Bonn voyage

I’m blogging from Bonn, John Le Carre’s famous small town in Germany for a certain generation, where I’m attending a very dynamic second edition of Localization World. The sun is shining, barges slowly plow the Rhine outside the windows of the Beethovenhalle, and the post-event beers are satisfyingly cool. The event is well-attended, well-organized and off to a good start. New term of the day: reverse localization, used by keynote speaker Peter Williamson, Professor of International Studies and Asian Business at Insead France and Singapore. His idea is that not only will a knowledge-driven economy need what we normally think of as localization (adapting products to locale/language) but it will increasingly require the reverse process of ‘localizing’ back to the manufacturer the kind of local(e) knowledge that their developers need about locale sensitivity to design better products. Williamson ended up by challenging the industry to “raise their game”. Meaning presumably that bidirectional localization of the sort he was suggesting will position translation more than ever as the knowledge broker. 

Andrew Joscelyne
European, a language technology industry watcher since Electric Word was first published, sometime journalist, consultant, market analyst and animateur of projects. Interested in technologies for augmenting human intellectual endeavour, multilingual méssage, the history of language machines, the future of translation, and the life of the digital mindset.


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