Author Archives: Katie Botkin

About Katie Botkin

Katie Botkin, managing editor at MultiLingual, has a background in linguistics and journalism. She began publishing "multilingual" newsletters at the age of 15, (the linguistic variety at this early stage consisting mostly of helpful insults in Latin) and went on to invest her college and post-graduate career in language learning, teaching and writing.

Localization and Mobile in Asia

It’s happened: the most populous country in the world has almost reached peak smartphone saturation among internet users. 788 million people are mobile users, a whopping 98 percent of the country’s total user base,” Statista notes. This “illustrates just how efficient China has proven at rolling out network coverage as well as how mobile technology has become an indispensable facet of everyday life in the country.”

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The perfume of bad translation, part 2

Apparently my new favorite hobby on small airlines is to read their in-flight shopping catalogues — specifically what appear to be their worst and most amusing translations. I discovered this pastime a year ago, as some of you may remember. In this case, I was flying Aegean with a flightload of Greeks, nearly all of whom were engaged in loud conversation with someone behind them or across the aisle.

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Linguistic prejudice, race and machine translation

There are two basic approaches to grammar: the kind that says “this is what the rule book has said since 1858” and the kind that says “language evolves, and this is how it’s actually being used in the current world to communicate these specific concepts and grammatical differences.” The way pockets of minority speakers use...

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Today’s new machine translation releases

Our January 2018 machine translation (MT) issue has just gone online, prominently featuring a host of new case studies on neural MT. It happens to coincide with the TAUS release of their MT ebook Nunc Est Tempus (“now is the time” in Latin), which also went online today and likewise considers the emerging developments in...

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Hurricane aftermath with TWB

Translators without Borders (TWB) has been working on recent hurricane crisis situations in the United States, the Caribbean and Mexico, while simultaneously dealing with the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh and an earthquake in Mexico. The team has been over-the-top busy try to respond to all the crises and, “to be honest, it overwhelmed us for a...

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Google, gender and money

Google is scrambling to distance itself from a ten-page memo currently circulating around the internet and written by an employee. A male, self-described “classical liberal” outlined his ideas on gender in a document he titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” In it, he appeals to generalities about men and women’s psychology as it relates to tech...

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Localization Basics

So you want to expand into new markets. Or maybe you want to know what translation mistakes your company should avoid. Possibly, you’re just curious what localization is. Great! You’ve come to the right place. Here are four important thing to keep in mind. 1. The customer is always right You should know what your...

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Travel, tourism, Cuba and the New Year

In 2017 we have a host of new localization subjects to explore. One is travel and tourism. I’ve traveled all over, but after spending ten days in Cuba, I can say it’s one of the most-visited and still least-touristy places I’ve been. From a tourist’s perspective, it’s aching for some seriously localized tourist amenities: wifi,...

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Looking ahead after the US election

All the messages I’ve gotten today from friends and colleagues abroad are worried. They woke up to the fact that the US had elected Donald Trump and a host of supporting characters. Whatever you personally think of Trump, it’s likely that this could negatively impact international diplomacy, trade and any number of US domestic issues. This is...

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