Post Editing: Proving technology

As with many writers and would-be artists, technology has a limited appeal for me. In theory, anyway. In practice, I need to have an internet connection just about anywhere I go; I take my laptop on weekend trips to see my nieces (and my digital SLR camera, of course); and despite my mockery of people who text at dinner, I’m probably as guilty of it as the next gal.

There was this moment as an undergrad when someone told my class that in order to survive in the coming age, journalists and editors would need to know how to work with technology. I remember my reaction — I thought: then I’m not doing it, because I don’t want to be a computer programmer, I want to write stuff. The next year, I started my own blog, and it occurred to me that this was actually pretty cool. I could select a layout that required zero programming, and it was so much cheaper than print. Actually, it was free. Cue me being sold on digital media.

I imagine some of this sounds familiar. Very few people are willing to initially embrace the idea that a machine of some kind is going to be changing their job. It’s only when they see that it truly is going to make their job easier, or better, that they’ll accept it. It might take a little proving first.

The language sector is no exception. We want proof that technology is going to help us. In this issue, our authors offer it to us, and they show us their own best practices. Jeff Beatty and Staś Małolepszy explain the method and benefit behind Mozilla’s open source localization projects; Shailendra Musale looks at localizing touchscreen devices, aided with a sidebar from Paul Bennett; and Wayne Bourland details how Dell was able to double its production rates for the same amount of money. Next, Rahzeb Choudhury outlines some uses for big data in the language industry, and Lori Thicke tells us how to make the most of machine translation (MT) by keeping post-editors happy. David Filip examines the differences in language and localization technology, and how both are being used in the corporate world.

In our columns, Kate Edwards gives us some advice on territory disputes, and then Lori Thicke interviews Valarie Gilbert of EMC on building low cost MT. Terena Bell offers her opinion on potentially not stating your opinion too freely, and John Freivalds talks about war, America and culture. Andrzej Zydroń’s Takeaway focuses on system functionality in language technology.

Richard Sikes reviews the first version of Lingoport’s Resource Manager — one of the many new technology offerings that we’re seeing in our industry.