arabic, French, North American and United Kingdom English, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, German, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish and Portuguese.

The World Cup brings out the wild fan in many a mild person, and translating its fast-paced play — complete with wide-ranging terminology — into the fans’ many languages is an impressive feat. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) site (, partnering with Yahoo!, has up-to-the-minute scores, stats and bios in nine languages. Their multilingual 2002 Seoul coverage — described in a presentation at the first Localization World Seattle, 2003 — set a high standard.

In this issue, some “good sports” join us to address a range of topics in the great game of language. Angelika Zerfaß reviews the new version of PASSOLO, and Rachel Schaffer reviews Nicholas Ostler’s book Empires of the Word. Tom Edwards’ column addresses map issues; John Freivalds has some comments about the latest mergers; and Kit Brown outlines what to pack in a good localization kit.

Karl Darr describes the process of managing multilingual content for motorcycle manuals at BMW, and Bill Trippe explains the basics of Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) in text creation. Veteran translator George Witherington observes the trends in translation “for publication” and “for information” and the need for clarity about which is required. Riccardo Schiaffino and Franco Zearo describe a translation quality index and its uses; and Eric Granered explores the open-source development that leads to products such as Joomla! and Moodle.

Our Takeaway is a note about what quality means to whom, by Lori Thicke. And in this issue you’ll also find a getting-started guide to the Middle East — with business and localization advice from Ilan Bloch, Adi Lev, Lisa Verdon, Myriam Siftar and Nizar Y. Habash. Bon appetit!