Multilingual Aficionados: Well-rounded Individuals

A few years ago (OK then, eight), I wrote an article for Multilingual called Accessibility is Just Another Language. It dealt with the similarities between internationalization and translation considerations and those of accessibility.

Since then, the technology and guidelines I wrote about have moved on a bit. However, I think the basic premise is fundamentally sound. These days I would regard both translation and accessibility as part of a higher order of things: user experience.

This got me thinking about how rich and varied the subject matter from the domain of multilingual technology really is. It offers the tremendous range of topics to study, the opportunity to apply a set of skills and knowledge in so many ways as one area feeds into another.

Raku-Raku Online Community for Digital Seniors in Japan
Fujitsu Raku-Raku Online Community for Digital Seniors in Japan

For example, take this article about easy to use Fujitsu smartphones (Raku-Raku or らくらくホン) for senior digital users in Japan (デジタルシニア). We’ve got mobile and social media user experience, accessibility (age is one aspect, yes), cultural nuances, language, the whole shebang going on. So cool!

Really, you could do a lot worse than considering a career in multilingual computing, however you define it. You’ll never be bored, and frequently amazed as you uncover new things about people and how they interact with each other and technology, worldwide.

And that’s why I love this business, and my job!

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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