Localization Unconference – Canadian Edition

Oleksandr Pysaryuk (@alexpysaryuk) shares the insights on the organization, takeaways, and people from the Localization Unconference in Toronto. And what might be next…

On a chilly Ontario morning of January 23, Achievers office in Liberty Village in Toronto welcomed 43 localization enthusiasts to the first ever Localization Unconference in Canada.

Those other ICE (In Context Exact) Matches: Tweet about Strings Freezing
Those other ICE (In Context Exact) Matches

The rules were no prepared presentations, no selling and “there is no spoon”. We brought ideas and brainstormed, voted and discussed the usual suspects (machine translation, crowdsourcing, translation quality, localization and Agile), as well as new arrivals (developer tools for localization, distributed translation memories, identity theft in translation industry).

Localization UnConference topics

Localization UnConference topics
Localization Unconference topics reflect the energy and enthusiasm for inquiry in the industry

Some takeaways:

Translators need context, just a different kind.
Some translators don’t like to read long instructions but prefer to just translate, with screenshots. However you also need to provide detailed description of functionality and purpose, use cases, style guides, and be there for support. Enhance it all by giving translators your game to play or software to use while they localize it.

Developers like to be world-class.
Developers love and cherish their code. If you tell them that following i18n practices will only make their code world class, they salute i18n.

Learn to speak developer language.
Engineers talk system performance and security. Prove how exporting translatable text into XLIFF will strain the system less than CSV export, and your developers love you forever.

Measure translation quality differently.
Ask you customer directly how they feel about language quality. Or ask you sales team in the target region to evaluate quality, or even to localize your content. They will start feeling like they own the quality.

Your localization and your Agile are unique to you.
Reverberations of Agile are true for everyone: how to identify changes, when to start translating, how to manage small projects, how to deal with changing terminology, how to manage testing when things iterate, how to price small projects, do you need a localization stakeholder at every sprint meeting. You do? But what if your company has dozens of products with hundreds of features? Know your unique context: what the product development cycle is and how releases are planned in your organization, and then figure where localization fits best.

The unconference is keeping it pink and multilingual! I hear there might be the first unconference at the next OTTIAQ event in Montreal, in French. And one at Translation Forum Russia 2014, in Russian.

Special thanks to Teresa Marshall (@pschesi) for supporting the Localization Unconference in Canada and consulting the organizers.

Get to know the Localization Unconference Toronto faces here: https://www.dropbox.com/sc/f6zmbo6yixbufp9/nn0O7N-Qo3

Ultan Ó Broin
Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally. Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.


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