January 2024

Localized Software for Everyone, Everywhere

As head of globalization at Uber, Hameed Afssari believes that software should be easy to use for everyone, no matter what language they speak or where they live.



umans have a funny relationship with time; it can run away from us as we get bogged down in our busy routines. Sometimes we need an arbitrary marker of the passage of time — like the start of a new year — to force us to stop and think about the bigger picture. As each part of the world, one by one, gives a cheer at midnight, we’re reminded of our shared dreams and connected fate.

For this issue’s cover profile, I had the pleasure of speaking with Uber’s Hameed Afssari, who embodies such a global perspective. His optimism about the future is based on decades of experience and a strong belief in innovation. It’s enough to inspire anyone in the language industry to think creatively about their work.

The new year can also be a time to reevaluate — what has been working well and what needs improvement? The contributing writers in this issue consider these questions in regards to language services in education, business, and research.

And finally, the new year often brings new beginnings. As MultiLingual magazine’s new managing editor, I’m looking forward to delivering more thought-provoking issues to our readership. So, cheers to 2024! May we all take time to reflect and learn this year and beyond.



Hameed Afssari: Localized Software for Everyone, Everywhere

Interview by Cathy Martin

These days, software is essential to how we get things done, with certain apps used ubiquitously throughout the world. Having led localization and internationalization teams at two global software companies — first Microsoft and now Uber — Hameed Afssari believes that software products should be easy to use for everyone, no matter what language they speak or where they live.



Localization — to the Letter

By Tim Brookes

Brookes introduces the first World Endangered Writing Day: a celebration of writing not just as a useful set of symbols but as an expressive range of cultural artifacts and practices.


Improving Learning Outcomes for Foreign Students

By Rilind Elezaj

Foreign university students have a lot on their plates — making friends, struggling with homesickness, and adjusting to a new language and culture. Elezaj outlines concrete steps for helping these students thrive, including language learning assistance, diverse teaching methods, and cultural engagement opportunities.


sponsored content

Human In The Loop

Supported by Translated

John Tinsley, VP of AI Solutions at Translated, discusses the company’s new adaptive machine translation (MT) system, which fuses advancements in AI with human expertise to deliver real-time quality improvements.


What’s in a Word? Conveying Judeo-Christian Guilt into Tibetan Language

By Vanessa Kubota

The notion that a person can feel guilt, like someone can feel joy or sadness, is foreign to the Tibetan psyche. Also foreign to the Tibetan worldview is the concept of victimhood as a fixed identity status. Kubota considers what we can learn from these perspectives in dealing with Western criminal justice systems.



What Lies Beyond the Language Barrier for Language Service Providers?

By Rodrigo Fuentes Corradi

Fuentes Corradi urges LSPs to adapt their services to the AI era or risk obsolescence: “Without a new alignment, future LSP offerings will not meet enterprise goals and potentially drive companies to search for new collaborations and holistic offerings.”


Life Sciences

Clinical and Tonal Accuracy

By Daniela Rughetti and Stephane Millet

Rughetti and Millet share their advice for effective language service planning in light of new EU regulations on clinical studies. With a streamlined submission process and tightened timescales, high-quality translation is essential to ensure patient engagement and safety.


Women in Localization Awards:
STAR and Kudos

By Cameron Rasmusson

Women in Localization prioritizes recognizing and honoring the volunteers who offer their time and expertise to host workshops, organize gatherings, facilitate communication, and much more. To that end, the nonprofit has implemented not just one, but two award programs to highlight individuals who truly went above and beyond the call of duty.