#202 – April

Ukraine Feature

The language(s) we speak can be strongly connected to our emotional and sociopolitical identity. In this issue, we explore how the linguistic history of Ukrainian is connected to its political past, and we spoke with a Ukrainian LSP professional who saw her husband go off to battle. To support the #languagepledge #ukrainian, MultiLingual is offering the cover article The Language of War in Ukrainian as well as English. Beyond this special focus, you will find an extensive profile of Airbnb’s Head of Localization, tips about international SEO, corporate planning techniques, and much more.




t’s been a difficult month for the international community.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has rippled beyond the regional peoples — and the thousands of accompanying tragedies — to affect also the linguistic and localization community. It impacts international business and infrastructure. It weighs on mental health. And it heightens anxiety as the world waits for the next barrage of bad news.

Here at MultiLingual, we stand behind the Ukrainian people as they defend their country from an aggressive autocrat. At the same time, this is not a time for tribalism or blinkered thinking. It’s a time to find our common humanity, to proactively support everyone suffering physically, economically, and mentally because of the unjust actions of a few brutal men. When empathy and good will guide our actions, it makes an impossible situation all the more bearable.

If you’ve been following MultiLingual’s coverage over the past month, you know most of our focus has been on this war and its impact on the language community. That theme carries over into this month’s magazine. You’ll find in this issue extensive coverage of the languages, places, and people at the center of the fighting. But you’ll also find the professional columns, analysis, and features you’ve come to expect from us.

Whether in peacetime or wartime, it’s our job to make the most of the conditions forced upon us. Let’s all hope for brighter days by the time the next issue reaches your doorstep. 

Katie Botkin signature



The Language of War: What sociolinguistic tension tells us about the war in Ukraine

By Andrew Warner

In an address to the Russian populace on Feb. 21, Russian president Vladimir Putin made several claims about the Ukrainian government’s attempts to suppress ethnic Russians and Russian speakers living in Ukraine.

Working in Wartime: A Ukrainian professional describes LSP work during an invasion

By Cameron Rasmusson

It was Iryna Vizir’s 35th birthday when Russia invaded Ukraine. And it’s one birthday she’ll never forget. After weeks upon weeks of rumblings about the country’s aggressive intentions and denials by Russian leaders, the moment of the invasion itself was nevertheless a shock.




Salvatore Giammarresi

Interview by Cameron Rasmusson

Last year, Airbnb announced it partnered with Italian LSP Translated to create Translation Engine, a language solution for its massive collection of list-ings and reviews. Covering 60 languages in total, the sophisticated machine-learning process — a custom solution based on Translated’s ModernMT technol-ogy — seamlessly translates content for everyone from vacationers to perpetually traveling “digital nomads.” By some estimations, it’s the largest contract awarded in terms of total words processed.
MultiLingual reached out to Airbnb’s Head of Local-ization Salvatore (Salvo) Giammarresi to discuss his professional background, the experience of such a mas-sive undertaking, and the state of the industry in 2022.




In pursuit of a true sorting solution

By Mark Shriner

Last month we talked about the rise of structured content in pharma driven by the need to increase content reuse, improve quality and consistency, reduce costs, and adhere to industry regulations related to readability and accessibility. That trend is being assisted and accelerated by the adoption of standards such as the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) and the use of component content management systems (CCMS) which make it easier to create, store, search, reuse, and even translate content.


The Evolution of Cultural Adaptation

By Kate Edwards

Back in the earlier days of software creation and distribution — and I’m referring to around the time I started my career in the early 1990s — most software was distributed on CDs and DVDs as packaged products that were physically shipped to specific markets around the world. The source company could target their offerings to whichever markets they felt were stra-tegically important. In the event one of their product versions ended up in a non-targeted locale, they had a degree of plausible deniability.


TV Scripts (No, Not That Kind of Script)

By Tim Brookes

A few years ago, I was in Bangladesh, doing some public health work, meeting members of some of the country’s indigenous peoples, and thinking a great deal about endangered alphabets. I found myself thinking about script loss even in my down time — in other words, when I was watching television, where I got a front-and-center education in the real-life process of language endangerment and cultural erosion.



How Virtual Interpretation Can Transform Your Language Service Company

Sponsored Content

In the United States pre-pandemic, as few as 8% of patients had taken advantage of telehealth. As early as June of 2020, that number had climbed to 50% in a survey asking patients if they’d used telehealth in the past three months.
Doctors in the US are facing the explosion of telehealth with cautious optimism while also working to include limited English proficiency (LEP) patients in this new quality of care. Among the strategies being deployed is integrating interpreters into virtual platforms.



How Multimedia Localization can Help Companies Expand Internationally

By Maya Tsirulnik

As the world is becoming more interconnected and globalized, companies both large and small are expanding internationally. While there are many components to international marketing success, multimedia localization is truly the key. A recent study by Wyzowl found that people watch an average of 19 hours of online video per week. And another study by Cisco Visual Networking Index found that internet traffic from videos will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic in 2022. Because of statistics like these, top global brands are investing heavily in captivating audiences with videos and voices that draw in potential customers.

Corporate Planning Techniques for Localization Pros

By Richard Brooks

I recently carried out a piece of research for a professional institute in the UK. The project was to find out what small to medium enterprises (these are defined as companies with less than £50M in revenue) consider to be their biggest sales challenge(s).
Now that the research is in, the top-three challenges were: key account management, communication strategies, and strategic selling. Anyone working in sales will have noticed a change in the profession. Transactional customer interactions are automated. Technology transformed an account manager’s job from predominantly informing customers about their company’s offerings to managing complex business-to-business (B2B) relationships involving



International SEO. How to Get Your Website to the Top of Google in More Than One Country

By Maria Scheibengraf

You have the website, the knowledge, the resources, and the experience it takes to make your business stand out. You also have an international presence, perhaps in more than one for-eign market. All you’re missing is website traffic that converts — the Holy Grail for any business. But how do you achieve that when your website is designed for a specific locale, and Google returns different search results depending on the user’s country and language?



What are languages?

By Vijetha D. Jois

Languages are powerful weapons, a mode of communication used to express our thoughts. It is a tool for humans communi-cation and relationship building through speech and writing. Language is a vital part of human connection. Each and every person in this world has a curiosity to learn a language, as it is a necessity, too. We need to communicate to others to make them understand our needs. Approximately 6,500 languages are spoken in the world today. Everybody will be inspired to learn a particular language right from their birth. Even a baby has its own language to express its needs in a way a mother can understand.




Deepak Nagabhushana

I’m currently working as Staff Localization Project Manager at GoTo, based in Bangalore/India, and have worked the past 17 years in localization project management, LSP management, budget management, stakeholder management, localization tools administration, localization engineering and content management. Prior to GoTo, I worked for Intel, Oracle, NetApp, and Dell. In my first job, I was managing the transla-tions for the websites. In the next jobs, I started learning to manage the localization workflows, project management, ven-dor management, process improvements, budget management, tech stack administrations, and process automation.