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July/August 2017

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Biotech and translation mergers and acquisitions | Luke Sewell
Multilingual July/August 2017

We seem to be living through a period of great consolidation within the translation industry, as each new month brings with it a new major merger. At the same time, we are at the tail end of a considerable acquisition boom in the biotechnology industry. But what are the factors driving these extensive mergers? Most importantly, what does this mean for the prospective industries?...

Columns and Commentary

Post Editing | Katie Botkin
Multilingual July/August 2017

Healthcare has been in the news a lot recently thanks to the United States’ current political circus. And I wonder, not for the first time, why the version of universal healthcare that we have here is so much more expensive per capita than anywhere else....

Community Lives: The human element | Jeannette Stewart
Multilingual July/August 2017

Lately I’ve been wondering just how much our associates appreciate the extent of the skills translators and interpreters bring to their work. I’m not referring to language skills, which are taken for granted. I’m talking about the extras that help ensure that a target text captures all the nuances of the original for delivery to a global community.

In fact, in my experience, it is thanks to the high standards most language professionals bring to their work that deliverables may even exceed the quality of their sources....

Word on the Street: Cash flow management | Adam Wooten
Multilingual July/August 2017

Why are so many translation services companies slow to pay freelancers? The reasons are not usually as sinister as some translators might suspect....

Culture Clashes: No intepreters to be had | Emily deTar
Multilingual July/August 2017

In the heart of London, in the overheated halls of a political office, I usually filled my strenuously long days with the usual parliamentary assistant work of booking travel, replying to correspondence, updating the schedule and writing speeches.

I was poised to take my morning notes of items urgently needing to be dealt with, when I was informed that I would be spending the next three days as an unofficial political attaché to an activist from the Middle East. She was in London to address a special committee regarding the threats of ISIS to minority communities, targeting them especially for their slave trade and ritual humiliation and torture. Since she was coming all the way to London to address various members of Parliament, religious leaders, embassy staff, leaders of various nonprofits and politicians with special interest in the Middle East and human rights, she had asked to spend her free time before her address receiving medical care. She needed someone to book and guide her to all her appointments, and she was willing to pay for the very best private clinics on arrival....

Core Focus

Ethnobotanical medicine queries | Frieda Wiley
Multilingual July/August 2017

Sixteen: The minimum number of patients on my schedule each day. Thirty: The number of minutes I have to earn the confidence of a total stranger over the phone. Make that 20 minutes if you consider the time I spend documenting each case and action items. Divide that number in half for a two-way dialogue.

This means I have a maximum of ten minutes to make a person who has never met or seen me become so comfortable she will share with me intimacies she might never tell her mother, best friend, her doctor or her lover....

Updating healthcare localization | Kevin Donovan
Multilingual July/August 2017

Recently the mid-sized, regional healthcare company where I work revamped its localization tools and processes. The story of how it accomplished this and how the improvements that it made have resulted in greater productivity is an interesting one, and may be of interest to other healthcare organizations that are expanding overseas.

The products that benefited from this project differed somewhat from each other — one is a client-server disease management telemedicine platform, and the other a web-based behavior modification application. As you might expect, the localization challenges were different for each product. As it happened, however, a careful analysis of the existing architectures and prior localization efforts helped an in-house team to assemble requirements, obtain approval from upper management, implement a solution and then use it successfully.

In tandem with this project, the company set about defining how any localization project should get done....

MT application to localization of life sciences | Laura Casanellas Luri
Multilingual July/August 2017

MT is becoming more mainstream in the life sciences sector, and there are a number of reasons why....

Trials and translations | Mark Aiello
Multilingual July/August 2017

Conducting a trial on a global scale introduces significant management challenges, many of which can be attributed to communication. In India, for example, there are 11 languages spoken by more than 25 million people each and dozens more non-primary languages spoken by sizable populations. This makes it challenging to recruit a patient population, since materials being distributed to a single study site must be delivered in multiple Indic languages. As the pharmaceutical industry pursues multi-geography clinical trials, translation has become a critical step and a potential roadblock in the global clinical trials process....


Moving beyond content | Erin Wynn
Multilingual July/August 2017

We’re in the midst of one of the most revolutionary times in our industry, witnessing a shift from a myopic view of transactional translated content, whether marketing, user interface or technical manuals, to language service providers (LSPs) delivering business solutions that serve all the “stops” on the global journey....


Why zero-shot translation may be the most important MT development in localization | Arle Lommel
Multilingual July/August 2017

In the months since Google’s announcement about its deployment of neural machine translation (NMT) caught the tech press’ eye, NMT has rapidly transformed from a pie-in-the-sky dream into a mainstream MT method. As MT developers, language services providers (LSPs), and social media enterprises have rushed to jump on the bandwagon, what the technology can realistically deliver often gets lost in the hype.

One basic point needs to be clear: NMT is a kind of statistical MT, not an artificial super intelligence....

Linguistic quality assurance in localization | Vassilis Korkas
Multilingual July/August 2017

Linguistic quality assurance may be overlooked despite overall consensus on its importance. There are current challenges in its application and opportunities for its evolution in the future....

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