#214 – April

The view from the top

TransPerfect CEO Phil Shawe reflects on the past and future of the language industry and the journey of building the world’s biggest language company.



he language industry is growing.

That shouldn’t be news to most reading this magazine, but it’s worth reflecting on how that growth was achieved and what it means for the future. Combined with the impact of technological revolution, it makes for a dynamic and sometimes overwhelming ecosystem for professionals to work within.

But with that change comes opportunity. To that end, we spoke with Phil Shawe, co-founder and CEO of TransPerfect, who shared his thoughts on both the past and the future of the industry. And since the next wave of technological disruption is of a piece with the industry’s potential for future growth, we’ve also included analysis from some of the leading minds in the language field.

With AI still being the talk of the profession, many of this issue’s contributors are focusing on it and its implications for language work and humans’ role within it. Along with that focus on the future, keep an eye out for columns that touch on the past and language work’s rich legacy within it.

As always, we’re eager to hear from other potential contributors. Do you have any thoughts to share on global business, ecommerce, and marketing; emerging markets; or the video game industry’s intersection with language work? Consider submitting an article!  

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The Limits of AI with Language

By Kirti Vashee

With all the buzz around large language models these days, it’s important to take a step back from all the sensationalism. ChatGPT’s still got its fair share of limitations — in his latest for MultiLingual, Kirti Vashee takes a look at just what those limits are exactly.

Ai and the Globalization Industry Careers and opportunities

By Michael Klinger and Annette Hemera

You’ve no doubt heard all sorts of talk about how AI tools like machine translation and ChatGPT will take our jobs. But that’s not necessarily true. In this piece for MultiLingual, Annette Hemera and Michael Klinger talk about how globalization professionals can pivot — and thrive — in the face of AI advancements.

AI, Singularity, and us Humans

By Rodrigo Espinosa

We’ve talked a lot about “singularity” in the pages of this magazine over the past few months. But what does that word actually mean to people outside of the language industry? In this piece, Robert Espinosa discusses the singularity and the potential ethical dilemmas it presents.



Phil Shawe: The view from the top

If TransPerfect is the first billion dollar LSP, then the company’s CEO Phil Shawe is, by association, a billion dollar man. In this exclusive interview with MultiLingual editor-in-chief Cameron Rasmusson, Shawe talks about how the company’s grown so .



Red List Quandary

By Tim Brookes

In his latest column for MultiLingual, Tim Brookes reflects on all the alphabets he and his team have discovered and documented as part of the Endangered Alphabets Project — and all the work that’s yet to be done.

The Rosetta Effect: Things I never knew about the world’s oldest word puzzle

By Ewandro Magalhães

The Rosetta Stone is a ubiquitous symbol in the language industry. And yet, we often hear a lot of stories about it that aren’t actually true. In his latest column for MultiLingual, Ewandro Magalhães debunks some common myths about the Rosetta Stone.



Adapting Translation. In a Rapidly Changing World

Supported by RWS

Translation is translation, right? It’s addressed the same basic need since prehistoric tribes encountered one another and had to solve one of life’s most elemental problems: communication. But the practice is always evolving. In this piece we explore how translation is transforming.


Right Tools + Right Time = Right Workflow: Combining Context Aware translation with “hyper-localization” to transform content localization

By Tim YoungHoon Jung

Hyper-localization is an increasingly important part of the globalization and localization industries. In this piece for MultiLingual, Tim YoungHoon Jung explores important considerations that LSPs must make when working with dialectal and cultural variances within the same country.



Live Machine Translation: A new dawn for conference interpreters?

By  Oddmund Braaten

In an effort to combat interpreter shortages and help break language barriers, some companies may begin resorting to live machine translation. In this piece, Oddmund Braaten explores some of the potentials risks with doing so and how we can utilize live machine translation in a principled and helpful manner.



Top 5 Content Generators

By Laszlo K. Varga

It seems like these days, there’s a new AI writing tool popping onto the market every other day. But not all are created equal. In this piece, Laszlo Varga takes a look at the five best AI writing tools for content generation — and also explains how you can use them effectively and efficiently.


Take the Plunge How to dive into vendor management and enjoy it

By Camilla Amici

As vendor management becomes an increasingly specialized function within language service providers, demand for vendor managers has grown. In her review of Carmen Cisnero’s “Take the Plunge — How to Dive into Vendor Management and Enjoy It,” Camilla Amici discusses her own journey into the role and what readers can expect to learn from Cisneros’ guide.