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How AI is transforming the content supply chain…and your job

There are many ways we are seeing AI used today in our customer and partner ecosphere. Localization professionals will be familiar with some of the basic AI building blocks and current applications, but there may be new ideas for AI paths you may want to pursue in the future, whether for your current job or a future one.

Jessica Roland
MultiLingual May/June 2020

scott abel

Why localization without personalization misses the mark

Getting content wrong means missing out on new revenue streams worth $1.7 trillion to $3 trillion, according to an estimate by McKinsey & Company analysts. When you make it inconvenient for consumers to find the information they need, they’re likely to turn to a web search engine or a virtual assistant for help.

Scott Abel
MultiLingual March/April 2020

Speech: An old frontier and a new approach

Speech is one of the fundamental modes of linguistic communication. It’s so close to unconscious, mainstream society only notices it when it’s missing. We call our industry a “language industry,” yet the majority of all our tools and methods are text based. Even the most famous language tool from all of history, the Rosetta Stone, is a scribe’s aide — a rock with textual information in three written languages.

Gilbert Segura
MultiLingual January/February 2020

Anne-Cécile Dousson-Lhéritier

Don’t overdo it
The paradox of content in sustainable tourism

Customers now want to own their travel experiences end-to-end, and they are getting more conscious of the impact of their actions. Whether tourism companies have sustainability at the core of their business model or as a possible choice for a subsegment of their customers, it is a concept everyone is talking about.

Anne-Cécile Dousson-Lhéritier
MultiLingual November/December 2019

Is AI everywhere in the language services industry?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a true buzzword in the language services industry, and just about everywhere else too. From naysayers who frown upon anything related to AI to technology vendors and some language service providers (LSPs) that use AI as a marketing boosterism tool, it is really hard to avoid getting tangled in all the misleading messages you hear out there.

Hélène Pielmeier
MultiLingual September/October 2019

The growing role of neural MT in the life sciences

Why neural machine translation (NMT)? Why now? Why life sciences? Good questions! It’s probably fair to say that there weren’t compelling answers to these questions just a few years ago. Today, however, the answers are quite clear and this reflects the growing role of machine translation (MT), artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in general across the life sciences.

John Tinsley
MultiLingual July/August 2019

Which languages should I localize my game into?
The birth of ROI-based localization

There are a lot of articles out there on the subject of localization ROI, but I’m sad to report that most of them are general overviews written by localization companies themselves that provide very unsophisticated guidelines such as “localize into popular European languages first, then into Asian languages” or vague assurances that boil down to “invest in localization, and we promise it’ll pay off. Just trust us — we sell localization services every day.”

Yuri Petyushin
MultiLingual May/June 2019

Andy Andersen

Going global 101

It is time to directly address new members of your future community, increase the diversity of your user base, and potentially expand on your profitability. But how do you know which languages are worth it? Which countries or markets should you focus on? What are your key performance indicators (KPIs)? How will you track and measure your success post-launch? The answers are complex.

Andy Andersen
MultiLingual March/April 2019

The challenge of gender equality in Latin America

Gender equality and related topics are issues that inspire passionate debate. The #metoo movement and the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings in the US Senate pushed the topic to front pages of newspapers and launched a dialogue about what society should — or should not — do to promote gender equality.

Arle Lommel
MultiLingual January/February 2019

Jim Compton

Profiling giraffes and reindeer
and other practical uses for AI outside of machine translation

Making good use of AI has always been part of the globalization and localization industry’s culture. Even excluding machine translation, which has been used on projects since the 1960s, we’ve been using translation memory, concordance searching, terminology recognition, optical character recognition (OCR), quality assurance checking and other applications of AI for some time.

Jim Compton
MultiLingual November/December 2018

Preserving linguistic diversity in the digital world
How new technologies can be used to save endangered languages in CEE and beyond

The revolution devours its children, as the saying goes. In the digital world, one of these threatened children is the diversity of the languages spoken and written around the world.

Arthur Wetzel
MultiLingual October 2018

The linguistics of refugee response

Irene Scott of Translators without Borders (TWB) describes the area outside the city as rolling hills where wild elephants once roamed — now home to one of the largest refugee populations in the world, tent cities housing around 600,000 Rohingya people who have fled across the border from Myanmar.

Katie Botkin
MultiLingual August/September 2018

Drug-fueled pharma: A case for mental health

Currently 33% of countries allocate less than 1% of their health budget to the mind. The pharmaceutical industry is similarly shy about investing in this field. Indeed, at our company we can count the number of mental health projects translated on a single hand.

Luke Sewell
MultiLingual July 2018

Luke Sewell Multilingual

Cherokee and technology

Believe it or not, the Cherokee Nation, located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, has always been on the cutting edge of new technology. A Cherokee language version of Windows was developed for Microsoft and is the only tribal language supported by Microsoft in its North American products.

Jeff Edwards
MultiLingual May/June 2018

Making language quality work for startups

In today’s world, it is taken for granted that products and services must be technically flawless. These technological solutions — the hidden back-ends — are made visible by language. How products and services speak to their consumers is one of the key contributors to successful market penetration.

Katerina Gasova
MultiLingual April 2018

Global UX considerations for medical devices

When you think of a medical device, user experience(UX) might not come to mind as one of its key features. But UX is quickly rising in importance for medical device manufacturers, and global UX considerations are becoming an indispensable part of the typical medical device design process.

Libor Safar
MultiLingual February/March 2018

Deep neural MT in patent translation

Anyone familiar with localizing patent content will acknowledge that it requires both language as well as domain-specific skills. Take that up a notch and attempt to machine translate more than 500 billion words of English patent data into Japanese in three months for use in a leading global patent research platform, and you have your work cut out for you.

Andrew Rufener
MultiLingual January 2018

Jeff Beatty

Minimum viable (localized) product

Unless you have just entered the world of high-tech (or have been living under a rock for the last few years) you’ve certainly heard the buzz word-acronym MVP. In a sports context it stands for most valuable player, but in this case it stands for minimum viable product.

Jeff Beatty
MultiLingual December 2017

The economic opportunity for software localization
in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia

Picking the right languages is a key decision for growth-minded global software enterprises that use the internet as a sales and marketing channel. If they find the right languages, they can achieve significant growth, especially if they find ones characterized by gross domestic product (GDP) growth and increasing internet access.

Arle Lommel
MultiLingual October/November 2017

How to glocalize a movie blockbuster

The power of story is undeniable. Every civilization throughout history has told stories, utilizing dramatic heroes and far-off settings for effect. Usually these stories were told locally and without care of foreign understanding or appeal. With the movie industry now worth what it is — $38.6 billion according to the Motion Pictures Association of America — and globalization here to stay.

Cameron Frecklington and Alfredo Valdés Matta
MultiLingual September 2017

Ethnobotanical medicine queries
Bridging cultural and linguistic barriers

Many patients do not consider over-the-counter medications or herbal products to be medications even though they may use them for medicinal effects. Whether the patient speaks English, Spanish or a language that requires me to use an interpreter, the challenge remains the same.

Frieda Wiley
MultiLingual July/August 2017

Neural MT and the legal field

Neural machine translation (MT) is a topic that is on everyone’s lips these days. With natural origins in academia, there has been some great in-depth coverage of how the technology actually works, ranging from broader expositions of how neural networks and deep learning can be applied to the challenge of translation to deep dives into the nuts and bolts (read: mathematics) of neural MT and its variants.

John Tinsley
MultiLingual June 2017

Lifestyle: Tourist
Citizenship: Global

Community interpreters at the cusp of a postmodern world

If you are a Punjabi/English community, liaison or public service interpreter living in Lucerne, Switzerland, you might consider moving to Vancouver, Canada, to improve your job opportunities. And if that does not work out, you might consider living in Toronto, Canada, or any number of other cities where there is a significant population that speaks Punjabi as a minority language.

Angela Sasso
MultiLingual April/May 2017

Multilingual Exarcheia
The new refugee-housing city-state of Greece

Four times a day I pass an armored van parked outside the Archeological Museum of Athens, headphones in, my hands in the pockets of my parka stinking of campfire smoke and souvlaki. There is a sort of game we play, the police and I. They stare me down, nudging one another as soon as they spot me walking quickly down a wide street named 28th of October, the day that the Greeks defied Mussolini and began their resistance against fascism.

Emily deTar Gilmartin
MultiLingual March 2017

Privacy and language in German localization

Perhaps no other quote has come to explain the localization industry better than what Willy Brandt, chancellor of West Germany from 1969 to 1974, is widely quoted as saying: “If I am selling to you, I speak your language. If I am buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen.”

Libor Safar
MultiLingual January/February 2017

Iran as an emerging market

Iran remains one of the few economic pariahs that has managed to weather the pressure of international economic sanctions and remain robust enough to witness a financially liberal future without the cost of war or internal market collapse. A consumer base of 76 million has been made more easily accessible to European firms and is slightly more exposed to US investment, albeit with a few hurdles.

Yasin and Afaf Steiert
MultiLingual December 2016

Localizing for India

Being an 80s kid and growing up as part of the first “digital native” generation of India was a disconcerting yet exciting experience, full of social and personal dichotomy. On one hand, thanks to home computers and access to the internet (in the age of dial-up!), a whole new world opened up for me and my peers. On the other hand, this somehow worked to further widen the social disparity between the have and the have-nots in India.

Poulomi Choudhury
MultiLingual October/November 2016

Rethinking Arabic for global brands

Like Spanish, Arabic poses a tough challenge to digital brands providing localized experiences. Arabic ranks as the seventh most important online language, with a total audience of 166 million and online gross domestic product  (GDP) of $1.7 trillion in 2016.

Benjamin B. Sargent
MultiLingual September 2016

Translating Rapanui

Rapanui is considered one of the most diverse languages within Austronesian lin-guistics. Spoken by around 2,700 people on Easter Island, called Rapa Nui by natives, the language has been conditioned by its ambiguous history and multicultures during the thousands of years of its existence.

Daria Kizilova
MultiLingual July/August 2016

The double whammy of game localization

Game localization combines some of the hardest challenges of software localization with the need for creativity often reserved for literary translation. At the same time, some consider it a less serious type of work “because games are for kids.” As a result, game localizers don’t always get the recognition they deserve.

Jacob Stempniewicz
MultiLingual June 2016

Translating and interpreting in conflict zones

Communication is a critical component in modern warfare. Neither intelligence gathering nor logistics nor multinational armed forces can operate unless lines of communication are functioning reliably and safely. Telephony and computers enable signal intelligence and strategic operations, but what about the human element?

Jeannette Stewart
MultiLingual June 2016

Eunicorns: How European startups go global

European startups may not enjoy as much publicity buzz as their counterparts based in Silicon Valley — but they are no less exciting. Some of the unique features of European companies, such as their multicultural and multilingual backgrounds, act as advantages when it comes to scaling up globally.

Libor Safar
MultiLingual April/May 2016

The refugee crisis

Hundreds of thousands of people are streaming into Southern Europe and making their way, many by foot, toward Northern and Western Europe. They are arriving to escape war in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan, or grinding poverty elsewhere. They are risking their lives and even the lives of their children in order to do so.

Thomas Gilmartin
MultiLingual March 2016

How terminology makes or breaks sales

A debate over the words should and shall almost derailed the world’s first universal climate deal in Paris in December 2015. The word shall would have legally obliged countries to cut emissions rather than just having to try to.

Andrew Lawless
MultiLingual March 2016

Preparing image text for CAT tools

In translation projects with images and graphics that include text, good planning can mean the difference between an effective approach or days of back-and-forth. Here we will look at some tips for preparing image text, from the bare basics to a few advanced pointers.

Exequiel Klopman
MultiLingual January/February 2016

Driving international rank with SEO

Mere years ago, many marketers and search engine optimization (SEO) practitioners – in an effort to win in web search – embraced questionable methods to artificially boost their companies’ search results.

Charles Whiteman
MultiLingual December 2015

Quality localization to and from China

In recent years, Chinese companies have been attempting globalization on an unparalleled scale. Yet for all their attempts at going global, these companies have been met with mixed success.

Matt Arney
MultiLingual October/November 2015

Digital dementia and conference interpreters

Of all knowledge workers one could possibly think of, interpreters are among the few that, due to the very nature of their task, cannot take full advantage of new technologies that have the potential to completely revolutionize their work.

Anja Rütten
MultiLingual September 2015

Microsoft open sources its XLIFF 2.0 Object Model

At the recent XLIFF Symposium, hosted in the beginning of June in Berlin, Microsoft announced its intention to release its XLIFF 2.0 Object Model as open source.

Kevin O’Donnell
MultiLingual July/August 2015

Spain and the future of Spanish translation

Spain is so linguistically diverse and culturally disparate that the different dialects appear to rub together on parallel lines rather than blending as one.

Ben Whittacker-Cook
MultiLingual June 2015

The importance of the human voice in multilingual content

Todd Resnick is a Los Angeles native and his companies, Todd Resnick Interactive Group and The Voice Company, both provide voiceover and language conversion services across the globe in 70+ languages, leveraging the creativity of over 4,000 voice talents.

Scott Abel
MultiLingual June 2015

Why translation management is broken, and how to fix it

Many of us in the localization industry have rallied for most of our careers to achieve a very big, collective dream — getting organizations to take translation seriously.

Nataly Kelly
MultiLingual April/May 2015

Advancing science by overcoming language barriers

Scientific discoveries are often restrained by language. The English language may be thought of as the “universal language” in the global scientific community, but only a fraction of scientists actually speak the language, continuing to publish information in their native languages and in non-English databases.

Abe Lederman, Darcy Katzman
MultiLingual April/May 2015

Documenting endangered alphabets II: Art and activism

My first exhibition of endangered alphabets — 13 carvings, each with Article One of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights carved in a different endangered writing system — was held in May 2010, and to my astonishment people began talking about it, writing about it, even filming it.

Tim Brookes
MultiLingual March 2015

App localization: What developers should know

A lot of work goes into developing a successful app. First you have to study the trends to ensure your app idea is a marketable one. Next, you have to plan out your app’s design, taking into account not only the elements and functionality you want to include…

Matt Bramowicz
MultiLingual January/February 2015

Evaluating quality in translation

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” This old saying dates back to the seventeenth century and is widely attributed to the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes in his world-famous novel The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of la Mancha.

Attila Görög
MultiLingual December 2014

Language revitalization in the Pacific Northwest

Linguists estimate that a language goes extinct every 14 days. Of the 7,106 living languages that have been identified, from 50% to 95% are predicted to disappear before the end of this century.

Lori Thicke
MultiLingual October/November 2014

xml:tm — a new approach to translating XML

XML has become one of the defining technologies that is helping to reshape the face of both computing and publishing. It is helping to drive down costs and dramatically increase interoperability between diverse computer systems.

Andrzej Zydroń
MultiLingual September 2014

Translating medical devices of the future

Traditionally, medical device industry translations are considered exceptional compared with the best practices of industries such as IT, and for good reason. This is a highly regulated industry, and the quality of translation is not just a matter of customer satisfaction.

Libor Safar
MultiLingual September 2014

East and West: Overcoming stereotypes

“Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” The opening lines of Rudyard Kipling’s famous Ballad of East and West, written 125 years ago in 1889, are familiar to most of us.

Bob Donaldson
MultiLingual July/August 2014

A tale of two toothbrushes

I’d like to tell you the story of a toothbrush. A toothbrush, you ask? Yes. A toothbrush. This little toothbrush, according to the manufacturer’s website, “is the world’s first smart toothbrush, a manual brush that monitors your oral hygiene habits and reports them to a smartphone app.”

Terena Bell
MultiLingual June 2014

An introduction to XLIFF 2.0

The OASIS XLIFF technical committee published the XLIFF 1.2 standard in 2008. Since then, many translation tools as well as other types of applications have implemented support for the format.

Yves Savourel
MultiLingual June 2014

ITS 2.0: Next generation multilingual content production

Market analyses show that commercial translation currently represents an annual market of $21–$26 billion. However, the current lack of interoperability, automation and standards in multilingual content production is costly.

Chritian Lieske, Arle Lommel, Felix Sasaki
MultiLingual March 2014

Review: MadCap Lingo 8

Several years ago I wrote a review of MadCap Lingo 4. Now, four versions later, I’ve taken some time to look at the tool again, and I find that I like some of what I see in the new and improved Lingo 8.

Jost Zetzsche
MultiLingual January/February 2014

Careers in localization

As a career advisor in the language industry, I spend a lot of time looking at résumés. Résumés, if written correctly, can tell a lot about someone. Along with experience and length of service in various roles, I am always sure to take a peek at what education and training someone has had.

Denise Spacinsky
MultiLingual December 2013

TWB Kenya addresses translation needs

Although it may seem incredible in a world where information oozes from plasma screens on every corner, crucial health and sanitation information may not be available in a comprehensible format for the world’s poorest and most underserved populations.

Katie Botkin
MultiLingual October/November 2013

Becoming a multilanguage vendor in Laos

Some believe the white disk on the Laotian flag represents the unity of the people. Another theory is that it symbolizes the full moon rising over the Mekong River. A third is that it signifies the country’s bright future, and this is perhaps the most pertinent.

Steven Bussey
MultiLingual July/August 2013

Challenges of localization for the Burmese market

First of all, is it Burma or Myanmar? And what do you call the language? The answers will become somewhat clearer after a crash course on the country’s history.

Jacob 22
MultiLingual July/August 2013

Machine translation: Inside the enterprise or outsourced?

Machine translation (MT) is on your company’s strategic roadmap, but you’re not sure what the best scenario is: should you build or buy?

Lori Thicke, John Papaioannou
MultiLingual July/August 2013

Review: XTM Cloud

XTM by XTM International is a scalable, web-based translation solution for freelance translators, language service providers (LSPs) and enterprises. The tool supports the entire workflow from project creation to delivery of the translated documents.

Henk Boxma
MultiLingual June 2013

Will interpretation ever be localized?

They were rare, but greatly appreciated. I’’m referring to those few translation projects that came in and required a translator who could adeptly translate between Ecuadorian Spanish and American English.

Nataly Kelly
MultiLingual June 2013

Internationalization of small Irish businesses

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are often the frst sector to recover after a recession, but with depressed domestic economies they are being encouraged to grow their business in overseas markets.

Dermot Quirk
MultiLingual April/May 2013

The polarizing business of opinion

By the time this article is printed, it will have been months since the Chick-fil-A scandal. Those of you reading this in the United States will hope- fully let out a groan at old debates drudged anew, and it’s my hope beyond hope that those of you outside the United States will have no idea what I’m talking about.

Terena Bell
MultiLingual January/February 2013

Gender bias and project management

When I returned from four years of studying in France, everyone back home in the United States was quick to ask me the same question: “Did you just love Paris?” Unforrtunately, if I was being honest, my answer was no.

Hannah Berthelot
MultiLingual December 2012

Documenting endangered alphabets

Three years ago, acting on a notion so whimsical I assumed it was a kind of presenile monoma-nia, I began carving endangered alphabets. The disclaimers start right away. I’m not a linguist, an anthropologist, a cultural historian or even a woodworker. I’m a writer…

Tim Brookes
MultiLingual Octover/November 2012

Training health translators from scratch

April 2, 2012, wasn’t just another hot day in Nairobi, Kenya. It was the day Translators without Borders (TWB) started the pilot test site of its Health Translators’ Training Program, to train a team of Kenyans how to translate health information into Swahili.

Simon Andriesen
MultiLingual September 2012

Interoperability and ubiquity

We envision translation as an ubiquitous service— so goes the TAUS mission statement. However, this reality will likely only be possible with systems interoperability.

Rahzeb Choudhury
MultiLingual April/May 2012