Looking ahead after the US election

Katie Botkin photo
A globally-minded gathering in front of the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas on election day. Photo by Katie Botkin.

All the messages I’ve gotten today from friends and colleagues abroad are worried. They woke up to the fact that the US had elected Donald Trump and a host of supporting characters. Whatever you personally think of Trump, it’s likely that this could negatively impact international diplomacy, trade and any number of US domestic issues.

This is of concern for anyone in the global market. Our jobs hinge on international and cultural understanding; the market-driven rather than political kind. Nationalistic rhetoric is bad for the economy, and many of us worry to see the Dow plunge, the markets panic. To see nations begin to shut themselves off, suspicious of a people who would elect such a uniquely unqualified candidate.

But whatever our national politics, I know we in the localization industry will continue to work towards cross-cultural respect. It’s our job to take the mores of other people seriously. It’s our job to listen to what works for individual people groups, languages, tribes. It’s our job to act on them with an open heart and an open mind.

Katie Botkin
Katie Botkin is a freelance writer. She has a master’s degree in English with an emphasis on linguistics and has taught English on three continents.

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