Internationalization

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Maldonado named Women in Localization president

Globalization, Internationalization, Interpretation, Language, Language Industry News and Events, Localization, Translation, Uncategorized

Women in Localization has a new president: Argentine translation leader Cecilia Maldonado begins her one-year term today.

Founded in 2008, Women in Localization is a nonprofit organization that works to foster a global community for the advancement of both women and the industry by providing networking, education, career advancement, mentoring, and recognition of women’s accomplishments. Membership is free and both women and men are invited to join.

To select its officers, Women in Localization works through a succession committee. The committee interviews existing board members to determine their goals for the group, then selects a slate of candidates accordingly. Candidates are also interviewed then the final list is presented to the board, which votes. Maldonado served as vice-president in 2020 and was confirmed president for the upcoming year during the board’s last voting session.

In 2020, Women in Localization’s “high level objective” was to focus on growing global membership, “which included setting up a virtual/global chapter to focus on our remote members and provid[ing] stronger support to our non-US chapters,” according to Maldonado. Six new chapters were founded according.

“I’m super excited about my new role at [Women in Localization],” Maldonado emailed. “After constant growth, 2021 will be a year for restructuring and reorganization, simplifying and streamlining our organizational structure so we can set the foundations for enduring success. With 28 chapters in 18 different countries today, we need to step up our game to be ready for the challenges and opportunities growth brings.”

Maldonado is well-known figurehead in the localization field, having cofounded both Translated in Argentina, an industry association, and Think Latin America, a popular conference that later became part of the Globalization and Localization Association’s Think! series. She is also an active volunteer for the Association of Language Companies, a US trade group.

Nimdzi — the organization that owns MultiLingual — is an official Women in Localization partner.

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State of German Industry Report Released

Business News, Geopolitics, Globalization, Internationalization, Language in Business, Language Industry News and Events, Localization, Localization Strategy, Localization Technology, Technology, Translation Technology

Qualitätssprachendienste Deutschlands (QSD) has released its first report on the state of the German language industry. Compiled from national statistics authority data and the responses of more than 100 companies, the report reviews market size, translation and interpreting prices, common client verticals, machine translation (MT) adoption strategies and technology development. It also lists Germany’s top language services providers and analyzes industry growth over a nine year period, as well as job creation. An additional section takes a look at how the global covid-19 pandemic has affected the sector.

According to the organization — which is a conglomerate of DIN EN ISO 9001 and ISO 17100 certified translation providers — the German market is unique in that it is even more highly fragmented “at the top” than in other western European countries. To show this fragmentation, the report maps multi-language vendors (MLVs), estimating market shares for each. It also claims foreign companies win more translation business in Germany than national leaders combined — which QSD believes will eventually lead to the sale of many of these providers.

The QSD report also discusses local translation providers’ strong focus on technology as digital native clients come into buying power. Much of this development is redundant, writes the group: “Very similar classic client portals. terminology management products, REST APIs for Plunet and [quality assurance] QA checkers will compete for buyer attention.”

More information is available at https://www.qsd.de/en/language-services-in-germany-2020/.

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New GALA Board Announced

Globalization, Internationalization, Language Industry News and Events, Localization, Translation, Uncategorized

The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) has announced its 2021-2022 directors. Of the seven person board, four seats were up for grabs with 18 members vying for election. According to the organization, directors “help define GALA’s strategic direction and work to promote its essential role in the global language industry.”

Paula Shannon from Canadian machine translation provider Lilt is the only new representative. She joins Balázs Kis from memoQ, Alessandra Binazzi of Alessandra Binazzi Consulting and Marie Flacassier from BeatBabel — all of whom were elected to second terms. Board members María Jesús de Arriba Díaz from Vistatec, Kåre Lindahl with Venga Global and Patrick Nunes from translation client Rotary International were not up for reelection.

GALA is a not-for-profit trade association connecting and supporting an international community of organizations and individuals that enable communication and business across languages and cultures. GALA’s mission is to help its members succeed and to drive the development of the language industry by building professional communities, sharing knowledge and advancing best practices in the globalization sector.

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Your favorite language learning app, now possibly offshore

Internationalization

As industries adapt their operations to survive the pandemic, the technology sector’s capacity for remote work has earned many companies a unique position of leverage in the face of policy decisions. The language learning app Duolingo might be at the forefront — and may actually choose to leave the US as a result.

In the wake of President Trump’s decision to extend a ban on issuing green cards and expand the mandate to temporary work visas, Duolingo’s CEO and creator Luis von Ahn on June 22 tweeted, “Since we can now work well remotely, and since the US is reducing immigration, a lot of technology development will shift away to other countries. This is bitter sweet for me: the US welcomed me, so I feel bad for it, but I’m glad other countries will see the economic benefit.” 

Serving a user-base of nearly 300 million people worldwide, Duolingo functions as a free learning tool that creates grammar and vocabulary games, along with a number of other resources through in-app purchases. The games reward users with experience points for consistent use and progress made on the app. The app is localized for its users as well.

To stay up to date on language trends, the app builds upon its noteworthy database of 38 languages and 95 different courses through language and teaching experts and volunteer contributors, developing a variety of content for users at any stage of learning. Since COVID-19 made stay-at-home recreation a necessity, apps popularity and daily usage rates have skyrocketed.

The Pittsburgh Business Times recently reported Duolingo’s status as Pittsburgh’s first billion-dollar startup, currently valued at $1.5 billion. According to a Forbes article written in August 2019, the company had plans to increase its employment from 170 to 200, many of whom work at the Pittsburgh headquarters. However, with their operations in the East Liberty neighborhood having to shift online, von Ahn sees the shift to remote work as a valuable resource and point of leverage that can better mobilize operations even with borders closed to many of his employees. 

In a further rebuke to the policy decision and a call to action to Pennsylvania politicians at local and state levels, von Ahn wrote in a tweet last week, “I’m proud that @duolingo, the most valuable startup in PA, is seen as an inspiration for Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, if the US policies against (extremely qualified) immigration continue, we’ll be forced to move jobs (and inspiration) to Toronto @SenToomey @SenBobCasey @billpeduto.” Both Senator Casey and Mayor Peduto tweeted out messages of solidarity with the company and its international workforce.

In such an unstable moment, von Ahn will likely continue making calls for support to protect Duolingo’s mission to educate users in fun, accessible ways. However, one of the core principles to the mission is to provide the expertise of native speakers in dozens of languages. The pandemic has forced Duolingo to shift its operations online, but the policy decisions of the US administration may force the company to seek a new home abroad.

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Journalist at MultiLingual Magazine | + posts

Jonathan Pyner is a poet, freelance writer, and translator. He has worked as an educator for nearly a decade in the US and Taiwan, and he recently completed a master’s of fine arts in creative writing.

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