Interoperability refers to the process of making one thing fit with another thing — different systems and technological products, in this case. Interoperability is sort of like diplomacy between System A and System B, and as such, it is concerned with not just linguistic differences, but getting everything to work together for the common good. By extension, life itself involves interoperability, or bridging the gap between things that run on metaphorically different wavelengths. We do it in work environments, at family gatherings and certainly in any romantic relationship.
However, with something like the relationship between System A and System B, you can create standards, and neither System A nor System B will get its feelings hurt if you have to “fix” its innate nature to somehow ensure better interoperability. Although maybe someone on a technical committee will, because anytime you’ve got people working together to create some shared thing, you’re going to get different opinions on how to do it. It’s election season where I live, and I’m reminded of that every day.
We recognize that standards and interoperability can be sensitive topics, so we’ve tried to get a variety of viewpoints and types of articles dealing with them. David Filip starts our industry focus with his opinion on localization standards and how, and why, they should be open. Sandrine Trillaud and Patrick Guillemin come next, looking most closely at the former LISA standards and the organizations behind them, aided by a sidebar from Donald A. DePalma on how many of these standards can move up the localization supply chain. Rahzeb Choudhury then covers the TAUS take on interoperability and standards.
Standards mean different things to different people, though, and we have a couple of columns on that topic — one from Kate Edwards on cultural standards, and another from Karen Netto on translation standards (or the lack thereof). Additionally, Lori Thicke interviews Jason Rickard of Symantec on community translation, and Terena Bell covers trends including environmental standards for the industry.
We have two reviews, one on Michael Erard’s Babel No More by Nataly Kelly, and another on XTRF 2.5 by Bob Donaldson. We have a core focus on translation for this issue as well. Nancy A. Locke delivers perspectives from translation program students ten years after their graduation. Jost Zetzsche discusses translation technology, and Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo details how to choose a translation vendor. Mehdi Asadzadeh and Afaf Steiert take a more theoretical approach with a short look at adaptation in translation. Finally, Jeff Williams talks about cultural branding disasters in the Takeaway.